The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors this month approved a record-setting $51.5-billion five-year capital plan that will also include an unprecedented level of alternative project delivery methods, according to officials. The MTA’s 2020-2024 plan, increasing infrastructure investment by 70%, will address the region’s subways, buses and railroads, extend the Second Avenue Subway, and upgrade signal systems.
The board approved the capital plan Jan. 1, just one day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law the New York City Public Works Investment Act, allowing agencies like the MTA to use design-build on projects over $10 million and operating under project labor agreements.
The plan includes the following:
•$37.3 billion for MTA New York City subways. The program includes full funding for the 1.75-mile, $4.5-billion Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, including three new stations, new and rehabilitated tunnels tunnels, and new tail tracks. It also includes $4.1 billion for upgrades to 175 stations, $5.2 billion to make 70 stations ADA compliant, $2.6 billion to replace 60 miles of track,
•$5.7 billion for MTA Long Island Rail Road. The proposed capital plan makes the investments necessary to prepare for the planned Dec. 2022 opening of the East Side Access line that will allow more than 160,000 daily riders into Grand Central Terminal. The Main Line Expansion will add a third track on 10 miles of the LIRR corridor. General track upgrades and station improvements will cost about $1.9 billion.
•$4.7 billion for MTA Metro-North Railroad. Work will include four new stations in the Bronx, reconstruction of the Grand Central Terminal train shed and Park Avenue tunnel and viaduct, and station improvements.
In a release, the agency said that $25 billion will from bonds backed by new revenue streams authorized in this year’s state budget, including $15 billion from central business district tolling. The MTA anticipates receiving $10.68 billion from federal funding. Another $10 billion will come from bonds backed by new revenue sources dedicated to public transportation: a progressive tax on high-end real estate sales and the elimination of the Internet tax advantage. The State of New York under Governor Cuomo pledged $3 billion, subject to approval by the legislature, and the City of New York has been asked to match that amount. The remaining $9.8 billion will come from the MTA in pay-as-you-go capital contributions and bonds backed by longstanding dedicated taxes, fares and tolling revenues.
Mark Roche, MTA chief of alternative project delivery, says that a great majority of the projects will be delivered through design-build, public-private partnerships, and other alternative project delivery methods. Moreover, the agency hopes to improve upon design-build, including reducing the 30% design handover to contracting teams to 5-10%, he says. “We want to give them a lot of information upfront to reduce their risk,” he adds.
Unlike projects in the previous $35-billion capital plan, where each had its own manager and process, the MTA will bundle many projects in the next five years, Roche says. “We have what would be 2,000 projects and are cutting them down to 200 projects,” he says.
Some of the first contracts to come out will include ADA-compliant station work and installation of communications-based train controls, Roche says.