Press Release Archive

From the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli

Contact: Brian Butry, 518-474-4015
For release: Immediately, May 15, 2013

DiNAPOLI: TOWNS CAN BETTER MONITOR ASPHALT PROJECTS


Towns in New York tracked the accuracy of asphalt pricing for local roadway projects, but they need to do a better job of ensuring that paving materials match project specifications, according to an audit of ten towns across the state released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"Towns spend tens of millions of dollars to build and maintain roads in our communities," DiNapoli said. "Town officials need to put safeguards in place to ensure public funds are being used prudently. This includes verifying that project costs are accurate and supported, and that both the quantity and the quality of materials are consistent with bid specifications. Overall, the towns in our audit were managing road projects well but some improvements are needed."

"We thank Comptroller DiNapoli for his response to our industry's request for an audit of local municipal controls regarding the manufacture, delivery and installation of asphalt," said Marc Herbst, executive director the Long Island Contractors' Association. "While it may appear counter-intuitive for an industry to call for greater scrutiny of itself, we believe greater standardization and uniformity of practices and procedures will create both taxpayer savings and a more level playing field thereby improving industry competitiveness."

DiNapoli's auditors examined the towns of Brookhaven, East Hampton, Guilderland, Islip, Pittsford, Salina, Shelter Island, Southold, Thompson and Union. Auditors selected a sample of 26 asphalt paving projects and found each municipality had implemented adequate controls to ensure that they received the correct amount of hot mix asphalt (HMA) at the contract price.

While each town had procedures to verify the price and quantity of the HMA received, only Brookhaven and Islip obtained the job mix formula and daily batch reports as part of their routine monitoring. Officials in the remaining eight towns said they believed that their knowledge of the asphalt vendor, the presence of a town official at the job site and other current monitoring procedures were sufficient to ensure vendors delivered the right product for the road asphalt projects.

The audit also examined the use of core sample testing to assess whether the composition of HMA matched contract specifications. These tests are considered an effective method for monitoring not only the type, composition and quality of the HMA material used, but also its depth and compaction on the road surface. Four of the towns reviewed did not include core sample testing provisions in their contracts. Of the six towns that included provisions for core sampling, only Brookhaven and Islip actually exercised the provision and required sampling.

In addition, eight of the towns reviewed certified payrolls, as required by law, to ensure that contractors' employees on town projects were paid wage rates consistent with prevailing wage rates for their classification of employment.

DiNapoli recommends town officials:
  • Obtain the job mix formula and the daily batch reports from the asphalt vendor to help ensure that the HMA received is what the town contractually agreed to purchase;
  • Revise contract bid specifications to include an option for obtaining core samples so they can be assured HMA products they receive matches the contract specifications;
  • Exercise the option to obtain core samples to ensure that the HMA product matches the contract specifications; and
  • Obtain and review certified project payrolls as required by law.
The towns collectively agreed with the audit's findings and recommendations and plan to implement corrective action. Their responses are included in the final report.

For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2013/asphaltmonitoring/global.pdf

For copies of letters sent to individual towns visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2013/asphaltmonitoring/global.htm

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2013
Contact: Chris Schneider, (516) 882-0630

SENATOR FUSCHILLO: FINAL STATE BUDGET SHOULD INCLUDE
$100 MILLION INCREASE IN HIGHWAY FUNDS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS


Aid Increase, Which Would be the First Since 2008, Was Included in the Senate's Budget Resolution

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee, today called for a $100 million increase in state highway aid to local governments to be included in the 2013-14 state budget. The $100 million aid increase, which would enable localities to increase investment in road and bridge improvement projects, was included in the recently adopted Senate Budget Resolution that outlines the Senate's proposal for the state budget.

The Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) provides state funds to municipalities to support the construction and repair of roads, highways, bridges, and other facilities that are not part of the State highway system. CHIPS funding has been frozen in the last four state budgets and was proposed to be frozen again as part of the Executive's budget proposal.

With the $100 million CHIPS funding increase, local governments would receive a total of over $463 million in CHIPS funding for local infrastructure projects.

"On behalf of our organization's more than 900 elected and appointed transportation professionals, who maintain over half of the state's roads, we strongly support the efforts of Senator Fuschillo and the State Senate to increase local highway funding," said William Weller, Highway Superintendent for the Town of Florida and President of the NYS Association of Town Highway Superintendents of Highways (NYSAOTSOH). Superintendent Weller also noted that a 2007 study conducted by NYSAOTSOH reported New York State needs to invest an additional $1.2 billion per year on local roads and bridges to prevent them from becoming deficient.

"We appreciate the strong support of Chairman Fuschillo for providing the necessary level of funding for these local transportation infrastructure investments especially at a time when local highway departments are facing substantial losses in federal highway aid as a result of the new federal transportation program, MAP-21," said William Wright, President of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association and Ontario County Highway Superintendent. "The Senator and many of his colleagues have long recognized the broad challenges county highway departments face in fixing and preserving their vast local systems of roads and bridges, much of which is over 50 years old and suffering from a lack of funding. We're glad we have them as partners and are hopeful that the final state budget will reflect these critical needs."

"We know that sound roads are critical to a sound economy. There are so many roads under local jurisdiction, this funding is essential to keeping goods and consumers moving, supporting local and regional commerce. Further, our infrastructure workforce is underemployed and our qualified vendors and their equipment are underutilized, so this CHIPS funding would be particularly timely and effective in providing local jobs and revenue. Because local municipalities are often more facile in issuing bids and authorizing work, the impact of CHIPS funding will have a more immediate effect on our economy," said Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors' Association.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788

Marc Herbst 631 231-5422
For immediate release

Turning a cautionary eye to a weekend of Tropical Storm Sandy
Long Island contractors begin to ready equipment and staff



Following discussions with WABC-7's Bill Evans who reports that Tropical Storm Sandy could pummel the northeast by Sunday evening the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) has put their members on notice that they need to begin to implement their recovery assistance plans that would put a fleet of payloaders, dump trucks, chain saws, and more at the disposal of hard hit municipalities.

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst stated, "This coordinated response builds on past practices to lease heavy equipment to government in the event of a hurricane, nor'easter, blizzard or similar disaster. Hurricanes and tropical storms ignore municipal jurisdictions. How, when and who gets these types of construction equipment to clear paths, gain access for emergency vehicles and utility repair crews must be coordinated among those who have access to the `big picture' in the event of a major storm. By coordinating the allocation of these limited but crucial assets we can ensure that we can recover faster from major damage."

WABC 7's Meteorologist Dr. Bill Evans noted, "There are half a dozen viable computer models that are being applied to the track of this storm and it is far too early to say with certainty which one will prove to be accurate. One of them would create genuine havoc in the northeast. If your role is to prepare, withstand and recover from severe weather this would be a good time to start implementing your contingency plan."

LICA President James Pratt explained, "Following our participation in a severe weather summit hosted by WABC 7 this summer the one word that everyone took away is `preparedness.' Without a viable plan in place and one that you are prepared to implement there is no way you can adequately respond to the potential for enormous damage following a storm. And those storms have become far more intense over the last several years. As a result, it is LICA's is issuing a weather bulletin to its members who, collectively, own and operate some three quarters of a billion dollars worth of equipment."

A note of caution about equipment availability

Herbst cautions that some private equipment normally available to the Nassau and Suffolk Offices of Emergency Preparedness will not be there. "There has simply not been the level of infrastructure work let by municipalities over the past several years. As a result, some of the equipment that could be repositioned from existing job sites to cope with a storm has been sold, put into cold storage or not maintained. As a result there is a potential shortage of usually available assets."

President of Operating Engineers Local 138, Mr. Bill Duffy, Jr., stated, "Our members who operate the equipment needed to get the job done are ready to be mobilized. We are just awaiting the word to 'go' and the track of Tropical Storm Sandy."

Contact: Nick Goldstein
Beth McGinn
202-289-4434
June 28, 2012

Stricter EPA Soot Standards Could Put Transportation Projects in Jeopardy,
ARTBA State Chapter Executive Tells House Subcommittee


(WASHINGTON)--Stricter standards for particulate matter (PM) or soot proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could endanger transportation improvements by placing federal highway funds in jeopardy, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) today told members of Congress.

Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) and chairman of ARTBA's Council of State Executives, explained that EPA's proposed new standards come at a time when counties are still struggling to comply with existing regulations.

The proposed regulation "creates a counterproductive cycle where new standards delay needed improvements to the nation's highway and bridge network, which has already reached 'critical mass' in terms of being able to serve the needs of our citizens and economy," Herbst explained.

He went on to describe the impact of EPA's proposal noting, "States and counties need predictability and time to develop transportation plans which achieve PM reduction and create jobs. Adding a new layer of requirements on top of existing standards that have not been fully implemented only complicates these ongoing efforts. Specifically, existing projects deemed to be in compliance with the Clean Air Act when first undertaken could be thrown out of compliance if new standards are approved, exposing project owners to costly, time-consuming litigation."

Herbst also explained how EPA's actions are counterproductive to current efforts to reauthorize the federal surface transportation program, saying, "It is ironic that members of both chambers and parties have made streamlining the environmental review and approval process for transportation projects a priority of the transportation bill, yet few talk about how EPA's PM proposal will severely disrupt the very process they are trying to make more effective."

Today's testimony builds on many years' worth of regulatory comments, legislative efforts and litigation by ARTBA on the subject of EPA Clean Air Act standards. ARTBA will continue to work towards a regulatory system that allows the nation to make progress towards cleaner air without sacrificing the ability to pursue desperately needed transportation improvements vital to our economy, public health and safety.

For 20 years, ARTBA has been the transportation design and construction industry's primary regulatory advocate. In just the past five years alone, ARTBA has presented the industry's views to federal agencies more than 100 times on a variety of issues.

The full text of ARTBA's oral and written testimony can be found in the "regulatory affairs" section of www.artba.org. For more information, contact:
Samantha Slater, 202-225-3335
Samantha.Slater@mail.house.gov

Rep. Isreal Calls for Passage of Transportation Bill & Much-Needed Infrastructure Investment


As Memorial Day Kicks off summer driving season, more than 30 million Americans expected to travel by car this weekend.

Jericho, NY — Today, Congressman Steve Isreal (D-Huntington) called on Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill, which would provide funding for necessary road-safety improvements across Long Island. Rep. Israel was joined by Marc Herbst, Chairman of the Council of State Executives for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors Association. The transportation legislation is currently stalled. The version of the bill proposed by the Republican-controlled House would destroy 550,000 American jobs, bankrupt the Highway Trust Fund, and cut transportation investment in 45 states, including New York. The bi-partisan Senate bill is estimated to save 1.8 million jobs and create up to 1 million more.

Rep. Israel said, "With Memoria Day upon us and thousands of Long Islanders traveling this weekend, I'm urging my colleagues in Congress to stop the gridlock and pass a long-term transportation bill. Long Island roads, like Jericho Turnpike, are in desperate need of efficiency and safety improvements, but politics have interfered with common sense solutions. When the federal government doesn't fulfill its role, local taxpayers bear the burden."

Marc Herbst added, "What has become obvious to anyone on Long Island who owns a home, drives a car, has a job or wants one is that the condition of out transportation infrastructure will affect their future. There is a desperate need to invest across the country but no where is it more obvious than Long Island. We applaud the Congressman's effort to create not just the environment for infrastructure investment but the mean to do it."

This Memorial Day, the number of travelers is estimated to increase by 1.2 percent from 2011 with nearly 9 in 10 planning to drive to their destination. Although gas prices are at their lowest since February on Long Island, deteriorating transportation infrastructure will cause traffic delays and waste gas for many drivers. Nationally, one in four bridge are rated deficient or functionally obsolete and 162,000 miles of federal highways have pavement that is rated unacceptable.

Our transportation system needs to be modernized so it is more efficient and safter for the travelling publie. By investing in infrastructure, a robust transportation bill can create middle-class jobs in construction, in manufacturing, and in the retail and wholesale trade sectors.

The House recently passed an extension of the current transportation bill, but it will expire at the end of June, stalling roadway improvements and repairs amidst peak construction season. The Senate passed a bi-partsan, two year transportation bill by a vote of 74 to 22.

Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Chris Schneider, (516) 882-0630

SENATOR FUSCHILLO: STATE BUDGET DELIVERS OVER $347 MILLION
IN FUNDING FOR LONG ISLAND TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS


Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee, today announced over $347 million in funding for road and bridge improvement projects on Long Island as part of the recently adopted New York State budget. This includes $56 million in accelerated projects through the recently created New York Works program.

"Creating jobs, economic development, and rebuilding our infrastructure are three critical priorities. We've addressed all of them as part of the state budget. This is a major investment in Long Island that will help complete important road, bridge, and highway projects, create new economic opportunities for Long Island's businesses, and put people back to work. I'm pleased that we were able to work together to deliver this important funding," said Senator Fuschillo.

Over $291 million will be invested in Long Island's roads, highways, and bridges through the Department of Transportation's capital plan. The funding will help pay for repairs and maintenance, as well as some new road construction.

The budget also contains over $56 million in funding through the New York Works program. The program will accelerate repair, replace, and improvement of deficient roads and bridges. Approximately one-third of the state's bridges are rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Forty percent of the state's pavement surfaces are rated deficient.

Additionally, a new New York Works Task Force will be created to coordinate funding among 45 state agencies and authorities, as well as recommend financing options and ways to accelerate project construction.

"This is a victory for Long Island's infrastructure and its economic future, but more important, it is a victory for a state government that is demonstrating how it can forge effective bipartisan coalitions to create results that benefit our region. Our collective thanks to Senator Fuschillo for his leadership role," said Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors' Association.


Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org
Attention: Assignment Desks

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)


LICA Infrastructure Summit to push agenda for Long Island's future with
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and NYS Senate Majority Leader Skelos


Will the fiscal crisis stop commerce and commuting?

On Friday, March 9, between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) will convene an extraordinary infrastructure submit at the Fox Hollow Inn, 7725 Jericho Tpk., Woodbury with U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Two of the most influential elected officials in New Yorker who have the ability to dramatically impact the region's heavy construction industry will be joined by LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst as they put Long Island's infrastructure future under review, these offering a candid assessment of infrastructure status, future funding and how to keep the road from concept to concrete intact at a time of continued fiscal austerity.

What:
Unprecedented summit meeting of the region's leading federal and state legislators to discuss Long Island's infrastructure future
When:
Friday, March 9 between 8:30 a.m. and 13:00 a.m.
Who:
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst
Where:
Fox Hollow Inn
7725 Jericho Tpk., Woodbury
Why:
Two of key and senior LI elected officials offer their insight and analysis into what our future will look like and what it takes to take infrastructure from concept to concrete.

