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A new Rasmussen Report national poll shows that 88 percent of both Democrat and Republican likely voters support legislation that would improve the nation’s infrastructure. The poll was conducted… More >>
A new Rasmussen Report national poll shows that 88 percent of both Democrat and Republican likely voters support legislation that would improve the nation’s infrastructure. The poll was conducted for the American Road and Transportation Builders and the American Public Transit Association. The GCA plays an active leadership role in both organizations.
The poll also provided insights on why support for a broad infrastructure initiative is so strong. Ninety-six percent of those surveyed agreed “improving infrastructure like our roads, bridges, public transit, water systems and the power grid” is either “very important” (62 and 64 percent) or “somewhat important” (34 and 32 percent) to both “future U.S. economic growth” and “the quality of life of our children and grandchildren.”
New York sent an estimated $24.1 billion more in tax payments to Washington than it got back in federal spending in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017, getting back 90 cents for every dollar, according… More >>
New York sent an estimated $24.1 billion more in tax payments to Washington than it got back in federal spending in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017, getting back 90 cents for every dollar, according to a report released October 17 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. In 2017, New York was one of just 11 states that sent more to Washington than it received. Only New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut fared worse while New Mexico fared the best.
DiNapoli’s report, a follow-up to analyses released in 2015 and 2017, shows federal spending in New York during FFY 2017 totaled $225.7 billion while the state sent Washington nearly $250 billion. Federal spending in New York included $140.5 billion in direct payments for individuals through programs such as Social Security and Medicare; $66.5 billion in grants; $11 billion in procurements; and $7.4 billion in wages and salaries.
While New York received 10 cents less per dollar of taxes, most states received more than they paid. The average return for all states was $1.19 per tax dollar sent to Washington. New York’s per capita contribution to the federal treasury, $12,588, was the fourth highest among the states. Connecticut had the highest per capita payments to the federal government at $14,671, followed by Massachusetts with $13,675 and New Jersey with $12,970. Mississippi generated the lowest per capita total tax payments at $5,884. New York’s total payments of nearly $250 billion ranked third among the states behind California and Texas.
Overall, New York state received 6 percent of total federal spending examined. The state generated 8 percent of $3.1 trillion in total federal tax revenue examined, which was higher than its shares of the U.S. population (6.1 percent) and of the nation’s personal income (7.4 percent). On a per capita basis, federal tax revenues from New York state were more than 30 percent higher than the national average.
On October 17 TRIP released a new report showing that driving on deteriorated roads costs motorists as much as $1,049 annually. In the New York City metro area, 49% of roads are in poor condition.More >>
On October 17 TRIP released a new report showing that driving on deteriorated roads costs motorists as much as $1,049 annually. In the New York City metro area, 49% of roads are in poor condition.
The new TRIP report should be a wakeup call to New York’s congressional delegation. On their watch, the New York City metro area dropped to 8th worst nationally – down from 19th worst in 2016 – with 46% of our roads now in poor condition.
We urge all our members and the public to call on Congress to ensure a sustainable source of funding for the Federal Highway Trust Fund by increasing the gas tax. The gas tax has not changed since 1993 and is no longer generating enough revenue to support our roads.
To read the full trip report go to www.tripnet.org.
At an industry breakfast on Wednesday, August 8th, MTA Chairman Lhota announced that he would focus on making a series of “practical changes” to the way the MTA procures and builds i… More >>
At an industry breakfast on Wednesday, August 8th, MTA Chairman Lhota announced that he would focus on making a series of “practical changes” to the way the MTA procures and builds its capital projects.
“There is no reason why our projects here in New York have to be more expensive than projects elsewhere,” he said, citing “inefficiency, bureaucracy, inaccuracy, and lack of accountability on the part of the Authority in building a number of its major projects, something that not only bogged down projects, but added time and cost to the bottom line.
The changes he proposed were all based on constructive recommendations that the GCA has presented to the MTA not only over the past year, but as part of a number of working groups over the past few years.
Lhota committed to looking at how to better scope projects up front, and how to better allocate risk, which he said had been shifted too heavily on the backs of contractors and therefore drove up their project costs. He also pledged to offer fairer contract terms, reduce customization, and reduce the number of approvals for change orders by 80%, from 17 today, to 4. Lhota also acknowledged that liquidity is critically important for the contracting community and said the MTA will start allowing partial payment for invoices as part of a larger effort to make sure that contractors who do the work get paid in a timely fashion.
Following the announcement, GCA Immediate Past President Michael Viggiano served on a panel that discussed the new approaches. “Unfortunately, leadership is a little transient. It is based on the political cycle, and a lot of the workforce in the MTA has been there for a very long time,” he said. “As contractors, we are…worried that they are going to look at this as another leadership initiative, a flavor of the week, and nothing is really going to change.”
The concern was reinforced in a release by GCA Executive Director, Denise Richardson, who said: “MTA Chairman Lhota’s announcement today about making ‘practical changes’ to the way the MTA builds projects are all positive developments that the General Contractors Association of NY (GCA) has been talking to the MTA about since 2007. Balancing risk, fairer contract terms, reducing customization and change orders must be embraced at every level of the organization, not just at the leadership level. We trust that Chairman Lhota will make sure that everyone up – and down – the chain gets the message, loud and clear – the MTA is changing the way it does business.”
