News

Statement from Construction Industry Council Executive Director John Cooney, Jr., in Response to Gov. Kathy Hochul State of the State

TARRYTOWN, NY – “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul demonstrated a keen understanding of the needs in our state today, which she outlined in her 2022 State-of-the-State presentation today,” said John Cooney, Jr., Executive Director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. “We applaud her fervent commitment to accelerate infrastructure improvements and to expand transportation mobility to make the state more business friendly and to make the Empire State the nexus of commerce as a place where opportunities are made available to more New Yorkers.”

Among the projects identified in the plan she noted on Jan. 5 include the accelerate conversion of Route 17 into I-86 in Orange 

and Sullivan counties. She also pointed to other strategic investments New York State has made in the Mid-Hudson Valley which have resulted in the expansion of Woodbury Common and the construction of Legoland and the Resorts World Catskills Casino.

“Over the past several years, projects have been completed by NYSDOT to upgrade sections of Route 17, including reconstruction of the interchange at Exit 131, where Route 17 meets Interstate 87 and Route 32 (Woodbury Common), and reconstruction of Exits 122 and 125 (Legoland) to meet interstate standards. To facilitate future economic competitiveness and alleviate congestion within the region, the State will begin an environmental review to assess the conversion of the full Route 17 corridor in Orange and Sullivan counties to Interstate 86,” the report said.

“For generations, New York has stood as a beacon of hope and prosperity for the nation and people throughout the world. Her plan promises to reinforce and amplify that role,” Mr. Cooney added. “We applaud Gov. Hochul for her panoramic vision and confidence to lead our state past today’s pandemic challenges and to ensure the continued economic growth and infrastructure resiliency.”

Mr. Cooney concluded, “The CIC looks forward to learning more about her plans over the coming months and stand ready to support her in her  commitment to infrastructure as a powerful public resource to connect people to jobs and to connect all New Yorkers for a more prosperous and promising future.”

Forecast 2022

$1.2T Jobs Act to Fuel More Market Growth

By GEORGE DRAPEAU III – December 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) took more than 200 weeks for Congress to finally sealed the deal on the long-promised action to reauthorize federal surface transportation funding. The nation’s multi-year FAST Act, which was expiring Oct. 1, prompted the House to take up the challenge by crafting and passing the bold five-year INVEST Act in July. Had the Senate followed suit, that would have moved the needle in major ways a lot sooner, with a lot less drama and more jobs added to the economy.

But when the Senate balked at the House challenge to produce the same kind of transformative bill, the posturing 

began with a fury. The nation was fed a daily diet of words such as “compromise measure,” that aimed for higher ground up on the Hill, and “bipartisanship.” That term would eventually walk back to the House as the core of the infrastructure deal we now know as the IIJA.

Money from the finalized $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal is already flowing out to states and metro areas, according to transportation departments that wasted no time to jump on IIJA opportunities. “We expect to see the real race for funding in 2022,” said John Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., a leading transportation advocacy group.

According to Jeff Davis of the think tank known as Eno Center for Transportation, “the money will come via regular funding formulas the U.S. Transportation Department uses to allocate money to states. The infrastructure legislation includes a roughly 30% increase in highway formula funding, which means states should see a windfall in short order”— as early as this month, Mr. Davis forecasted.

Mass transit money is likely to come later in the federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2022, because it is dependent on congressional appropriations.

That leaves approximately $120 billion of the $550 billion in new spending to come in the form of competitive grants. This includes funding for big-ticket items like rail and bridges.

“Getting those grant programs up and running will likely take several months,” Mr. Davis added, which means that awards are not likely to come until late next summer or fall.

States and regions are already getting in line for federal aid, and New York and Connecticut were among the first to show cause.

“Aging bridges across America create some of the interstate highway network’s worst choke points, causing congestion and hindering commerce,” according to GPS-fed truck traffic data and interviews with transportation experts and public officials complied by Bloomberg News. The infrastructure package will provide at least $40 billion for bridge work in coming years.

“Eight of the 35 most choked U.S. highway locations before the pandemic in 2019 involved bridges,” according to a Bloomberg News review of American Transportation Research Institute data. “Of those, the worst offender is the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.” Also making the Top Ten list of the most congested bridges in the U.S. for trucks are Bulkeley Bridge in Hartford, CT, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY.

“There are scores of actions that USDOT can take to deliver positive outcomes for equity, climate, safety, state of repair and enhancing community connections,” the department commented.

Taking a step back from IIJA and looking to the future, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) reported this month that the real value of transportation construction market activity is expected to grow 5 percent in 2022 as the economy continues to improve and work begins on projects supported by IIJA. “This real market growth accounts for expected increases in projects costs, construction materials, wages and inflation.”

ARTBA reported the total value of transportation-related construction work, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau Value of Construction Put in Place, to grow from $148.4 billion in 2021 to $155.6 billion in 2022. This includes real increases in:

  •  public highway, pavement and street construction (+5%),
  •  bridge and tunnel work (+9%),
  •  port and waterway construction (+6%), and
  •  airport terminal and runway work (+3%).

However, the outlook for mass-transit-centric regions like New York City is mixed for public transportation and rail construction. Growth is expected in Amtrak and Class 1 railroad construction activity (+17%). But ARTBA showed a slowdown in subway and light rail work (-10%) reflecting a significant decline in public transit contract awards in 2021.

“An increase in overall construction activity will drive growth in highway, street, parking

lot and bridge construction work related to residential and commercial projects,” noted Dr. Alison Premo Black, ARTBA senior vice president and chief economist. State and local government spending on planning and design work, maintenance activity, and right of way purchases is also expected to increase in 2022 and beyond.”

Project work is more likely to be steady over the next few years, Dr. Premo Black added. “The market outlook over the next five years remains strong, as new projects supported by the IIJA get underway and construction activity continues over a multi-year period. Based on a September 2021 analysis by IHS Markit, 43 percent of the new highway funding under the IIJA, and 20 percent of the transit investment increase, will be spent as outlays after 2026.”

The CIC is a New York State chapter member of ARTBA, which contributed to this report.

Project Costs Range from $650M to Nearly $1.3 Billion

NYSDOT Study Recommends Moving Forward With Third Lane Expansion on Route 17

By JOHN JORDAN – December 16, 2021

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — The highly anticipated final report from the New York State Department of Transportation’s Route 17 Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study group is recommending the state move forward with a General Use Third Lane in each direction on Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties that could—if built as one major project—cost anywhere from $650 million to $1.27 billion to complete.

The PEL Study Group is also recommending that interchange upgrades be undertaken at exits in Orange and Sullivan counties and that improvements be made in the region to improve connectivity to existing transit. The scope of the construction of the General Use Third Lane 

The recently released PEL study by the New York State Department of Transportation recommends the construction of a third lane on Route 17. The cost of the project could very well exceed $1 billion.

beginning Exit 131 in Harriman (Orange County) to Exit 103 (Rapp Road) in Monticello in Sullivan County would determine the cost of the project. Option 1, which involves using the basic existing footprint of the roadway and shoulders to accommodate a third lane in each direction would cost $385 million to $470 million for the Orange County stretch of roadway and another $265 million to $325 million in Sullivan County.

Under Option 2, which would involve widening the existing roadway to accommodate the third lane expansions in both directions so that most of Route 17 would conform to federal Interstate standards, the costs would escalate. For the Orange County stretch, the cost would run between $615 million to $750 million, while the Sullivan County component’s cost ranges from $425 million to $520 million.

The PEL Study Group in its report released on Nov. 22 did not recommend one option over the other and also while listing interchanges in Orange and Sullivan counties that could be upgraded, it did not issue any specific recommendations, although it did point out those with the greatest need.

In referencing the need for a General Use Third Lane, the study group stated, “Reconstruction under the General Use Third Lane Alternative would provide the opportunity to address deficiencies in the existing roadway to correct non-standard features and storm-related flooding. High crash locations containing curves and overpasses would benefit from widening shoulders, increasing pavement friction, and increased banking (removal of non-conforming super elevation) under this concept. Increasing the capacity of Route 17 would provide a 24% reduction in congestion related crashes overall, per the Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse.”

The study indicated the cost of the interchange upgrades in Orange County could run from $135 million to $175 million and in Sullivan County from $43 million to $144 million.

Improvements to Connectivity to Existing Transit projects are projected to cost between $1 million to $1.5 million in Sullivan County and $9 million to $10 million in Orange County.

The study group also recommended moving forward with a No Build scenario, but that was done chiefly because it is a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Review Act (NEPA) process for any proposed Route 17 project. The group also considered the construction of a High Occupancy Vehicle Lane and the addition of Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit but did not recommend going forward on any of those options.

While study group officials have stated at previous virtual public workshops that the full project would likely not move forward all at once due to funding constraints and other factors, the report listed the total project cost involving the construction of the General Use Third Lane, interchange improvements and improvements to connectivity to existing transit projects would run from $529 million to $935 million in Orange County and $309 million to $665.5 million in Sullivan County.

While the Route 17 expansion may qualify for some federal funding, it is likely that the overall project would be done in phases and based on the report it appears work would begin on a stretch of the roadway in Orange County.

“As previously noted, NYSDOT will determine the logical termini and specific project limits of the General Use Third Lane Alternative in the future, following careful consideration of existing and projected traffic congestion, public and agency input, and available funding,” the report states. “Based on this Route 17 PEL Study, the area of greatest need appears to be between Exits 120 (NY Route 211 – Wallkill) and 131 (Woodbury), a distance of approximately 22 miles, and the segment of the corridor that is projected to experience the highest levels of congestion in the year 2055.”

Advocates for the Route 17 expansion were heartened to learn that the project could receive funding from the $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill recently signed into law by President Biden when U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-CD18) listed the Route 17 project at a press conference in Newburgh on Nov. 8 as one that could qualify for federal funding. He referenced the Infrastructure Act’s $13.5 billion that will go directly to New York State’s highways and bridges, and said that revamping Route 17 through Orange County is “a much-needed project that has been stalled for too long.”

“Route 17 can receive funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” a spokesman for Rep. Maloney said. “However, the law does not directly earmark funds to specific projects. It will be up to New York State to determine how to dedicate their funds from this legislation to projects like Route 17. However, as he has throughout the legislative process drafting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Rep. Maloney will continue to fight for funding for critical projects and priorities here in the Hudson Valley.”

The New York State Department of Transportation released a statement in connection with the release of the final PEL study, which stated: “The objectives of the Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) study were to advance preliminary activities related to improving the level of service, meeting current design standards, facilitating public transportation alternatives and addressing the resiliency of the Route 17 corridor in Orange and Sullivan counties. Recommendations for renewing and modernizing the travel corridor, including construction of a third-travel lane, would need to be addressed in a federally required Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS would address the engineering, social, economic and environmental impacts associated with potential corridor alternatives. If the preferred alternative was to construct a third travel lane, the EIS would also include any necessary mitigation actions/strategies.”

The 17-Forward 86 Coalition has lobbied for the state to conduct the PEL study and now with the report completed will be shifting its focus to securing federal and state funding for the expansion project.

Maureen Halahan, President and CEO of the Orange County Partnership in Goshen and co-chair of the 17-Forward-86 Coalition, said, “We thank Governor Hochul, New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Dominguez and the DOT team for finalizing the Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) report for the Route 17 corridor, and Senator Schumer and Congressman Maloney for their continued support. We founded the 17-Forward-86 Coalition with the goal of expanding capacity on Route 17 and our effort to add a third lane across the corridor is nearing success. The PEL will help accelerate the delivery of specific projects to add a third lane along the corridor to ensure continued economic growth and an improved quality of life in our region.”

Marc Baez, President and CEO of the Sullivan County Partnership and 17-Forward-86 Coalition co-chair, added, “We are so pleased New York State is moving forward with efforts to improve mobility and enhance safety on our roads. As we work toward an economic recovery, the quality of our infrastructure will play a key role in the future of our region and our state. Expanding the Route 17 corridor is crucial to that. We look forward to working with the DOT and the administration on moving through the next phases of the environmental process and securing construction funds in the upcoming DOT capital plan.”

State Awards Nearly $20 Million to Help Local Governments Fund Water Infrastructure Projects Across Mid-Hudson Region

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced more than $115 million statewide for both critical clean and drinking water infrastructure projects across the state that protect or improve water quality. The grants, interest-free loans and low-interest loans approved by the Environmental Facilities Corp. Board of Directors on Dec. 9 will help 34 municipalities and public authorities undertake drinking water and wastewater projects. Of the funding announced, nearly $20 million is allocated to drinking water projects and financing in the Mid-Hudson region.

“Every New Yorker deserves access to clean water,” Gov. Hochul said. “This funding will upgrade clean and drinking water infrastructure across the state, address emerging contaminants, and reduce pollution. We will continue to work with local governments and partners to protect New Yorkers’ water quality for years to come.”

The Board’s approvals include IMG and WIIA grants and financings through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The projects approved for funding include:

DRINKING WATER PROJECTS:

City of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County – $8,518,600 long-term, interest-free financing and $1,500,000 in remaining WIIA funds to construct two 2.5-million-gallon water storage tanks to replace a five-million- gallon reservoir and replace aged water mains at various locations throughout the water distribution system.

Town of Monroe in Orange County – $897,750 WIIA grant for improvements to the Monroe Hills Estates Water District No. 12.

Village of Ossining in Westchester County – $3,000,000 WIIA grant to design and construct a new water treatment plant to replace the existing Indian Brook Water Treatment Plant.

CLEAN WATER PROJECTS:

Town of Wappinger in Duchess County – $2,484,620 IMG to construct the Wildwood Sewer Connection to the Tri-Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Village of Bronxville in Westchester County – WIIA grants of $283,625 and $223,500 for the planning, design and construction of sanitary sewer system upgrades.

Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County – $733,974 WIIA grant for pump station upgrades.

Town of Greenville in Greene County – $520,000 short-term, interest-free financing and $610,821 in WIIA funds for sewer district extension and plant improvements.

Town of Orangetown in Rockland County – $96,000 WIIA grant for system upgrades at the town’s wastewater treatment plant and associated pump stations.

Over $33 million is allocated to drinking water projects that address emerging contaminants, mainly in the downstate region.

Construction Industry Council Executive Director John Cooney, Jr., applauded Gov. Kathy Hochul for her timely action to help New York’s cities, towns and villages obtain these new grants to advance dozens of clean water infrastructure projects across municipal budgetary goal lines so that their construction can begin. “Without these grants, many of these needed projects could not or would not move forward—or they would be sidelined indefinitely,” Mr. Cooney said. “Municipalities face the very real need to upgrade and replace massive networks of pumps, plants and pipes that wear out by longtime usage along with increased demands. Gov. Hochul understands these challenges and has made it a priority to help fund critical drinking water upgrades and other clean water initiatives in the Hudson Valley. These important state grants help create good-paying construction jobs, which always benefit the broader economy.”

EFC President and CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “This announcement marks another substantial investment in water quality infrastructure across New York State. It sets the tone for the work EFC will do to maximize the state water grants to be awarded in the coming months, thanks to the availability of $600 million in Water Infrastructure Improvement, Intermunicipal, and Water Quality Infrastructure Improvement grants announced by Gov. Hochul during Climate Week. In addition to addressing an historic amount of state water grant funding applications that EFC received before the Nov. 22 deadline, EFC is actively preparing for the major infusion of federal funds from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. EFC looks forward to partnering with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Health, and local governments to get shovels in the ground for projects that make our infrastructure more resilient to climate change and improve water quality for all New Yorkers.”

DEC Commissioner and EFC Chairman Basil Seggos said, “Gov. Hochul understands the fiscal challenges New York’s cities, towns and villages face when advancing efforts to strengthen and modernize clean water infrastructure. With challenges that include an uptick in severe storms and extreme weather events, harmful algal blooms, and emerging contaminants, New York is prioritizing generational investments in drinking and wastewater projects, along with the good jobs these projects create. The funding, combined with an infusion of federal funding from the recently passed federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and low- or no-interest loans to ensure localities have the resources they need to complete critical projects that protect public health and the environment.”

The CWSRF and the DWSRF are EFC’s core funding programs. With its partner DEC, EFC is responsible for the operation and administration of the CWSRF. The CWSRF allows EFC to provide interest-free or low-interest rate financing and grants to support a variety of eligible wastewater projects. EFC similarly operates and administers the DWSRF, with its partner DOH, to provide interest-free or low-interest rate financing and grants for drinking water infrastructure projects.