For Immediate Release: January 27, 2012
Contact: Chris Schneider (Sen. Fuschillo) 516-882-0630
Susan Peterson (Sen. Johnson) 518-455-3411
Marcus Povinelli (Sen. Zeldin) 518-455-3570

SENATORS FUSCHILLO, JOHNSON, AND ZELDIN CALL ON MTA TO
ACCELERATE LIRR DOUBLE TRACK PROJECT


Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), along with Senator Owen Johnson (R-West Babylon) and Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), called on the MTA to accelerate the proposed double track project, which would help create jobs, promote economic development, and improve LIRR service for thousands of commuters.

The double track project would bring tremendous benefits; jobs for residents, revenue for local businesses, and better service for LIRR commuters. It's also a critical component of the proposed Republic/Route 110 Corridor HUB project, which would help create additional jobs and economic development for Long Island. The MTA should do whatever it can to accelerate this project and make it a reality," said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee. Senator Fuschillo's stressed to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota at a Transportation Budget Hearing yesterday the importance of accelerating the project and called on him to have the MTA do everything possible to expedite the project.

The additional section of double track installation on the LIRR's Ronkonkoma Line has been talked about for years and the time for action is now. Expansion of the second track is critically important for our commuters, will help facilitate advancing the newly proposed Ronkokoma Hub project and the Republic Airport Train / Bus station project and help spur economic development on the Island. I too call on MTA Chief Joe Lhota to provide his full support to the project," said Senator Johnson.

"The impact of a second track between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale will provide an important economic boost for my district. In combination with our efforts with the Ronkonkoma Hub Project, this would bring much needed revitalization to our community. While my constituents help fund the MTA, this initiative provides an important return on their investment," said Senator Zeldin.

The main line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, which spans 17.9 miles, currently has 5.3 miles of double track, including at most stations. Several years ago, the MTA proposed adding a double track to the remaining 12.6 miles of single, electrified track along the main line. Adding this new double track would greatly benefit commuters on the Ronkonkoma line by improving service reliability, increasing on-time performance, and enabling faster recovery following service disruptions. The Ronkonkoma line is one of the LIRR's most crowded lines, with the highest number of customers per train on peak trains, reverse-peak trains, and weekends.

In addition to the jobs and economic activity generated by the project itself, the double track is also a critical component to other current and proposed transit oriented developments along the line which would help promote additional economic development and activity. It is a key part of the Republic/Route 110 Corridor Hub project, which Senator Fuschillo has been working on with former Babylon Supervisor, and now Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone and Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone. The double track project is also critically important to other transit oriented developments such as Wyandanch Rising and the Ronkonkoma Hub.

The LIRR second track is a critical element which will facilitate and strengthen the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council's targeted development projects from the proposed Republic Airport/Route 110 transportation hub and Wyandanch Rising to the Ronkonkoma Hub and should be expedited to support those initiatives," stated Long Island Contractors Association Executive Director Marc Herbst. "The LIRR second track is also the perfect opportunity to construct as a design/build project and model how design/build projects can reduce the time and cost of construction of infrastructure on Long Island and elsewhere."

In a recent Newsday interview, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota was quoted as saying the double track project is the "single most important thing" that can be done to improve LIRR service.


From: Long Island Contractors Association
Contact: Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
Gary Lewi 212-843-8010
For Immediate Release

Dan Perkins Named Manager of Public Affairs by Long Island Contractors' Association


The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is pleased to announce that Dan Perkins has been appointed Manager of Public Affairs of the organization. LICA, the voice of Long Island's highway and infrastructure professionals has grown to over 150 member firms, contributing $3.8 billion in Dan Perkins economic activity to the Long Island economy. Perkins will serve as liaison to federal, state and local elected officials and to governmental and agency representatives involved in funding, regulating and approving infrastructure projects, representing the association's interests before the many policy and opinion makers shaping Long Island's future.

"Dan Perkins brings comprehensive public affairs experience, exhaustive community service and outstanding business and organizational capabilities to LICA," stated Executive Director Marc Herbst. "His experience in various government and public affairs positions in Albany and throughout New York State provides exceptional perspective of the Long Island region in the context of the State of New York and decisions made in Albany affecting our members and regional infrastructure. Dan will also assist in providing important intelligence as LICA focuses on industry standards; monitors state and local regulatory actions; advocates for increased funding of public infrastructure projects; engages in labor negotiations and contracts enforcement; and provides timely industry news and information. Dan also brings his direct experience in the Long Island infrastructure industry from his first job working in his family's asphalt paving company."

Before joining LICA, Perkins served as Vice President of Government Affairs for the Long Island Association, the region's largest business organization. Prior to that, he held several influential government positions, including Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for former Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, as the Capital District's regional director for former Governor Mario Cuomo, senior special projects manager at the Empire State Development Corporation. Earlier government affairs positions included work in the Public Information Officer at the New York State Office of Rural Affairs as well as at the Governor's Office of Employee Relations. Perkins started his career in his family's asphalt paving company Robert's Asphalt, based in Patchogue.

Perkins of Huntington holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in American History, both from University at Albany.

LICA represents Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Visit www.licanys.org.


Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

LICA Applauds Governor Cuomo's Proposed Budget Funding Additional $1 Billion for Highway and Bridge Infrastructure Capital Improvements and Total Funding of $4.5 Billion for Transportation and Infrastructure Capital Projects


As Governor Cuomo described his budget as a tool for shaping a new future for the state, the Long Island Contractors' Association applauds the inclusion of $1 billion in the traditional capital program for highways and bridges bringing that program $2.7 billion, and total funding of $4.5 billion for infrastructure and transportation capital projects . LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst reacted to the infusion of public dollars including funding of $247 million for the State-funded highway/bridge dedicated trust fund, "The Governor's proposed NYS Budget is a critical step forward at a time when our industry unemployment levels are sustained at record setting levels and the reliability and safety of our infrastructure is crumbling." In addition to the budgeted infusion of addition dollars, "We applaud the Governor's signature on legislation allowing projects to be expedited through a design/build option."

"LICA thanks the Governor and calls on our legislative delegation to follow Senator Fuschillo's lead to ensure that the traditional regional funding allocations are honored so that Long Island receives its fair share," added LICA Chairman Chairman James Pratt, III of Pratt Brothers Inc. He noted that, "Senator Chuck Fuschillo has been in constant communication with LICA regarding the budget proposal, stressing that the Senate majority is strongly supporting the traditional regional funding allocation for the capital program."

Today's budget recognizes that both maintaining and developing new infrastructure are the underpinnings of strong economic policy and growth," explained Herbst. LICA has continued to advocate for restoration of funding for infrastructure and Long Island's fair share. Long Island has been experiencing a prolonged draught in funding and our entire industry and region has suffered for it. "This budget, once approved, represents a funding infusion that has the potential to make a difference for our regional economy and our industry's workforce," concluded Herbst.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.


FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATE
CONTACT: Bill Reynolds
Friday, January 6, 2012
(518) 457-6400
Eileen W. Peters
(631) 952-6632

NYSDOT COMMISSIONER MCDONALD ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF NY ROUTE 112 SAFETY AND MOBILITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS


$71 Million Projects Improve Safety, Reduces Congestion, Enhances Environment

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald today announced the completion of two safety and mobility improvement projects on New York State Route 112 in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, for a total cost of $71 million.

"The on-time completion of these two Route 112 improvement projects is great news for area residents, businesses and the thousands of motorists who use this vital roadway each day," McDonald said. "These projects enhance safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, reduce congestion, improve the quality of storm water runoff, and make a lasting contribution to the quality of life on Long Island."

NYSDOT recently completed two separate projects that reconstructed more than five miles of the 79-year-old NY Route 112 corridor to help improve the safety of the approximately 30,000 motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists who use this vital roadway each day.

The project included the following enhancements:
  • center turning lanes
  • raised center medians
  • new, continuous bike lanes
  • updated traffic and pedestrian signals
  • continuous sidewalks
  • new roadway signs
  • new drainage systems
  • updated pavement markings.
New bus stops and shelters were provided in conjunction with Suffolk County Transit. New plantings and storm-water runoff filtration systems will help enhance the environment and improve the aesthetic appeal of the area. The new pedestrian, bicycling and transit facilities will help encourage energy efficient transportation use, as well as promote healthy transportation choices and an improved quality of life for local residents.

In addition, the major intersection of Route 112 and County Road 83 was improved with an auxiliary lane on Route 112, exclusive left and right turn lanes and pedestrian islands. To mitigate traffic and construction delays, NYSDOT directed work to be performed during off-peak and nighttime hours.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Route 112 is a main transportation artery in Suffolk County. The completion of these enhancements will result in improved safety and efficiency of the roadway and I am pleased that the federal government was able to support the project by contributing a significant level of funding."

Congressman Tim Bishop said, "The completion of the improvements to Route 112 will reduce traffic delays and increase safe transportation alternatives along a vital corridor. Also, state-of-the-art technology will reduce roadway runoff into local waterways, and I am pleased that the federal government helped move this project forward."

State Senator John Flanagan said, "The completion of these two projects will help to improve and modernize a major section of our region's roadway and allow our infrastructure to keep pace with the growing needs of our community. I applaud the efforts of Congressman Bishop for securing the needed funding and the men and women at the DOT who have made this environmentally friendly improvement a reality for our commuters and our families."

State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said, "The improvements made along Route 112 have made the roadway safer and aesthetically pleasing for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians."

Assemblyman Steve Englebright said, "The economic recovery funds that were invested in improving Route 112 brought hundreds of jobs to Long Island workers and now this safer, modernized roadway will allow our local economy to work better."

Assemblyman Dean Murray said, "This reconstruction project has made Route 112 safer, more environmentally friendly and has turned a stretch of it into a beautiful vista with new landscaping and center medians. Infrastructure improvement projects like this create jobs while making much-needed improvements for businesses along this important corridor, as well as for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and bus riders. I look forward to the next two phases of this project, which will continue these sidewalks, bike lanes and other improvements south from Route 25 to the Long Island Expressway."

Assemblyman Daniel P. Losquadro said, "The reconstruction of Route 112 was long overdue and I am pleased with the improvements in aesthetics and safety along this corridor."

Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko said, "The completion of Route 112 will provide for a better movement of traffic and enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. This project is a great example of all levels of government coming together to create jobs and improve infrastructure. I especially want to thank Congressman Bishop and our federal and state officials for their support."

Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) Executive Director Marc Herbst said, "Projects such as the NY Route 112 Safety and Mobility improvement projects are important as they stimulate the local economy during construction, provide critically needed jobs for the heavy construction industry, and are essential to supporting ongoing economic activity in the community and region. We are extremely pleased that LICA members, Bove Industries and Inter-County Paving, who served as general contractors on these projects, ensured the timely completion of these projects with their expertise and the diligent, hard work of their skilled employees so that these roads again best serve the community and commerce."

Association for a Better Long Island Executive Director Desmond Ryan said, "This project is about more than crucial safety and infrastructure improvements. It represents the ability of the State of New York to make good on its promise to rebuild and strengthen our region so that we have the means to attract additional investment, create jobs and build a robust tax base. It also offers a lesson to those who won't, or can't, exercise leadership at a time of crisis. New York State and the Cuomo Administration are prepared to do what is necessary to protect our future and our economy."

North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce President Joel DeGregorio said, "I am happy to say that the completion of this much needed improvement to the Route 112 corridor and the surrounding area will make a very large improvement in the traffic flow. It was a difficult two years for those businesses affected, but the end result is definitely well worth it. The new curb cuts, bike lanes, turning lanes, etcetera will only help to make it easier for customers to patronize our businesses. We would like to thank both state and local government officials for making this happen."

Both Route 112 reconstruction projects received "certified" ratings under the NYSDOT GreenLITES (Green Leadership In Transportation Environmental Stability) program, a transportation environmental sustainability rating program.

Of the two projects, the northern one reconstructed 3.2 miles of Route 112 between Pine Road and State Route 347 in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County. The $37.9 million project was funded in part by $33.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, the largest ARRA project undertaken in NYSDOT Region 10 Long Island. Bove Industries of East Setauket, N.Y., was the construction contractor.

The second, $33.1 million project completely renovated two miles of NY Route 112 (Port Jefferson and Patchogue Road) in the town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, in sections on each side of the first project. The construction contractor was Intercounty Paving Associates of Hicksville, N.Y.


From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

LICA Applauds Governor Cuomo Funding Over $101 Million for
Long Island Economic Development Projects


Funding Package Focuses on Infrastructure, Transportation and Community Redevelopment

Describing Governor Cuomo's announcement of $101.6 million in economic development funds as a well deserved and desperately needed year-end bonus for the Long Island region and the heavy construction industry, the Long Island Contractors Association (LICA) welcomes its significant focus on infrastructure, transportation and community redevelopment as a smart and savvy decision at a critical time in our state and regional economy.

The funding plan implements the Governor's summer announcement shifting the State's approach to economic development to a community-based, performance driven approach which empowers Regional Councils in areas such as Long Island to develop comprehensive strategic plans that invest in regional solutions to create jobs and economic growth.

"In this award, Governor Cuomo recognizes that both maintaining and developing new infrastructure are the underpinnings of strong economic policy and growth," explained Marc Herbst, LICA's executive director. "With today's announcement, Governor Cuomo put his money where his mouth is, providing critical and essential funding for infrastructure and transportation as a fundamental component of economic development."

LICA Chairman James Pratt stated, "Long Island has been experiencing a prolonged draught in funding and our entire industry and region has suffered for it. We now have a funding infusion that has the potential to make a difference for our regional economy and our industry's workforce."

LI funding related to community revitalization and transportation infrastructure includes a number of initiatives already supported by LICA and its members:
  • Wyandanch Rising will receive $6 million to support connecting the project area to the Route 110 Corridor. LICA member, Bove Industries is involved in the sewer construction component of that initiative.
  • Redevelopment in the Village of Hempstead will receive $5 million for a mixed-use project, which also includes the replacement of aged sewer pipes.
  • The Ronkonkoma-MacArthur Transit Hub project will receive $4 million to construct a new sewage treatment plant and allowing construction of a new transit-oriented, live-work-play destination.
  • Heartland Town Square in Islip will receive $2.5 million to transform an abandoned, blighted property into a self-contained suburban city which involves significant infrastructure and sewerage components.
LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.


From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - October 4, 2011

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst
Elected Chairman of ARTBA Council of State Executives


The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is pleased to announce that LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst has been elected the 2012 Chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA's) Council of State Executives. As Chairman, Herbst will be responsible for coordinating the state chapter affiliates to advance the national transportation goals and programs of ARTBA and will serve as an ARTBA spokesperson before Congress and regulatory agencies. He will also be a member of ARTBA's Executive Committee.

Based in Washington, D.C., ARTBA is a 109-year-old national trade association which serves as the consensus voice for the nation's transportation construction industry on the federal level. ARTBA seeks to aggressively grow and protect transportation infrastructure investment to meet the public and business demand for safe and efficient travel. ARTBA provides programs and services designed to give its more than 5,000 public and private sector members a global competitive edge while advancing is core values and principles-defined by integrity and the highest ethical standards. LICA, the voice of Long Island's highway and infrastructure professional, is a state chapter affiliate of ARTBA.

