The New York Building Congress has released its 2016 Policy Agenda, which focuses on advancing a few high-priority goals in Albany and City Hall.
At the State level, the Building Congress endorses the extensive program of major public works proposed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The list of projects includes:
- A fully-funded, $29 billion MTA capital plan.
- A $22 billion, five-year capital plan for New York's DOT.
- Facilitating the Amtrak Gateway Project, including providing up to $5 billion in funding.
- Reconstruction of the Penn Station/Moynihan Station Complex.
- Master plans for LaGuardia and JFK Airports, including construction of a new AirTrain connection to LaGuardia Airport.
- Construction of a new, third track along the Long Island Rail Road main line.
The Building Congress will urge the State to advance these projects this year, including ensuring funding is in place for the MTA and DOT capital programs. The State must also capitalize on the significant progress made last year toward organizing and funding the Amtrak Gateway Program, an effort to construct new commuter rail tunnels under the Hudson River and, eventually, to enlarge Penn Station with new train platforms.
The Building Congress, in conjunction with other industry organizations, will continue efforts to pass the New York State Emergency Responder Act, which reduces the risk faced by building industry firms responding to natural and man-made disasters. The bill addresses an industry crisis following the events of 9/11 after billions of dollars of liability lawsuits threatened the existence of several firms involved in the cleanup of the World Trade Center site. The industry's ability to assist during Superstorm Sandy was subsequently diminished in the face of concerns about similar threats of liability.
At the City level, the Building Congress will undertake a new Capital Budget Campaign, focused on improving the City's capital strategy, as record levels of private development, population growth and employment place unprecedented stress on the City's aging infrastructure.
The Budget Campaign staff will study and make recommendations for ways the City can better maintain and expand its physical assets. The Campaign will focus on three key areas:
- Improve procurement and project delivery;
- Enhance and dedicate new funding to the capital program; and
- Create a more transparent budget planning process to help allocate resources more effectively.
The Building Congress will also advocate legislation expanding application of project delivery methods like design-build construction and public private partnerships at both the State and local levels.
"Both the Governor and the Mayor have shown a firm commitment to infrastructure investment during their tenures," said Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson. "But we have to do still more to ensure the City is able to accommodate the historic growth and investment now taking place. Nor can we forget the new demands presented by climate change."
"For a city the size and age of New York, infrastructure needs will always outpace government's ability to keep up," added Mr. Anderson. "That is why our Agenda is focused on ways the City and State can redouble their efforts, first by following through on the ambitious plans proposed by the Governor, and second, by finding new and creative ways to plan, execute, and pay for public works."
Link here to view the full Policy Agenda.