New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)in June detailed plans to invest $150 billion in the state’s infrastructure at the Building Trades Employers’ Association’s 115th annual leadership dinner in Manhattan on June 14.  Cuomo spelled out where some of that money will go: $66 billion to upgrade transportation; $32 billion for parks and clean energy projects; and $19 billion to improve school districts. He said the plan would start in January 2019 and take five years.

Noting the Trump administration’s inability to propel action on a promised $1-trillion U.S. infrastructure investment program, Cuomo highlighted projects completed or under way in his current $100-billion investment program. Referring to the now downsized Trump plan, “we doubt our capacity for these long-term projects,” Cuomo said. “We don’t want to commit.”  In New York, he added, “we are getting it done. We are building more construction than this state has ever done.”

Louis J. Coletti, BTEA president and CEO, presented to Cuomo the group’s first Master Builder Award for being a “true champion” of the construction industry.”

Waterfront Cleanup

Staten Island Wetlands

Louis Berger is continuing work on the Saw Mill Creek Pilot Wetland Mitigation Bank project in Staten Island to protect and restore 68 acres, turning marsh into a functional tidal wetland—New York City’s first wetland mitigation bank, the firm says. The New York City Economic Development Corp. says credits from the mitigation bank will be sold to offset waterfront development elsewhere.

Phase 1 of the project is expected to end this fall; the start date for Phase 2 has not been disclosed. As of June, workers had already removed 40,000 cu yd of debris, according to Louis Berger.

Construction Costs

NYC Still Priciest to Build

New York City remains the most expensive place in the world to build, a recent study says. The 2018 International Construction Market Survey released by Turner & Townsend found that the average cost of construction in the city rose 3.5% to $362 per sq ft. For the other top five most expensive cities by square foot, San Francisco averaged $347; Hong Kong, $344; Zurich, $339; and London, $336. The study also found New York hit a new high for worker costs: an average hourly wage of $90.30 for skilled union labor. The same wages averaged $71.40 in North America and $29.90 globally.