"The quality of our highways, roads, bridges and mass transportation systems are critical to the fate of the national economy and our collective ability to create jobs and generate new investment," said LICA Chairman James Pratt, III of Pratt Brothers, Inc. "Marc Herbst has been a major advocate for road and bridge capital plans and has the drive to make a difference and an appreciation of what is at stake. His visionary leadership has always focused on the future and has taken an action-oriented approach. We believe he will be an important representative for the national industry as he has been for Long Island."

As LICA's chief executive officer, Mr. Herbst is responsible for programs and services for more than 150 members and the public, and also serves as Vice President of the New York Roadway and Infrastructure Coalition (NYRIC). Mr. Herbst is also active in various business and labor organizations, including the transportation committee for the Long Island Association, as co-chair of Action Long Island's transportation task force, as an employer trustee for several labor benefit trust funds, such as Laborers Local No. 1298, Operating Engineers Local No. 138, and Teamsters Local No. 282. While a member of the New York State Legislature for five terms, former Assemblyman Herbst concentrated his efforts in his field of expertise, serving as the ranking member of the Assembly Transportation Committee. Supporting this career, Mr. Herbst holds a Master's of Science degree in Transportation Planning & Engineering and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Herbst also holds a Master of Divinity and is an ordained minister serving as the pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Syosset, NY.

"Marc's unique background will make him an excellent national representative for ARTBA's chapters and contractors," said ARTBA President and CEO Pete Ruane. "We especially need his leadership given the several important pieces of legislation we have pending in Congress."

LICA represents the interests of over 150 of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - August 22, 2011

LICA hails Thomas Madison, Jr.'s Appointment as Executive Director of the New York State Thruway Authority as the Right Man to Accomplish Good Things for New York


Describing the appointment of Thomas Madison, Jr. as Executive Director of the New York State Thruway Authority as "moving a strong professional into a key leadership position that will both strengthen how we move people and commerce in New York State, and make best use of the pent up talents of the construction industry," the Long Island Contractors Association (LICA) is welcoming Madison's appointment as "the right man to accomplish good things for New York."

Marc Herbst, LICA's Executive Director, explained, "Mr. Madison is not only a skilled professional, he has been an energetic advocate for road and bridge capital plans and an important ally to our industry here on Long Island and across New York State. On behalf of the men and woman of the heavy construction industry we commend Governor Cuomo for his decision to appoint such a qualified individual who understands the enormity of our infrastructure needs and brings those skills and professionalism to work effectively with recently appointed Thruway Authority Chairman Howard Milstein."

The Thruway Authority oversees the 570-mile superhighway crossing New York State, one of the longest toll superhighway systems in the United States with connections to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachussets and other major expressways that lead to New England, Canada, the Midwest and the South. "The quality of our highways, roads, bridges and mass transportation systems will determine the fate of our economy, the ability to create jobs and generate new investment," stated LICA Chairman James Pratt. "Mr. Madison's legislative history working in both houses of the New York State Legislature further establishes his credentials as an effective advocate who can make a difference."

"We urge the NYS Senate and Senate Transportation Chair Charles Fuschillo to confirm Mr. Madison swiftly," concluded Mr. Herbst.

LICA represents the interests of over 150 of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

LICA

From: The Long Island Contractors Association
The Public Works Alliance
www.licanys.org

Contact:Rubenstein Associates Jane Rubinstein / 212 843-8287 jrubinstein@rubenstein.com


Attention: Assignment desks
Request for Coverage

Public Works Alliance to bring Nassau County lawmakers mock
"contaminated sewage water" to make a very real point


Placing "a sewage sample" on a stool to call attention to a
crucial infrastructure project held hostage by politics

Monday July 11, 2011, 12:00 Noon, Press Conference
Old County Court House, Franklin Avenue Mineola


Carrying what appears to be half-dozen five gallon water jugs of seriously contaminated sewage, members of the Public Works Alliance, the Long Island Contractors' Association and the Citizens Campaign for the Environment will hold a news conference on Monday, July 11th at 12 Noon on the steps of the old County Court House, Franklin Avenue, Mineola to underscore their anger at the actions of lawmakers who would block critically needed improvements to the Nassau County Sewage Treatment system.

Billy Duffy, Jr., President of Local 138 of the Operating Engineers and Chairman of the Public Works Alliance stated, "This will only be mock sewage but it still stinks that anyone would delay approving capital funds to cover needed sewer and storm water repairs. We cannot allow politics to hold hostage much needed public works improvements. Any further delay will not go unchallenged."

Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors' Association said, "We are taking this action because the days are long gone when politicians can delay action on our infrastructure and not expect an immediate reaction from the labor community, the business community and the public at large."

Recently, two Capital Program Bond ordinances were presented to the Nassau Legislature for approval including a sewer and storm water improvement plan along with a General Capital Improvement plan which includes infrastructure upgrades. Partisan wrangling blocked approval of the proposal.

Labor, Business and Environmental advocates stand as one


"The rejection of this plan harmed our county's infrastructure, delayed essential maintenance on vital equipment and put people out of work at a time when the construction industry is facing record unemployment. Our actions are designed to ensure no one misses the message a second time," continued Duffy.

"Sewer and storm water infrastructure upgrades are necessities, not frivolous programs that can be used as betting chips in a game of political poker. This critical infrastructure ensures safe, clean beaches and bays, provides needed quality construction jobs and protects public health. CCE is proud to join with the unions and LI Contractors' Association to call on Nassau County to restore our infrastructure funding so that jobs are not lost and our environment is not degraded," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "We only have to look at the damage to the Western Bays by the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant to see what damage insufficient upgrades and maintenance can cause."

"Infrastructure projects that would be funded by these bonds are critical to the Long Island economy," said Kevin S. Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association. "They help to maintain the structural soundness of our roads and sewers and they get the construction and building trades back to work."

Rob Weltner, of "Operation Splash," stated, "All 2000 plus members of Operation Splash will be watching very closely how all of our legislators handle this very critical vote. Those that choose to put politics before the people they are elected to serve need not reapply for their job." His group reflects the interests of recreational boaters who have advocated the cleanup of waters near Bay Park sewage treatment plant.

A stool sample


The Public Works Alliance will be bringing along a three legged stool upon which to place the mock contaminated sewage. "It will be a stool sample for the entire Legislature to ponder," explained Herbst.

-0-

The Public Works Alliance includes Local 138 of the Operating Engineers, Laborers Local 1298, Carpenters Local 290, Operating Engineers Local 15 and Teamsters Local 282. LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

From: Sustainable Long Island
45 A Seaman Avenue,
Bethpage, NY 11714
Sustainable Long Island
www.sustainableli.org

Contact: 516-873-0230

For immediate release - April 27, 2011

LICA seeks new standards for "green" asphalt that recycles blacktop and reduces tax burden


LICA
Citing the leadership role of Brookhaven Township, the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) today called for a sweeping revision of municipal regulations across the region that would permit the use of recycled asphalt materials to help address a historically high number of potholes while driving down the cost of repair to the taxpayer.

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst stated, "We project a total of 1.4 million potholes will need to be filled on Long Island during the next 60 days. If the heavy construction industry was allowed to follow the lead of Brookhaven Town in improving the ratio of recycled asphalt in that effort we would go a long way in making blacktop green."

Herbst said current regulations that significantly reduce, or avoid altogether, the use of recycled asphalt, reflect an arbitrary standard that was set when most were indifferent to recycling. "It is as if you had a law on the books that said you couldn't recycle plastic bags or glass bottles. These asphalt recycling specifications now on the books in most towns were written in the middle of the 20th Century when no one cared about carbon footprints, the cost of a barrel of oil or the responsibility we have to recycle everywhere we can."

Brookhaven takes the lead

Brookhaven Highway Superintendent John Rouse observed, "Having the ability to be sensitive not only to our taxpayers, but to the environment as well is truly getting the best of both worlds. By changing our specifications to allow a higher percentage of recycled asphalt product in our paving material, we hope to set a standard that others will follow. The Long Island Contractors Association should be applauded for being true leaders in protecting our environment, and our infrastructure, here on Long Island."

LICA notes there is no chemical difference between original asphalt and recycled asphalt. "Recycled asphalt bonds to the surface with the same tenacity as virgin material. It has the same resistance to wear and tear and can be graded just as easily as 100% brand new asphalt," continued Herbst. "However, it by using recycled materials the taxpayer gets a break, our environment gets a break and town road maintenance budgets get a break."

Thomas Gesualdi, President of Teamsters Local 282, stated, "The economic and environmental advantages that result from using recycled asphalt product (RAP) to build and repair our regions roads cannot go ignored. Long Island was ambushed by a severe winter and our local roads are paying the price. We need to get serious about repairing the millions of potholes that have infected our regions infrastructure. I applaud the Town of Brookhaven for leading the charge in this area so that there is a greater use of recycled asphalt products."

Bill Duffy, Jr., President of Local 138 of the Operating Engineers agreed, "There is not a sector of commerce, industry and labor that cannot contribute in some meaningful way to a public policy agenda that protects jobs and the environment. The `greening' of asphalt is just one example of that and we congratulate Brookhaven Town for taking the role of leader in this area and we support LICA's call for a unified approach to this issue." Duffy is also the president of the Public Works Alliance.

Environmental Kudos for Brookhaven

"This is a great way to rebuild our `green roadways' to the future. Integrating sustainable roadway practices into public policy is a smart way to reduce the use of raw materials and provides the ideal opportunity for recycled materials to be put to good use! Citizens Campaign for the Environment congratulates the Town of Brookhaven and the Long Island Contractors Association for working to make this important change. I am hopeful that this policy can be replicated throughout New York State," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

"Each year, 73 million metric tons of asphalt are reclaimed and reused as part of the nation's roads, roadbeds, shoulders, and embankments," said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island. "By revising regulations that would permit the use of recycled asphalt materials, municipalities would save on material, job, and energy costs, while efficiently using tax dollars in the repair of countless potholes created during the past winter."
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - January 31, 2011

Long Island's heavy construction industry foresees serious local impacts on roadway and infrastructure projects resulting from continuing turmoil in Egypt


As the political turmoil in Egypt unfolds, Long Island businesses are watching what impact it may have on their bottom lines. Leaders of the Long Island heavy construction industry foresee serious potential impacts on regional roadway and infrastructure projects and overstressed town, county and state capital budgets. "Analysts have connected the unrest in Egypt to inevitable instability in US energy supplies and even higher energy costs," explains LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst, "and those two factors have inevitable adverse impacts on local construction projects which are extremely cost sensitive to petroleum prices."

According to Herbst, "Our industry is one that suffers in several ways when fuel costs rise - in material (asphalt is a petroleum-based product), fuel required to produce asphalt, and the fuel cost to deliver paving supplies and operate the heavy construction equipment. The uncertainty in Egypt can easily have a devastating impact on our industry, region and workforce, which simply cannot sustain any more blows." LICA continues its work to protect shrinking budgets allocated to maintaining regional roads and to bring deficient bridges to safe condition. Increased costs impacting so many aspects of road construction will only further diminish the limited budgets that survive.

Mr. Herbst is available at (631) 231-5422.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - January 14, 2011

Statement from Long Island Contractors' Association Executive Director, Marc Herbst


Joan McDonald is a seasoned transportation professional who has been part of the governmental process, one who appreciates the traditional give and take of Albany politics and is a respected administrator - exactly the person who needs to assume the office of Commissioner of New York State Transportation.

LICA commends the Governor's choice as it is consistent with his promise to combine vision with pragmatic professionalism. New York's future is dependent on job growth and a rebuilt economy. That future can only arrive on a public infrastructure that is fully funded and presided over by people like Ms. McDonald. We hope the approval process for her nomination is prompt, thorough and insightful so that New York's roads and rails get the priority they so desperately need.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - January 11, 2011

LICA hails Senator Charles J. Fuschillo's appointment as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee on Transportation as "Right Man for the Right Job."


Describing the appointment of State Senator Charles Fuschillo as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee as "the return of rational balanced leadership that will strengthen how we move people and commerce in New York," the Long Island Contractors Association (LICA) is welcoming Fuschillo's appointment as "the right man for the right job at a critical time."

Marc Herbst, LICA's Executive Director, explained, "Senator Fuschillo has been a major advocate for road and bridge capital plans and has been an important ally to our industry here on Long Island and across New York State. On behalf of the men and woman of the heavy construction industry we commend Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for his decision to appoint such a qualified individual who understands the enormity of our infrastructure needs."

The Senate Transportation Committee oversees the work of the state's transportation system including the Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Long Island Railroad), the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the New York State Thruway Authority, and other agencies.

LICA Chairman James Pratt stated, "The quality of our highways, roads, bridges and mass transportation systems will determine the fate of our economy, the ability to create jobs and generate new investment. We now have an advocate who has the drive to make a difference and the appreciation of what is at stake."

Senator Fuschillo stated, "Our challenge is to spend money wisely to ensure that our roads and bridges are safe and that the railroad and bus systems we depend on are run to serve the riders, not the other way around. People on Long Island and all New Yorkers deserve nothing less. As Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I will work hard to achieve these goals."

As the ranking Republican member on the committee over the last two years, Senator Fuschillo fought for Long Island's fair share of transportation stimulus funds; spoke out strongly against the MTA payroll tax; and called for a five year capital plan for road and bridge projects to create jobs and keep the infrastructure safe.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: The General Contractors Association of New York
Long Island Contractors' Association
Construction Industry Council
Associated General Contractors of New York State

Contact: Rubenstein Associates glewi@rubenstein.com
Gary Lewi (212) 843-8010

For immediate release - December 29, 2010

New York State's heavy construction coalition to build a national alliance to block proposed repeal of guaranteed highway funding


A coalition representing New York State's heavy construction industry are announcing efforts to build a national alliance that will seek to block a proposed repeal of guaranteed federal funding that protects and strengthens our nation's highway system. The coalition includes the General Contractors Association (GCA) of New York, the Construction Industry Council, the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) and Associated General Contractors (AGC) of New York State.

Denise Richardson, Managing Director of the GCA stated, "America's highway system has demonstrated mile after mile its ability to create a vibrant, dynamic economy and a stronger, more robust nation. Yet the incoming House Republican majority has unveiled a plan that would repeal guaranteed funding requirements for annual federal highway investment by Washington. It is inconceivable to any taxpayer who has paid for our roads and bridges that the maintenance of these critical arteries would now be left to the political whims of Congress."

Paul Posillico, Chapter Trustee of the AGC of New York said, "This is a highway system that President Dwight Eisenhower had the vision and political will to create, observing later, "More than any single action by the government since the end of the war, this one would change the face of America... Its impact on the American economy--the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up--was beyond calculation."

