New York City could save hundreds of millions of dollars on public construction projects after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation from two Queens lawmakers.
State Senator Leroy Comrie and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein sponsored the NYC Design-Build Act, which will provide city agencies with the power to combine design and construction bids into one contract to eliminate red tape.
“Under my leadership, the state has repeatedly demonstrated the value of design-build, successfully deploying design-build to deliver projects on time and on budget statewide, including in New York City,” Cuomo said in his approval statement.
The state used design-build to replace the dilapidated Kosciuszko Bridge that connects Queens and Brooklyn with the $873 million K-Bridge which opened in August. Cuomo said the project came in under budget and nearly four years ahead of schedule.
“Design-build increases efficiency by enabling the projects owner, designer and builder to closely collaborate from conception to completion and provide crucial time-savings, especially important as we race to build infrastructure New Yorker need to compete in a 21st-century, global economy,” Cuomo added.
Now design-build will finally be available to the city to expedite its own construction projects.
“Design-build means less red tape and more new-and-improved libraries, roads and bridges,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Now we’ll be able to save time and money on critical projects that truly matter to New Yorkers.”
Braunstein said he did not have any specific projects in mind when he and Comrie sponsored the measure.
“Cost savings to the city was the incentive to get this done. You save $300 million than that money can be allocated to other projects,” Braunstein said. “It’s great news for the city of New York and it’s going to speed up the timeline of many projects.”
Design-build could be used by city agencies such as the Department of Design and Construction, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the School Construction Authority, the Parks Department and NYCHA. The Citizens Budget Commission estimates that design-build could save the city $2 billion over 10 years on just bridge projects.