Thursday, August 15, 2013
Contact: Doug Hecox
Federal Highway Officials Help New York-Area Contractors Compete for Work on Kosciuzko Bridge Replacement
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today emphasized the Obama Administration’s commitment to helping disadvantaged businesses enterprises (DBE) in New York City compete for contracts on the Kosciuzko Bridge replacement project. His remarks were made at a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) workshop at Baruch College, held in advance of advertising contracts for the project, to help DBEs identify and compete for the many subcontracting opportunities on this project. The new bridge is estimated to cost $575 million with the federal government funding 90 percent, or $517.5 million of the investment.
“President Obama is counting on us to rebuild America by putting people back to work on transportation projects that can make a difference, and New York’s small businesses are at the heart of this effort,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Putting small and disadvantaged businesses to work replacing the Kosciuzko Bridge and on other projects will help ensure all companies can play a part in an America built to last.”
The Kosciuszko Bridge Replacement represents the New York Works initiative’s largest single infrastructure project. The existing bridge, which opened to traffic in 1939, spans Newtown Creek and connects Greenpoint in Brooklyn and Maspeth in Queens. According to the state, the bridge currently serves more than 160,000 drivers per day, but has been rated as “structurally deficient” for the last 25 years.
“Small business is the lifeblood of the American economy,” said Federal Highway Administrator Mendez. “By helping small and disadvantaged businesses compete, we can create jobs and improve America’s infrastructure more quickly and cost-effectively.”
New York’s workshop is the latest in a series of national forums held to share best practices in achieving DBE goals on major projects. Since 2010, FHWA has hosted similar meetings around the country to focus on opportunities for minority- and women-owned small and disadvantaged businesses. The meetings helped prepare small businesses to compete for federal projects valued, in total, at more than $21 billion.
The new bridge, to be built just east of the existing one, will improve safety by including auxiliary lanes and shoulders, and by using more up-to-date design standards for ramps to and from the bridge. These improvements are expected to reduce crashes on the bridge and help to keep traffic flowing more efficiently. Heavy traffic volume in and around Brooklyn makes this bridge a major traffic chokepoint for one of the East Coast’s most congested cities. Work is expected to begin in January and is expected to be completed by 2018.
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