Marc Herbst, LICA's Executive Director reminded, "If you have any doubts about what would be in store, Congress has failed to pass reauthorization bills for the Federal Aviation Administration for seven years, preferring a series of three months extensions because they can't agree on its funding provisions.

"The role of the highway system cannot be understated. It has revolutionized interstate commerce. It has created trillions of dollars in investment and untold job creation. Destabilizing our highway system by repealing guaranteed funding is akin to playing kick the can with thermonuclear weapons. You can do it but we wouldn't advise it," offered Herbst.

Ross Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, stated, "Infrastructure has come under attack, to be used a political weapon in a profoundly flawed ideological agenda. This proposed rules change on Capitol Hill is the latest assault on our roads and bridges and it has to stop."

Richardson concluded, "This is not a New York problem. This isn't a northeast problem. This is a national problem with a serious funding threat to a strategic asset that stitches the country's economy together. If we allow dedicated funding to be a political football we will look back on the Recession of 2010 as the good old days. We are moving to create a national industry response to a peril that few yet appreciate but certainly will in the weeks and months to come."

Among those the coalition will seek to ally with include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association and the Laborers International Union.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - December 28, 2010

Historic Blizzard launches the LICA "Blizzard Buddy" Award In recognition of marathon hours behind the plow: a Coffee Pot Trophy is presented to Islip Town Highway Department as a tribute to all who worked around the clock


LICA In recognition of the marathon hours of treacherous snow plowing undertaken by hundreds of snowplow operators across the region during the "Christmas Weekend Blizzard of 2010" the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) has presented its first ever "Blizzard Buddy Award," a stout silver coffee pot to LICA member Edward Ehrbar, Inc., a distributor of heavy construction equipment throughout the region that was employed around the clock by many companies and municipalities to beat back the snow.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in supporting highway snow and debris removal during times of weather emergencies.

In accepting the award, Patrick Ahern, President of Edward Ehrbar, stated, "Obviously my clients are the ones who deserve this recognition for round the clock efforts to clear our roads and I am accepting this award on their behalf." Ahern promptly presented the silver coffee urn to one of his clients, Islip Town's Highway Department, which is responsible for hundreds of miles of residential streets and crucial roadways along with acres of municipal parking lots. Accepting on behalf of the men and women of the Department was John Pfaffe who paused from operating a payloader long enough to acknowledge everyone who worked around the clock across Long Island.

Snow removal is a critical service in Islip Town


Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan stated, "Our town employees are the first line of defense in Islip Town's efforts to keep our 100 miles of streets open and safe for residents during winter storms. This award reminds everyone of the hard work required under extraordinary circumstances to provide this critical essential service to our residents. It also reflects on the county and town crews across Long Island who put in marathon hours to get this job done."

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst explained, "Unless you have been in the cab of a payloader or plow for nine straight hours, faced with stuck cars, blowing snow, raised manhole covers and a myriad of other challenges, you can't appreciate the true nature of this award. While the award may joke about the need for a marathon stream of coffee to get you through the snow storm, the reality is this presentation is well named because the men and women who operate this equipment under very hazardous conditions deserve our thanks."

LICA estimates that its members fielded several hundred employees at the height of the storm, assisting a number of municipalities under contract, tackling snow in hospital parking lots, railroad stations, shopping districts and other key locations.

LICA Chairman James Pratt stated, "In reality, each and every person who faced one of the more vicious storms in recent memory should get that `coffee pot' award but more important, it is fitting and appropriate that we use this opportunity to pause and thank everyone who went out there in the middle of the night to get Long Island back on its roads."
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - December 7, 2010

Long Island Public Work's Alliance rethinks its Congressional strategy
in the wake of a meeting with Congresswoman McCarthy


Warning that alone, Long Island doesn't have the votes in Congress to protect its self interests, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy has told a meeting of the Public Works Alliance that broader regional coalitions that enlist northeast members of Congress in a common agenda may be the only effective way of bringing infrastructure dollars to New York.

"Political games are being played with national policy," stated the Congresswoman during a meeting in the offices of Local 138 of the Operating Engineers. "Compromise is so crucial to getting the job done, but I am unclear if we are going to see it in the next couple of years," although she cautioned recently elected Tea Party candidates that they may be disappointed in their ability to remake Washington. "Power is centralized with leadership and it usually doesn't react well to threats."

Bill Duffy, Jr., president of the Public Works Alliance and President of Local 138, said the meeting was sobering not only for what was said but what wasn't said. "There were no answers to the questions, `When does the economic pain stop? When do we get a rational and effective plan to invest in our nation's infrastructure?' We are going to have to look at forging coalitions beyond Long Island and probably beyond New York State."

James Pratt, Chairman of the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is equally concerned that the lack of coordination between Congress, state and federal transportation agencies is creating a dysfunctional schism where any funding that is available isn't even remotely synchronized with planning.

Marc Herbst, Executive Director of LICA, observed, "What is so profoundly disturbing is that the nation's economy suffered a near death experience over the past 18 months and the role of infrastructure to create a pathway to a genuine and sustained recovery was demonized by politicians. Is there no leadership left in Washington?"

Congresswoman McCarthy says infrastructure opportunities still exist but it will take innovative ideas with public-private partnerships to make them work. "The Polimeni concept of a tunnel beneath the Long Island Sound that strategically aids traffic flow, improves the air environment and pumps billions into the economy is an obvious direction. The fact that Vince and Michael Polimeni are proposing that this project be privately funded makes it viable."

McCarthy believes the White House is going to have to do a far better job of focusing on an economic recovery plan that works. "Japan has suffered through a decade of stagflation because they refused to put enough money into the economy, doling it out piecemeal instead. That last economic `stimulus package' from Washington never primed the infrastructure construction pump and we are paying that price."

John Duffy of Local 138 of the Operating Engineers said the dialogue with the Congresswoman is important but "Comments about housing density and affordability, technology incubators at local colleges and whether banks have contributed to the economic crisis are all beyond the purview of our members and the role of the Public Works Alliance. The fact is there has been a major failure in Washington to leverage public works for the good of the nation and its economic survival. We are going to have to think about new grass roots strategies that put infrastructure construction into the federal budget and how we go about supporting those candidates and current elected officials who understand this key component of our economy."

The Public Works Alliance is a coalition of Long Island's heavy construction industry including labor, developers and construction company owners for the purpose of advocating on behalf of the region's infrastructure and to ensure the region is no longer short changed of federal and state funds needed for crucial road and bridge improvements. The coalition includes founding organization Local 138 of the Operating Engineers, the Association for a Better Long Island (ABLI), the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) and the Laborers Local 1298 and Teamsters Local 282.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - December 1, 2010

The Long Island Contractors' Association Supports Plan To Reduce Deficit/Strengthen U.S. Transportation Network


On December 1st, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a comprehensive plan to address the nation's runaway deficit and upgrade our critical transportation infrastructure. The commission's transportation plan is fiscally responsible and builds on the long-established principle of ensuring only those that benefit from this system contribute to its upkeep through a user fee.

The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) supports this proposal because it delivers critical resources that will create jobs and facilitate economic growth in our communities. The State of New York faces significant transportation challenges. According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), 61% of the bridges in Nassau and Suffolk Counties have been declared either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. Five of those bridges have a similar rating to the Lake Champlain Bridge that was closed and demolished last December because it was deemed unsafe for use.

The federal motor fuels tax generates revenues that are invested in highway and public transportation improvements. This tax, however, has not been adjusted since 1993 and has lost one-third of its purchasing power over the last 17 years.

"Our country needs our leaders to ensure that creating jobs and reducing the deficit is their number one priority," state LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst. "To help achieve these goals New York needs a strong transportation system in order to rebuild our economy."

LICA believes that the Commission's proposal will provide job creation and deficit reduction while also rebuilding the crumbling transportation system to provide for long term U.S. competitiveness. The Commission's plan makes the tough choices and identifies critical priorities that will help get the nation's economic and fiscal house in order.

"We urge Congressmen Tim Bishop, Steve Israel, Peter King, Gary Ackerman and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy to support this thoughtful proposal," concluded Herbst.

A vote is scheduled for Friday, December 3 for which approval of the report requires 14 of the 18 commission members.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - December 1, 2010

LICA Supports Comptroller DiNapoli's Call for Sweeping Changes to State's Capital Plan


(Hauppauge, New York) -- New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has issued a call to arms, releasing a report today detailing the deteriorating condition of our state's transportation system and imploring local and state politicians to stop its dangerous approach to capital programs.

DiNapoli is the only state politician who has been honest with the taxpayers of New York. If changes are not made and the funding for infrastructure projects continues to crumble so will our roads and bridges.

"If New Yorkers choose to ignore this report they are putting themselves at risk. According to the NYSDOT, 61% of the bridges on Long Island are hazardous to the public," cautioned Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA). "How can an assessment as serious and dangerous as that go overlooked?"

LICA demands that our local and state officials answer DiNapoli's call and start making the tough decisions to fix the problems before us. The preservation and maintenance of our roads and bridges must be our main priority in order to ensure the safety of the public.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - November 3, 2010

The day after Election Day Long Island's infrastructure celebrates its victory


(Hauppauge, New York) The Long Island Contractors' Association and their allies in the Public Works Alliance can take a victory lap this morning as the candidates they supported for their staunch stand on behalf of public works and infrastructure have been returned to office.

U.S. Congressman Tim Bishop, a proud advocate of infrastructure dollars for the region, was re-elected with the help of the construction trades as was New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who has vigorously sought to prevent the "looting" of state funds allocated to fix our roads and bridges.

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst stated, "These election night results begin to confront those who would disregard the future of our region's core skeleton, our public infrastructure. In New Jersey, where the future is being dismantled by the decision to end work on a strategic mass transit tunnel under the Hudson River, we have seen what happens when the politics of expedience cripples the way forward. In New York State, those leaders who rallied to protect our infrastructure were supported by an industry that represents the heart and soul of the working middle class."

Bill Duffy, President of Local 138 of the Operating Engineers and chair of the Public Works Alliance observed, "The Bishop race in particular was a referendum on whether the public's largest investment, our roads and bridges and sewer systems, would become a political football and would people rally to a genuine leader. We were proud of the role we played in advocating on behalf of the Congressman and his track record in this area."

Desmond Ryan, Executive Director of the Association for a Better Long Island commented, "The State Senate leadership remains in limbo, but this much is clear: The region is going to need strong, articulate voices in the Senate to protect Long Island's interests. In a state that is close to busted, how scarce resources are allocated next year will be closely watched by the business community, labor and the construction industry leaders here, and this past election night proved we can do more than just `monitor' the situation.

Herbst said LICA and the Public Works Alliance have already begun to scan the political horizon for next year's contests as well as prepare briefing memos for elected officials regarding the status of infrastructure projects, funding and areas that require urgent attention.

"This past election cycle was just part of an ongoing process. There is no `end game' in building for the future," he concluded.

About LICA
LICA represents the interests of over a hundred and fifty of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. For information visit www.licanys.org
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst (631-231-5422)

For immediate release - September 17, 2010

LICA Reports Stolen Heavy Construction Equipment


Calling all cars. Calling all cars. And bulldozers, payloaders and two ton flatbeds.

Be on the lookout for a three-ton vibrator driver/extractor gone missing from a worksite at the Massapequa Preserve on the north side of Sunrise Highway in Massapequa.

The equipment, worth $94,000, is presumed stolen according to Long Island Contractors' Association Executive Director Marc Herbst. "It is a very complicated piece of machinery that is used for a particular kind of heavy construction work. It's not as if some felon needed a "Bobcat" payloader to hide his loot in the backyard and decided to steal something from a construction site."

"There is not a construction team in the region that won't be on the lookout for this extractor. Nor can you dump it on the black market, a resale value doesn't exist for the thief and there isn't a chop shop in creation that could manage dismantling this large, heavy and daunting piece of equipment without being noticed."

According to Herbst, the extractor was purchased in August of 2009. The unit's serial number is 90933. LICA is asking anyone with information to contact them at 631-231-5422, info@licanys.org or to call the Nassau Police 7th Precinct at 573-6700.

Herbst says they can't remember something this big, and so unique to heavy construction, went missing. "It's akin to stealing a tank. You might be able to but why would you want to? It's like having a blinking neon side over the driver's window that says, "Pull me over. I'm stolen!"

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Senator Foley defends his Albany record as construction industry officials point to crippling unemployment and loss of state funds for infrastructure improvements


LICA
New York State Senator Brian Foley (right) meets with the Public Works Alliance and its chairman Bill Duffy, Jr., (center) and President of Teamsters 282 Thomas Gesualdi.
Acknowledging that Albany is a dysfunctional town New York State Senator Brian Foley (right) told a delegation of the Public Works Alliance that he has sought to build bridges with his Republican counterparts for the purpose of creating possible initiatives but finds himself consistently rebuffed.

A member of the Senate Democratic majority, and appointed to the powerful Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Foley refuted the suggestion that his caucus is not only dominated by New York City interests but openly hostile to Long Island projects and infrastructure needs.

Convened by Public Works Alliance chairman, Bill Duffy Jr, and president of the Local 138 of the Operating Engineers, (center) the meeting was meant to allow Senator Foley an opportunity to present his public affairs credentials at a time of crushing unemployment among the construction trades and the looting of state funding that had been earmarked to fix and repair Long Island roads and bridges. Among those attending was (left) Tom Gesualdi of Teamsters Local 282.

"I cannot begin to tell you the pain among the operating engineers and the rest of the construction trades because the state refuses to appropriate the dollars for infrastructure," stated Duffy.

Jim Pratt, president of the Long Island Contractors' Association, stated, "The road to recovery is going to start with jobs. And without a commitment of fair and equitable allocation of funds for Long Island's infrastructure the recovery will always be on the horizon."

Senator Foley suggested that Long Island's funding woes began before he arrived in Albany and the state is now experiencing the sustained aftershocks of a difficult recession. Choosing his words carefully, Foley acknowledged "I wish I could do more but decisions were made by this administration that I would not have necessarily agreed with. The next Governor will have far broader opportunities to address some of these issues."

Asked about his support for the MTA tax he reminded the Public Works Alliance that a quarter million Long Islanders commute into New York City by the LIRR and that mass transit system needs to be supported given that no new roads can be built on Long Island.