Public Works Infrastructure Act Earmarks $428M For NYS Clean Water, SRF Projects

WASHINGTON — On Dec. 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan announced funding that states, Tribes, and territories will receive in 2022 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In a letter sent to governors, the Administrator encouraged states to maximize the impact of water funding from the law—an unprecedented nationwide total of $50 billion investment—to address disproportionate environmental burdens in historically underserved communities across the country. The EPA will allocate $7.4 billion to states, Tribes, and territories for 2022, with nearly half of this funding available as grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and in urban centers.

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos
EPA Administrator
Michael S. Regan

This funding, provided through EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, will create jobs while upgrading America’s aging water infrastructure and addressing key challenges like lead in drinking water and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

The 2022 allocation is the first of five years of nearly $44 billion in dedicated EPA SRF funding that states will receive through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

New York State will receive $428,072,000 in initial EPA funding. Neighboring states will also benefit greatly from the bipartisan infrastructure law with New Jersey receiving $168,949,000; Connecticut will get $76,907,000 and Pennsylvania can expect $240,381,000.

“With President Biden’s leadership and congressional action, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has created a historic opportunity to correct longstanding environmental and economic injustices across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As leaders, we must seize this moment. Billions of dollars are about to start flowing to states and it is critical that EPA partners with states, Tribes, and territories to ensure the benefits of these investments are delivered in the most equitable way.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said of the EPA’s funding for the state, “It is fitting that the very first investments from the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law include $428 million to ensure all of New York’s communities have access to clean water. I applaud President Biden, New York’s Congressional Delegation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Regan for this generational investment in our future. New York is primed and ready to get resources to the communities that need it most and address known and emerging threats to public health and the environment.”

DEC officials stated that the EPA funding builds on New York’s already sizable investments in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and includes $115 million to protect children and communities from the dangers of lead in drinking water; more than $41 million to protect water quality from emerging contaminants like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS); another $273 million for infrastructure improvements to help ensure clean drinking water for all New Yorkers, particularly those living in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color; and provides other multi-year investments that protect and improve resiliency in Lake Champlain, the Long Island Sound, the Great Lakes, and other critical waterbodies.

The DEC noted that it will work closely with Gov. Kathy Hochul and other agency partners to identify a list of projects.

For more than 30 years, the SRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. However, many vulnerable communities facing water challenges have not received their fair share of federal water infrastructure funding. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, states have a unique opportunity to correct this disparity, EPA officials stated.

Ossining, Haverstraw Nab $10M Revitalization Awards

By JOHN JORDAN – December 16, 2021

OSSINING , NY – Downtown revitalization efforts in the Village of Ossining and across the Hudson in the Town of Haverstraw each got a $10-million infusion of cash.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced at an event held at the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center here on Nov. 22 that Haverstraw and Ossining will receive $10 million each in funding as the Mid-Hudson region winners of the fifth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

As part of DRI Round 5, each of the state’s 10 regional economic development regions are being awarded $20 million, to make for a total state commitment of $200 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their post COVID-19 economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods. Haverstraw and Ossining now join the cities of Middletown, Kingston, New Rochelle and Peekskill, which were the Mid-Hudson Region’s winners in the first four DRI rounds, respectively.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is flanked by Town of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut, left, and Village of Ossining Mayor Rika Levin celebrating the $10-million DRI grants to both communities.

“Our downtowns are the hubs for communities to connect and thrive, and as a former local official I know personally how transformative this funding can be to boost quality of life,” Gov. Hochul said. “Through our Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we will continue to give communities, like Ossining and Haverstraw, across the state the extra boost they need to recover from the pandemic and create more viable, livable, walkable downtowns.”

In this fifth round of the DRI, Gov. Hochul doubled funding from $100 million to $200 million and allowed each Regional Economic Development Council to decide whether to nominate two $10 million awardees or one $20 million awardee for transformative and catalytic downtown redevelopment projects. The DRI is led by the Department of State and through its partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), technical support to the awardees will be provided to assist them with including carbon neutral principles in support of the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050.

Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut said, “Thank you, Governor Hochul, for this great honor. I’m extremely proud of the collective time, dedication and effort that went into our Downtown Revitalization Initiative plan. My thanks to everyone who helped us to reach this summit and bring home this targeted economic development funding.”

Ossining Mayor Rika Levin said, “This is an exciting day for Ossining, and a testament to the hard work of so many people here in the village. Thank you, Governor Hochul, for delivering this $10 million commitment to our community. We look forward to the great projects and progress that this funding supports.”

Haverstraw’s downtown is a high-density neighborhood close to the Hudson riverfront. The village of Haverstraw aims to make this area an inclusive, lively, 21st century urban center where residents and visitors can live, work, learn and play. Haverstraw has stayed committed to downtown revitalization with multiple completed and ongoing projects, including multiple mixed-use developments, a new waterfront esplanade, and streetscape improvements. Building on this work, Haverstraw aims to redevelop vacant space, expand public space, increase the economic activity of and access to the waterfront, as well as embrace their diverse history, state officials noted.

Ossining’s DRI will focus on the Waterfront District. With a downtown that is on both the New York State and the National Historic Registers, Ossining wants to use their existing assets, including a rich history, public amenities, engaged residents, and an innovative business community, to build on previous successes and strengthen their downtown to have the greatest economic impact. Previous successes include a mixed-use development with a waterfront park, promenade, beach, and fishing pier on a former brownfield, the Sing Sing Kill Greenway, and the ongoing Sing Sing Prison Museum project. Building on these projects, Ossining aims to improve community services, increase access to and the economic impact of the waterfront, expand public space, and repurpose areas for development.

The Mid-Hudson Region Economic Development Council conducted a thorough and competitive review process of proposals submitted from communities throughout the region and considered seven criteria before recommending Haverstraw and Ossining as the nominees.

Mid Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Chair Dr. Donald P. Christian, President, SUNY New Paltz said, “Congratulations to Ossining and Haverstraw for their outstanding plans for revisioning their downtown communities. These investments will help to energize their downtowns, grow local businesses and transform their communities. The DRI’s innovative and thoughtful projects have made a real difference around the state and will further support our work to reimagine and rebuild an even stronger New York for the future.”

Led by the Department of State, an interagency team of state experts will work with Haverstraw and Ossining to begin the process of developing a Strategic Investment Plan to revitalize their downtowns with up to $300,000 in planning funds from the $10 million DRI grant. Local Planning Committees made up of municipal representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders will lead the effort, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners.

The Strategic Investment Plans will examine local assets and opportunities and identify economic development, transportation, housing, and community projects that align with each community’s vision for downtown revitalization and that are poised for implementation. The Strategic Investment Plans will guide the investment of DRI grant funds in revitalization projects that can leverage and expand upon the state’s $10-million investment. Plans for the DRI’s fifth round will be complete in 2022.

Attorney's Column

Appellate Court Strictly Enforces Waiver Of Consequential Damages in Favor of Contractor

By THOMAS H. WELBY, P.E., ESQ. and GREGORY J. SPAUN, ESQ.

References to consequential damages are often found in construction contracts, without appropriate appreciation as to what, exactly, those damages are. These references are most often found in mutual waivers of such damages; but the question is begged as to what, exactly, is being waived. In the recent case of Lam Platt Street Hotel LLC v Golden Pearl Construction LLC, an appellate court reminds us that waivers of consequential damages are strictly enforced. Accordingly, contractors would be well advised to appreciate the full import of such clauses.

Background

In 2011, Lam Platt Street Hotel LLC entered into an agreement to construct a hotel near the 

South Street Seaport, and Golden Pearl Construction was retained as the general contractor. The form of contract was an AIA A101/201 combination, which contained a time of the essence clause requiring completion before Super Bowl XLVII, which was held in February of 2014 in nearby East Rutherford, NJ (as much as the “New York” football teams eschew the name). The contract also contained provisions governing termination for cause, which required certification by the project’s architect that the general contractor was in default (and which would also permit Lam Platt to suspend its obligation to make further payments to Golden Pearl until the completion of the project), and for convenience (which required that Lam Platt pay Golden Pearl for all work completed through the termination date). Finally, the contract contained a mutual waiver of consequential damages, which expressly included “rental expenses, loss of use, income, profit, revenue, financing, business and reputation.”

During construction, disputes arose between Lam Platt and Golden Pearl over extra work and payments, and Golden Pearl’s alleged failure to properly staff the project. In December of 2014, Lam Platt and Golden Pearl ostensibly resolved their differences, and the project’s time and price were increased. Unfortunately, this agreement was not the last word on these subjects, and the relationship broke down. In June of 2015, Lam Platt terminated Golden Pearl’s contract, without specifying whether the termination was for cause or for convenience, but also without any certification by the architect. Because there was no architect’s certification, Golden Pearl rejected any claim that the termination was for cause. (Ultimately, the architect refused to certify that the termination was for cause, citing its own contract and claiming that it had no such responsibility to do so.) Golden Pearl subsequently filed a mechanic’s lien against the property, claiming that it was owed nearly $3.2 million.

In February of 2017, Lam Platt sued Golden Pearl for breach of contract, seeking, amongst other damages, delay costs and the profits it would have realized if the project had been completed in time for the Super Bowl. Golden Pearl moved to dismiss this claim, arguing that the damages that Lam Platt sought were specifically barred by the waiver of consequential damages contained in the contract.

Decision

The motion court granted Golden Pearl’s motion, and the appellate court affirmed. In doing so, both courts cited to well settled case law that an agreement between the parties to allocate the risk of loss via a waiver of consequential damages must be enforced as written.

Comment

As the courts here noted, a waiver of consequential damages is, essentially, an agreement as to how the risk of a breach is to be allocated. To best understand that risk, one must understand what “consequential damages” really are: damages which flow indirectly from the breach (as a consequence of that breach), rather than those which are caused directly by the breach. Unfortunately, this language is not often clear to attorneys, and is frequently the subject of endless argument and court ruling.

The best way to illustrate the difference is by example: direct damages often include the cost to repair defective work, the cost to complete incomplete work, the payment owed under the contract, the loss of value of a project as a result of improper work, and the profit the contractor would have received if it had been permitted to complete the job and not improperly terminated.

Consequential damages, on the other hand, often include lost profits from the intended use of the project, lost rents, or lost profits on jobs not taken because the contractor was tied up on the disputed project (to be contrasted from lost profits on the revenues not realized because of an improper termination, which are considered direct damages), extended overhead and delay costs, increased financing costs, and even lost bonding capacity. Because these items can vary widely—and are often difficult to prove—parties frequently include a liquidated damages provision, as an estimate of damages, along with the waiver of consequential damages.

To better understand what would be included and excluded from recovery on any particular project under the applicable contract, contractors would be well advised to consult with experienced construction counsel so that they can fully understand how they are allocating the risks of a breach of the contract they are about to enter.

Parenthetically, it must also be noted that a significant issue in Lam Platt was whether the termination was one for cause or convenience. Crucially, under the contract at issue, no termination could be made for cause without the actions of a third-party to the contract—here, the architect—certifying that the general contractor was in default. The architect declined to issue any such certification because his own contract did not require him to do so. This dichotomy shows the importance of harmonizing all upstream, downstream and parallel contracts for the consistency of obligations, and making sure that if one contract provides that a third-party is to act as a condition precedent to any action by the contracting party, that such third-party is actually under his or her own obligation to do so.

About the author: Thomas H. Welby, an attorney and licensed professional engineer, is General Counsel to the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and is the Founder of, and Senior Counsel to the law firm of Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, with offices located throughout the Tri-State/Greater Metropolitan Region. Gregory J. Spaun, General Counsel to the Queens and Bronx Building Association, and an attorney and a partner with the firm, co-authors this series with Mr. Welby. 

Notable Commercial, Civic Projects in Mid-Hudson, New York City Regions Secure CFA Funding Awards

By JOHN JORDAN – December 16, 2021

ALBANY — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Nov. 22 that more than $81 million has been awarded to support 97 priority projects across New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The award recipients include a host of major projects in the Hudson Valley and New York City regions, involving bioscience, downtown revitalization initiatives, the arts and even the development of a Dinosaur Park.

This year, $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of applicants. Additionally, projects within each region are eligible for a share of $75 million in Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in their regions.

A rendering of the North 80 bioscience development project in Valhalla.

“The pandemic toll touched every corner of the state and every sector of New York’s economy, and as a result we must ensure that our recovery does the same,” Gov. Hochul said. “As we move forward from the pandemic we are using the rolling grant process to build New York State back better by supporting shovel-ready projects with the potential to accelerate new investments and catalyze economic growth in every community.” Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on our state, and this is especially true for the businesses and organizations that are the foundation of our economy. The Regional Economic Development Councils, made up of people who know their own communities best, have recommended innovative projects that will help their regions rebuild, and reemerge stronger and smarter for the future.”

This initial round of priority projects was recommended by each Regional Council because of their project readiness and alignment with each region’s strategic plan.

Some of the more significant projects receiving CFA funding in the Mid-Hudson and New York City regions include:

The North 80 Development Project-Phase One (Mid-Hudson Region)—The project being developed by Fareri Associates LP is located on 60 acres of land owned by Westchester County on the Grasslands campus in Valhalla and another adjoining 20 acres. Plans call for the property to become a mixeduse village with nearly 490,000 square feet of medical offices, biomedical facilities, housing, hospitality venues, shopping and retail.

Fareri Associates is in the final approval stages for the North 80 project, a 1.2-millionsquare-foot science and technology center to be created on an 80-acre site adjacent to the Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College and the nearby headquarters complex of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

“We are very pleased and honored to have received this important grant for our North 80 development. Phase one of this $227-million project is expected to create nearly 490,000 sf of innovatively designed buildings whose tenants will bring an estimated 1,177 new jobs to Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said John Fareri, CEO of Fareri Associates. The project secured $3 million in ESD Grants.

Grand Street Downtown Revitalization Project (Mid- Hudson Region)—The project being developed by Foster Supply Hospitality Inc. will transform three long-vacant county-owned buildings on Grand Street in Downtown Newburgh into a hospitality complex featuring an 80-room hotel, rooftop tavern, a premier spa, restaurants and event space. Once operational in 2023, the $24-million project will provide up to 61 full-time jobs. The project will receive $1.25 million in ESD grants.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Mid-Hudson Region)—The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will create a new year-round cultural campus in Garrison. The site will offer world-class theater productions with accessible Hudson River view pathways and meadows, on-site dining and concessions, and an ecologically sustainable operation. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.

Dinosaur Country (Mid-Hudson Region)— The Orange County Dinosaur Park, located in the Town of Wallkill, will be a recreational experience that spans more than 136 acres and will feature more than 60 realistic life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Park experience will include six dinosaur themed playgrounds,  splash park and six education pods. There will be a fossil dig site, robotic dinosaur rides, an amphitheater, a T-Rexpress train that circles the park, multiple dining options and a dinosaur carousel. The company will invest $12 million into this project and will create more than 100 new jobs. The project will receive $1.2 million in ESD grants.

Aspire Brewery Development Project (Mid-Hudson Region)— Aspire Brewing will transform a mostly vacant 90,000-square-foot commercial building in the Town of Wallkill into a micro-brewery and hospitality attraction, featuring, a casual dining restaurant, beer garden, an outdoor patio and a unique indoor entertainment space. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.

 Storm King Art Center Capital Project (Mid-Hudson Region)— Storm King Art Center in New Windsor offers local, national, and international audiences a chance to discover sculpture amid 500 acres of Hudson Valley landscape. In response to growth, Storm King launched “Art that Moves You Outside,” a capital project to enhance the experience of residents and visitors, and protect its art, nature and people. The Art Center will begin phase one that includes two building elements: The Welcome Sequence and the Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building. The Welcome Sequence will streamline the arrival into Storm King, and the Art Center’s Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building will protect the safety of staff and the artwork. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.

 Camp Fimfo Catskills (Mid-Hudson Region)— Sun NG Kittatinny RV, LLC will transform the former Kittatinny Campground and Canoes in Barryville in Sullivan County, into Camp Fimfo (“Fun Is More Fun Outside”) Catskills. Substantial upgrades will include the installation of infrastructure to support the creation of improved RV/cabin sites and new amenities that enhance the natural, historic, cultural and recreational assets of the region. The project will receive $1.5 million in ESD grants.

Advancing the Revitalization of West Nyack (Mid-Hudson Region)— The Town of Clarkstown will invest in several infrastructure projects for the Revitalization of Historic West Nyack Hamlet. Projects include upgraded streetscape, improve parking, EV charging stations, and a new bus stop along with new sidewalks, curbs, energy-efficient lighting, and expanded green space with an accessible playground and benches that will accommodate and encourage economic activity. The project will receive $1.25 million in ESD grants.