Rep. Bill Shuster, Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I), who is retiring from Congress this fall, released a draft infrastructure proposal this past week. Initially in… More >>
Rep. Bill Shuster, Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I), who is retiring from Congress this fall, released a draft infrastructure proposal this past week. Initially intended to be a bi-partisan concrete legislative counter to the President’s $1.5 infrastructure initiative introduced earlier this year, Shuster’s plan is more symbolic in nature given that he is its only sponsor and since he is not planning any hearings on it for the remainder of his term. Shuster himself characterized it as a “discussion draft that does not represent a complete and final infrastructure bill.”
Despite the fact that it will not go anywhere legislatively this session, the draft is nonetheless being considered by many in Washington as a partial blueprint for how Congress might approach the infrastructure issue next session. In that regard, the GCA is pleased that a number of the issues we have pressed the administration and Congress to include in an infrastructure package are actually included in Shuster’s proposal. The biggest of those issues has been the looming 2020 insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund (HF) which provides the federal share of virtually all the highway and transit projects our members build in the region. Shuster suggests new funding streams that would prevent such a debacle.
Specifically, the proposal would:
The GCA will continue to press our issues when the new Congress convenes next year and overall will hope that many of the ideas contained in this proposal will be included.
The outline of the plan can be found at: https://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/section_by_section_.pdf
City and State’s Queens Power 50 list counted down the 50 most influential people in the borough. The GCA congratulates Michael Viggiano, Executive Vice President at Skanska USA Civil Northeast… More >>
City and State’s Queens Power 50 list counted down the 50 most influential people in the borough. The GCA congratulates Michael Viggiano, Executive Vice President at Skanska USA Civil Northeast, and past president of the GCA, who clocked in at number 26 on the Queens Power 50 List.
Michael Viggiano started out at Skanska in 1993 as a field engineer, and now oversees its operations from Boston to Washington, D.C. Skanska’s projects have transformed Queens, from rebuilding the Rockaway Boardwalk after Superstorm Sandy to building ferry landings on the peninsula, and overseeing the first span of the Kosciuszko Bridge, which opened last year. With its headquarters in the Bulova Building in East Elmhurst, a Skanska-led consortium is also doing the $4 billion rebuild of Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport.
On July 20th, Governor Cuomo announced the completion of Superstorm Sandy restoration work at Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown Tunnels. Thanks to the professionalism and expertise of GCA… More >>
On July 20th, Governor Cuomo announced the completion of Superstorm Sandy restoration work at Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown Tunnels. Thanks to the professionalism and expertise of GCA members the projects were completed more than nine months ahead of schedule!
The two restoration projects completely overhauled the interiors and exteriors of both tunnels – which were severely damaged by salt water from the storm surge – to improve resiliency, maximize public safety and ease traffic flow. Long-term mitigation measures include installation of massive 50,000-pound steel flood fates at all tunnel portals against a FEMA 500-year flood event – four feet higher than the Sandy historic storm surge – as well as refurbished entryways.
The projects also included several critical public safety enhancements, such as the installation of situational awareness and security cameras at each tunnel entrance and fixed cameras for traffic monitoring and incident management.
On June 5th, GCA Executive Director, Denise Richardson joined a prestigious group of New Yorkers at a symposium sponsored by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) to discuss how New York … More >>
On June 5th, GCA Executive Director, Denise Richardson joined a prestigious group of New Yorkers at a symposium sponsored by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) to discuss how New York infrastructure investment helps create solid middle class jobs.
The panel, moderated by NY 1 News’ Reporter Errol Louis, included representatives from the Brookings Institute, RBC Capital Markets, AECOM, and the MTA Board.
While the need for increased federal, state, and local infrastructure investment was topic number one, panelists agreed that equally important was how we prepare the workforce to be able to efficiently address the region’s need to upgrade aging subway signals, century-old water mains, and bring more of its bridges, schools, libraries, and public housing buildings into a state of good repair.
Workforce training, such as that provided by the GCA through mentoring, apprenticeship programs, scholarships and internships, is essential, but more needs to be done at more basic levels to provide potential employees with fundamental math, reading and writing skills so they can excel in the industry,” said Richardson. “Our schools must do a better job from pre-school on up, so that by the time we hire new employees, they are better prepared to compete in the workplace.”
The GCA co-hosted the New York Road and Infrastructure Coalition’s Annual 2018 Congressional Delegation Reception in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 17th. T… More >>
The GCA co-hosted the New York Road and Infrastructure Coalition’s Annual 2018 Congressional Delegation Reception in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 17th. This year’s event was dedicated to the late Dr. James Melius who served as NYRIC’s President and who was a fixture at the event, having emceed it for more than the last 10 years. Dr. Melius was the Administrator of the NY State Laborer’s Health and Safety Trust Fund and Administrator and Treasurer of the NY State Laborers’ Political Action Committee.
GCA Officers Art Corwin (Moretrench) and Jesse Ottesen (Weeks Marine) joined GCA Executive Director Denise Richardson and colleagues from the Associated General Contractors of New York, Long Island Contractors Association, Construction Industry Council of Westchester & the Hudson Valley, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, the NYS Laborers, the Empire State District Council of Carpenters, the Operating Engineers, the Teamsters and other industry colleagues in welcoming over half of the 27 members of the New York Delegation. Every corner of the State was represented by those Members of Congress in attendance who shared their perspectives on the status of federal transportation and infrastructure policy and funding.
The event is always a highlight of the GCA’s ongoing legislative advocacy efforts in Washington, and the good news from the Delegation this year was that federal transportation and water resource dollars included in the recently passed Omnibus Appropriation bill were at record highs.