"What remains of enormous concern to us is Long Island's loss of parity with the MTA Capital Budget," explained Pratt. "It is consistent with Long Island's loss of influence in Albany. It is equally clear that state funding allocations are being made that make our region a distant appendage to neighboring New York City. Candidly, this is no longer about how the pie is cut but whether we are even invited to the dinner table."
State of New DOT News

MEDIA ADVISORY


Ground Breaking Event for $26.8 Million
NY Route 347 Safety, Mobility, and Environmental Improvements Project


LICA
WHEN:
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
10:30 a.m.
WHERE:
NYS Office Building Complex Entrance
250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
(Just west of the NY Routes 347/454 "split")
DETAILS:
A ground-breaking press event is being conducted to celebrate the start of construction of a $26.8 million project to reconstruct nearly one mile of NY Route 347 between NY Routes 454/347 split and Route 111, in the Town of Smithtown, Suffolk County.
WHO: NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee; NYSDOT Regional Director Subi Chakraborti; Congressman Tim Bishop; Congressman Steve Israel; Senator Brian Foley; Senator John Flanagan; Senator Kenneth LaValle; Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick; Assemblyman Steve Englebright; Suffolk County Legislator John Kennedy; Vision Long Island Executive Director Eric Alexander; Long Island Contractors Association Director Marc Herbst.
CONTACT:
Deborah Sturm Rausch, (518) 457-6400
Eileen W. Peters, (631) 952-6632
DIRECTIONS:
From the EAST or WEST: Take the Long Island Expressway (LIE) to NY Route 111, Exit 56 NORTH. Continue approximately 1.5 miles to NY Route 454/Veterans Memorial Highway. Turn left to head westbound on NY Route 454. Bear left at the NY Route 454/NY347 "split" to continue on NY Route 454. At the first traffic signal make a left into NYS Office Building.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - August 17, 2010

Route 110 improvement project stalled?


"Reaping the whirlwind of a dysfunctional Albany" states Long Island Contractors' Association

The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is warning state officials that the delay of the $18.9-million road-improvement project on Route 110 in Halesite is just the beginning of a cascading series of crisis triggered by the inability of the state to pass a budget for 4 months.

"We filed litigation, held vigils, petitioned our state lawmakers and conducted convoy protests to warn that our ability to fix and maintain our roads was being put at risk because the state could not pass a budget. At the same time this administration withheld dollars to contractors' already doing the work," stated Marc Herbst, LICA executive director. "We warned then that irreparable financial harm was being done to the companies that have the expertise to do the work. And what you know. We were right."

The 18 year old project to fix a portion of Route 110 has been delayed once more because the contractor could no longer secure the necessary performance bonds after a protracted wait in awarding the bid.

Did you bring the rope?

"For those sitting in Albany there seems to be a total disconnect with the laws of economic physics," continued Herbst. "Meeting a payroll for state work that is authorized and then unfunded is an invitation to bankruptcy. It should come as no surprise that the contracting firm for the Route 110 project could not keep extending a bond on a project that has already been delayed 18 years. The truth is he used his bonding credit on other projects to stay afloat and pay his Long Island employees trying to stay off unemployment."

Herbst continued, "For Albany to now bitterly complain about a company that lost the ability to float that bond is akin to denouncing the victim of a hanging who didn't bring enough rope to do the job."

Herbst says he is concerned that a growing number of construction companies are being asked to participate in "an Albany death spiral that has allowed our road and bridge infrastructure to be subjected to malignant neglect. We are now reaping the whirlwind of a dysfunctional political process in our state's capitol and the taxpayer, the motoring public and the heavy construction industry are all being asked to pay the price."
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - July 13, 2010

Long Island's Construction Trades to Confront Senator Foley's "Asphalt Hearing" as a Cynical Photo Op


"Lights, Camera, Incompetence!"

On Tuesday, July 13th, at 5:00 p.m. a convoy of construction equipment and a score of unemployed heavy construction workers will gather before the State Office Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, to confront State Senator Foley over his cynical posturing and lack of genuine leadership in assisting industry efforts to improve asphalt manufacturing required for Long Island's road network.

Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors' Association, explains, "This is a State Senator who has consistently been absent without leave. When a summit meeting was held on this issue he wasn't there. When solutions were drafted he wasn't there. When Long Island's demand for asphalt was reviewed he wasn't there. But when cameras are called for a `protest' of asphalt odor he is all over it."

Producing prior letters of invitation to conferences that were convened to address the asphalt issue Herbst said Mr. Foley failed to show or follow up on what he could do. "Now, with his reelection campaign in full swing he has discovered asphalt as an issue. So let's be clear. This community hearing is a cynical photo opportunity to create campaign fodder. He has shown not the slightest interest to be part of a solution and we intend to call him on it."

What:
A convoy of heavy construction equipment and scores of construction workers to confront State Senator Foley's sudden and cynical interest in asphalt issues on Long Island.
When:
Tuesday, July 13, 5:00 p.m.
Where:
250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge
Who:
Members of the Long Island Contractors' Association
From: AGC NYS
(518) 469-0839

Contact: Steve Stallmer

For immediate release - May 27, 2010

$1 Billion Worth of Transportation Projects Stalled by NY's Budget Failure
State Leaders' Inaction Freezes Vital Bridge Repairs and Construction Jobs


Albany, NY - Nearly $1 billion in construction contracts for New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) approved projects have not been awarded since April 1st, causing over 100 projects to be at risk. These figures will continue to multiply in the coming weeks unless legislators enact a new state budget.

"We've got to get these projects moving or we'll lose the entire construction season," said Steve Stallmer, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs for the Associated General Contractors of New York State. "Contractors have already lost the months of April and May, causing our state infrastructure to continue to deteriorate. As each day passes without awarding these contracts, we are wasting the opportunity to put thousands of people back to work."

The Legislature approved an emergency spending plan on Monday that includes limited construction funding for on-going projects only. The Governor and our legislative leaders have failed to provide the authority necessary to start construction on over a hundred DOT projects that have funding in place and were already put out to bid.

The stalled projects are in every region of the state and include deficient bridge replacements and repairs, improvements to highway surfaces and critical maintenance work on New York's crumbling infrastructure. According to the Federal Highway Administration, every billion dollars invested in these projects would create 34,700 jobs.

For a complete list of the stalled projects, and more information on New York's failing infrastructure, visit: www.NYBridgesAreFallingDown.com
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - April 22, 2010

Paterson to Long Island: Take a Hike


The Long Island Contractors' Association is characterizing as "regional discrimination" Governor David Paterson's latest political turn that allows federal money to be used for high profile transportation projects in New York City but ignores the needs of neighboring Long Island, Westchester and elsewhere throughout New York.

LICA is responding to the next budget extender bill the Governor is expected to submit to the Legislature which Mr. Paterson discussed in an interview on Buffalo radio WBEN. The Governor stated he was looking at possible restoration of funding for 20 NYC-based projects that depend 100% on federal funds while ignoring the remaining projects in communities statewide.

"This gesture is meaningless and practically does nothing for Long Island roads, public safety or our workforce," stated LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst. "Forecasting the weather is an exact science in comparison to predicting the logic and decisions of this Governor who continues to be engage in the worst kind of cynical political pandering and regional discrimination. Because public safety is a paramount issue, our members, Long Island contractors, continue to work on local projects that are well underway, at considerable costs to themselves, such as the Route 110 overpass.

"We acknowledge and applaud the bipartisan support we've received. Senate Republicans offered an amendment to the Governor's budget extension bill this week to provide funding authority for all capital construction projects important to job creation, including monies for road and bridge contractors who haven't been paid since March. Senator Martin Malave Dilan, the Democratic Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, sent an open letter to the Governor," continued Herbst. "However, the work to reverse the Governor's decision to suspend payments until a new state budget is in place is not done until funding for projects on Long Island and statewide are restored in an equitable manner and with full consideration of public safety."

The NYS Senate had called for restoration of funding for projects tied to job creation, however Herbst cautions, "Public safety is as critical as job creation. It is not enough to approve work that creates the most jobs, but it is essential that funds be applied to keep roads and the public safe. One only needs to visit the Route 110 overpass which straddles the Long Island Expressway, to see the exposed structural steel and the open roadbed peering over the LIE to understand the critical nature of maintaining a work site and safety for the traveling public and workforce."

LICA represents the interests of over one hundred and fifty of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: The General Contractors Association of New York
Long Island Contractors' Association
Construction Industry Council
Associated General Contractors of New York State

Contact: Felice Farber 212-687-3131

For immediate release - April 16, 2010

Heavy construction industry files suit against NYS in wake of construction funding freeze


A broad based coalition of trade associations representing New York's heavy construction industry today announced the filing of a law suit that confronts Governor David Paterson's decision to unilaterally halt payments for hundreds of state construction projects and seeks to prevent those tasked with rebuilding the region's infrastructure from being used as pawns in the Governor's budget battles. The coalition includes the General Contractors Association, the Construction Industry Council, the Long Island Contractors' Association and Associated General Contractors of New York State. The group's attorney, former New York Lt. Governor Al DelBello of the law firm DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP, stated the law suit was filed in Albany State Supreme Court on Friday.

Acting as a spokesman for the coalition, Ross Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council, stated, "We recognize that our legal victory will be a pyrrhic one because, while it seeks ultimately to make whole those construction companies economically harmed by this illegal pay freeze, it will not restart crucial work on our state's infrastructure. In truth, it is the state taxpayers who should be part of this [class action] suit because they own the roads, bridges and tunnels that are being allowed to deteriorate by this arbitrary, and we believe, illegal action."

GCA Managing Director Denise Richardson explained, "It is ironic that the Governor would announce new initiatives to increase contracting opportunities for MWBE (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise) firms while stopping payments to hundreds of MWBE contractors that are currently working on state projects. This litigation is being filed on behalf of all of the many hardworking subcontractors and suppliers who thought that a share of a government contract would help them grow their business. Instead, what they are finding is that their business future is merely a pawn in a chess game that they did not ask to play."

Steve Stallmer, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs for the Associated General Contractors of NYS, said, "The reckless decision by the Governor and State legislators to refuse to provide funding for capital construction projects demonstrates a callous disregard for the safety of New Yorkers who demand and deserve a sound transportation infrastructure. Without this legal action, contractors will have no choice but to stop working on projects and lay off workers. Having shed over 33,000 construction jobs in the past year, New York's economy cannot afford any more losses."

LICA's executive director, Marc Herbst, warned that general contractors are experiencing difficulties obtaining loans from banks to make payroll due to the collateral being based on the state's non-guarantee of payments. "Suppliers and subcontractors are threatened with bankruptcy since the cash flow of general contractors is being constrained and payroll payments will wind up taking precedent over subcontractor/supplier payments. In addition, general contractors have had their bonding limits constrained because amounts are designated to non-awarded bids at the state level, prohibiting them to seek other municipal projects. The damage being done by this pay freeze is nothing less than staggering."
From: The General Contractors Association of New York
Long Island Contractors' Association
Construction Industry Council

Contact: Felice Farber 212-687-3131

For immediate release - April 7, 2010

NY's heavy construction industry starts a Legal Doomsday Clock.


Will file a class action suit against NYS to break construction funding freeze if no resolution by April 11th

A coalition of trade associations representing the region's heavy construction industry today announced the start of a "legal doomsday clock" that will see contractors file a class action suit against the State of New York by April 11th for the purpose of confronting Governor David Paterson's unilaterally freeze on payments for hundreds of state construction projects. The law suit will seek economic damages inflicted on those tasked with rebuilding the region's infrastructure.

Acting as a spokesman for the coalition, Ross Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council, stated, "We recognize that our legal victory will be a pyrrhic one because, while it will make whole those construction companies economically harmed by this illegal pay freeze, it will not restart crucial work on our state's infrastructure. In truth, it is the state taxpayer that should be part of this class action suit because they own the roads, bridges and tunnels that are being allowed to deteriorate by this arbitrary and we believe illegal action."

Pepe observed, "Today's gathering is an unprecedented up-state / down-state industry response to an unprecedented crisis. It has brought a sense of solidarity to an industry that prides itself on independence. We all recognize the enormity of the threat to the heavy construction industry and that this pay freeze could dismantle many proud successful companies. Some may try to characterize the Governor's actions as an act of political courage. It's not. It's a maneuver in an Albany chess game where there is an effort to find political gain at the expense of the public works the taxpayer has paid for."

Among the projects is risk is the $407 million repair job currently underway on the decrepit Alexander Hamilton Bridge that handles I-95 traffic over the Harlem River. Halmar International executive Chris Larsen has stated he will little choice but to shut down the job as he and his partners, can't float the $10 million monthly expense of repairing this crucial span.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - April 1, 2010

Statement from Long Island Contractors' Association following Albany's "Stop Work" on Long Island's infrastructure


Mark Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors' Association stated,

"Candidly, we believe this Governor has lost his ability to make rational decisions. It's as if we are watching some wrenching final scene from the `Madness of King George the Third.' Not only has the Governor stopped all construction projects in the pipeline, but also projects that are well underway and incurring considerable costs to the contractor such as the Route 110 overpass.

"There is no rational decision making that we can discern by this administration. The very process by which an `emergency appropriation' was hurriedly placed before the Legislature that was, in fact, a massive "stop work order" for the construction trades speaks to the crisis in leadership and ethics now afflicting Albany. If we had a message about how best to save New York's future we would ask the Governor to personally `stop work.''

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - March 10, 2010

With 35% of Long Island's Construction Workers Unemployed, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, the Long Island Contractors' Association and LI Federation of Labor Deployed a Funeral Procession Between the State Office Building in Hauppauge and the Unemployment Office in Hicksville

Mental Health Experts Detailed the Psychological Impact that Soaring Unemployment is Having on Long Island's Working Class

(Hauppauge, March 10, 2010) The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) and the Long Island Federation of Labor, joined by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano today launched a funeral procession of heavy construction equipment and hundreds of unemployed workers from the Perry Duryea State Office Building in Hauppauge to the State Unemployment office in Hicksville, expressing the grief and trauma of the construction industry which has suffered a 35% unemployment rate with no relief on the horizon.

"For years Long Island has been promised action to secure both safer roads and bridges for the public and real jobs for our workforce with no results," said LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst calling for legislation forbidding the state from looting public funds that had been set exclusively set aside for road and bridge repair, and to forbid the transfer funds from capital budgets to build and repair crumbling infrastructure to routine operational expenses. "Not only has stimulus dollars failed to be approved for Long Island projects, the state has robbed essential dollars that were supposed to ensure safe roads for the public and fail-safe funding for infrastructure, roads and bridges."

"Only one-third of the money in the State's Highway and Bridge Trust Fund has actually been used to pay for highways and bridges," State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. "The rest has been siphoned off to pay for back-door borrowing and operational costs at the DMV and the Department of Transportation. We need to put that money to work on our roads by putting people back to work building those roads."

"Over 11,100 jobs have been lost in this industry alone." stated John Durso, president of Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. "These are the men and women who are the fabric of the Long Island community. They are your neighbors, friends and relatives who struggle needlessly to support their families when there are budgets and funds that belong to road, bridge and infrastructure repairs and improvements but have been robbed for other uses or left behind for lack of proper administrative efforts."

From the steps of the state offices in Hauppauge, County Executive Levy remarked, "While Suffolk County Government has been expanding its roads and sewer systems, the State continues to short change us from the type of percentage we used to receive years ago. This is bad for our infrastructure and bad for our economy."

