2023 NYNJ Infrastructure Forum Agenda

Friday, September 15, 2023

Agenda is still in development and subject to change

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Exhibitor Move In
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Attendee Check In, Breakfast & Networking
9:00 AM - 9:10 AM
Welcome Address
Scott Blair, Editor-in-Chief, ENR
Jan Tuchman, Executive Editor, Events, ENR
9:10 AM - 9:25 AM
Opening Address: Excelsior—New York Infrastructure for the Next Era
Kathryn Garcia, Director of State Operations and Infrastructure, Office of NY Governor Kathy Hochul
New York's economic foundation is its regional infrastructure network—from roads and bridges to trains and barges to ports and broadband. Governor Hochul has made an unprecedented commitment to modernize New York State's infrastructure and invest in projects that promote equity, connectivity, and multi-modal transportation opportunities for communities across the state, both in partnership with the federal government and through nation-leading capital investments in the State’s Budget. Director Garcia will highlight and share updates on key transformative projects, including the Gateway tunnels, Penn Station reconstruction, Penn Access, I-81, and broadband expansion.
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: The Chief Engineer’s View
Rizwan Baig, Chief Engineer, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
The Port Authority is a leading driver of the bistate economy, with a critical mission to provide a 21st century multimodal travel and transportation experience that also reduces environmental impact and is sustainable. Agency Chief Engineer Rizwan Baig will outline details of its $37-billion,10-year capital plan to keep the region moving by air, land, rail and sea—including major new initiatives in electrification and decarbonization and innovation in project delivery, equity and future mobility. The Port Authority plans infrastructure that is adaptable for future transportation modes such as driverless vehicles and eVTOL while achieving carbon neutrality and net-zero-emissions goals. He also will present a regional vision to develop a future workforce that can balance traditional project execution skills with use of the most advanced technologies.
10:05 AM - 10:35 AM
Reconnecting, Resilience and Replacements: New York State DOT Ramps Up
Richard D. Wilder, PE, Deputy Chief Engineer Design & Director, Office of Design New York State Department of Transportation
From replacing Civil War-era freight bridges to revving up creation of an electric vehicle network, the New York State Dept. of Transportation is accelerating a $32.8-billion capital program that prioritizes reconnecting communities, rehabilitating crucial links and improving sustainability and resilience. Richard Wilder will outline the agency's ambitious goals, bolstered by a historic influx of federal funding, to create a New York State of mindful construction.
10:40 AM - 11:10 AM
Program Presentation: What Energy Transition Means to New York and the Region
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)
From its nation-leading goal to have 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 to new transmission infrastructure projects underway to carry clean energy to more users and ambitious efforts to decarbonize its transportation and building stock, New York state’s clean energy transition will involve commitment, coordination, and public-private partnership to address climate change head on. Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA president and CEO, will share how her agency and others in the state and region are tackling this key mission that includes major opportunities to develop needed regional infrastructure and its workforce and supply chain.
11:10 AM - 11:40 AM
Networking Break
11:40 AM - 12:30 PM
Panel Discussion No Time to Waste: Building Capacity for Climate Change Resilience
ModeratorEdgar Westerhof, VP and Director of Climate Adaptation, Arcadis Panelists:Michael DeSena, Senior Civil Engineer, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, Newark, N.J.
Robyn Colosimo, Deputy Assistant, Secretary of the Army (Project Planning and Review)
Thu-Loan Dinh, P.E. Assistant Commissioner New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC)
The impacts of climate change – those expected in the coming decades and those already manifesting-- demand swift and effective action for communities that will be most affected. Resilience projects envisioned along the New York and New Jersey coasts and waterways are set to generate billions of dollars of work over the next decade as the region prepares for what is to come. Thought-leaders and decisionmakers from the government, private and non-profit sectors who are involved in protecting the region from storms and other climate extremes will discuss programs in motion that will keep the two states safe and resilient.
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Networking Lunch
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Program Presentation: Toward the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project
James A. Morrison, Chief Technology Officer, Gateway Development Commission
The plan to build a pair of 4.5-mile new rail tunnels under the Hudson River for the first time in more than a century, and fully rehabilitate the existing tunnels, is now moving forward. Hear from James Morrison, the new chief technical officer of the Gateway Development Commission, about how his team plans to address technical challenges and structure and administer procurement packages in a way that's both attractive to competition and can meet schedule and budget on the overall $16.1-billion project.
2:05 PM - 2:30 PM
Project Presentation Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Investments
Laura Mason, Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery, Amtrak
Amtrak has ambitious plans to modernize, upgrade and expand the Northeast Corridor in New York and New Jersey for a new era of intercity passenger rail travel. As Amtrak continues to grow into a new role as builder of U.S. rail infrastructure, Laura Mason, Executive Vice President for Capital Delivery, will highlight key projects working through the design and procurement pipeline including East River Tunnel Rehabilitation, Sawtooth Bridges Replacement, Dock Bridge Rehabilitation, and other regional priorities.
2:35 PM - 3:05 PM
Program Presentation: Building Resilience in New York City
Rohit T. Aggarwala, NYC Chief Climate Officer and Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection
New York City’s response to climate change risk is focused on developing the institutions and physical infrastructure necessary to improve its resilience to more intense storms and to reduce carbon emissions. Rohit “Rit” Aggarwala, the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and also NYC’s first Chief Climate Officer, will update the forum audience on the steps DEP has taken to streamline procurement and accelerate the delivery of major resilience and water/wastewater infrastructure projects, and his dual responsibilities that include overseeing citywide climate policy and the country’s largest water and wastewater utility.
3:05 PM – 3:35 PM
Networking Break
3:35 PM - 4:05 PM
Program Presentation: Champlain Hudson Power Express Energizes NYC
Gene Martin, President, Champlain Hudson Power Express
This $6-billion, 339-mile buried transmission line, privately developed by Blackstone portfolio company Transmission Developers Inc. and set to extend from the Canada border to New York City, will be the largest such underground-underwater high-voltage project ever developed and built in North America when in service by 2026. TDI President Gene Martin will update conferees on work now underway statewide on a key project to deliver 1,250 MW of clean hydropower, cut carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons statewide and boost local economies while reducing emissions impacts to environmental justice communities.
4:05 PM - 4:55 PM
Program Presentation: Working in Uncertain Times—Managing New Levels of Project Risk
Moderator: Jamey Barbas, Project Director, Mario Cuomo Bridge, New York State Thruway Authority; Commissioner, Gateway Development Commission; Member, Board of Directors, MTA Panelists Jamie Torres-Springer, President, MTA Construction & Development
Michael Taylor, Head of Ports, Equinor US Renewables
Kent Herzog, Managing Director, Northeast, 1898 & Co., Burns & McDonnell
Joe Cazares, Program Management Specialist, Jacobs
Construction professionals are facing unprecedented project risks—from supply-chain bottlenecks to interest rate hikes and inflation. The impacts are already being felt as project prices shift dramatically, contender bid lists shrink and some work is scaled back or delayed. How will growing pressures—which come just as the region is absorbing a massive influx of federal funding—change project management dynamics? Risk management experts across the project spectrum will outline what’s happening, and how agency and industry participants can deliver the best possible outcomes.
4:55 PM
Closing Remarks
Scott Blair, Editor-in-Chief, ENR