New York Times, December 29, 2017
The New York Times’ exhaustive story on the city’s subway construction (12/29/2017) reveals an enormously complex issue where critical facts can be lost in the drive to find villains, heroes, and reform. Building and repairing our subways remains highly disciplined work taking place in a dangerous environment and where any construction disruption of a NY neighborhood brings immediate political fallout.
Typical of the obstacles facing those building and restoring these tunnels is the MTA’s barrage of change orders that are issued long after the long after bids have been received and a contractor’s work is underway. These changes not only significantly impact budgets but construction timelines, the vendor supply chain needed to support those changes, and the need to redo work that has already been completed.
While finger pointing offers a catharsis for the frustrated, understanding how conflicting work rules, obsolete government practices and the inherent danger of building these capital projects will reveal a pathway to improving how to build and maintain a mass transit system that moves New York.