Awaiting the arrival of the funeral procession at the state unemployment office in Hicksville, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano commented, "There is no higher priority than job creation in Nassau County. We support the efforts of the Contractors' Association and the construction labor community."

Joining the construction trades were mental health experts who explained the very real impact that the 35% unemployment rate in the construction industry is having on Long Island families including increased alcohol and drug abuse and an increase in incidents of family violence, as well as poor physical health as emotional stress takes its toll.

"The cost of unemployment is far greater than the loss of wages or the price of a paycheck," stated Bruce Goldman, LCSW, CASAC the program director for the Zucker-Hillside Hospital Project Outreach, a community-based alcohol and substance abuse treatment program located in West Hempstead, In the two year period from 2007-2009, the percentage of new clients who were unemployed when they entered Project Outreach more than doubled from 15% to 33%. "These are numbers that cannot be ignored. Emotional duress of prolonged unemployment increases the risk for alcohol or substance abuse," he explained. "The lack of meaningful activities - both productive work and enjoyable activities at home or with family- can be overwhelming and then the unemployed individual may try to fill those gaps by turning to alcohol or drugs. Unaddressed, with no end to unemployment in sight, it is easy for these to spiral out of control."

The impact of unemployment is physical as well as emotional," added Curtis W. Reisinger, Ph.D. Corporate Director, North Shore LIJ Health System Employee Assistance Program, ""Prolonged unemployment can be devastating, essentially destroying the half of a person's day that shapes their self esteem and perceived self worth. Job loss can become an all consuming preoccupation," explained Reisinger, "because people don't just work for a paycheck, they work to give their life meaning. The emotional stress of unemployment impacts the entire family, it exacerbates any emotional vulnerability that may already exist for the individual or family, and this turmoil extends to impacting one's physical health as well."

"The procession you see today is a clear statement that this equipment should be working to improve your roads and your communities, not literally driving this message from Hauppauge to Hicksville," said John Duffy, business manager and treasurer of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 138.

"We have hundreds of out of work carpenters and workers joining us today, standing before you as face of unemployment - your friends and neighbors," commented Alan J. Ehl, Regional Director for Long Island for the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters. "These are skilled workers who are ready to work hard on projects so badly needed to keep our communities safe and strong."
We have the support of the entire construction trade with every corner of the industry represented," explained George S. Truicko, assistant business manager of Laborers Local No. 1298. "We are here to say loudly and clearly that a fair share of budgets and funding rightfully belongs to this Long Island workforce, to support the recovery of the Long Island economy."

"Long Island's skilled workforce is essential to economic recovery throughout the entire region," said Nassau/Suffolk Building Trades Council President James Castellane, "but we repeatedly fail to let them power our economic engine from the collective failure to get road and infrastructure projects moving, the stalled construction on the Trade Center, to awarding projects to out of state companies."

Also participating in the funeral procession were the lead flatbed truck from Newborn Construction; the coffin constructed by carpenters Local 78; a "family" pickup equipped with tools from InterCounty Paving Associates; a cement mixer truck supplied by Elm Transit Mix; a Pratt Brothers pay loader mounted on a lowboy; the electrician's bucket truck driven by Leslie-Johnson; a panel truck from Empire State Carpenters; tractor trailer supplied by Teamsters Local 282; and the Posillico anchor flatbed carrying our variable message board.

About LICA
LICA represents the interests of over a hundred and fifty of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - January 7, 2010

GOVERNOR PATERSON'S STATE OF THE STATE FAILS TO FIX THE CRUMBLING ROADS AND BRIDGES NEEDED TO REBUILD THE EMPIRE STATE ECONOMY


(January 6, 2010 - Albany) - As the New York 2010 State of the State address came to a close, LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst expressed distress and contempt over the state of the state's infrastructure and the Long Island construction industry, "Governor Paterson may have said all roads lead to New York, and promised there is still time to rebuild the Empire State, but he failed to mention those roads are crumbling and his plans provide no hammers, screwdrivers or shovels to fix them."

"The Governor's plan outlined for Economic Development and Revitalization not only ignores the now 35% unemployment rate in the Long Island construction industry but the impact of poor roads and highways on commerce in the state in general," continued Herbst. "We heard about building trust, building confidence and build relationships, but how about actually building something."

As Governor Paterson asked Lieutenant Governor Ravitch to develop a multi-year fiscal recovery plan to bring the State's financial plan into balance and avoid unexpected cuts in essential services, the Governor once again ignores the crisis in basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, sewers and water supply. "These are the critical building blocks of our economy and the Governor's neglect in keeping them in safe repair hinders restoring New York to the Empire State," asserted Herbst. "Further we can't trust a multi-year plan from this Governor whose actions define his lack of respect for multi-year planning and funding."

Looking back over the first year of the Paterson administration, the industry was stunned at the below-the-belt punch which cancelled in mid-season 38% of Long Island construction projects. In the spring, the Governor appeared to be responding to LICA's call for action when he held a news conference in a Melville DOT maintenance garage, accompanied by press and politicians, to announce how much highway spending would come to Long Island. In a cynical bait and switch funding maneuver, the Governor announced various programs - long programmed for the region - as programs to be funded with stimulus dollars for state highway projects, with the total funding less than what he had cut from Long Island the previous year. And in October, Governor Paterson rejected the proposed NYS Department of Transportation 5-year Capital Plan on arrival before the plan was publicly distributed which was designed to guide and govern infrastructure planning and construction from 2010-2015.

"It may be too late for roads to ensure the safety of our citizens, infrastructure to carry the commerce of the state, and work for a suffering industry of skilled men and women who seek honest work opportunities for the Governor to introduce accountability to the state," concluded Herbst. "The EmpireStat program to track the progress of State agencies may be too little, too late to compensate for the state's failure to process paperwork that was necessary to secure the ARRA stimulus funds allocated to New York but never secured.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Rubenstein Associates 212-843-8070, Gary Lewi

For immediate release - January 5, 2010

Louis Imbroto of Plainview Named Manager of Policy & Government Affairs by Long Island Contractors' Association


Louis ImbrotoThe Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is pleased to announce that Louis Imbroto has been appointed Manager of Policy & Government Affairs of the organization. LICA, the voice of Long Island's highway and infrastructure professionals has grown to over 140 member firms, contributing $3.8 billion in economic activity to the Long Island economy. Imbroto will be responsible serve as liaison to federal, state and local elected officials and to governmental and agency representatives involved in funding, regulating and approving infrastructure projects.

"Louis Imbroto brings comprehensive legal and legislative affairs background, extensive community service, and outstanding capabilities to LICA," said Executive Director Marc Herbst. "His legal experience in criminal and civil matters, working in public and private settings as well as his experience in Albany is key to our continuing support for our members. Louis will assist with the continued expansion of programs and activities as we maintain industry standards, monitor state and local regulatory actions, advocate for increased funding of public infrastructure projects, engage in labor negotiations and contract enforcement, and provide timely industry news and information."

Imbroto previously worked for the Nassau County Attorney's office involved in criminal vehicle forfeiture in DWI matters, supported corporate, insurance, environmental, real estate and land use matters in the law firm of Forchelli, Curto, Crowe, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Cohn, Nassau County District Attorney's Office, Town of Babylon Attorney's Office working on enforcement matters under the Town's "Quality of Life Task Force", and a legislative intern for NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick.

Imbroto of Plainview holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School (2009) and is a 2006 graduate of Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Minors in Philosophy and Theology.

LICA represents the interests of our region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Visit www.licanys.org.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Rubenstein Associates 212-843-8070, Gary Lewi

For immediate release - January 5, 2010

Michelle Giametta of Massapequa Named Manager of Communications by Long Island Contractors' Association


Michelle GiamettaThe Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is pleased to announce that Michelle Giametta has been appointed Manager of Communications of the organization. LICA, the voice of Long Island's highway and infrastructure professionals has grown to over 140 member firms, contributing $3.8 billion in economic activity to the Long Island economy. Giametta will be responsible for managing the LICA website, outreach via social media technologies, managing electronic communications and newsletters, press releases and newsletter articles, as well as coordination of media events.

"Michelle Giametta brings her comprehensive background in communications, exceptional capabilities and outstanding enthusiasm to this organization," said Executive Director Marc Herbst. "Her experience and in political communications is key to our continuing support for our members. Michelle will assist with the continued expansion of programs and activities as we maintain industry standards, monitor state and local regulatory actions, advocate for increased funding of public infrastructure projects, engage in labor negotiations and contract enforcement, and provide timely industry news and information."

Giametta's previous work experience includes serving in positions at News 12 Long Island, the Independent Film Channel (IFC), COX Radio's WBLI and WBAB, and the office of Congressman Peter King. Giametta of Massapequa will be a May 2010 graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelor Science in Mass Media Studies.

LICA represents the interests of our region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Visit www.licanys.org.

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Gary Lewi 212-843-8010

For immediate release - December 18, 2009

Region's heavy construction equipment begins to move Into pre-blizzard positions


Payloaders, snow plows and other heavy equipment owned by Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) members are moving into pre-blizzard positions this morning in preparation of combating a weekend snow storm that LICA's designated meteorologists, WABC-TV Eyewitness News are predicting will create white out conditions, high winds that could bring down power lines, and as much as a foot of snow throughout central Long Island.

LICA executive director Marc Herbst said his members are also contacting the Nassau and Suffolk Offices of Emergency Preparedness to provide them with an inventory of equipment that is still available in the event he snow storm overwhelms municipal equipment.

Jim Pratt, President of LICA, and chief executive officer of Pratt Brothers, said a dozen pieces of equipment have already been loaded on "low beds" and will be directed to assist communities in Garden City and Oyster Bay as well as ensuring that institutions such as Nassau Community College can quickly recover from the snow storm.

"It takes seasoned, well trained crews to operate heavy equipment in white out conditions," stated Pratt. "Municipal highway departments have men and women who have endured years of that kind of weather and there is a cadre of people among LICA members who also wear that experience as a badge of honor. All of them will be behind the wheels of big rigs within the next 48 hours."

LICA's members' commitment to support the efforts of municipalities and crucial institutions such as colleges, hospitals and centers of commerce reflects their ability to assist government agencies tasked with responding to all sorts of emergencies including hurricanes and nor-easters. LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

We will fight the blizzard with what is on Long Island

"There is no question that with Long Island's limited access to bridges and tunnels, we will recover from this blizzard only with the equipment we have on hand," continued Pratt. "That means LICA, and its member companies, will be on the front lines with emergency first responders pushing aside any wind driven wreckage that downs power lines and helping move the snow so that life can be brought back to normal."

LICA has also activated a 24/7 response hot line that will allow municipalities to reach them if their own manpower is overwhelmed by the expected blizzard. "In that way we can determine if we can relocate assets to assist those municipalities, as no one really knows how hard or for how long this pending blizzard will hammer the region," concluded Herbst.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - December 16, 2009

Nassau County DPW Pick Signals Good Direction and Intent DPW Commissioner Appointee Shila Shah, P.E. Brings Skills to Get Funding For and Move Essential Road Projects


The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) commends County Executive-elect Edward Mangano on the announced selection of Shila Shah, P.E. as the Nassau County Commissioner of Public Works. ""This is the type of professional appointment that will ensure the taxpayer gets what he and she are paying for - good roads and safe bridges. Let's go to work," said LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst. "Commissioner-elect Shah brings an exceptional portfolio of knowledge and expertise to Nassau County and is sure to have a positive impact on securing federal stimulus funding and state approvals for local road and infrastructure improvements. Her appointment speaks clearly about County Executive-elect Ed Mangano's intent to put critical resources to their roadtest."

"Our industry is at a critical crossroad," explained Herbst, "with few remaining opportunities to advance projects to keep our roads and bridges safe for the citizens of our region, to provide employment for a workforce suffering from thirty percent unemployment, and to hold Albany's feet to the fire to ensure our region sees its fair share of investment in infrastructure before all dollars are expended or eliminated from approved budgets."

"As the state's bureaucracy has consistently failed to address Long Island's needs in a fair and consistent manner, more than ever it is up to local representation to make things happen," added LICA Chairman James Pratt, III. "We look forward to working collaboratively with Commissioner Shah to secure essential resources in a timely manner."

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - November 12, 2009

LICA Testifies at NYS Assembly Hearing on Stimulus Projects and DOT 5-yr Funding Plan for Transportation

Rust and Gravity Mock the State's Elimination of Funds for Infrastructure Maintenance

(Albany, November 12, 2009) Long Island Contractor Association (LICA) Executive Director Marc Herbst is warning the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation, that, "Our state's bridges and roads continue to deteriorate, indifferent to any fiscal crisis, while our workers idly watch from the unemployment lines."

In testimony to legislators delivered to lawmakers in Albany, including Assemblyman Marc Alessi (Suffolk County) and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (Nassau County), Herbst said he spoke on behalf of more than one hundred heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters, the thousands of their employees, of whom nearly a third of their ranks remain unemployed. He called upon the Assembly to assert governmental leadership and fairness in restoring infrastructure funding and strategic project planning.

"It is essential that funding for Long Island be restored to longstanding allocation of 23% of state transportation funds, calculated based on registered vehicles and vehicle miles traveled," testified Herbst. "Despite the increase in regional vehicle registrations to 25% of the State's total, Long Island received only a minuscule 8.3% of federal dollars to be assigned for the Nassau/Suffolk region."

A screeching halt to infrastructure maintenance harms the economy

"Long Island was further harmed by the 2008 Budget Directive B-1184 which halted all planned projects that were not either at least 75% funded by federal pass-through funds, or designed to correct immediate health and safety concerns. This only exacerbated the inequity for Long Island since only 8.3% of federal funds were allocated for the Long Island region, effectively shut down the regional industry in mid season," Herbst continued. "Without DOT's diligent efforts to move every penny possible from federal pots to let as many projects as possible, the regional picture would have been much worse."

Herbst used this opportunity to inform the Assembly how NYS had simply substituted ARRA monies for projects halted by that budget directive. As a result, more than half of the $154 million in ARRA funding for bridges and roads went to the Rt. 112 project pulled from last year's state budget, and only $31.5 million is available for ARRA projects in the next two years, a mere pittance compared to the average $200 million plus annual state funding the region has received through the last decade. Herbst's testimony also highlighted bureaucratic rules that have impeded local municipal project approval.

The cynical ruse of economic stimulus

"In our estimation, the ARRA program was a bust. It used infrastructure as a backdrop to sell the plan." Herbst concluded. "Looking forward we urge you to apply the traditional regional funding allocation formula to all state and federal dollars. With that correction, the State will help minimize the blatant disparities and hardships that have taken place. Fairness will be restored and hopefully employment will rebound, and our bridges and roadways will be maintained properly to ensure the safety of our residents."