Viking Industries (Mid- Hudson Region)— Viking Industries of New Paltz is looking to expand its long-established factory in New Paltz to meet growing needs for corrugated packaging among its diverse customer base. The Viking Industries Expansion Project will significantly increase capacity and efficiency by constructing and equipping a new 45,000-square-foot addition on the plant at 89 South Ohioville Road in New Paltz. Th project is receiving $780,000 in ESD grants and $550,000 in ESD EJP funding.

Upriver Studios (Mid-Hudson Region)—Upriver Studios will create a carbon neutral campus and a more competitive series of sound stages for film and television production projects in a 101,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Saugerties. The project will allow Upriver to attract and retain major network productions. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.

EICC Bronx Building Renovation Project (New York City Region)— The Emerald Isle Immigration Center will renovate its Bronx Immigration Center in Woodlawn. The project will assist EIIC in its efforts to provide free employment, educational, and immigrant legal services to overcome systemic barriers and to help immigrant seniors stay engaged in the local economy. By doubling and modernizing program space within the existing footprint, EIIC expects to increase the number of clients served by at least 20% in the first year after project completion. The project will receive $500,000 in ESD grants.

Education and Welcome Center (New York City Region)— Green-Wood Historic Fund is constructing an Education and Welcome Center directly across the street from The Green-Wood Cemetery’s main gate in Brooklyn. It will welcome both neighbors and tourists, offer additional public programming and educational opportunities, and engage visitors in the art, history and nature of this National Historic Landmark cemetery. The project will receive $1.5 million in ESD grants.

Center for Planetary Health (New York City Region)— Newlab will develop and operate the Center for Planetary Health (C4PH) a facility that will anchor the redevelopment of 125 West End Ave. in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and attract the region’s top life science startups. C4PH will serve as springboard for new startups working in nontherapeutic life sciences. The project will receive $2 million in ESD grants.

Rgenix Expansion (New York City Region)Rgenix, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates that target key pathways in cancer progression. Currently, Rgenix is located in the New York Blood Center in Manhattan and is seeking to significantly expand its operations. Rgenix will relocate and build out a new space that will accommodate its new staff members as well as a new vivarium. The project will receive $200,000 in ESD grants and $800,000 in ESD EJP funding.

Governors Island Climate Resiliency Accelerator (New York City Region)—Historic Building 301 on Governors Island will be transformed into the $13.35-million Buttermilk Labs, an accelerator hub for climate change-focused businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits. The project will provide a platform for supporting and scaling green- and blue-tech businesses, such as offshore wind, and is a critical step in establishing a future Center for Climate Solutions on the island. The project is expected to create 150 jobs employed by accelerator tenant companies. The project will receive $2.5 million in ESD grants. 

Bronx Hall of Music Capital Project Enhancements (New York City Region)—Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation will make critical enhancements to the Bronx Music Hall, a 250-seat theater and multi-use community facility to ensure that it is best positioned to attract and accommodate more and higher profile artists and events. Enhancements are to include: a dynamic overhead canopy/marquee spanning two sides of the music hall, as well as acoustical treatments, risers, drapery, increased seating and rigging which will more than double the economic impact of the Bronx Music Hall and ensure that the facility will serve as a cultural magnet for generations to come. The project will receive $300,000 in ESD grants.

State officials noted that applications for ESD Grant funds remain open, and applications are being reviewed on an ongoing basis until funds are exhausted. Applicants with strong, shovel-ready projects that align with the state and region’s economic development priorities can apply through the Consolidated Funding Application.

Regional Bid Alert - December 2021

NYSDOT – Region 8

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264686

PIN# 812749

FA Proj.# Z0E1-8127-493

Project Description: Dutchess Co., Paving, Taconic State

Parkway, from Tyrrel Road to Willow Lane, Towns of Pleasant

Valley and Clinton, NY.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $375,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 6.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264688,

PIN# 881412

Project Description: Putnam, Rockland, Westchester Cos.,

highway job order contract, various locations.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $75,000.00)

Goals: MBE: 5.00%, WBE: 10.00%, SDVOB: 6.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264706

PIN# 881505

FA Proj.# Z24E-8815-053

Project Description: Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Ulster,

Westchester Cos., landscape improvements, various locations.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $20,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 0.00%

 

NYSDOT – Region 9

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264635

PIN# 9TBP22

FA Proj.# Z0E1-9TBP-223

Project Description: Broome, Delaware, Sullivan Cos., bridge

painting, various locations.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $375,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 6.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264640

PIN# 911134

FA Proj.# Z0E1-9111-343

Project Description: Otsego Co., bridge deck replacement, US

Route 20 Over US Route 166, Town of Cherry Valley, NY.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $125,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264642

PIN# 9TBP2A

Project Description: Chenango, Delaware, Sullivan Cos., bridge

painting, various locations.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $200,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 6.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264693

PIN# 980679

Project Description: Delaware Co., shoulder widening and safety

improvements, NY Route 28, Meridale, Town of Meredith, NY.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $75,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264711

PIN# 906780

FA Proj.# Z0E1-9067-803

Project Description: Sullivan Co., scour repair, Route 17 over

Debruce and Willowemoc, Town of Rockland, NY.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $75,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 5.00%

 

NYSDOT – Region 10

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 6, 2022

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264697

PIN# 035612

FA Proj.# Z23E-0356-123

Project Description: Suffolk Co., pavement rehabilitation and

ADA sidewalks, Route 109, Town of Babylon, NY.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $750,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

 

Westchester County DPW

Bid Due Date: Dec. 22, 2021

Contract: 17-521 ($100.)

Title: New Equipment Storage Building, Richard A. Flynn, Sr.

Fire Training Center, Valhalla Campus, Valhalla, NY

Description: The work under this contract consists of providing

all necessary labor, material and equipment required for the

construction of a new storage building including site work, foundations,

steel structure wall and roof panels, utilities, electrical

and mechanical equipment, solar panels and related work.

Note: The Contractor is directed to the Special Notice regarding

Project Labor Agreement (PLA).

Bid Estimate Range: $7.0 million to $7.5 million.

Mandatory Pre-Bid Inspection: 10:00 AM November 30, 2021;

meeting outside of 35 Walker Road, Valhalla, NY. MANDATORY

attendance was required. Bids will be rejected from

Contractors not in attendance at this meeting, or those who fail

to sign the attendance sheet.

Contact: Adam Kaplinski, 914-995-3991.

 

New York State Dormitory Authority

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 21, 2021

Title: New York State Office of Mental Health, Nathan Kline

Institute for Psychiatric Research, Tunnel Washer Replacement

Contracts: CR17 Electrical & Security, CR18 Plumbing,CR19

Mechanical, CR19 General Construction

Project# 3622209999

Sealed bids for the above work located at Nathan Kline Institute

for Psychiatric Research at the Rockland Psychiatric Center,

140 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, New York 10962 will

be received by DASNY at its office located at 515 Broadway,

Albany, NY 12207. Each bid must be identified, on the outside

of the envelope, with the name and address of the bidder and

designated a bid for the Project titled above. When a sealed bid

is placed inside another delivery jacket, the bid delivery jacket

must be clearly marked on the outside “BID ENCLOSED” and

“ATTENTION: CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS – NICOLE 

WHITE.” DASNY will not be responsible for receipt of bids

which do not comply with these instructions.

All individuals who plan to attend pre-bid meetings or bid

openings in person will be required to complete and present

a DASNY Visitor Covid-19 Screening Questionnaire, present

government-issued picture identification to building security

officials and obtain a visitors pass prior to attending the bid

opening. The questionnaire and all instructions are located after

Section 19.0 of the Information for Bidders.

Individuals and entities submitting bids in person or by private

delivery services should allow sufficient time for processing

through building security to assure that bids are received prior

to the deadline for submitting bids.

All bid openings will be made available for viewing live via

Zoom at www.zoom.us. To enter the meeting, select “Join

a Meeting” then enter Meeting Id 353 471 6521, Password

351895. Individuals are strongly encouraged to utilize this

public viewing option as an alternative to in person attendance

at bid openings.

Only those bids in the hands of DASNY, available to be read at

2:00 PM local time on December 21, 2021 will be considered.

Bids shall be publicly opened and read aloud. Bid results can

be viewed at DASNY’s website; http://www.dasny.org.

 

In accordance with State Finance Law § 139-j and § 139-k,

this solicitation includes and imposes certain restrictions on

communications between DASNY personnel and a prospective

bidder during the procurement process. Designated staff for this

solicitation is: Katarzyna Drogowski, Project Manager, DASNY,

Rockland Psychiatric Center, 140 Old Orangeburg Road,

Building 19 – 2nd Floor, Orangeburg, New York 10962 845-

398-1055 kdrogows@dasny.org (the Owner’s Representative)

and DASNY at ccontracts@dasny.org. Contacts made to other

DASNY personnel regarding this procurement may disqualify

the prospective bidder and affect future procurements with governmental

entities in the State of New York. For more information

pursuant to this law, refer to DASNY’s website; http://www.

dasny.org or the OGS website; http://www.ogs.state.ny.us.

A Pre-Bid Meeting was scheduled on Wednesday, December

8, 2021 at 10:00 AM at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric

Research at the Rockland Psychiatric Center, 140 Old Orangeburg

Road – Auditorium, Orangeburg, New York 10962. Contact

Anthony Brown at 845-398-1055. All prospective bidders are

strongly encouraged to attend.

Prospective bidders are advised that the Contract Documents

for this Project contain new “GENERAL CONDITIONS for CONSTRUCTION”

dated June 17, 2021 that contain significant revisions

from those documents previously contained in DASNY’s

Contract Documents. Prospective bidders are further advised to

review applicable sections of these General Conditions for any

potential impact on their bid price prior to submittal of the bid.

A complete set of Contract Documents may be viewed and/or

purchased online from Camelot Print and Copy Centers. Only

those Contract Documents obtained in this manner will enable

a prospective bidder to be identified as an official plan holder

of record. DASNY takes no responsibility for the completeness

of Contract Documents obtained from other sources.

Contract Documents obtained from other sources may not

be accurate or may not contain addenda that may have been

issued. In addition, prospective bidders are advised that the

Contract Documents for this Project contain new “GENERAL

CONDITIONS for CONSTRUCTION” dated June 17, 2021 that

contain significant revisions from those documents previously

contained in DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective

bidders are further advised to review applicable sections of

these General Conditions for any potential impact on their bid

price prior to submittal of the bid. The plan holders list and a

list of interested subcontractors and material suppliers may

be viewed at DASNY’s website: http://www.dasny.org. For Bid

Opportunities and other DASNY related news, follow us on

Twitter @NYS_DASNY and Facebook https://www.facebook.

com/pages/DASNY-Dormitor-Authority-of-the-State-of-New-

York/307274192739368.

To view the Contract Documents online, click the following link:

www.camelotplanroom.com or type it into your web browser.

Then click on the Public Jobs link on the left side of the page.

If you would like to purchase the Contract Documents and

become a registered planholder click the link “Register for

an account” and follow the steps to create a free account (if

you have not previously set one up). Once you have a Login

and Password, log in to the planroom. To order a DIGITAL

DOWNLOAD of the Contract Documents and be placed on the

bidder’s list, add the Contract Document(s) to your cart and

proceed to the checkout. All major credit cards are accepted

online. A purchase of a digital download is required to become

a registered planholder. Printed sets of the Contract Documents

are also available to planholders for an additional cost and may

be ordered through the online planroom or by mailing a check.

The purchase of the digital downloads and printed sets are nonrefundable

and non-returnable. Please contact Camelot’s Bid

Department at (518) 435-9696 or email them at camelotbids@

teamcamelot.com for more information.

Bid Letting Date: Jan. 11, 2022

Title: City University of New York, Hunter College, North

Building Cooling Tower Condensate Piping Renovation and

Asbestos Abatement

Contract: CR 21 General Construction

Project# 3397409999

Sealed bids for the above work located at Hunter College,


695 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10021 will be received

by DASNY at its office located at 515 Broadway, Albany, NY

12207. Each bid must be identified, on the outside of the

envelope, with the name and address of the bidder and designated

a bid for the Project titled above. When a sealed bid

is placed inside another delivery jacket, the bid delivery jacket

must be clearly marked on the outside “BID ENCLOSED” and

“ATTENTION: CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS – DOMINICK

DONADIO.” DASNY will not be responsible for receipt of bids

which do not comply with these instructions.

All individuals who plan to attend pre-bid meetings or bid

openings in person will be required to complete and present

a DASNY Visitor Covid-19 Screening Questionnaire, present

government-issued picture identification to building security

officials and obtain a visitors pass prior to attending the bid

opening. The questionnaire and all instructions are located

after Section 19.0 of the Information for Bidders.

Individuals and entities submitting bids in person or by private

delivery services should allow sufficient time for processing

through building security to assure that bids are received prior

to the deadline for submitting bids.

All bid openings will be made available for viewing live via

Zoom at www.zoom.us. To enter the meeting, select “Join

a Meeting” then enter Meeting Id 353 471 6521, Password

351895. Individuals are strongly encouraged to utilize this

public viewing option as an alternative to in person attendance

at bid openings.

Only those bids in the hands of DASNY, available to be read

at 2:00 PM local time on January 11, 2022 will be considered.

Bids shall be publicly opened and read aloud. Bid results can

be viewed at DASNY’s website; http://www.dasny.org.

In accordance with State Finance Law § 139-j and § 139-k,

this solicitation includes and imposes certain restrictions on

communications between DASNY personnel and a prospective

bidder during the procurement process. Designated staff for

this solicitation is: Yunjung Lee, Project Manager, 695 Park

Avenue, North Building C001, New York, New York 10065,

212-439-7958, ylee@dasny.org (the Owner’s Representative)

and DASNY at ccontracts@dasny.org. Contacts made to other

DASNY personnel regarding this procurement may disqualify

the prospective bidder and affect future procurements with governmental

entities in the State of New York. For more information

pursuant to this law, refer to DASNY’s website; http://www.

dasny.org or the OGS website; http://www.ogs.state.ny.us.

A Pre-Bid Meeting was scheduled on Thursday, December

2, 2021 at 10:00 AM at 920 Lexington Avenue Lobby, Hunter

College West Building, New York, New York 10065. Contact

Yunjung Lee at 212-439-7958. All prospective bidders are

strongly encouraged to attend.

Prospective bidders are advised that the Contract Documents

for this Project contain new “GENERAL CONDITIONS for

CONSTRUCTION” dated June 17, 2021 that contain significant

revisions from those documents previously contained in

DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective bidders are

further advised to review applicable sections of these General

Conditions for any potential impact on their bid price prior to

submittal of the bid.

A complete set of Contract Documents may be viewed and/or

purchased online from Camelot Print and Copy Centers. Only

those Contract Documents obtained in this manner will enable

a prospective bidder to be identified as an official plan holder

of record. DASNY takes no responsibility for the completeness

of Contract Documents obtained from other sources.

Contract Documents obtained from other sources may not

be accurate or may not contain addenda that may have been

issued. In addition, prospective bidders are advised that the

Contract Documents for this Project contain new “GENERAL

CONDITIONS for CONSTRUCTION” dated June 17, 2021 that

contain significant revisions from those documents previously

contained in DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective

bidders are further advised to review applicable sections of

these General Conditions for any potential impact on their bid

price prior to submittal of the bid. The plan holders list and a

list of interested subcontractors and material suppliers may be

viewed at DASNY’s website: http://www.dasny.org. For Bid

Opportunities and other DASNY related news, follow us on

Twitter @NYS_DASNY and Facebook https://www.facebook.

com/pages/DASNY-Dormitor-Authority-of-the-State-of-New-

York/307274192739368.

To view the Contract Documents online, click the following link:

www.camelotplanroom.com or type it into your web browser.

Then click on the Public Jobs link on the left side of the page.

If you would like to purchase the Contract Documents and

become a registered planholder click the link “Register for

an account” and follow the steps to create a free account (if

you have not previously set one up). Once you have a Login

and Password, log in to the planroom. To order a DIGITAL

DOWNLOAD of the Contract Documents and be placed on the

bidder’s list, add the Contract Document(s) to your cart and

proceed to the checkout. All major credit cards are accepted

online. A purchase of a digital download is required to become

a registered planholder. Printed sets of the Contract Documents

are also available to planholders for an additional cost and may

be ordered through the online planroom or by mailing a check.

