- 2023 Q2–Q4: Construction of a temporary parking lot at York College site
- 2024 Q3–2025 Q3 Demolition of existing lot and construction of a new bus depot
- 2025 Q3–2026 Q2 Remediation and demolition of existing bus depot and south lot
- 2025 Q4–2027 Q1 Completion of new outdoor parking lot and new administrative building
About the project
The Jamaica Bus Depot was built in 1939, and the facility lacks the appropriate maintenance facilities to service the current fleet size. The new depot will also allow the MTA to transition to a fully electric bus fleet, which will eliminate carbon emissions associated with diesel fuel exhaust, resulting in cleaner air for Queens residents.
- The project will include a permanent art installation, funded through the MTA Arts & Design Percent for Art program. The selection of both artist and art medium is underway. More information about MTA Arts & Design can be found here.
- The design of the new facility incorporates new sustainability components. The depot building will have a “green roof,” which will not only help clean the air and absorb stormwater, but also act a form of insulation and reduce the depot’s energy use. The depot is being constructed in accordance with LEED certification standards, an accredited and globally recognized status of sustainability achievement in construction.
- The design of the new bus depot will address residents’ concerns about noise by erecting a sound-deadening barrier wall along 107th Avenue and another along 165th Street. The walls will shield residents from noise produced by bus depot operations as well as create a visual barrier from the depot itself.
- To achieve the MTA’s goal of creating economic opportunity in the communities where construction projects take place, we are piloting our first-ever local hiring goals, striving to recruit 20% of the New York State workforce from neighborhoods in Southeast Queens. As of October 2023, the project was on its way to achieving its M/WBE and SDVOB targets, and in some categories the project has already surpassed them.
- Skanska, the project’s contractor, employs an Outreach Coordinator whose job is to ensure best-faith efforts to contract with M/WBE and SDVOB firms for smaller contracts within the larger project. Skanska is also participating in events such as internship fairs and other community outreach events to provide opportunities for Jamaica, Queens residents.
The Jamaica Bus Depot project will take approximately four years (Q1 2023–Q1 2027). Noticeable work began in October 2023 and substantial completion is slated for Q4 2026.
Construction and expansion will progress in four main stages.
Phase 1: Constructing a temporary parking lot at York College
Before a new lot is built, we must first obtain space for temporary bus storage. The MTA has acquired property from York College adjacent to the Jamaica Depot during the depot construction.
Construction of a temporary lot began in Q2 2023 and is on track to be complete by Q4 2023. Work includes:
- Drainage, electrical and communications conduit and retaining walls
- Perimeter retaining walls and fencing with gates
- Excavation for a 20 foot-wide by 125 feet-long retaining wall and a 12-foot-high security fence between the temporary bus lot and a neighboring cemetery
- An archaeologist will oversee excavation work in this stage of construction to ensure there is no disruption to the cemetery lots.
- Creation of a paved and striped parking lot for buses
- Lighting and communication systems
- Construction of a guard booth and contractor trailers
- Construction fencing to surround the construction site
- Provision of test pits and existing conditions survey performed
- Acquiring DEP permits before excavating and soil removal and coordination with NYCDEP, DOT, National Grid, Con Edison, and Verizon
Phase 2: Demolition of existing lot and construction of a new bus depot
- Demolition of MTA parking lots and six commercial properties on Merrick Boulevard. Demolishing the existing Jamaica Bus Lot will not cause disruption to bus service for Queens residents.
- Construction of a temporary security fence within the 5-foot-wide easement for neighbors
- Construction of the new bus depot and beginning of service operations
Phase 3: Remediation and demolition of existing bus depot and south lot
Construction is slated to commence in Q3 2023. Work includes:
- Installation of test piles for new foundations
- Load testing test piles in progress
- A temporary fuel system
Phase 4A: Construction of new outdoor parking lot
Construction of the new outdoor parking lot will begin in Q4 2025 and will conclude Q4 2026.
Phase 4B: Completion of new administrative building
Construction of the new administrative building will take place Q1 2024–Q1 2027.
Construction impact mitigation
The MTA and its contractors take great care to complete projects not only safely, on time, and on budget, but with minimum impacts to the surrounding community.
Noise mitigation and vibration monitoring
To damp noise as much as possible, the MTA is conducting the loudest work in enclosed spaces as the depot continues to operate with normal activity.
The community will be notified as construction phases progress.
Before construction starts, the MTA will conduct thorough outreach activities to residents and businesses adjacent to the work zones to alert them of construction schedules and to install temporary, non-invasive vibration monitoring devices (to alert the construction project team of any movement in building foundations). Noise vibration monitoring will be performed by Hirani Engineering and Land Surveying. These monitoring devices have been placed at key points along Liberty Avenue, Merrick Boulevard, Tuskegee Airmen Way, 165th Street, and 107th Avenue.
- Skanska and subcontractors will operate equipment on site to minimize disturbances and use the quietest machinery whenever possible. All construction equipment onsite will have sound deadening/noise suppression devices and will incorporate the latest noise attenuation features to comply with contract requirements and government regulations.
- MTA construction contract specifications require Skanska to prepare a Construction Noise Management Plan to comply with NYC Noise Code.
- While NYCDEP allows construction activities to take place between 7 a.m, and 6 p.m., the depot work hours are generally 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- The project team will provide advance notice to be provided for anything outside of regularly scheduled work.
- Baseline monitoring will occur after York College Plan approval.
- There will be a noise monitor installed in York College Parking Lot.
Dust mitigation and air quality
Skanska will be responsible for maintaining dust control during construction. Dust control measures including wet suppression and physical barriers such as windscreens and tarps to reduce the amount of particulate matter emissions around the worksite.
- Any public areas on the outskirts of the work zone that are affected by construction will be cleaned immediately by the Skanska team.
- If visible dust enters a public area, the Skanska team will stop the work and immediately clean the area prior to resuming work.
- Skanska will maintain a clean work site throughout each shift and will perform routine cleaning at the end of each workday to limit the buildup of dust and debris.
- In addition to dust mitigation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require contractors place clearly visible signage about any potential hazards in the workplace to ensure workers take any necessary precautions before entering the contained worksite.
- Note: asbestos and silica warning signs have been installed as a safety precaution for workers and should not be a cause for concern for the general public outside the work zone.
Abatement and proper precautions will take place before demolition of the current depot commences.
- Buses and bus routes will be maintained throughout construction.
- Street work will be coordinated in advance with NYSDOT.
- The community will be notified in advance regarding any changes to the planned temporary curb lane and reduction in the width of the sidewalks.
- Construction vehicle movements will be spread throughout the day depending on stage of construction.
- Access to businesses on Merrick Boulevard will be maintained and protected.
Weekly mitigation updates
The MTA and its contractors remain in close communication with local residents and stakeholders throughout the project’s lifecycle. MTA Government and Community Relations staff takes great care to notify the community about upcoming construction work with as much advance notice as possible.
- The project has set up a dedicated 24/7 hotline (929) 380-5778 open to any member of the public with questions or concerns related to the project. Calls will be received and responded to by both Skanska and the MTA.
- The MTA is diligent about regularly updating stakeholders and hosts public meetings to explain forthcoming construction milestones.