Testimony provided the Assembly Transportation Committee with NYSDOT update on its progress in implementing its apportionment of ARRA transportation funds for projects that have been certified or are expected to be certified to receive ARRA funding, as well as testimony on NYSDOT's proposed 2010-15 Five-Year Capital Program which was instantaneously rejected last month by Governor Paterson.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Office of the New York State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli

Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

For immediate release - October 29, 2009

Highway Robbery: State's Ailing Roads & Bridges Robbed of 65 Percent of Highway & Bridge Trust Fund Money

DiNapoli: State Siphoned Money to Pay for Operations and Debt Service

Since 1991, just 34.9 percent, or $11.6 billion, of the money in the state's Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund went directly toward the repair and improvement of the state's deteriorating roads and bridges, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today at a press conference on Long Island. DiNapoli's report notes that the Division of Budget projects the percentage of capital spending will decline to 21 percent in fiscal year 2013-14.

PRApproximately $3.9 billion will need to be transferred from the state's General Fund to the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund over the next five years to meet the Trust Fund's obligations.

"Only one-third of the money in the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund has actually been used to pay for highways and bridges," DiNapoli said. "The rest has been siphoned off to pay for debt service on back-door borrowing and to fund operational costs for the DMV and the state Department of Transportation.

"This money should be going toward keeping our roads and bridges safe, not to fund state agency operations. The bridge closing in Crown Point is just one more example of why this is so important. If this trend continues, the state will have to transfer nearly $4 billion into the Trust Fund over the next five years. Using this dedicated capital money to pay for operations and debt service is just one more gimmick on the list of New York's bad fiscal choices."

From FY 1993-94 through FY 2008-09, only 34.9 percent, or $11.6 billion of Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund spending was on capital projects while 37.7 percent, or $12.6 billion, went to fund state operations for the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Transportation. The remaining 27.4 percent, or $9.1 billion, of spending paid for debt service.

The Trust Fund was created in 1991 to fund the construction and rehabilitation of state-owned roads and bridges. Initially, the Trust Fund was established as a self-sustaining, pay-as-you-go model to fund transportation capital expenses with revenues from highway and motor vehicle taxes. However, starting in FY 1994-95, the Trust Fund paid debt service for bonds that were issued by the Thruway Authority and never approved by voters. Operational revenue and spending were also added to the Trust Fund, further diluting its original mission.

DiNapoli's report notes growth in state operations and debt service spending far outpaced spending on capital projects. Over the 16-year period, spending on capital projects grew by just 17.5 percent, while spending on state operations and debt service grew by 191.7 percent and 577.1 percent respectively.

To meet the Trust Fund's growing obligations and the structural imbalance, the state increased General Fund support to the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund. In FY 2007-08, General Fund support for the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund was $12.7 million. The Division of Budget projects General Fund support will balloon to $396 million in FY 2009-10 and to $991.9 million by FY 2013-14. Over the next five years, DOB projects the state will need to transfer a total of $3.9 billion into the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund to meet the Trust Fund's obligations.

The Trust Fund has paid for debt service for several programs including a significant portion of the state's transportation capital plan, the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program and Marchiselli bonds. All of this debt is the result of back-door borrowing that was never approved by voters. Debt service payments from the Trust Fund totaled $140 million in FY 1994-95 and jumped to $950 million in FY 2008-09. It is projected that by FY 2013-14, debt service payments will total 72 percent of the Trust Fund's dedicated tax and fee revenues.

DiNapoli's report recommends that state officials:
  • develop a multi-year plan to address the Trust Fund's unsustainable debt burden, return structural balance to the Trust Fund and ensure its ability to meet the state's highway and bridge needs today and in the future;
  • prepare and publicly release quarterly updates of the Trust Fund's five-year capital program and financial plan; and
  • create a comprehensive strategic planning process for state capital projects that prioritizes infrastructure needs to meet the critical needs of the state's deteriorating roads and bridges.
Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors' Association; Roger Clayman, Executive Director of the Long Island Federation of Labor; and Antoanela Vaccaro, Manager of Government Affairs at AAA New York, joined DiNapoli at the news conference.

"Comptroller DiNapoli's report highlights the need for the state to get serious about funding its critical transportation projects," Herbst said. "Rust, gravity and cracks are going to mock the state's continued looting of the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund. Just here on Long Island, nearly 50 percent of local bridges have been labeled as deficient by the state Transportation Department. Political expediency will not protect our region's infrastructure. It will not put anyone back to work. And it will not prevent Long Island from playing its historic role as an economic generator for the state."

"New York's roads and bridges are getting short-changed," Clayman said. "The Highway and Bridge Trust Fund was created to make sure that the state's transportation infrastructure needs did not languish. Unfortunately, Comptroller DiNapoli's report shows this did not happen. Long Island has the workers needed to keep the area's road and bridges safe but the state needs to recognize the value in investing in the state's roads and bridges."

"While we recognize the enormity of the fiscal crisis facing the state, funding transportation improvements is critical to improving the state's economic standing," said John A. Corlett, Legislative Committee Chairman for AAA New York State. "For obvious reasons, transportation is a vital component in economic growth. Yet, the state has 'disinvested' in its transportation infrastructure. In fact, over the past decade, the state has come to rely on federal aid to account for a greater and greater share of state transportation programs. Transportation infrastructure funding must be a priority if the state has any chance of improving its economic standing."

Attached is a regional list of some larger projects included in the DOT's proposed Five-Year Capital Plan that are in need of funding. The Governor already deemed this plan as too expensive, implying that it will be reduced. This list highlights just a sample of unmet critical transportation needs across the state and the situation is likely to worsen.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - October 19, 2009

LICA Issues Report Card Grading Local Government Support for Transportation, Infrastructure and Job Creation


Long Island townships are being given a report card on how much time and effort they put into maintaining their roads with motorists learning what their tires and shock absorbers already know.

The report card is from The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA), whose members build and repair the infrastructure that drives Long Island's commerce and economy. It's the group's first analysis that rates the commitment of elected officials to the region's future and determines the level of support they deserve from constituents, labor and the construction industry. LICA found exceptional support for maintaining infrastructure in Babylon and Brookhaven, while both Southampton and Shelter Island failed.

LICA conducted its survey through September 2009, covering concerns ranging from local priority given to economic stimulus and job creation through the towns' (2009) municipal capital program dedicated for infrastructure improvements or expansion and plans for FY 2010, to environmental stewardship and community outreach to determine transportation and infrastructure needs. In addition, significant attention was paid to professional competencies in managing infrastructure projects including project administration, cost controls, inspection, and workforce and job safety. Grades were issued for all ten Suffolk and three Nassau towns, and included exceptional grades in Babylon (A+) and Brookhaven (A), good performance in Hempstead (B), Huntington (B), Oyster Bay (B-) and Southold (B), passing performance in East Hampton (C), Islip (C-), North Hempstead (C+), Riverhead (C) and Smithtown (C). Southampton and Shelter Island who both failed to respond received the failing score (F).

Marc Herbst, LICA's executive director, stated, "LICA created this simple litmus test for the political community to determine if you are an advocate of Long Island infrastructure, or not? Have you made every effort to invest in our future, or not? Do you appreciate the role of vibrant, effective infrastructure in protecting and strengthening our economy, or not? Are you looking to repair our bridges, roads and sewers, or not? In the continuing fight for fiscal resources in a challenging economy, and at a time of record unemployment among the construction trades, just where have you put infrastructure as a personal political priority?"

"It is critical that local officials to recognize the importance of roads and infrastructure to the Long Island economy and workforce," explains LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst. "Not only do Long Island roads carry an inordinate amount of daily traffic, and high value goods into commerce, every transportation construction job creates three more in the community. Good roads are good for our communities and economy. The workers who build LI roads are our local residents and voters and we urge our local elected officials to recognize this issue as one of importance for all Long Islanders."

"We urge each Town Supervisor to look at this report card as a plan for improvement," concluded Herbst, "and for each voter to assess which candidate is paving the road to our economic recovery and welfare." Herbst says the Long Island construction industry will continue to be vigilant in monitoring the effectiveness of elected officials who are willing to make a stand on behalf of the region's infrastructure and job creation.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - October 9, 2009

Governor Paterson Rejects DOT 5-yr Funding Plan for Transportation and Again Abandons Long Island Roads, Workers and Economy


The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) rejects Governor Paterson's response to the plan. Governor Paterson's rejected the proposed NYS Department of Transportation 5-year Capital Plan on arrival before the plan was publicly distributed. The DOT plan, found on line here will guide and govern infrastructure planning and construction from 2010-2015.

Responding to the Governor's press release, Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA stated, "There is an abdication of executive leadership in this decision that is frightening. Put the historic unemployment of the state's construction workers aside, Governor Paterson's announcement trashes billions of preventive investment already put into our bridges and roads and tells the next generation, "Son, you're on your own." This is beyond burning down the village. This is salting the ground where the next economic recovery was supposed to start."

Governor Paterson had declared the plan, on arrival, as unaffordable given New York's current fiscal condition and that a multi-year plan will require federal funding. The Governor suggests that the State cannot afford a multi-year plan until the economy improves and that the plan must be need based; fiscally prudent without relying heavily on bonding; balance transit, rail and highway needs; and support the economic growth of New York.

"The Governor rejects the plan as unaffordable but he fails to advise motorists that he has silently done nothing to correct the cash flow crisis that contributes to the fiscal problems," Herbst explains. "The state's gas tax receipts, paid at the pump by our state's motorists, are being placed in the state's dedicated highway bridge and trust fund. That fund consistently is raided for non-capital construction purposes. More than $383 million from the State's operating accounts had to be transferred into the fund simply to keep it afloat." On top of that, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office reports that more than 70% of the fund now supports indebtedness, rather than capital programs, its intended purpose.

According to Herbst, the Governor's rationale is false on its face. This 5-year plan is a DOT mandate and the one window of opportunity to craft the blueprint to not only keep our infrastructure from crumbling but to provide the foundation for economic recovery. The LIA just released a report revealing that 8,200 construction jobs on Long Island have been lost in the last year and restoration of transportation funding will not only create direct employment, but three jobs out in the community for every job established.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst 631-231-5422

For immediate release - September 15, 2009

Confronting the bagels that could make Long Island's road reconstruction program go bust.

"Questioning the logic and who pays is the yeast we could do," says LICA's Herbst

BagelsIf one Port Jefferson Station bagel store convinced the taxpayer to pick up the cost of doing night work on the road outside their Route 112 outlet, how many bagels could the taxpayer buy? Given that night differential construction costs would spike the $70 million project by as much as an additional $12 million that would be the equivalent of:

12,000,000 bagels if they were plain $1 bagels.

1,382,488 bagels if you ordered Nova at $8.68 a bagel

1,200,000 for a baker's dozen at $10 a dozen.

2,823,529 bagels with nova cream cheese spread at $4.25 a bagel.

While the computations are droll, the implications are not which is why the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is warning local and state officials that if political pressure is successful in turning a Route 112 road improvement and reconstruction project into a night time project the cost to the taxpayer will rise exponentially, reducing dollars allocated to other much needed projects and protracting the construction period far into the future.

"We are entrusted with the public's money to create an infrastructure that is safe, sound and able to stand up for generations to come. There are means to address the concerns of businesses, whether it is one bagel store, or an entire shopping center but turning it into a night time project triggers enormous costs with differential time being paid for everything from the delivery of raw materials to the actual reconstruction work," stated LICA executive director Marc Herbst.

Continuing the computation, LICA says the estimated $12 million dollars needed to do night work on Route 112 would buy more than 17 bagel businesses if each one were estimated to be worth $700,000.

Let's break bread

"What needs to be done is the creation of a dialogue that ensures the road construction management process protects the taxpayer and the businesses that people have worked long and hard to create and sustain. We cite these numbers not to demean those businesses but to remind government, taxpayers, chambers of commerce and motorists that reconstruction of our infrastructure is a balance of dollars, common sense and inconvenience. Spending an additional $10 to $12 million to work at night at a time of a massive recession is destructive to our region and the priority roadwork that must be done," continued Herbst.

It is in the lunar computation that the $12 million night differential price tag begins to look like a bargain for taxpayers. With the moon some 15 billion inches from Earth and the average bagel size at 3 inches it would take about 5 billion bagels to get back to the Moon. At that number one could find it cost effective to redo Route 112 at night for a hundred years.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Jane Rubinstein 212 843-8000

For immediate release - August 27, 2009

Region's heavy construction equipment to be under coordinated emergency response in the event of hurricanes


Payloaders, bulldozers and other heavy equipment owned by Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) members will be under the coordinated control of Nassau and Suffolk Offices of Emergency Preparedness in the event of a hurricane under an agreement announced today by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Nassau County emergency response teams and LICA executives.

The announcement was made at 110 Sand Company, 136 Spagnoli Road, Melville, surrounded by many of the construction equipment that would be drafted into service in the event of a serious storm.

The creation of a coordinated strategy builds on past practices to lease the heavy equipment to various municipalities in the event of a hurricane, nor'easter or other disaster. Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA, stated that this effort build a better, more robust communications structure to ensure that hard hit areas get a prompt response.

"Hurricanes ignore municipal jurisdictions. How, when and who gets these types of construction equipment to clear paths, gain access for emergency vehicles and utility repair crews must be coordinated among those who have access to the `big picture' in the event of a major storm. Coordinating the allocation of these limited but powerful assets will ensure that we can recover faster from major damage," Herbst said.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy stated, "The effects of these weather systems can often be devastating," Levy said, "but with the right preparation we can mitigate damage before it occurs. Pre-planning and preparedness are essential, and knowing we will have these agreements in place will bring solace to all Long Islanders if a hurricane were to strike."

"Given our location as an island left vulnerable to the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island is very susceptible to the powerful and destructive nature of hurricanes. Taking precautions now, such as this coordinated effort between Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Long Island Contractors' Association, will ensure that we are well- prepared in the event that a hurricane hits Long Island," said Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi.

We will fight with what is on hand

In 1938, when the infamous "Long Island Express" hurricane literally carved new geographical features into the region, some 3,500 trees were destroyed in the Bridgehampton region alone. All told some 2 billion trees were lost in New England and Long Island as the storm drove north. That level of damage today, coupled with the wreckage from thousands of south shore wooden framed homes, would prevent emergency crews from responding for weeks were it not for the use of LICA's heavy equipment.

"There is no question that with Long Island's limited access to bridges and tunnels, we will recover from a hurricane only with the equipment we have on hand," stated LICA President Jim Pratt of Pratt Brothers. "That means LICA, and its member companies, will be on the front line with emergency first responders pushing aside the wreckage that allows them to get to the people and locations in need of help. Under this agreement, when a pending storm is declared a potential emergency for Long Island, a 24/7 communications chain will start to be activated that puts LICA members on notice so that equipment is positioned, fueled and ready."