The purchase of the digital downloads and printed sets are nonrefundable

and non-returnable. Please contact Camelot’s Bid

Department at (518) 435-9696 or email them at camelotbids@

teamcamelot.com for more information.

Financial Management

$1.2-Trillion IIJA Public Works Investments Poses New Challenges on Construction Firms

By PHILLIP ROSS, CPA, CGMA, PARTNER

President Biden recently signed the $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill into law, providing for $550 billion of new infrastructure investments for bridges, roads, broadband and water and energy systems.

After decades without investment, our roads, bridges, and water systems need rebuilding. This investment in our country’s backbone will help strengthen our nation’s infrastructure as well as create an estimated 2.4 million additional jobs by the end of 2025.

The proposal includes:

  •  $110 billion for roads, bridges and major infrastructure projects which is significantly less than what Biden first proposed in the American Job Plan proposal
  •  $66 billion in passenger and freight rail
  •  $65 billion in improving the nation’s broadband infrastructure
  •  $65 billion for rebuilding the electric grid and expanding renewable energy
  •  $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure
  •  $50 billion to make systems more resilient from droughts, floods and cyberattacks
  •  $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation
  •  $39 billion to modernize public transit
  •  $25 billion for airports
  •  $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells
  •  $17 billion for port infrastructure
  •  $16 billion for major projects that would be too large or complex for traditional funding
  •  $12 billion in partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail
  •  $11 billion for transportation safety
  •  $7.5 billion for zero and low emission buses and ferries
  •  $7.5 billion to build a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers
  •  $1 billion to reconnect communities

The Biden Administration is proposing to pay for the plan in a multitude of ways, none of which includes raising taxes. Instead, legislators claim they will fund the bill by repurposing COVID-19 relief funds, including funds intended for federal unemployment relief that was unused by certain states. In addition, the administration is proposing to recoup money in fraudulent unemployment benefits paid out during the pandemic, save funds by delaying a Medicare rebate rule passed under the past administration, and gain tax revenue by changing the tax reporting requirements for cryptocurrencies. Lastly, the infrastructure package relies on generating money from economic growth on the long-term projects.

This new infrastructure investment should be an exciting opportunity for construction companies. Close attention will be paid to the speed at which the identified projects will be determined, and then at which they are bid and awarded. This federal investment in the future of our infrastructure and economy will make an historic impact on our communities. The law also includes funding and provisions to get more job training programs going, and to get more women and minorities into the construction industry.

Based on the above, planning is even more important than ever for construction companies. Monitoring when the various projects will be in the pipeline, deciding which ones to bid on, estimating costs and budgeting the manpower and cash flow requirements will be key. Additionally, since another tax law proposal with more changes is being discussed, proactive tax planning will be crucial.

For more information about the $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill, how it can impact your company and how to plan for this, please reach out to your CPA.

About the author: Phillip Ross, CPA, CGMA is an Accounting and Audit Partner and Chair of the Construction Industry Group at Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLP. For more construction industry thought leadership and content, log on to www.anchin.com.

New York City Update

Two Multi-Billion-Dollar Projects Advance

NEW YORK — A pair of mega construction projects totaling up to $14 billion in investment in the New York City metro region were announced this month.

On Dec. 13 New York Gov. Kathy Hochul reported that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reached a revised agreement with The New Terminal One (NTO)—a consortium of financial sponsors—to build a 2.4 million sq. ft., state-of-the-art international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport. The $9.5-billion Terminal One project will be built in phases and will create more than 10,000 jobs, becoming the fourth major terminal project announced by the Port Authority as part of a complete transformation of JFK into a world-class airport worthy of New York and the region.

When completed, The New Terminal One will be the largest international terminal at JFK and aspires to be among the top-rated airport terminals in the world, the governor noted.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners were scheduled to vote on the proposed lease agreement at its meeting on Dec. 16. The full cost of the terminal will be privately financed by the NTO consortium which includes financial partners Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure, and Ullico. A joint venture of Munich Airport International and CAG Holdings is the operating and technical services partner to the consortium.

As part of the project, the Port Authority will undertake a number of infrastructure upgrades and improvements including roads, parking, and utilities including a new electrical substation. The New Terminal One will be built on the site of the current undersized and outdated Terminal 1, the aging and obsolete 59-year-old Terminal 2, and the site of the former Terminal 3, which was demolished in 2013.

Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to begin in mid-2022 and the first phase, including the new arrivals and departures hall and first set of new gates, is expected to open in 2026.

This week, the Port Authority Board will also vote on the authorization of the full $2.9 billion of funds which were included in the Port Authority’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan for the JFK Redevelopment program. These funds are allocated to enabling infrastructure in direct support of JFK Redevelopment, including roadway improvements, utilities, improved parking facilities, a ground transportation center and airfield work. (To date, approximately $1.24 billion of those funds have been authorized through separate Board actions.)

Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said, “The plan for a new Terminal 1 at JFK International Airport will transform the facility into a world class transportation hub, while driving historic private investment into New York City and its working people with the creation of tens of thousands of middle-class careers during construction. We applaud Gov. Hochul for her leadership in advancing this monumental project and look forward to getting to work to build a best-in-class, world-renowned facility.”

In what appears to be another piece of promising news for the region’s construction trades, The New York Times reported on Dec. 13 that in a deal brokered by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Amtrak and the MTA had reached an agreement that will allow the nearly $3-billion Penn Access project and the $1.3-billion repair of East River rail tunnels to proceed.

Amtrak has agreed to provide $500 million of new federal funding to help pay for the $2.87 billion project to connect the Metro-North Railroad to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, which is owned by Amtrak.

The MTA has agreed to spend as much as $432 million on the project to repair the East River rail tunnels that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Sen. Schumer said the agreement between the MTA and Amtrak was reached because both agencies can access funding from $30-billion in rail funding that was part of the recently enacted $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act.

Democracy Gets Back to Work

Leaders Hail $1.2-Trillion Infrastructure Act; Billions in New Projects Heading to Region

By JOHN JORDAN – November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — While the ink signing into law on the $1.2-trillion “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” may have dried on Nov. 15, it was the next day when President Joe Biden climbed aboard Air Force One to inspect a rickety steel bridge in Woodstock, NH that the nation would see the first example of what the federal government is doing to help write a new chapter in the history of transportation in this country.

Construction industry leaders praised the new law, described as the most significant piece of legislation in the past 50 years to deal with with the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Industry estimates are that New York State will receive approximately $170 billion in highway, mass transit and infrastructure funding from the bi-partisan bill.

At the law’s signing ceremony at the White House, President Biden said the measure is proof that, despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results. The legislation was supported in the House by 13 Republicans and 19 Republicans backed the measure in the Senate. This law will build back “our bridges, our water systems, our power lines, our levees better and stronger so few Americans will be flooded out of their homes or lose power in those days and weeks ahead when severe storms hit,” the President proclaimed.

President Biden picked a rickety New Hampshire bridge as the scene to begin promoting his infrastructure bill. The span, which has been declared structurally unsafe, crosses the Pemigewasset River in Woodstock, NH. On Tues., Nov. 16, the President kicked off the administration-wide campaign aimed at selling the benefits of the newly signed bipartisan $1.2 trillion law for roads, bridges, broadband and clean water. See pages 12-13 for highlights.

Regional Outlook

In addition to a massive increase in highway and wastewater funding levels, a host of Congressional and industry leaders believe the legislation will provide some funding for some of the Downstate region’s mega-projects, including the Gateway Tunnel project, Penn Station Access, the East River Tunnels, and the Second Ave Subway, along with needed repairs to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and a proposed project to cap sections of the Cross Bronx Expressway that are below street level. It is also believed that some funding could be accessed via grants for the Route 17 expansion project in Orange and Sullivan counties, as well as the I-81 improvement project in Syracuse.

“Infrastructure is always a political winner,” said John Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. “The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation is a historic leap forward into the 21st century for the United States. This legislation recognizes the unparalleled legacy of the massive investments we have made in our nation’s transportation infrastructure over the past century. This infrastructure bill also allows us to tackle the enormous backlog of needs and repairs to critical facilities that protect and expand drinking water facilities and resources, that fortify our dams and make our communities safer from the ravages of catastrophic rain and wind storms and the flooding and damages they cause.”

President Joe Biden signs the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader
Charles Schumer and others in Congress show their support.

He added, “We applaud President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all our supporting members of New York State’s delegation to U.S. Congress for standing strong and pressing forward for the plan, which will benefit all Americans.” Mr. Cooney pledged CIC’s commitment to working with federal, state and regional leaders to apply for the additional funds available from the federal infrastructure bill that New York State can use to make needed improvements to public facilities and services in the Hudson Valley/Downstate region.

Other industry leaders also offered high praise for the much-needed infrastructure funding. Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors’ Association, said, “Today is an historic day for New York. With President Biden’s signature, the $1-trillion bi-partisan infrastructure bill will transform our state’s roads, bridges, and water infrastructure. The best part is this bill is also an investment in our people, creating good union jobs that will continue to lift our economy up off the mat. We applaud President Biden for guiding this bill through Congress and delivering on a key promise he made to the American people. Long Island and the rest of New York are shovel ready.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Targets:

According to the Regional Plan Association and other sources, the federal infrastructure bill will provide:

  •  $13.5 Billion – Fund additional highway and formula bridge aid in New York State;
  •  $12.5 Billion – For a competitive bridge program that states and localities will vie for;
  •  $1 Billion – For Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program in competitive grants for planning and projects to remove, retrofit, or mitigate existing highways that were built through neighborhoods and created a barrier to mobility and economic development;
  •  $7.5 Billion – For the popular RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grants, formerly known as BUILD or TIGER, to fund transportation projects of national and regional significance (funded in the bill over five years);
  •  $3.2 Billion – For the INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) grant program, another competitive program that funds transportation projects with a strong connection to improving freight operations;
  •  $3.5 Billion – For additional funding for the MTA over the next five years, and about $10 billion in total funding;
  •  $24 Billion – Passenger and freight rail funding as federal-state partnership set-asides for Northeast Corridor modernization and $6 billion in grants for the Northeast Corridor;
  •  $8 Billion – For the region’s rail network is funding for the Capital Investment Grant Program as the possible funding sources for the Gateway Program projects;
  •  $1 Billion – For airports, including approximately $22.6 million for Westchester County Airport and approximately $12.5 million for New York Stewart International Airport;
  •  $15 Billion – Set aside support within the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to replace lead service lines across the country, including communities across New York State;
  •  $100 Billion – For broadband infrastructure projects nationwide.
A rendering of the route of the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway project.
A map of the new Metro North Stations to be developed as part of the Penn Access project.

Additional Clean Water Improvements

As part of the national program to protect and improve water infrastructure-related facilities and networks, a total of $55 billion nationwide, New York State is expected to see $2.6 billion for projects in New York State. This Act seeks to address water contaminants, including replacing lead pipes and eliminating PFAS so that New York State can ensure communities have the clean drinking water they deserve. The bill includes: billions of dollars for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds which provide below-market rate loans and grants to fund water infrastructure improvements.

Climate Change Initiatives

The Act includes: $11.6 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control projects; $700 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for buyouts and elevations; $492 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to map and forecast inland flooding; and $216 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for adaptation and resilience measures for tribal nations, including $130 million for community relocation, the RPA stated.

In addition, the Department of Transportation will send states money to get highways out of areas prone to flooding and the Environmental Protection Agency will support communities in relocating drinking water infrastructure at risk of flooding and extreme weather. These investments will advance climate, environmental and public health goals nationally and within the lower Hudson Valley region.

Possible Funding For Route 17 Expansion

The New York State Department of Transportation is expected to release its PEL study on the expansion and make recommendations sometime this month. Preliminary cost estimates range between $500 million to more than $1 billion.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-CD18) listed the Route 17 project at a press conference in Newburgh, NY on Nov. 8 as a highlighted project that is needed in the region. He referenced the Infrastructure Act’s $13.5 billion that will go directly to New York State’s highways and bridges, and said that revamping Route 17 through Orange County is “a much-needed project that has been stalled for too long.”

“Route 17 can receive funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” a spokesman for Rep. Maloney told CONSTRUCTION NEWS. “However, the law does not directly earmark funds to specific projects. It will be up to New York State to determine how to dedicate their funds from this legislation to projects like Route 17. However, as he has throughout the legislative process drafting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Rep. Maloney will continue to fight for funding for critical projects and priorities here in the Hudson Valley.”

Next Up: ‘Build Back Better’ Act

Finally, in what could be another major boost for the construction sector, Congress passed on Nov,. 19 by a 220-213 vote the controversial “Build Back Better” Act. The measure now goes to the Senate, where it will likely be changed. The House version includes:

  •  $555 Billion – For clean energy and climate investments;
  •  $150 Billion – For housing among a host of social funding expenditures.
  •  $65 Billion – To repair and preserve public housing;
  •  $35 Billion – To build and preserve affordable housing;
  •  $25 Billion – In rental assistance for those in need;
  •  $10 Billion – In down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers;
  •  $6.5 Billion – To address health hazards, including lead remediation;
  •  $2.45 Billion – To address fair housing and zoning reform.

This BBB wishlist, paid for with likely tax increases to uberwealthy taxpayers and a corporate rate hike, now sits at nearly $850 billion.

There was certainly lots of drama, suspense—and reward—in the months leading up to the final Congressional vote on Nov. 5 on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package. Stay tuned for how this new one plays out!

Carpenters Union Stage Grand Re-Opening Of New Apprenticeship Center in Orange

By GEORGE DRAPEAU III

ROCK TAVERN, NY — A new comprehensive education facility to train young apprentices and advance the skills of journey-level members of Carpenters L.U. 279 officially re-opened this month in Orange County. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 10 served as an example that imagination, when partnered with a deep organizational commitment of resources, can be the blueprint to develop a new generation of highly-skilled Carpenters.

“The best way to ensure a great future is to train for it today,” noted Bill Banfield, Assistant to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, NASRCC. The newly renovated building, located at 52 Stone Castle Road, allows members throughout the eight counties of the Hudson Valley to develop new training and skills and acquire new knowledge.

The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters L.U. 279 celebrated the completion of a $3.5 million renovation of its training facility in Rock Tavern, NY in November. Cutting the ribbon are, from left, Jim Hayes, assistant executive training director of the Carpenters Training Fund, New York State Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon and Bill Banfield, assistant to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer at NASRCC.

The new North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Center took nearly two years in planning and construction to complete, at a cost of more than $3 million, reported James Hayes, assistant executive director of the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund which invested in the project. Young men and women eager to pursue careers in the Building Trades now have a comprehensive training center in the region.

“We believe in ‘work local, train local’ as keys to success,” he explained, adding that the new 25,000-square-foot, two-story center is highly convenient for journey-level members seeking to upgrade skills and obtain recertification for various job requirements. Prior to the center opening, Carpentry apprenticeship training and enhanced skills-development programs required travel to one of two other Carpenters Union facilities, located on Long Island and in Albany. “An added benefit will likely be more journey-level Carpenters using the center to upgrade their skills and qualifications,” Mr. Hayes added.

The five levels of apprenticeship training, often completed in four years, instructs some 170 craftsworkers who aspire to journey-level stature.

Among the programs offered are: laser technology, 3D imaging for enhanced design and building, scaffold training, OSHA safety and fall-protection certification and recertification, advanced training in aerial lift operations, and infectious control and risk-assessment training.

The building will also provide faster and easier access for members in the Hudson Valley to acquire sophisticated training without traveling to Albany each time they need it. Union staff will occupy about a third of that, with the training program using the rest.

“This state-of-the-art facility will safely teach the highest level of skilled union tradesmen and women in a safe manner and help the hardworking Carpenters Union Local 279 complete important projects,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. “Union carpenters are an integral part of our workforce and I thank Local 279 for the many contributions they have made in Orange County.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day also commented, “I am grateful to the Carpenters Union for their commitment to the betterment of our region, and especially for their investment in creating opportunities for our young people. Apprenticeships provide our area youth with the ability to earn while they learn so they can secure their future in the Hudson Valley.”

“We know that making training facilities convenient for our apprentices and journey-level workers is crucial,” said Tom Fischer, Executive Director of NASCTF. “Part of our ongoing plan is to create and maintain excellent facilities and programs wherever they are needed to serve union carpenters and the contractors that rely on their skills.

Mr. Fischer noted that some 90% of a union carpenter’s training is hands-on. “You can’t do that without investing in space and equipment, so that’s what we did,” he said.

Other speakers at the event included: New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joe Byrne and New York State Sen. James Skoufis and Sen. Mike Martucci.

