Upon completion, Phase I of the Jamaica Capacity Improvements (JCI) program will support the first passenger route from Jamaica, Queens to Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn on the MTA’s Long Island Rail Road.

Set to meet the needs of LIRR commuters and the MTA rail line’s future operations, the project consists of a brand new station platform, Platform F, and its associated track reconfiguration. The platform will support a new Brooklyn shuttle service between Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal that will increase operational flexibility and through-put capacity. It will also provide much needed capacity to accommodate future trains traveling to and from Grand Central Terminal and contribute to the JCI’s overall mission to streamline and enhance rail service for its passengers.

Designed for the Community and the Passenger

As engineer-of-record, HNTB collaborated with LIRR, local Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) and other community stakeholders to design Platform F as a culturally significant landmark. The work included agency coordination, long-term engagement with the Jamaica neighborhood and participation with local artists to design a station that genuinely connects to the community it serves. Keeping the commuter experience top of mind, the new platform was outfitted with a glass-enclosed heated waiting area, Wi-Fi and charging stations.

A Complex Project Location

While Platform F was designed with consideration to both the community and LIRR’s future needs, HNTB also had to consider the needs of current commuters and stakeholders within a complex project area. The project location and adjacent structures included active office spaces, publicly accessible rail terminals, passenger and freight rail tracks, vehicular traffic arteries and, beneath it all, the New York City Transit subway system.

Such conditions required not only thorough coordination with neighboring agencies, but also required deep consideration to create a cohesive design that melded into different existing structures and architectural styles. To deal with the constraints and complexities of coordination, LIRR and HNTB worked closely to develop extremely precise design solutions with tight construction variances to satisfy all safety and design standards acceptable to all impacted parties.

To ensure a smooth delivery in such a complex location, HNTB also provided construction phase services, multiple contract extensions and signal revisions for substage reconfigurations.

Digital Twins

Read how HNTB is utilizing digital infrastructure solutions to help deliver the Jamaica Station Capacity Improvements program in this InTransit Extra.

Location: Queens County, New York City

Client: MTA - Long Island Rail Road

Services: Designer-of-record, construction phase services, contract extension services, signal revision services

Awards: 2024 Platinum Award, ACEC New York

Related reading: InTransit Extra