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MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) earlier this week unveiled a list of construction firms that have been qualified to bid on the railroad's expansion project.The $2 billion expansion calls for adding a third track along 10 miles of LIRR's Main Line and modifying seven grade crossings in the area, among other improvements.The qualified companies are:• 3rd Track Constructors (John P. Picone Inc., Dragados USA Inc., CCA Civil Inc., and Halmar International LLC);• Skanska Kiewit Posillico JV (Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., Kiewit Infrastructure Co., and Posillico Civil Inc.);• Third Track Partners (Granite Construction Northeast Inc., Judlau Contracting, Inc., and The Lane Construction Corp.); and• Tutor Perini / O&G JV (Tutor Perini Corp. and O&G Industries, Inc.), which late last week was tapped to build the second phase of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Purple Line extension.The firms were evaluated and selected by a team of reviewers from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), LIRR, MTA New York City Transit, MTA Metro-North Railroad and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The team analyzed each bidder's statements of qualifications based on experience in projects of this scale, past performance, financial strength, diversity practices and other criteria, LIRR officials said in a press release.The railroad will apply the design-build process to the project. The technique is aimed at pressuring bidders "to harness innovation" to find quicker ways to complete a project, LIRR officials said."Several consortia of world-renowned firms have been identified as qualified to bid on this landmark project and we look forward to seeing the innovation that they propose to speed construction and reduce the impacts on the communities surrounding the project area," said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski.The third track will help LIRR increase capacity on its Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville, N.Y., according to the railroad. Up to 40 percent of LIRR's 308,000 daily passengers travel on the line.