New York Construction Report staff writer
New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week announced reforms to streamline the capital process, including the initial recommendations of the Capital Process Reform Task Force and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Blueprint 2022.
“For too long, however, our city has failed to deliver,” said Mayor Adams. “The capital process may seem abstract — but it makes a difference for the elderly person who needs that senior center, the kid who needs the library to access the internet, the essential workers who need well-functioning facilities, and millions more across our city.
The Capital Process Reform Task Force — convened in April 2022 — includes construction contractors, design professionals, labor leaders, and city agencies, including DDC, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the New York City Law Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS), as well as the New York City Comptroller’s Office.
Initial recommendations include improving the project pipeline, streamlining approvals, managing projects more effectively, reforming procurement, and growing the number of New Yorkers who can participate.
“New York City’s future rests — literally, and too often, creakily — on our infrastructure. We can’t allow decade-late sewer and bridge repair or multi-million dollar bathrooms to be the norm,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. “Improving the city’s ability to deliver capital projects on-time and on-budget is essential for an inclusive economic recovery, for public health and safety and mobility, and especially, as the ten-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy reminds us, for a resilient future in the face of climate change.
“That’s why I’ve been fighting for many of these reforms for a decade. Thanks to Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Grillo for making capital projects reform a real priority, and for doing it with a spirit of collaboration. It will take all hands to more efficiently build the future of our city.”
The report recommends expanding the use of expanded work allowance and state legislation to grant permanent authority to use design-build and other alternative project delivery methods.
“The goals we have outlined here are ambitious, calling for nothing less than transformative change,” Commissioner Thomas Foley said in the blueprint report. “Our agency’s success implementing the original Blueprint in a short period of time proves that DDC can take concrete actions that improve project delivery to better serve New Yorkers.
“However, we do recognize that there is still more work to be done: DDC is committed to treating every project and every day, as if it is an emergency. I am responsible and accountable for making this happen and will update you on our progress as we work diligently toward our goals.”