NY/NJ Infrastructure Spotlight SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION A Momentum of Growth By Kate Gawlik A momentum for construction starts and improved infrastructure can be felt across the country. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is leading the charge in his city with the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, which proposes historic investment levels to maintain and modestly expand core infrastructure. The New York Building Congress’ analysis of the budget shows spending at $47 billion in fiscal years 2018–21, which is about $9 billion more than any similar period. Capital commitments are at $64 billion over fiscal years 2018–21, and the City’s Ten-Year Capital Strategy is at $90 billion in new commitments. “We are thrilled at the level of investment in core infrastructure being proposed by the de Blasio Administration,” New York Building Congress President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura says. “With a growing economy, strong private investment and continued population growth, the city is in an enviable position.” The analysis revealed that what’s missing is a system expansion for the New York City Dept. of Transportation. Nonetheless, major projects continue throughout the region, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s massive East Side Access project that brings the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Station. Across the street from Grand Central is One Vanderbilt, which will transform Midtown’s skyline by 2020 with a high-rise office tower, as well as a pedestrian bridge and transit improvements. New York City’s biggest expansion of the subway system in 50 years is of the Second Avenue Subway, with phase one completed on Jan. 1 and funding being determined for the next two phases. In New York City, 2016 was not a year of growth, with Dodge Data & Analytics showing construction starts at $32.2 billion in 2016, a drop of 22% from 2015. However, there is hope that de Blasio’s budget could bring different news in the coming years. “Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary budget is a bold plan to maintain and modestly expand New York City’s core infrastructure,” Scissura says. “These strategic investments include the Department of Transportation’s historic $8.5-billion commitment plan, by far the agency’s largest ever, which provides funding for essential projects, such as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Triple Cantilever. The passage of design-build legislation is critical to enable our industry to efficiently build and renew these vital assets.” ◆ Replacing the Kosciusko Bridge The New York State Dept. of Transportation (NYSDOT) decided to replace in full the aging Kosciuszko Bridge, which carries the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278) over Newtown Creek, connecting Brooklyn and Queens. The design-build contract was awarded to Skanska Kiewit Ecco III Joint Venture (SKE), with HNTB as the design firm. LiRo Engineers Inc. is the onsite quality-control team for SKE during construction, in coordination with NYSDOT and its Director of Construction Bruce Ogurek, PE, and Project Director Robert Adams, PE. At $555 million, the Kosciusko Bridge Replacement is the largest single contract in the history of the NYSDOT and the first cable-stayed bridge in New York City. The overall replacement project will be built in two phases. Phase one includes the construction of a new eastbound bridge and the demolition of the existing bridge. The eastbound bridge is being built adjacent to the existing structure to minimize traffic disruption. It will be wide enough to accommodate both directions of traffic during the demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new westbound bridge. The eastbound bridge is on track to open in early 2017, and the demolition of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge will begin thereafter. The construction of the westbound bridge will take place in phase two of the project and will be administered under a new DOT contract. Construction of the westbound bridge is proposed to begin in spring 2018. LiRo’s services for phase one include oversight and quality control for the new construction of a 1,000-ft cable-stayed main span, approaches, Brooklyn connector ramps, Queens connector ramps, Long Island Expressway ramps, portions of the Meeker Avenue Viaduct, a pedestrian bridge, a bridge drainage system and the demolition of the existing structure. ◆ enr.com/newyork/resources/specialad The Kosciusko Bridge Replacement is the largest single contract in the history of the NYSDOT. N1 | March 20/27, 2017 PHOTO: COURTESY OF LIRO ENGINEERS INC.