- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week presented his fiscal year 2021 budget, which brings state investment in transportation infrastructure and other state-funded construction projects to $275 billion when adding in a new five-year, $175 billion infrastructure plan to the $100 billion of projects he introduced in 2016. Cuomo said this was the largest such plan in U.S. history.
- The 2021 budget will also help support previously announced projects like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $51.5 billion capital plan; the $12 billion New York DOT's capital plan; the New York State Thruway's electronic tolling program; the $11 billion Gateway Tunnel replacement project connecting New York and New Jersey; and the $13 billion John F. Kennedy International Airport modernization program.
- Cuomo has made the efficient management of state-funded agencies and authorities a linchpin of his infrastructure investment plan. Measures to streamline agency functions and eliminate waste include expanding design-build authorization and establishing a capital projects database that promotes transparency and encourages agencies to complete capital projects on schedule with maximum cost savings.
The $175 billion plan includes:
- $87 billion for surface transportation, including bridges and tunnels
- $35 billion for environmental facilities and parks
- $11 billion for economic and community development projects
- $9 billion for affordable, high-quality housing
- $19 billion for school construction
- $14 billion for improvement and maintenance of state college, healthcare and other facilities
As part of the updated infrastructure plan, Cuomo identified specific new projects that the state will pursue. Those are:
- A flood risk reduction and resiliency program that focuses on optimizing culvert and dam size, restoring wetlands and natural flood plains and preserving open space
- Integration of the Erie Canal and the Empire State Trail in order to promote tourism and improve communities along the canal
- Olympic Regional Development Authority capital improvements to restore the Olympic facilities in and around Lake Placid, New York, which hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games
- Various economic and revitalization initiatives throughout the state.
Cuomo is a big fan of using the design-build method of delivering major capital projects. In fact, the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, officially named the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in honor of his father, was carried out as a design-build project.
Cuomo also recently signed off on legislation that will allow New York City agencies to realize the same time and cost savings as the bridge by using design-build for projects that reach a certain cost threshold.