The Rock Tavern facility is the latest to undergo significant expansion or upgrades in recent years. Other locations where the union has invested significantly are Manchester, N.H.; Yalesville, CT; Syracuse and Long Island’s Hauppaugue and Albany as mentioned. Plans for renovations at Warwick, R.I. were being developed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They are expected to be revisited soon.

$135 Million ‘Last Mile’ Improvement Job On I-95 in Westchester County Completed

ALBANY, NY — State officials announced on Nov. 1 the completion of the $135-million infrastructure improvement project on a section of the New England Thruway (I-95) in Westchester County known as the “Last Mile.”

During the past several decades, 14 miles of I-95 in the Bronx, Pelham, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Harrison and Rye have been reconstructed. This project, which began in 2018, focused on the final one mile stretch from Exit 22 (Port Chester – Rye – Midland Avenue) to the Connecticut state line, which serves more than 140,000 motorists every day.

“The completion of the ‘Last Mile’ project on I-95 demonstrates the Thruway Authority’s commitment to investing in infrastructure and modernizing our transportation system,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “This stretch of I-95 is one of the busiest on the Thruway and it was long overdue for these needed upgrades to the mainline, the interchange system and local overpasses. With the completion of this project, motorists can now enjoy an improved travel experience in this area.”

ECCO III Enterprises Inc. from Yonkers, NY completed the Design-Bid-Build Best Value contract. The project included:

Part of this project, that began in 2018, was the replacement of the Grace Church Street bridge over I-95 (milepost 14.46), which opened in September 2020.

I-95 Reconstruction

The I-95 mainline (milepost 14.1 to milepost 15.0) in both directions was reconstructed along with safety upgrades such as wider shoulders, updated pavement markings and the installation of guiderails and barriers.

Ramp Upgrades

The area contains a six-ramp interchange system with the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) and Midland Avenue in the City of Rye and Village of Port Chester.

Several ramps were upgraded and reconfigured to improve traffic flow:

The I-287 eastbound to I-95 northbound ramp bridge was replaced and realigned; the ramp from Midland Avenue was realigned to connect directly to I-95 northbound; I-95 southbound was widened to provide a two-lane exit ramp to I-287 westbound and improvements were made to the I-95 northbound/Midland Avenue interchange.

Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation

The Grace Church Street bridge over I-95 (milepost 14.46) was replaced and opened in September 2020

The Boston Post Road bridge (milepost 13.71), Purchase Street bridge (milepost 13.48), the Blind Brook culvert bridge (milepost 13.34) and the Byram River bridge (milepost 14.93) were rehabilitated.

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “An incredible amount of planning went into ensuring the construction on this critical, high volume stretch of the Thruway addressed safety and neighborhood concerns. I applaud the Thruway Authority for working with neighbors and municipal officials to make this project as least disruptive as possible, and I am confident they will continue to engage the community moving forward. Congratulations on the completion of the ‘Last Mile.’”

Assemblymember Steve Otis added, “Congratulations to the Thruway Authority, contractors and workers who have reached a major milestone towards completion of the Last Mile project. This project is one of the largest reconstruction projects in the history of the Authority. It was planned for decades and was needed to address safety and neighborhood concerns.”

He added, “A project of this scale involved disruption to communities, neighborhoods and motorists but from the local perspective the Thruway Authority made adjustments in design and in the construction schedule to address issues raised along the way and continues to work with us on issues that arise. I appreciate the authority’s responsiveness in working with neighbors and municipal officials which I have seen firsthand here and across the state.”

Call for Downstate Casino Licenses Grows Louder

Business, Organized Labor, Elected Officials Rally for State Legislation

YONKERS, NY — “A Sure Bet for New York’s Future” alliance teamed with state and local elected officials and community partners in a spirited rally outside the Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts building here on Nov. 17 to voice overwhelming community support for legislation to permit full-scale commercial casino licenses here in Westchester.

Pointing to the thousands of jobs such a project would create in Yonkers, Mount Vernon and the Bronx, Assemblymember Gary Pretlow, chair of the Racing and Wagering Committee, called on Gov. Kathy Hochul to support his legislation to accelerate the downstate casino licensing process.

“We in this part of the state want this to happen, and we want it to happen now. This helps the Bronx, Westchester, Rockland County, and the State of New York. That’s what this is all about helping the State of New York,” Rep. Pretlow said.

New York State Gaming Commission recently issued a Request for

The “A Sure Bet for New York’s Future” alliance, which is made up of business, civic and labor organizations in Westchester and The Bronx, staged a rally on Nov. 17 in front of the Empire City Casino in Yonkers to push for state legislation that could expedite the award of three downstate full gaming licenses. The alliance is lobbying lawmakers to award a full casino license to Empire City Casino.

 Information from interested parties for either developing or operating three downstate New York casinos in the New York metro region.

The issuance of the RFI on Oct. 20 followed the release of a report detailing the impacts of downstate casino gaming and mobile sports betting by Spectrum Gaming Group released in January 2021 that found downstate counties show the greatest potential for growth in Gross Gaming Revenue, ranging from $970 million to $4.49 billion for New York City, and $606 million to $1.13 billion for Long Island. The potential of the New York City market could be captured by the addition of new gaming facilities, the report stated.

The Gaming Commission has set a deadline for the submission of questions concerning the RFI for Nov. 10, 2021 and for a submission to the RFI by Dec. 10, 2021. The New York State Gaming Commission per state statute has to prepare and distribute a report on the RFI to the governor and the State Legislature no later than six months from the Dec. 10, 2021 deadline. The statute was passed by the State Legislature and signed by then Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April 2021.

If the process does move forward, it could be assumed that a Request for Proposals could be issued in mid-2022 and an award sometime thereafter. It should be noted that the state’s gaming law bans the award of downstate casino licenses until 2023. The measure was intended to allow the upstate casinos to establish a client base before they faced competition from downstate facilities.

“From a business standpoint, from a local government standpoint, this is a no brainer,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer, adding, “You have here already the infrastructure for the most successful casino you could imagine.”

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said, “Enough is enough. We don’t need to wait. We know that this will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs to this region.”

“This is not the circus that comes to town and picks up and leaves,” noted Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, adding “This is ten thousand jobs here to stay.”

“I can’t think of a project more deserving of our collective attention than getting full gaming right now, this year for Yonkers and for downstate,” said State Sen. Shelley Mayer. “We in the Senate majority under the leadership of Andrea Stewart-Cousins are totally committed to getting this done this year, no question, no excuses, no delay.”

“This is a renaissance moment for not only my city of Yonkers, but all of Westchester and the Bronx, and really the region,” said Assemblymember Nader Sayegh. “Let’s keep the revenue right here in New York State.”

“We need to come back bigger, stronger, better, and that’s what this investment can do,” stated Assemblymember Nathalia Fernandez, a member of the Bronx delegation. “I really hope the Governor is on board, because if not, she’s going to hear from all of us, especially in the Bronx.”

Community groups also showed their support for the project, which they say will have far-reaching benefits to the local community.

“Returning parents back to work is one of the city’s highest goals so we don’t have to rely on staying home,” said Henry Wilson, alliance co-chair and executive director of Youth Community Outreach Program. “I strongly support this effort, the board of directors of the Mount Vernon YCOP strongly supports this effort, and many of my colleagues and all the friends and parents support this effort.”

Local leaders also underscored the importance of the long-term investment that a full-scale commercial casino license at Empire City represents.

“This could be a huge, game-changing incubator for workforce development like we’ve never seen before,” said John Ravitz, Alliance co-chair and Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester. Citing local support for the full casino license, Ravitz noted “Westchester, the Bronx, and all of the downstate region are urging Albany to work quickly. Downstate can’t wait.”

Highlighting the broader economic effects of a full-scale license for Empire City, Lisa Sorin, Alliance co-chair and President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce said, “We keep talking about the jobs, which are so critical, but we’re also looking at businesses that will be supported by this; minority-owned businesses, small mom and pop shops, construction work, everything that’s needed to build something like this.”

“Ten thousand jobs in this economy is definitely a sure bet to help the Bronx’s economy, Westchester’s economy, and the state’s economy,” stated Marlene Citron, Alliance co-chair and President of Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. Emphasizing the urgent need for the casino licensing process to move forward, she added, “There are a lot of jobs that were lost during COVID that are not coming back. So, we need these jobs, and we need to ensure that this casino be brought here so that all of us can win.”

The Alliance includes more than 70 business, labor, nonprofit and community organizations from Westchester and the Bronx who support the creation of thousands of new, family-sustaining union jobs for local families.

Attendees stressed the importance of Albany prioritizing meaningful relief and sustainable job growth for a region severely impacted by the COVID-19 recession. Alliance members repeatedly highlighted the overwhelming community support for Empire City to be able to apply for and receive a full gaming license.

The press conference featured remarks from Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, NYS Senator Shelley Mayer, Assembly Members Nader Sayegh, J. Gary Pretlow, Nathalia Fernandez, and Steve Otis, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson Howard, Yonkers City Council Members John Rubbo, Mike Breen and Tasha Diaz, along with the founding co-chairs of “A Sure Bet for New York’s Future”, co-chairs John Ravitz, Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester; Thomas Carey, President of Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body; Marlene Cintron, President of Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp; Lisa Sorin, President of The New Bronx Chamber of Commerce; and Henry Wilson, Executive Director of Y-COP.

Also in attendance were representatives for NYS Senate Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Yonkers City Council Member Shanae Williams.

Members of the Alliance also attended to show their support, including John Cooney, Jr, Executive Director, Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley Inc.; Carlos Laboy, COO of the Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers; Henry Djonbalaj, President, McLean Avenue Merchant Association; Carmen Goldberg, Advisor, 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester; Millie Becker, President, Skyqueen Enterprises; Kenneth Plummer, President, Kensworth Consulting; Richard McSpeddon, Vice President, LOCAL 3 IBEW / Westchester Central Labor Body; Florence McCue, Yonkers Federation of Teachers; Stacey Thompkins, President, Tompkins Excavating; Dwayne Norris, Co-founder & COO, Soulful Synergy; Douglas Singer, Managing Member, Singer Law PLLC; Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director, Bronx Tourism Council, and Jodie Reaver of SWAC-PAC.

The Alliance currently has more than 70 members, and it continues to grow.

A Sure Bet for New York’s Future is an Alliance of businesses, community organizations, labor groups, and other local groups who are calling on Albany to introduce a process and timeline to quickly award downstate full-gaming commercial casino licenses to create thousands of new jobs New Yorkers need, create billions in economic impact, and help revitalize our communities.

Attorney's Column

Appellate Court to Contractor: Ignore Cure Periods at Your Own Peril

By THOMAS H. WELBY, P.E., ESQ. and GREGORY J. SPAUN, ESQ.

It is well known that in business, including the construction business, the applicable contract governs the relationship between the parties. As the subject of negotiation, its specific terms should be familiar to all parties. Unfortunately, during the bustle of the project, some contractual provisions, including notice provisions and right to cure provisions, fall by the wayside. While the majority of the time these missed provisions end up being inconsequential, because the parties make their way past the issues and deal with them at the end of the job,  an appellate court in East Empire Construction, Inc. v Borough Construction Group LLC, reminds us of the importance of complying with these provisions so that any subsequent actions, such as a termination, will be valid.

Background

In 2015, Borough Construction Group, a general contractor, entered into a subcontract with East Empire Construction whereby East Empire was to perform the steel scope of work for the construction of a building in Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The relevant contract, which was an AIA A401/201 form of contract, contained a provision permitting Borough to undertake to correct East Empire’s defective work if East Empire failed to do so itself within five days of receiving notice of such defective work. Another provision of the contract required Borough to provide East Empire with a 10-day period within which to cure any defect as a condition precedent to termination.

In May of 2016, Borough sent East Empire a notice of termination, stating that the subcontract would be terminated three days from the date of the letter, claiming that East Empire was in default by “failing to provide sufficient manpower [and] failing to meet the schedule, safety regulations and qualified workmanship” for the project. The parties discussed these issues and, after negotiations, Borough withdrew its termination letter. One week later, Borough sent East Empire an identical notice of termination, and subsequently retained a new steel contractor to complete East Empire’s scope of work.

In November 2016, East Empire sued Borough for breach of contract, alleging that Borough breached the contract by improperly terminating East Empire’s subcontract, and seeking the monies for which it had invoiced up until the termination. Borough denied the allegations in the complaint, and asserted East Empire’s claimed breaches of the subcontract as a defense to payment. East Empire moved for summary judgment in its favor on its breach of contract claim, and dismissing Borough’s affirmative defense, on the grounds that Borough denied it of its contractual opportunity to cure the claimed defects. In opposition, Borough argued that East Empire’s acts of default were persistent and incurable.

Decision

The motion court granted East Empire’s motion, and found that by failing to give East Empire the opportunity to cure provided for in the subcontract, Borough’s second attempt at termination was improper and, itself, constituted a breach of that contract. The appellate court affirmed, addressing not only the clear lack of the contractually required cure period, but also the limited exceptions to this requirement. The appellate court discussed that while such a notice to cure need not be given in at least four instances: where the terminated party repudiates its performance; where the terminated party abandons the project; where the breach is impossible to cure; or where the breach is so substantial that it undermines the entire contractual relationship such that it cannot be cured, the exceptions are of very limited scope. None applied here. In doing so, the appellate court cited well-settled law in holding that the defaults complained of, mere faulty steelwork and failing to meet the schedule, was “the very situation to which the cure provision was intended to apply.”

Comment

Notice and opportunity to cure provisions, like other contractual provisions, must—absent extraordinary circumstances—be strictly complied with. Typically, arguments that extraordinary circumstances apply are made not when there are such extraordinary circumstances, but when the notice and cure provisions are overlooked (or, in a haste to remove a contractor from a project, are simply not complied with).

East Empire highlights how a subcontractor in default was able to completely turn the tables on the general contractor and not only avoid the consequences of its own default (in this case being back-charged for the excess cost incurred by the general contractor to complete its work), but also have an affirmative recovery and get paid for its (claimed defective) work. While the reflexive statement to a contractor in default is to “get off of my jobsite,” contractors would be well advised to review their contracts to see if there are notice and cure provisions, and then strictly comply with them. Surely the offense at having the contractor around for an extra few days while he tries to remedy a default is not as grievous as having to not only forego a back-charge for excess completion costs, but also actually writing that contractor a check for work you believe is defective. If you have any questions as to whether such an exception applies, experienced construction counsel can help.

About the author: Thomas H. Welby, an attorney and licensed professional engineer, is General Counsel to the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and is the Founder of, and Senior Counsel to the law firm of Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, with offices located throughout the Tri-State/Greater Metropolitan Region. Gregory J. Spaun, General Counsel to the Queens and Bronx Building Association, and an attorney and a partner with the firm, co-authors this series with Mr. Welby. 

Regional Bid Alert - November 2021

NYSDOT – Region 8

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 2, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264659

PIN# 803048

FA Proj.# Z0E1-8030-483

Project Description: Rockland Co., Paving Route 59 from

Route 303 to Route 9W and sidewalk improvements at West Broadway.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $125,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 2, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264593

PIN# 810632

FA Proj.# Z0E1-8106-323

Project Description: Westchester Co., ramp reconstruction I-287 EB to Saw-

Mill River Parkway NB.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $375,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 9.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 16, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264523

PIN# 876232

Project Description: Orange, Rockland Cos., culvert rehabilitation and

replacement. – Lower Rd (CR12) over tributary to Wallkill River and

Wesley Chapel Rd over Willow Tree Brook. – 2018 BRIDGE NY ROUND 2 –

CULVERT BUNDLE 5.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $75,000.00)

Goals: MBE: 9.00%, WBE: 13.00%, SDVOB: 6.00%

NYSDOT – Region 10

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 2, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264592

PIN# 0DPM21

FA Proj.# Z0E1-0DPM-213

Project Description: Nassau, Suffolk Cos., durable pavement markings

project, various locations.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $375,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 2, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264634

PIN# 081026

Project Description: Nassau, Suffolk Cos., guide rail rehabilitation, replace

guiderail sections at various locations.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $375,000.00)

Goals: MBE: 9.00%, WBE: 13.00%, SDVOB: 6.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 2, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264638

PIN# 053480

Project Description: Nassau, Suffolk Cos., resurfacing on Southern State

Parkway in the Towns of Babylon, Hempstead and Oyster Bay.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $1,500,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

 

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 2, 2021

New York State Department of Transportation

Contract Management

50 Wolf Road, 1st Floor, Suite 1CM

Albany, NY 12232

Contract# D264683

PIN# DRC121

FA Proj.# Z24E-DRC1-214

Project Description:

Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens,

Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester Cos., debris removal throughout

Downstate New York.

