Gov. Cuomo provides design-build expansion — but not in NYC

Streamlined bidding could benefit NY projects seeking federal dollars

Andrew Cuomo, Bill de Blasio and the Brooklyn- Queens Expressway (Credit: Getty Images)
Andrew Cuomo, Bill de Blasio and the Brooklyn- Queens Expressway (Credit: Getty Images)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal could give New York a leg up when competing for federal infrastructure dollars, thanks to a proposal to streamline the bidding process for big projects. So long as the project isn’t in New York City, that is.

The legislation, which would expand the use of design-build among state agencies, would not apply to the procurement process by New York City agencies, which are undertaking large projects such as the $1.7 billion repair of a section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

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Design-build — which requires builders and designers to bid together on jobs — can save time, limit future disagreements and hold bidders accountable for cost and time overruns. The concept differs from traditional processes, in which big projects are bid to designers first, followed by construction firms.

Expanding the use of design-build is “critical” these days, “particularly as President Trump is talking about a trillion-dollar infrastructure program that is going to rely heavily on public-private partnerships and efficient construction,” Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, told Crain’s.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to introduce a separate design-build bill as he’s done in the past; but previous bills have failed to gain traction among Upstate lawmakers. [Crain’s] E.B. Solomont

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