MTA looking to scale back construction costs on Second Avenue subway, other projects

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is looking to curb exorbitantly high construction costs that have crippled its ability to expand its network of subways and railroads.

MTA projects were often far more expensive than similar work in other cities around the world. Real estate executive and MTA board member Scott Rechler, likened the problem to the city’s high crime rates in the 1990s — a crisis that is crippling the health and growth of the region, according to AM New York. But, Rechler has a proposed solution.

The solution would be cultivated over six months and would require the buy-in of not just the MTA, but also lawmakers and unions involved in the regulation of the agency’s bureaucracy and in building the projects themselves.

Rechler – who led the board’s task force to address what he described as a completely “broken” system used to deliver big projects like the $4.5 billion first phase of the Second Avenue subway and the now $11 billion East Side Access – outlined several steps the agency has pledged to pursue, including the creation of a uniform, simpler contract that can be issued for every type of project and the establishment of a “project CEO” for each major construction who could make fast decisions and be held accountable if something goes wrong.

Rechler said the next phase includes work with MTA’s partners in labor to look at the legislative  and regulatory elements – things that are outside of the MTA’s control.

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