Slowly and steadily, construction in New York and New Jersey appears to be perking up, with projects progressing as COVID-19 distancing and workplace requirements eased.

The 40 largest projects on the 2022 ENR New York Top Starts list total $10.09 billion, a 65% increase from the $6.17 billion for the top 40 entries on the 2021 index. This year’s list ranks 56 projects costing more than $101 million that broke ground in New York or New Jersey in calendar year 2021. It was compiled using data from Dodge Analytics as well as from submissions by project teams.

Overall, this year’s total is an encouraging sign of progress, but with some way to go before reaching pre-pandemic levels. Two years ago, the 40 largest projects that broke ground in 2019 totaled $16.22 billion. 

Seven of the top 10 entries for 2022 are in the public sector, including transportation, utilities,  environmental and flood control projects.

Topping the list is the $1.27-billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project for the New York City Dept. of Design and Construction. Work involves reconstruction of East River Park in lower Manhattan to improve it for the community while providing sustainable and resilient protection to the area after it was completely flooded by Superstorm Sandy, according to the submission by Iovino Enterprises. The firm is part of the IPC Resiliency Partners joint venture project construction team, which includes MLJ Contracting, Posillico and CAC Industries. 

The project will raise East River Park by about 10 ft to provide flood protection, the entry says. It includes replacement of three pedestrian bridges over the FDR Drive, with all existing park facilities such as the waterfront esplanade and athletic field facilities reconstructed and upgraded. New plantings and landscaping work will also be incorporated. The reconstruction is set to be completed in August 2026.

Warehouses and distribution and logistics center projects also were plentiful on this year’s list as consumers increasingly rely on online shopping.

Amazon accounts for three of those projects: a $410-million warehouse/distribution center in Rochester, N.Y.; a $316-million logistics facility in Maspeth, Queens; and a $125-million distribution center in Hopewell Junction, N.Y.

Ranked at No. 15 is the $228-million Bronx Logistics Center, a multistory industrial warehouse set to be 585,386 sq ft across two full floors, each with its own mezzanine and “about 250,000 sq ft of parking on the roof under a solar array,” says the submission from general contractor ARCO Design/Build Industrial. The logistics center broke ground in September 2021 and is slated to finish in June 2023.