Bid Deposit: 5% of Bid (~ $375,000.00)

Goals: DBE: 10.00%

Westchester County DPW

Bid Due Date: Dec. 1, 2021

Contract: 15-517 ($100.)

Title: Outfall Jetty Rehabilitation, Mamaroneck Wastewater

Treatment Plant, Mamaroneck, NY.

Description: The work under this contract consists of

providing all necessary labor, material and equipment

required to construct a new steel sheet pile bulkhead

around the existing effluent Outfall Jetty located within

the Village of Mamaroneck’s Harbor Island Park. The new

steel sheet pile bulkhead, using marine grade steel, will be

constructed to the same finished elevation as the existing

steel bulkhead and approximately two feet to the waterside

of the existing steel bulkhead. Some portions of the new

bulkhead will be constructed using stone revetment to the

waterside of the existing bulkhead in areas where the new

steel sheet piling is not being installed. A new concrete pile

cap will be constructed on top of the new steel sheet piling

which will also serve as a foundation for a new perimeter

fence. In addition, previous pavement walkways, decorative

lighting, benches, fencing and grass areas will be

installed on the surface area of the rehabilitated jetty.

Bid Estimate Range: $5.4 million to $6.0 million.

MANDATORY PRE-BID INSPECTION: Scheduled at 10:00

a.m. on Nov. 3, 2021; meeting at Lobby of Mamaroneck

Wastewater Treatment Plant, 119 West Boston Post Road,

Mamaroneck, NY 10543. MANDATORY attendance is

required. Bids will be rejected from Contractors not in

attendance at this meeting, or those who fail to sign the

attendance sheet.

Contact: John Coelho, 914-995-5144.

 

Bid Due Date: Dec. 1, 2021

Contract: 18-515 ($100.)

Title: Roof Replacement Program, Mamaroneck Water

Resource Recovery Facility, Peekskill Water Resource

Recovery Facility, Mamaroneck and Peekskill, NY.

Description: The work under this contract consists of

providing all necessary labor, material and equipment

required for the full roofing system replacement and

select structural modifications to the following roofs: The

Primary Building including influent and effluent wings at the

Mamaroneck Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) in

the Mamaroneck Sanitary Sewer District (SSD) and the Administration

Building and Blower Building at the Peekskill

WRRF in the Peekskill SSD. Work involved will address

the replacement of all building roofing systems, resetting

or replacement of coping stones, caulking of vertical joints,

installation of safety railings, walking pads, brick repointing,

repair or replacement of expansion joints and other related

work as necessary at both facilities.

Bid Estimate Range: $2.5 million to $3.0 million.

MANDATORY PRE-BID INSPECTION: Held Oct. 28, 2021.

MANDATORY attendance was required. Bids will be rejected

from Contractors not in attendance at this meeting,

or those who failed to sign the attendance sheet.

Contact: John Coelho, 914-995-5144.

 

Bid Due Date: Dec. 1, 2021

Contract: 19-531 ($100.)

Title: Infrastructure Upgrades, Labs and Research, Valhalla

Campus, Valhalla, NY.

Description: The work under this contract consists of providing

all necessary labor, material and equipment required

for exterior renovations including wall panel replacement,

improvements at the loading dock including sidewalk

replacement as well as interior renovations including

reception atriums, staff lounge, finishes and various related

work. Note: The Contractor is directed to the Special Notice

regarding Project Labor Agreement (PLA).

Bid Estimate Range: $800,000 to $1.0 million.

MANDATORY PRE-BID INSPECTION: Scheduled at

10:00 a.m., Nov. 10, 2021; meeting at Labs and Research,

10 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY. MANDATORY attendance

is required. Bids will be rejected from Contractors not in

attendance at this meeting, or those who fail to sign the

attendance sheet.

Contact: Adam Kaplinski, 914-995-3991.

 

Bid Due Date: Dec. 1, 2021

Contract: 21-516 ($100.)

Title: Tarrytown Lighthouse Restoration, Kingsland Point

Park, Village of Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Description: The work under this contract consists of providing

all necessary labor, material and equipment required

to repair caissons and the lighthouse tower exterior as well

as replacement of windows and doors, repair of floors,

upgrade of electrical systems, paving. Note: The Contractor

is directed to the Special Notice regarding Project Labor

Agreement (PLA).

Bid Estimate Range: $2.0 million to $2.3 million.

MANDATORY PRE-BID INSPECTION: Scheduled at 10:00

a.m. on Nov. 9, 2021; meeting at Kingsland Point Park –

Parking Lot. MANDATORY attendance is required. Bids

will be rejected from Contractors not in attendance at this

meeting, or those who fail to sign the attendance sheet.

Contact: Adam Kaplinski, 914-995-3991.

 

Bid Due Date: Dec. 15, 2021

Contract: 15-550 ($100.)

Title: Woodlands Lake Dam Rehabilitation, V.E. Macy Park,

Irvington, NY.

Description: The work under this contract consists of providing

all necessary labor, material and equipment required

to modify the existing stone masonry dam spillway, replace

the existing bridge with a pre-engineered bridge and

relocate utilities supported on the bridge, replace handrails,

modify the lakebed to create a low-flow channel and install

new plantings.

Bid Estimate Range: $4.0 million to $4.5 million.

MANDATORY PRE-BID INSPECTION: Scheduled at 10:00

a.m. on Nov. 16, 2021; meeting at project site.

Contact: Esther Rivas, 914-995-5584.

 

NYS Dormitory Authority

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 7, 2021

Title: City University of New York, New York City College

of Technology, Pearl Building Façade Replacement and

Associated Asbestos Abatement

Contract: CR17 General Construction

Project Number 3562209999

Sealed bids for the above Work located at New York City

College of Technology, 259 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY

11201 will be received by DASNY at its office located

at 515 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207. Each bid must be

identified, on the outside of the envelope, with the name

and address of the bidder and designated a bid for the

Project titled above. When a sealed bid is placed inside

another delivery jacket, the bid delivery jacket must be

clearly marked on the outside “BID ENCLOSED” and “ATTENTION:

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS – DOMINICK

DONADIO.” DASNY will not be responsible for receipt of

bids which do not comply with these instructions.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (“DASNY”)

has determined that its interest in obtaining the best

work at the lowest possible price, preventing favoritism,

fraud and corruption, and other considerations such as the

impact of delay, the possibility of cost savings advantages

and any local history of labor unrest are best met by use

of a Project Labor Agreement (“PLA”) on this Project. The

successful low bidder, as a condition of being awarded this

Contract, will be required to execute the PLA described in

the Information for Bidders and included in the Contract

Documents. See Section 18.0 of the Information for Bidders

of the Contract Documents for additional information.

All subcontractors of every tier will be required to agree to

be bound by the PLA.

All individuals who plan to attend pre-bid meetings or

bid openings in person will be required to complete and

present a DASNY Visitor Covid-19 Screening Questionnaire,

present government-issued picture identification to

building security officials and obtain a visitors pass prior

to attending the bid opening. The questionnaire and all

instructions are located after Section 19.0 of the Information

for Bidders.

Individuals and entities submitting bids in person or by

private delivery services should allow sufficient time for

processing through building security to assure that bids are

received prior to the deadline for submitting bids.

All bid openings will be made available for viewing live via

Zoom at www.zoom.us. To enter the meeting, select “Join

a Meeting” then enter Meeting Id 353 471 6521, Password

  1. Individuals are strongly encouraged to utilize

this public viewing option as an alternative to in person

attendance at bid openings.

Only those bids in the hands of DASNY, available to be

read at 2:00 PM local time on December 7, 2021 will be

considered. Bids shall be publicly opened and read aloud.

Bid results can be viewed at DASNY’s website; http://www.

dasny.org.

In accordance with State Finance Law § 139-j and § 139-k,

this solicitation includes and imposes certain restrictions

on communications between DASNY personnel and

a prospective bidder during the procurement process.

Designated staff for this solicitation is: Michael Costache,

Sr. Project Manager, 186 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201,

917-299-2863, mcostache@dasny.org (the Owner’s

Representative) and DASNY at ccontracts@dasny.org.

Contacts made to other DASNY personnel regarding this

procurement may disqualify the prospective bidder and

affect future procurements with governmental entities in the

State of New York. For more information pursuant to this

law, refer to DASNY’s website; http://www.dasny.org or the

OGS website; http://www.ogs.state.ny.us.

A Pre-Bid Meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 10,

2021 at 10:00 a.m.at 60-68 Tillray Street, Brooklyn, NY

  1. Contact Michael Costache at 917-299-3863. All

prospective bidders are strongly encouraged to attend.

Prospective bidders are advised that the Contract Documents

for this Project contain new “GENERAL CONDITIONS

for CONSTRUCTION” dated June 17, 2021 that

contain significant revisions from those documents previously

contained in DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective

bidders are further advised to review applicable

sections of these General Conditions for any potential

impact on their bid price prior to submittal of the bid.

A complete set of Contract Documents may be viewed and/

or purchased online from Camelot Print and Copy Centers.

Only those Contract Documents obtained in this manner

will enable a prospective bidder to be identified as an official

plan holder of record. DASNY takes no responsibility

for the completeness of Contract Documents obtained from

other sources. Contract Documents obtained from other

sources may not be accurate or may not contain addenda

that may have been issued. In addition, prospective

bidders are advised that the Contract Documents for this

Project contain new “GENERAL CONDITIONS for CONSTRUCTION”

dated June 17, 2021 that contain significant

revisions from those documents previously contained in

DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective bidders are

further advised to review applicable sections of these

General Conditions for any potential impact on their bid

price prior to submittal of the bid. The plan holders list and

a list of interested subcontractors and material suppliers

may be viewed at DASNY’s website: http://www.dasny.

org. For Bid Opportunities and other DASNY related news,

follow us on Twitter @NYS_DASNY and Facebook https://

www.facebook.com/pages/DASNY-Dormitor-Authority-ofthe-

State-of-New-York/307274192739368.

 

Bid Letting Date: Dec. 9, 2021

Title: City University of New York, Queensborough Community

College, Technology Building Rood Replacement and

Associated Asbestos Abatement

Contract: CR10 General Construction

Project Number 3507309999

Sealed bids for the above Work located at Queensborough

Community College, 221-25 56th Avenue, Bayside, 11364

will be received by DASNY at its office located at 515

Broadway, Albany, NY 12207. Each bid must be identified,

on the outside of the envelope, with the name and address

of the bidder and designated a bid for the Project titled

above. When a sealed bid is placed inside another delivery

jacket, the bid delivery jacket must be clearly marked

on the outside “BID ENCLOSED” and “ATTENTION:

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS – DOMINICK DONADIO.”

DASNY will not be responsible for receipt of bids which do

not comply with these instructions.

All individuals who plan to attend pre-bid meetings or

bid openings in person will be required to complete and

present a DASNY Visitor Covid-19 Screening Questionnaire,

present government-issued picture identification to

building security officials and obtain a visitors pass prior

to attending the bid opening. The questionnaire and all

instructions are located after Section 19.0 of the Information

for Bidders.

Individuals and entities submitting bids in person or by

private delivery services should allow sufficient time for

processing through building security to assure that bids are

received prior to the deadline for submitting bids.

All bid openings will be made available for viewing live via

Zoom at www.zoom.us. To enter the meeting, select “Join

a Meeting” then enter Meeting Id 353 471 6521, Password

  1. Individuals are strongly encouraged to utilize

this public viewing option as an alternative to in person

attendance at bid openings.

Only those bids in the hands of DASNY, available to

be read at 2:00 PM local time on Dec. 9, 2021 will be

considered. Bids shall be publicly opened and read aloud.

Bid results can be viewed at DASNY’s website; http://www.

dasny.org.

In accordance with State Finance Law § 139-j and § 139-k,

this solicitation includes and imposes certain restrictions

on communications between DASNY personnel and

a prospective bidder during the procurement process.

Designated staff for this solicitation is: Ray Shadood,

Project Manager, 221-03 56th Avenue, Bayside, New York

11364, 917-299-2741, rshadood@dasny.org (the Owner’s

Representative) and DASNY at ccontracts@dasny.org.

Contacts made to other DASNY personnel regarding this

procurement may disqualify the prospective bidder and

affect future procurements with governmental entities in the

State of New York. For more information pursuant to this

law, refer to DASNY’s website; http://www.dasny.org or the

OGS website; http://www.ogs.state.ny.us.

A Pre-Bid Meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

at 9:30 a.m. at Queensborough CC, 220-05 56th Avenue,

Bayside, NY 11364. Contact Ray Shadood at 917-299-

  1. All prospective bidders are strongly encouraged to

attend.

Prospective bidders are advised that the Contract Documents

for this Project contain new “GENERAL CONDITIONS

for CONSTRUCTION” dated June 17, 2021 that

contain significant revisions from those documents previously

contained in DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective

bidders are further advised to review applicable

sections of these General Conditions for any potential

impact on their bid price prior to submittal of the bid.

A complete set of Contract Documents may be viewed and/

or purchased online from Camelot Print and Copy Centers.

Only those Contract Documents obtained in this manner

will enable a prospective bidder to be identified as an official

plan holder of record. DASNY takes no responsibility

for the completeness of Contract Documents obtained from

other sources. Contract Documents obtained from other

sources may not be accurate or may not contain addenda

that may have been issued. In addition, prospective

bidders are advised that the Contract Documents for this

Project contain new “GENERAL CONDITIONS for CONSTRUCTION”

dated June 17, 2021 that contain significant

revisions from those documents previously contained in

DASNY’s Contract Documents. Prospective bidders are

further advised to review applicable sections of these

General Conditions for any potential impact on their bid

price prior to submittal of the bid. The plan holders list and

a list of interested subcontractors and material suppliers

may be viewed at DASNY’s website: http://www.dasny.

org. For Bid Opportunities and other DASNY related news,

follow us on Twitter @NYS_DASNY and Facebook https://

www.facebook.com/pages/DASNY-Dormitor-Authority-ofthe-

State-of-New-York/307274192739368.

Julia Maria Apostolou
Samantha Argenio
Sebastian Arreola
Taylor Bruck
Robert Caulfield
Ryan Danyluk

Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund Awards $85,000 to 17 College Students in Hudson Valley Region

By GEORGE DRAPEAU III

TARRYTOWN – Seventeen Hudson Valley college students began the 2021-22 academic year with a $5,000 grant from the Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund for undergraduate studies in mathematics, the sciences, engineering and technology.

The scholarship, a major construction industry financial-aid program, was established in 2009 by Louis G. Nappi (1920-2014), a former Chairman (now Emeritus) of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. It was his vision that the hard sciences of mathematics and engineering were keys to re-establishing the U.S. as a world leader in transportation and infrastructure construction.

Comprising representatives from both labor and management, the Louis G. Nappi Scholarship Committee carefully selects candidates who exemplify the high scholastic and personal standards needed to advance in the construction and building industries.

“This scholarship is a living testimony to Louis Nappi,” said Ross J. Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council, of which Nappi was chairman from 1986 to 1991. “Lou’s commitment to engineering and science lives on today in these scholarships and through these students.”

Mr. Pepe added, “Lou believed that giving students the financial means to pursue higher education and advanced degrees would help our nation’s construction and building industries regain global competitiveness and preeminence.”

Scholarship Committee Chairman William Mascetta, President of Transit Construction Corp. of Yonkers, N.Y., congratulated the winners and reminded them of the value of learning practical skills and avoiding “digital distraction.”

“In this high-tech age, with unlimited access to information, it’s tempting to rely on technology very heavily,” Mr. Mascetta said. “However, remember that we build things and our world of infrastructure is three-dimensional. When you get caught up in digital distraction, it’s like going through life with blinders on. You, as future scientists and executives, must take off the blinders and open yourselves to the full periphery and reality of what we do.”

Mr. Mascetta thanked the members of the Scholarship Committee representing labor and management, and applauded the students’ parents for their support. He acknowledged Lou Nappi’s family for its ongoing commitment, and cited appreciation to Moujalli Hourani, D.Sc., a professor of Engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y., for his guidance of the students and the scholarship program.

Marking its 12th anniversary, the Louis G. Nappi Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $785,000 in 187 grants to some 78 students attending nearly 50 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Candidates mostly reside in the seven-county region of the lower Hudson Valley—Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Ulster, Orange and Rockland—and are related to employees of CIC-member companies or affiliated unions. The participating labor unions are Laborers International Union of N.A. Local 60, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 456.

