- New York City Department of Transportation officials are urging state lawmakers to let them use the design–build delivery method to overhaul the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, according to the New York Daily News.
- By allowing one company to complete the project using design–build, NYCDOT officials said the 1.5-mile project could be completed two years earlier than scheduled with savings of $300,000.
- The legislation, which must be addressed before the end of the session in a few weeks, would permit eight New York City projects to use design–build.
The expressway has outlived its projected 50-year lifespan by 20 years, and, as an example of how design–build can be successful, city DOT officials point to the $550 million Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens. The state also allowed design–build to be used on the new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a press conference in December to tout it as an on-time and on-budget success.
Earlier this year, Cuomo proposed budget legislation that would permit a wider use of design–build throughout the state, with the exception of New York City, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio pushing for its expansion there as well.
Opponents of the method argue that it could cut unions out of the construction process and that city engineers could also lose their jobs if design is left to a design–build team.
The design–build delivery method is growing in popularity around the country as a way to save money and deliver projects ahead of schedule through collaboration between major design and construction stakeholders from the beginning of the project. Proponents also maintain that it reduces the chance of disagreements and change orders during the construction phase.