Scholarship Winners

Julia Maria Apostolou, 19, of Yorktown Heights, NY, is a sophomore studying civil engineering at the University of South Carolina. She is the daughter of James Apostolou who is a member of Teamsters & Chauffeurs L.U. 456 of Elmsford, NY. Julia Maria is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Samantha Argenio, 21, of Carolina Beach, NC, is a senior studying business administration with a concentration in finance at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She is the granddaughter of a principal at Argenio Bros., a member company of the Contractors Association of Rockland County. Samantha is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Sebastian Arreola, 20, of Danbury, CT, is a junior studying computer engineering at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. He is the grandson of Mario Anaya of Heavy Construction Laborers L.U. 60. Sebastian is also the recipient of three Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grants from 2018 to 2020.

Taylor Bruck, 19, of New Paltz, NY, is a sophomore studying computer science at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. She is the daughter of Thomas Bruck, a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137. Taylor is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Robert Caulfield, 19, of Blauvelt, NY, is a sophomore studying civil engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. He is the son of Timothy Caulfield of Yonkers Contracting Co., Inc., a CIC-member company. Robert is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Ryan Danyluk, 21, of New Windsor, N.Y., is a senior studying civil engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. He is the son of Peter Danyluk of Walsh Construction/Grace Industries, a CIC-member company. Ryan has now been a recipient of four Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant awards (2018-2021). Nice going, Ryan!

Massimo Fante, 19, of Sleepy Hollow, NY, is a sophomore studying biological sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is the son of Mark Fante of Darante Construction Ltd., a CIC-member company. Massimo is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Jamie Lynn Fortunato, 20, of Fairfield, CT, is a junior studying biology and pre-health at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is the granddaughter of Anthony Guido, a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137. Jamie Lynn is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Daisy Godoy, 22, of Lagrangeville, NY, is a senior majoring in architectural technology at New York Institute of Technology. She is the daughter of Jesus Godoy, a member of Heavy Construction Laborers L.U. 60. Daisy is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Mark Griffin, 19, of Yonkers, NY, is a sophomore majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Buffalo. He is the son of Lisa Griffin and nephew of Vincent Romagnoli of Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc., a CIC-member company.

Alyssa Mangone, 21, of Hartsdale, NY, is a senior studying business management at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. She is the granddaughter of George Meinel and niece of James Meinel who are members of Operating Engineers L.U. 137 of Briarcliff, NY. Alyssa now has been the recipient of four Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grants (2018-2021).

Sophia Mangone, 18, of Hartsdale, NY, is a freshman at SUNY Oneonta. She is the granddaughter of George Meinel and niece to James Meinel who are members of Operating Engineers L.U. 137 of Briarcliff, NY.

Cooper Mistishin, 19, of Lake Areal, PA, is a sophomore studying software engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the son of Michael Mistishin, an employee of Peckham Industries, a CIC-member company.

Daniella Mulvey, 21, of Valhalla, NY, is a senior studying architecture at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. She is the daughter of Dennis Mulvey, an employee of Stratis Contracting Corp., a CIC-member company. Daniella is also the recipient of a Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant in 2020.

Nicholas Mulvey, 18, of Valhalla, NY, is a freshman studying civil engineering at Bucknell University in Bucknell, PA. He is the son of Dennis Mulvey, an employee of Stratis Contracting Corp., a CIC-member company.

William Roberts, 18, of Montrose, NY, is a freshman studying computer engineering at George Washington University. He is the son of a member of Teamsters & Chauffeurs L.U. 456 of Elmsford, NY.

Ava Zorilo, 19, of Wappingers Falls, NY, is a sophomore studying Health Science at Pace University in Westchester. Ava is the daughter of a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137 of Briarcliff, NY.

For information on the program, contact Karen Zedda at (914) 631-6070 or Karen@cicnys.org.

Massimo Fante
Jamie Lynn Fortunate
Daisy Godoy
Mark Griffin
Alyssa Mangone
Sophia Mangone,
Cooper Mistishin
Daniella Mulvey
Nicholas Mulvey,
William Roberts,
Ava Zorilo,

Safety Watch

ALJ Vacates Citation for Failure of Proof Despite Employer’s Failure to Protect Workers

By GEOFFREY S. POPE, ESQ.

When a client is cited for alleged OSHA violations, it’s a perennial—and often difficult—question as to whether, or in what circumstances, all or some of the items should be contested.

It is rumored that penalties for OSHA violations may soon be increased, by as much as tenfold. Historically, penalties have been sufficiently small—and the disproportion between the combination of legal fees and expenses to litigate a contest proceeding before 

the OSH Review Commission, along with the additional penalties at stake, often favors a decision to strike a quick compromise when possible and move on.

In addition to the Secretary’s advantage of being staffed with a corps of specialized lawyers, paid by taxpayers, vs. the dearth of private attorneys experienced in handling such matters, there are many technical and procedural advantages favoring the government in citation contest proceedings.

Of course, OSHA infractions are a blemish on an employer’s safety record. In addition to violations that carry penalties, which can run into six figures per item, “Willful” and “Repeat” can impair an employer’s ability to win contracts. So, too, can an accumulation of “Serious” infractions. Every employer likes to be perceived as safety conscious, and many business owners take citations very personally. It’s flat out irksome to be slapped with a substantial monetary penalty due to a possible lapse on the part of one careless employee.

In my opinion the OSH Review Commission is no “kangaroo court,” and its Administrative Law Judges are knowledgeable and conscientious. From reading hundreds of proceedings over the years, I find ALJs are generally reluctant to discount the testimony of OSHA inspectors. Therefore, a defense based on legal grounds offers the respondent better chances than one that would require the ALJ to discredit the testimony of an OSHA compliance officer.

I believe the most fertile grounds for success in an OSHA contest proceeding are a thorough understanding of the elements of the Secretary’s case, and close attention to the proof if the case goes to trial. If the attorney representing the employer is both attentive and well-prepared, an argument to the ALJ that the Secretary has failed to prove any element of his case by a preponderance of the competent and admissible evidence, will often win the day.

It sometimes comes as a surprise to an employer that the ALJ, where warranted, will vacate a citation, even where there was an injury (actually, an injury, even a fatality, is legally irrelevant) and despite the employer’s conduct having been less than exemplary. However, the Secretary’s failure to prove even a necessary element of his case is probably the most common basis for citation items being vacated.

A striking example of this is the case of Secretary v. George Weis Co. The employer in that case was a family-owned drywall, ceiling and plaster contractor, hired as a subcontractor on a hotel construction project in Missouri.

The employer had a two-man crew installing soffits underneath a sun deck about 26 feet above grade. The foreman installed the soffits from the bucket of an aerial lift located just below the sun deck, while the second worker knelt on the edge of the sun deck, just inside the wire rope guardrails, and handed materials to the foreman.

The worker on the roof, intending to rise to his feet, grabbed the mid-rail and pushed down, in order to support himself. The mid-rail gave way, and as it did so, the worker fell headfirst through both the mid-rail and top-rail onto the aerial lift. Although the worker, fortunately, did not plunge to the ground, he was badly injured when he tumbled into the bucket.

Subsequent inspection by OSHA showed that the c-clamps, which allowed the wire ropes to loop around the stanchions and clamp back onto themselves, had not been adequately tightened. The OSHA inspector determined that a contractor had removed the guardrails from the sun deck to deliver materials and failed to re-set them properly. Although the employer proffered testimony that it had inspected the guardrail, such inspection, if it occurred at all, was merely visual; neither the employer nor the general contractor, following the removal of the guardrail to allow the materials delivery, had physically tested it to ensure that it met the standard, which required that it be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 pounds, applied within two inches of the top edge, in any outward or downward direction.

The employer was cited under 29 CRF 1926.502(b)(3) and timely contested the citation. The Secretary had the obligation to prove at trial four points: the applicability of the standard; that the standard was violated; employee access to the cited condition; and the employer’s actual or constructive knowledge.

Following trial, the administrative law judge in his decision had no difficulty in finding that the standard applied, and that the employer had a duty to provide fall protection to the injured employee. Since the guardrail was the sole means of fall protection deployed, the ALJ found that both the top-rail and the mid-rail needed to satisfy the 200 pounds of force requirement.

Employee exposure was obvious, the ALJ ruled, as the injured employee had been working next to the guardrail for about two hours when the mishap took place. Plainly, given that the fall occurred upon the employee having grabbed the guardrail to support himself as he stood up, he was exposed to the allegedly defective condition.

The complainant had established constructive knowledge, the court also found, as (notwithstanding some inconsistent testimony on this issue) the respondent had failed to discharge its obligation to perform a “careful and critical examination” necessitated by the location of the work, the potential gravity of injury, and lack of any additional means of fall protection. The foreman’s claim of having tugged and pulled on the rope, the ALJ found, was unconvincing and, in all events, insufficient.

Despite the foregoing, and while emphasizing that he was not finding that the employer had acted properly, the ALJ vacated the citation for lack of testimony or documentary evidence that a man of the injured worker’s height and weight, performing the activities engaged in at the time of the accident, would not have imposed more than 200 pounds of force on one or more of the wire guardrails. The ALJ distinguished several cases cited by the Secretary, finding that in the case before him, unlike the cases cited, there was lacking “objective and patently obvious reasons” why the guardrail could not support the required force.

“This case,” the ALJ concluded, “highlights the importance of the Complaint’s burden of proof, and the distinction between failing to prove a violation and whether a violation, in fact, existed.” The employer in Weis “failed to take appropriate steps to ensure its employees were not exposed to hazardous conditions,” but while it was likely, even probable, that the guardrail could not have met the specific terms of the standard, the Secretary failed to prove it, wherefore the citation had to be vacated.

About the author: Geoffrey S. Pope is of counsel to the construction law firm of Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, with its main office in White Plains. The articles in this series do not constitute legal advice, and are intended for general guidance only.

County Partners With Building Trades, CIC

Standing next to the construction at Playland Park in Rye, Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced at a press conference on Oct. 26 the success of the county’s partnership with Westchester Building Trades and the Construction Industry Council. Over the past four years, Latimer’s administration has budgeted the largest amount of money for Capital Projects than any previous administration, and has many proposed projects in the pipeline for 2022.

By solidifying a strong relationship with labor unions and the construction industry, the county has created a bigger, better workforce of skilled union workers, developed greater job opportunities for union workers, lifted the state bonding cap and seen many developments come to completion in Westchester, the County Executive noted.

From left, John Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley Inc. of Tarrytown, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and President and Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 456 Louis A. Picani.

Smaller Penn Station Improvement Project Envisioned

NEW YORK – In early November New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled a smaller vision compared to her predecessor for a new Penn Station, but one that is also designed to help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood.

The new plan reduces 1.4 million sq. ft. the amount of space that is to be developed. The plan also calls for the reconstruction of the existing Penn Station to accelerate, given that 60% of those using the facility are subway and LIRR riders.

The new neighborhood plan comes after several months of collaboration and more than 100 meetings with community stakeholders, government agencies 

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new plan for Penn Station could cost as much as $7bn

and elected officials. The plan will also be subject to further public review and is part of a larger public process that remains ongoing, state officials said.

“I’m reimagining the New York City commuter experience; New Yorkers do not deserve what they have been subjected to for decades at Penn Station,” the governor said.

The current Penn Station—the Western Hemisphere’s busiest transit hub—serves more passengers than LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Airports. The relocation of Amtrak’s operations to the new Moynihan Train Hall provides the opportunity to overhaul Penn Station, eliminating the bulk of the first subterranean level to open up the main concourse to natural light, improving retail and other user amenities, increasing safety and security, significantly expanding passenger circulation areas, expanding entrances and exits, and making it easier for passengers to navigate within the station as well as connect to their destinations beyond. The reconstruction of the station is expected to cost up to $7 billion, and will take up to five years to complete after construction begins.

In terms of the surrounding development, which will help fund the project, the governor said the new proposal still achieves the necessary revenues while notably scaling down the previous plan. The new plan includes recommendations from the Community Advisory Committee Working Group (CACWG), which worked in consultation with Empire State Development, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Amtrak and NJ Transit. The CACWG will continue to inform the plan through its build-out. The governor is directing the MTA to actively engage community stakeholders, transit, sustainability and planning experts as well as users of Penn Station from across the region.

Reimagining the station is intended to create equitable transit access and spur economic development. This will be particularly beneficial for future riders of the proposed Metro-North stations in the East Bronx (Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester, and Hunts Point), for whom travel times to and from Midtown will be reduced by up to 50 minutes with the Penn Access.

Key features of the new proposal include:

New, World-Class Train Facility. Creates a single level, double-height train hall that doubles passenger circulation space on the new public level from approximately 123,000 square feet to approximately 250,000 square feet and eliminates the congested, cramped and crowded passageways in existing Penn Station.

The plan also includes a 450-foot-long sunlit train hall that is the size of Moynihan’s and Grand Central’s halls combined; simplifies navigation; creates clear sight lines to exits and entrances and adds 18 more escalators or stairs and 11 more elevators to platforms.

Reduced Density. Shaves off 1.4 million square feet of development from the previous plan and decreases heights for proposed buildings. The plan also provides new design controls to protect views of the Empire State Building along 33rd Street.

Public Realm and Social Services. Adds eight acres of public space, including a 30,000-square foot plaza comparable in size to Rockefeller Plaza and mandates public space set-asides on each building site.

Creates a Public Realm Task Force.  Comprised of community leaders and stakeholders, the group will develop a plan of prioritized public realm improvements, to be funded by a Public Realm Fund, with initial revenue from redevelopment being dedicated to this fund. It also requires community facility spaces that will prioritize much-needed social services for the neighborhood, with a particular focus on New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and creates underground loading/unloading for Madison Square Garden, taking trucks off the street.

Affordable Housing. Allows up to 1,800 residential units, of which 540 would be permanently affordable and mandates one building as residential, which will include 162 permanently affordable units—more than the entire number of residences that would be displaced if the southern expansion of Penn Station occurs.

Public Transit Access and Shared Streets. Expands new underground corridors to the Sixth Avenue IND line, allowing users of the 34th Street Herald Square Station (B, F, M, N, R, W lines) seamless access to Penn Station and nearly doubles the existing entrances to Penn Station from 12 to 20, and requires developers to add additional subway entrances and exits directly to and from buildings, ultimately reducing density and congestion at over-crowded entrances. In addition, the plan widens sidewalks throughout the neighborhood and recommends that 31st, 32nd and 33rd streets become shared streets that prioritize pedestrians. It also adds protected bike lanes and greatly expands bike parking while reducing vehicular parking.

Pedestrian-Friendly Streetscape. The proposal limits the size of new building commercial lobbies and requires that 40% of every building frontage is an “active use” such as retail and community facilities.

Janno Lieber, MTA acting chair and CEO, said of the new proposal, “Penn Station is the busiest transportation facility in the city, with six subway lines, countless bus routes, and soon four railroads, and we’ve been waiting generations for Penn Station to be upgraded.”

Assemblymember Amy Paulin, chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions, said, “Public transportation is essential to the lives and livelihoods of our region’s residents and economy. A renovation of Penn Station would give a significant quality-of-life benefit to the over 500,000 commuters to New York City including Metro-North riders when Penn Station Access is completed. It would also support reverse commuters, benefitting New York’s job market and economy. The way to build up and maintain ridership is to transform major hubs like Penn Station to serve customer needs beyond catching the train.”

Financial Management

Flight to Quality in Class A Office Market Prioritizes Technology, Amenities

By PHILLIP ROSS, CPA, CGMA, PARTNER

Typically, commercial office buildings are separated into three classes: A, B and C, based on a combination of factors that indicate the building’s competitive ability in the tenant market. Until recently, owners of these buildings generally did not take a particularly active hand in the buildout of individual tenant spaces, essentially offering MEP infrastructure and retail spaces on the ground floor while occupiers received a space to build their individual workplaces.

However, in recent years, the emergence of Class A+ or trophy-class buildings is changing the way owners and tenants envision the 

commercial leasing dynamic. It’s impacting the projects that contractors are delivering, from new ground-up projects to commercial fit-out opportunities.

The appeal for owners in delivering Class A+ spaces is that they can maximize the price per square footage of their buildings, while also seeing ROI on cost efficiencies gained through smart, Internet of Things technology and carbon reduction. For tenants, there is increasing appeal in flex offices, flexible leasing, better connectivity and cybersecurity, lifestyle amenities and improved energy efficiency, as well as the cobranding opportunities that being in a trophy building can bring. However, amid the pandemic’s office downturn, the power dynamic in the office market has shifted to tenants, which is also driving this issue.

For construction firms looking to win commercial work in 2022 and beyond it means understanding that connectivity in projects is paramount, as is the ability to deliver high-grade technological infrastructure and sustainable building practices. Additionally, more buildings are incorporating big data into building strategies, starting from the design process. That means construction firms must collaborate with firms such as Willow to capture every quantifiable aspect of a building project. Showing technological proficiency can be a differentiator in winning work.

Similarly, leveraging your firm’s diversified verticals can be an asset, as the blending of live-work-play means that many of these projects are incorporating more ambitious retail, dining, hospitality and entertainment components. Here are some things to consider when bidding on new, forward-thinking commercial office projects:

Be Collaborative

Commercial buildings are increasingly an exercise in branding, and distinctive elements are becoming the norm—such as the observation deck at Hudson Yards or the rooftop experience at One Vanderbilt. These aspects that offer tenants, visitors and skyline viewers a wow factor can also bring major construction and engineering challenges. Construction firms competing for these projects must prove they have the experience and the collaborative diplomacy to navigate designs that may be near-and-dear to an owner or designer’s heart. Additionally, distinctive designs for the top of the building can account for upward of five percent of the construction budget. In a word, these are a major investment.

Show Diversification

Elite amenities are a significant factor in the competitive environment for attracting tenants to trophy buildings—especially as more owners are bringing more of a hospitality approach to office “amenitization.” Owners increasingly want offices to feel like luxury hotels and this involves diversified aspects of buildings as they incorporate more dining, gyms, lounges, conference centers, hotels, entertainment venues and arts and cultural attractions into business as usual. Showing that you have the project personnel, from project executives to project managers, with experience on a wide range of asset types can be a major bonus for a construction company.

Similarly, with the rise of flex working brands like WeWork and Industrious, many owners are delivering their own flex brands (such as Tishman Speyer’s Studio). More owners are also building turnkey spaces—i.e. offices that are move-in ready—with significant footprints. This is a value-add opportunity for ground-up contractors, and it offers new kinds of fit-out opportunities for specialty contractors.

This is an evolution of the open office or team-based office that started to dominate the pre-pandemic market. Now contractors need to deliver new kinds of spaces designed to minimize frictions—from move-in through the life of multiple leases, meaning the project delivery needs to be built to ambitious specifications for the long term.

Incorporate Technology

A big part of the new frictionless office is technology. MEP engineers and the construction firms that collaborate with them have a harder job than ever in delivering the physical infrastructure to support fiber optics, extensive wireless connectivity and a range of sensors, monitors and other hardware pieces of the vast IoT networks that go into smart buildings. Ensuring your construction firm is well-versed in the technologies owners and tenants want is crucial.

In the same vein, showing digital fluency and innovation in the ways your own firm incorporates construction technology goes a long way in instilling confidence that your project will itself be smart, sustainable, on-time and on-budget. From industry standards like BIM, drones and VR to more cutting-edge solutions like digital twins and augmented reality, owners want to see that their contractors are embracing new and more efficient (i.e. more cost effective and safe) ways of working. This is a great way to add further value to work done that could qualify for the Research & Development Tax Credit, available to A/E/C industry companies that design, develop or improve products, processes, methods, techniques, or materials.

What’s more, many of these trophy-class offices work from the ground up with big data, turning the buildings themselves into digital assets. Showing fluency and a collaborative approach to technology really does touch every aspect of how your firm can present itself.

Be Sustainable

Just as sustainability is a cornerstone of the modern luxury resident or hospitality experience, trophy-class buildings tout their own ecological stewardship to win tenants and accolades—especially now with Local Law 97. This starts with the construction project. Showing a robust sustainability record and commitment to sustainable sourcing, waste, ground water and energy usage, as well as ensuring everything is always up to code and will maintain high performance and safety for the life of the building, are all major decision points in bidding on Class A+ work, whether it’s the ground up project or later fit-out work. Additionally, with air quality becoming a long-term post-pandemic concern, high-performing HVAC technology that is also sustainable is a priority for new buildings. Understanding new developments, such as variable refrigerant flow or geothermal energy, can be bonuses in winning bids.

Realistic Cost Planning

Because of the complex nature of these projects and the bar-raising nature of their finished products, their high emphasis on design and quality can mean unexpected costs and delays, whether it’s unforeseen engineering or delivery delays or supply chain issues. Furthermore, there is less precedent for these kinds of projects than there is for Class A, B or C buildings, so effective cost planning and measurement can be a challenge. Your team should be thorough and realistic in estimating costs from the outset, both in terms of setting expectations for your potential clients and for determining if the risks make sense for your firm in the first place.

As technology advances and sustainability becomes more of a driving factor in commercial real estate, trophy-class buildings will continue to set standards for top-tier design, construction and engineering processes. It is important to show how your firm is at the leading edge in this class of project—as well as pick the project where your firm can really shine and win bidding success on future projects.

About the author: Phillip Ross, CPA, CGMA is an Accounting and Audit Partner and Chair of the Construction Industry Group at Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLP. For more construction industry thought leadership and content, log on to www.anchin.com.

Construction NEWS

PHOTO GALLERY

11th Annual CAI Seminar For P.E.s Draws Dozens for CPE Credits

TARRYTOWN, NY—The eleventh annual program entitled “Construction Solutions for Engineering Designs” for professional engineers was held on Oct. 6 at Abigail Kirsch/Tappan Hill Manson here. The program earned the enrolled P.E.s a total of six professional continuing-education credits, according to Mark Fante, chairman of the Construction Advancement Institute of Westchester & The Mid-Hudson Region, Inc., which presented the program.

Attendees earned the professional development/HSW hours from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and those health safety welfare credits are also recognized by the New York State Department of Education for P.E.s, added Mr. Fante, who is vice president of Darante Construction Inc.

The guest experts presenting at the program covered a range of topics, including concrete, groundwater, foundations, legal matters and fireproofing. They were:

Modern Concrete Repair Technology – William Lyons III, FACI, who is National Business Development Manager, North East of The Euclid Chemical Company;

Reducing Engineering Liabilities – Thomas H. Welby, Esq., P.E., of the law firm Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP;

3-D modeling and Steel Design – Michael J. Squarzini, P.E., who is Co-CEO of the engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti;

Subsurface Exploration for Foundation Design & Construction – Alfred H. Brand, P.E., D.GE, who is Technical Specialist at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers;

Construction Dewatering – Matthew Cichetti, P.E., Principal, Cichetti Engineering/Earth Construction Services; and,

Building Compartmentalization Utilizing Fire-Resistive Materials – Jonathan B. Wohl, principal of Wohl Diversified Services.

A new program is now being planned for mid-2022. For more information and registration, contact CAI Program Manager Laurel Brunelle at (914) 631-1033 or laurel@bcanys.org.

LOW BIDS

NYS DOT Awards 10 Contracts For Work in Downstate and H.V.

ALBANY — The New York State Department of Transportation has announced the selection of 10 apparent low bidders for work in the New York City and Hudson Valley regions.

Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc., of Yonkers, NY was the lowest of four bidders at $17,511,000. for Interstate 84 paving between the Bowden Road overpass to Connecticut state line in Dutchess and Putnam counties.

Argenio Brothers Inc. of New Windsor, NY was the lowest of five bidders at $3,877,877.00 for paving on Route 218, West Point Highway, and Old State Road in the Village of Highland Falls and Town of Highlands in Orange County.

DeFoe Corp. of Mount Vernon, NY was the lowest of six bidders at $22,782,601.90 for bridge replacement of Hospital Road over NY Route 27 in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County.

Tully Construction Company Inc. of Flushing, NY was the lowest of five bidders at $43,631,805.00 for pavement resurfacing on I-495 in the towns of Brookhaven & Islip in Suffolk County.

Tully Construction Company Inc. of Flushing, NY was the lowest of five bidders at $41,085,911.50 for 11.36 miles pavement milling and resurfacing, I-495 in the towns of Huntington, Smithtown and Islip in Suffolk County.

Callanan Industries Inc., of Albany, NY was the lowest of three bidders at $7,846,906.04 for paving project: Routes 32, 199 and 209 in the Town of Ulster in Ulster County.

Perfetto Contracting Company Inc. of Brooklyn, NY was the lowest of 17 bidders at $29,512,900. for ramp reconfiguration at the I-95/Pelham Parkway Interchange and construct new exit ramp from Hutchinson River Parkway to Bartow Avenue in Bronx County.

DiFazio Industries LLC of Staten Island, NY was the lowest of 14 bidders at $26,864,770.75 for bridge rehabilitation of Woolley Ave. and Bradley Ave. over the Staten Island Expressway in Staten Island.

Constar Inc. of Central Islip, NY was the lowest of four bidders at $3,647,100.00 for bridge cleaning contract NYSDOT Region 10 in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

E.J. Electric Installation Co. of Long Island City, NY was the lower of two bids at $7,095,000.00 for ITS Field Network System Maintenance and Support throughout New York City in Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond counties.

Obituary

P. Gilbert Mercurio

Longtime Realtor CEO

By JOHN JORDAN

WHITE PLAINS — A man who for more than three decades was a driving force behind the growth and growing respect of the real estate industry in Westchester County, P. Gilbert Mercurio died on Sept. 27 at the age of 78.

He led the Westchester County Board of Realtors and its successor organization the Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors from 1980 through the end of 2011. Mr. Mercurio was well respected in the real estate industry as well as in political and business circles and was called upon by municipal, county, state and federal leaders for his business and economic knowledge and expertise.

In his last year as CEO in 2011 of WPAR, Mr. Mercurio supervised the preparations for the merger of the Westchester-Putnam operations with the Realtor organizations and multiple listing services representing Rockland and Orange counties, creating the 11th largest Realtor association in the USA with more than 9,500 individual members and more than 1,000 Realtor offices. The new entity, Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc., came into existence on Jan. 1, 2012.

Former Westchester County Board of Realtors CEO P. Gilbert Mercurio

Mr. Mercurio also penned an article in Westchester Realtor and its successor publication Real Estate In-Depth entitled “Up Front” for all 31 years of his association with the Westchester County Board of Realtors.

During Mr. Mercurio’s tenure with the WCBR and later WPAR the organizations were particularly instrumental in proposing and successfully advocating for strong consumer protection measures adopted in New York State including mandatory property conditions disclosure, mandatory real estate agency disclosure, higher standards for the licensing and continuing education of real estate licensees and mandatory special training in fair housing practices.

Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors CEO Richard Haggerty said, “He was a true visionary leader and one of the most intelligent and thoughtful individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He was a friend and mentor to countless members as well as staff.” Mr. Mercurio strongly recommended Mr. Haggerty to the Board of Directors back in 2011 to be his successor.

Mr. Mercurio was very active in his Realtor association management profession. He served on many committees of the New York State Association of Realtors including Executive, Finance, and Legislation. He was the founding chairman of the Association Executives Committee of that organization. He was a member of the State and Local Issues Committee of the National Association of Realtors and he held the Omega Tau Rho designation of that organization, signifying exceptional service.

From 1973 to 1980, Mr. Mercurio was Director of Research and Planning for the Westchester County Association and the World Trade Club of Westchester.  Previously he was an urban planner for a private consulting firm as well as the Bergen County and Westchester County Planning Departments, the latter from 1970 to 1973, during which time he worked on and authored parts of the county’s initial master plan titled “Urban Form.” He earned a degree in urban planning from the Columbia University School of Architecture.

Mr. Mercurio had an extensive record of participation in the business and civic life of Westchester County including former service as a Director of the Westchester Housing Fund, Westchester Housing Forum, Westchester Equity Fund, and Westchester Partnership for Economic Development; Chairman of the Urban Centers Task Force of the Westchester 2000 project; President of a White Plains neighborhood association; member of the original County Commission on the Homeless, White Plains Planning Board, Housing Action Council, and White Plains Housing Information Service, among many other organizations. He also served as a trustee of the Westchester County Historical Society.

Mr. Mercurio was born on Aug. 2, 1943. A graduate of Regis High School and Columbia University, he was a 1968 combat veteran of the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He married Sharon Kay Finley in 1970, who survives him. In addition to his wife, he leaves three children, Claudia (Alex), Curtis and Douglas; and five grandchildren.

Services were held on Fri., Oct. 1, at the Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services in White Plains.

Economic Outlook

Despite Commercial Building Decline, Contractors Are Optimistic for 2022

By MICHAEL PATON

The Dodge Momentum Index dropped 3% in August to 148.7 (2000=100) from the revised July reading of 154.0, according to Dodge Data and Analytics. This Momentum Index is a monthly measure of nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. Projects entering the earliest stages of planning have declined following the torrid pace set in the spring.

The decline in August was the third consecutive drop in the Momentum Index, which is now off 14% from the most recent high in May. Since May the commercial component is down 10% and the institutional component is 22% lower. This reversal occurred as prices for 

materials used in nonresidential buildings increased in combination with a shortage of labor and a rising number of new COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant, all working in concert to undermine confidence in the fledgling construction recovery. There were some pockets of strength in August, however, as more data center, education and warehouse projects moved into planning relative to the prior month.

Despite the recent declines in the Momentum Index, it is still too early to call this a retrenchment or a new cyclical downturn. Demand for nonresidential buildings remains weak, but the recent rising number of new COVID cases should not cause the same amount of disruption as previous waves did. As the economy continues to move forward, momentum will return to the construction sector and moderate growth in projects entering planning will return.

Another report, the Civil Quarterly, also from Dodge Data and Analytics, found that most civil contractors are optimistic about the volume of work they expect in 2021 and 2022. Moreover, they anticipate both revenue and profit margin increases for their companies as a result. However, that optimism may be overshadowed by increasing concerns around skilled worker shortages, including an expectation of rising costs for talent and reduced skill levels in the available workforce. The study also finds that the volume of work for civil contractors has already increased, with 40% reporting increases to their backlogs, compared to 25% last quarter. This quarter also marks the second consecutive quarter of growth of backlogs growth to ideal levels after hitting a nadir in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The civil contractors outlook for the near future is also positive, with two-thirds expecting a strong market in the next 12 months. The positive trend continues with more than half of civil contractors expecting increased revenues in the next 12 months, and nearly half anticipating that their profit margins will grow in that same time period. Considering the survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2021, this optimism was likely based on the assumption of the national infrastructure funding bill passing Congress. However, this has led to striking increases in their concerns about finding skilled workers. Sixty percent of contractors say their need to hire skilled workers in the next three months is high, a 17-point jump from the fourth quarter of 2020. When looking at all contractors who will be hiring, including those with more moderate needs for workers, 69% report that they expect a high degree of difficulty in finding workers, up 11 points from the fourth quarter. Yet the biggest concern is the cost of workers, with 81% of civil contractors anticipating the cost of skilled workers to increase.

The current study revealed that when it comes to training efforts, 13% of civil contractors take a minimal approach, while about a third have a strong ongoing training program for new workers as a long-term investment to increase their skills for their company. Yet most recognize the importance of training their field staff in a variety of skills. More than three-quarters consider training on community, leadership and digital skills, along with site-specific safety issues, of moderate to high value for their field staff. The majority (79%) relies on training from supervisors, but over half now take advantage of online training tools as well. Nearly all civil contractors (86%) see the need to draw more workers under 30 years old into the industry, with about two-thirds surveyed believing this younger talent brings different skills, such as the capacity for faster technology adoption and the ability to collaborate digitally, to their projects.

Finally, the study also re-examined the technology adoption trends first featured in the second quarter 2020 report. Even before the pandemic, the use of technology onsite has been an area of growing interest for many contractors. Two particular technologies—equipment tagging and utility detection tech—are a clear standout with notably wider adoption in the first six months of 2021 than in all of 2020. Technology adoption for utility detection and drones has also seen a notable increase as they are now widely accepted and more widely used. However, technology adoption for virtual and augmented reality is still low as they are used by fewer than 10% of contractors. The wider use of onsite technology is important because of the positive impact it can have on productivity, which is the top benefit expected by contractors from their use of these technologies.

About the author: Michael J. Paton is a portfolio manager at Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. He joined Tocqueville in 2004. He manages balanced portfolios and is a member of the fixed-income team. He can be reached at (212) 698-0800 or by email at MPaton@tocqueville.com.

Construction News Back Issues

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

April 2021

May 2021

June 2021

July 2021

August 2021

September 2021

October 2021

November 2021

December 2021

January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

July/August 2019

Labor Issue 2019

October/November 2019

December 2019

Scroll to Top