Equally important, Herbst stated that trained operators of their specialized heavy equipment will be given LICA identification cards that allows emergency personnel to recognize those individuals and ensure they get to truck depots where payloaders, bulldozers and other needed equipment is waiting.

Fine tuning the first response

"We have been warned by meteorologists and climate scientists that there is a major hurricane out there with our name on it. We hear that warning loud and clear and the heavy construction industry is prepared to be part of the coordinated emergency response. This announcement marks a significant step up in our alert and response procedures with the equipment needed to start the region's recovery," stated Herbst.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Jane Rubinstein 212 843-8000

For immediate release - August 27, 2009

Region's heavy construction equipment to be under coordinated emergency response in the event of hurricanes


Payloaders, bulldozers and other heavy equipment under the ownership of members of the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) will be under the coordinated control of Nassau and Suffolk Offices of Emergency Preparedness in the event of a hurricane in a joint agreement to be announced at a news conference on Thursday, August 28th at 11:30 a.m. at 110 Sand Company, 136 Spagnoli Road, Melville, attended by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Nassau County emergency response teams and LICA executives.

The coordinated strategy builds on past practices to lease the heavy equipment to government in the event of a hurricane, nor'easter or other disaster. Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA, will state, "Hurricanes ignore municipal jurisdictions. How, when and who gets these types of construction equipment to clear paths, gain access for emergency vehicles and utility repair crews must be coordinated among those who have access to the `big picture' in the event of a major storm. Coordinating the allocation of these limited but powerful assets, will ensure that we can recover faster from major damage."

The announcement will be made surrounded by LICA's heavy construction equipment and past tree and limb debris removed from prior storms.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: State of New York
Department of Transportation

Contact: Eileen W. Peters - (631) 952-6632

For immediate release - August 20, 2009

NYSDOT ANNOUNCES CONSTRUCTION OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY PROJECT

$5.75 million Priority Resurfacing Will Rehabilitate Nassau and Suffolk County Roadways

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee and Long Island, Regional Director, Subi Chakraborti today announced construction is beginning on a $5.75 million project to resurface approximately nine miles of state roadways throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The construction contract was awarded to Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving, Inc. of Hicksville, Nassau County, New York. The project is funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

"This resurfacing work is one of many DOT projects that will improve our transportation system and bring jobs to communities across the state," Acting Commissioner Gee said. "I thank Governor David Paterson for certifying this important infrastructure project and our Congressional Delegation for bringing critical economic-recovery funding to New York State."

Congressman Gary Ackerman said, "These critical funds will go a long way towards improving our local roads and highways. It is essential that we continue to invest key resources in the future of our region. These upgrades to our local infrastructure will create jobs, spur economic growth and keep our roads and highways safe and strong for many years to come."

Congressman Timothy H. Bishop, "These upgrades are needed to improve the safety of drivers and to encourage economic growth in the region, By investing today in our roads and highways, we are creating jobs, improving public safety, and building a modern infrastructure that will benefit our communities for years to come."

Of the $1.1 billion New York State received for highway and bridge projects under ARRA, a total investment of $153 million in economic-recovery funding is expected to be certified for Long Island communities.

Under this project, the top layer of worn, distressed pavement of approximately nine miles of state roadways in Nassau and Suffolk counties will be removed and replaced with new asphalt pavement. Needed drainage improvements and pavement markings to further enhance motorists' safety will also be provided. To reduce the impact of construction, both night time and off-peak construction, limited to smaller sections of the project, are planned. Travel lanes will be open during peak travel periods and access to all businesses should be maintained. Locations for this project include: The Northern State Parkway in Nassau and Suffolk counties between the Long Island Expressway (LIE/I-495, Exit 37A) and Wolf Hill Road (Exit 41) in the towns of Oyster Bay and Huntington; NY Route 25A (Northern Blvd.) between Deepdale Drive and Fernwood Lane in the town of North Hempstead; and NY Route 25A (North Country Road) between Moriches Road and Stony Brook Road in the town of Smithtown. This project is expected to be completed in summer 2010.

"By resurfacing these heavily traveled sections of Long Island roadways, we will provide a smoother riding surface that helps reduce accidents and maintains the integrity of the pavement for years to come," said Chakraborti. "Together with minor drainage improvements that will improve the flow of storm water runoff, this project will further enhance the safety of hundreds of thousands of Long Island motorists."

Chakraborti noted the significant support of State Senators John Flanagan, Carl Marcellino, and Craig Johnson and Assembly members Steve Englebright, Michael Fitzpatrick, James Conte, Charles Lavine, and Michelle Schimel in delivering this regional transportation project.

Long Island Contractors Association Executive Director, Mark Herbst said, "At a time when the unemployment rate among the Long Island construction trades hovers near 30% projects such as these not only begin to address the infrastructure needs of the region but to fulfill the promise of the federal stimulus dollars allocated by Congress and championed by the likes of Congressman Bishop. While the economists may announce the Recession is beginning to recede no one in the construction can find reason to believe that is the case. These kinds of infrastructure projects need to be sustained and expanded in the months to come."

The economic-recovery funds coming to New York State for transportation projects must follow the same process required for distributing all federal transportation funds. The funds are allocated to projects that are selected by the 13 regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) across the state, which are comprised of local elected officials, local transit operators and NYSDOT representatives. MPOs vote unanimously on projects for their Transportation Improvement Program, and the projects are candidates for economic-recovery funds. The priority resurfacing project was approved by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NUMTC) to be eligible to receive ARRA funding.

Similarly, regions of New York State without MPOs are served by NYSDOT, which consults with local elected officials and selects projects for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The department worked with local officials and the Governor's Economic Recovery Cabinet to identify shovel-ready projects eligible for recovery funds.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst - 631-231-5422

For immediate release - July 27, 2009

GOVERNOR PATERSON URGES STATE AGENCIES TO EXPEDITE REVIEW OF LONG ISLAND DEVELOPMENT

"Lighthouse at Long Island" Would Create More than 90,000 Jobs, Generate More than $70 Million in Annual Tax Revenue

Complex Would Also Keep New York Islanders Hockey Team on Long Island

Governor David A. Paterson today urged State and county agencies to expedite a multi-billion-dollar development project that will yield tremendous economic and recreational benefits for Nassau County and New York State. The Governor spoke from the future Lighthouse site and was joined by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and other local officials.

"The Lighthouse Project has the potential to be one of the most important economic development initiatives we have ever seen on Long Island and is precisely the kind of economic stimulus that we need here," Governor Paterson said. "That's why I am directing our State agencies to expedite their review of this project. Our government agencies need to work diligently and swiftly to ensure that this project can move forward as quickly as possible so that we can begin to put people back to work right here on Long Island."

The Lighthouse at Long Island is slated to transform the 150-acre Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site into a mixed residential and commercial center, featuring a variety of housing, retail, shopping, athletic and entertainment venues. The project has been proposed by the Lighthouse Development Group, a joint venture between Charles B. Wang, Owner of the New York Islanders, and RXR, Long Island's largest owner, manager and developer of commercial real estate.

The $3.74-billion project is expected to generate $71 million in annual tax revenues, create 75,000 construction and 19,000 permanent jobs. This mixed-use development will be designed to be Long Island's largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), or certified environmentally friendly, project, transforming the Nassau Coliseum into a state-of-the-art arena that can accommodate 17,500 fans for hockey, 18,500 for basketball and 20,000 for concerts.

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said: "The Lighthouse presents a huge opportunity for Nassau County that will help grow our economy and create jobs. I am pleased that Governor Paterson has lent his support to this important project, which will be a major economic driver and create thousands of jobs. With the development of residential and commercial space, a large recreational park, and an improved sports and entertainment venue, the Lighthouse project will bring increased revenue to Long Island, attract new business, and place a spotlight on the Island for residents and visitors alike. Long Island needs the Lighthouse project and I am proud to stand with the Governor and call for the development of the project to be expedited so we can help rebuild Long Island."

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi said: "The Lighthouse can't come soon enough for Nassau County and all of Long Island. This project will bring thousands of jobs to the area, breathing life into new suburbia and jump-starting our economy. Now, more than ever, we need everyone in government to work together to get this project done, and I thank Governor Paterson for his support."

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said: "Hempstead town officials are focused on innovative and progressive development. The key in reviewing all development proposals of the magnitude of the Lighthouse project is to be thorough and complete in our work. After all, the decisions we make today will affect our children and grandchildren."

Charles B. Wang, principal and founder of the Lighthouse Development Group and owner of the New York Islanders, said: "We appreciate the support and direction from Governor Paterson and look forward to the progress he will help foster between the State, Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead to finally bring certainty to this project by the start of the next hockey season. The Lighthouse will be a catalyst to kick-start the Long Island economy and will be a destination for all Long Islanders to live, work and play."

The Town of Hempstead Board has scheduled a public hearing for August 4 and has invited community members to make official comments on the project.

The following quotes were provided in support of the Lighthouse at Long Island project:

Senator Brian X. Foley said: "As a member of the Senate Economic Development committee I see the importance of this project as an engine for the creation of jobs and expanding the tax base for the Long Island region. This will also enable sports franchises to stay on Long Island, providing recreational outlets for our Long Island residents."

Senator Kemp Hannon said: "Whether you are a fan of the Islanders or fan of the economy, this is one project to root for."

Senator Craig M. Johnson said: "The Lighthouse Project has the potential to significantly bolster Nassau's economy and its tax base. We need to do everything we can -- especially in these tough economic times -- to ensure that this, and similar projects, are subjected to a thorough review process, but avoid becoming trapped in red tape."

Assemblyman Robert D. Barra said: "The Lighthouse Project is the most important initiative of our time. The potential for job creation and tax revenue stability is astounding. We need this project to get Nassau County working again so we are not being taxed out of our homes, and to one day bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island where it belongs."

Assemblyman Charles Lavine said: "I am hopeful the Lighthouse project will become a reality because of the many benefits it will provide Long Island, including housing, retail space and thousands of jobs. This undertaking can be achieved only with the cooperation of State and county agencies and the input of residents. I am hopeful that when it is completed, Long Island will have a world class facility not only for professional hockey and arena football, but a concert venue that will replace the nearly four-decades-old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum."

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel said: "The Lighthouse Project has the ability to accomplish many of Nassau County's goals such as offering a variety of housing opportunities, promising economic development through new job creation, and significant mass transit upgrades. It would be a Long Island hat trick. I am proud to support Governor Paterson and County Executive Suozzi as they move forward on this project."

Assemblyman Rob Walker said: "As one of the youngest members of the State legislature, I have seen firsthand the negative impact of the downturn in the economy particularly on those young people who cannot afford to live on Long Island anymore, including many in my own family. The need for common sense development is essential and I look forward to working with all levels of government to move this project forward in order to provide the economic boost that our region needs."

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg said: "Today's announcement is a positive indication of progress that has included the cooperation of officials from State and local levels cooperating on a bipartisan basis to enhance the Long Island economy. With the input from the community, the Lighthouse development could provide much needed housing and retail space as well as much-needed new arena for Long Island's signature sport franchise, the Islanders. My thanks to County Executive Suozzi and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray for their leadership in coordinating this effort."

Presiding Officer of the Nassau County Legislature Diane Yatauro said: "I am encouraged to see the Lighthouse project gaining significant support and momentum. This is a high priority for Nassau County. The Lighthouse will create jobs, stimulate our regional economy and revitalize our mid-Nassau business center. I thank Governor Paterson for his much appreciated support. Working together we will move the Lighthouse forward!"

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dot Goosby said: "I'm eager to build a prosperous future, but I am also seeking to ensure that our environment is protected and that whatever may be built here will enhance the local quality of life."

President of the Long Island Federation of Labor John R. Durso said: "The Lighthouse project is the most significant project in Nassau County in decades. The jobs it will create both during the construction and post construction will have a significant impact on the economy of our County. This project will expand our tax base and bring millions of dollars into our schools and our communities. We in the labor movement applaud this project and will continue to work with all parties involved to bring this to a successful conclusion. The suburbs were born on Long Island this project represents the re-birth of our suburbs."

Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors Association Marc Herbst said: "The Lighthouse project is the perfect opportunity for a locally-driven stimulus for our regional economy. Our construction industry is suffering from 35-40 percent unemployment. Long Island should seize every opportunity to stimulate our economy, employ our workforce and deploy our skilled expertise to advance such locally important projects."

Executive Director Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island, a Smart Growth planning organization, said: "Vision Long Island applauds Governor David Paterson and New York State agencies for expeditious review of the Lighthouse project. The Lighthouse is the premier Smart Growth project for Long Island and has the support of local business, civic and community leaders as well as Smart Growth advocates and planners. Groundbreaking cannot come soon enough!"

Executive Director Sarah Lansdale of Sustainable Long Island said: "Sustainable Long Island applauds the leadership and partnership of Governor Paterson, Congresswoman McCarthy, County Executive Suozzi, Supervisor Murray and the other local officials who are ensuring Long Island's economic recovery through projects like the Lighthouse. Collaborations with government, community and business lead to innovative development projects that will ensure our economic future."
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst - 631-231-5422

For immediate release - July 2, 2009

Study Reports More than Half of Highway Fatalities Are Related to Deficient Roadway Conditions

Still No Movement by Albany on More Than Half of Federal Stimulus Roadway Projects for Long Island

(Hauppauge NY) A national study reported that more than half of the highway fatalities nationwide are related to deficient roadway conditions was issued today, less than a fortnight since the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) presented three skeletons draped on unused construction equipment at the Albany State Capitol, as an iconic symbol of an industry that can't wait any longer for the state's bureaucratic machinery to produce approvals.

PIRE (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation), a non-profit public health research organization, demonstrated in its landmark study that deficient roadway conditions are a substantially more lethal factor than drunk driving, speeding or non-use of safety belts.

"This study clearly drives home the message that road conditions are significant factors in highway safety and that failure to maintain roads and highways is a reliable predictor of loss of life and economic impact." reacted LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst. "When we know that road maintenance, upgrades, and traffic safety features can prevent crashes and reduce injury severity," Herbst continued, "it is unconscionable that more than half of Long Island's highway improvement projects remain stalled in Albany's bureaucratic morass."

The PIRE study ranked New York in the top ten states in two major considerations, the highest total cost of crashes involving deficient road conditions, and highest road-related crash costs per mile of road.

In New York State, annual costs associated with crashes where road conditions contributed to either crash frequency or severity include $938 million in medical costs, $2,094 million in productivity loss, $5068 million in quality of life loss, $2,505 million in other costs and $10,605 million in comprehensive costs. Stated in terms of cost per mile, the comprehensive cost per million vehicle-miles is $75,197 and $127,674 per road mile. These costs were calculated for 2006, the latest available full year.

On a national basis, PIRE revealed that deficiencies in the roadway environment contributed to more than 22,000 fatalities and cost the nation more than $217 billion annually, concluding that making the roadway environment more protective and forgiving is essential to reducing highway fatalities and costs. American businesses are paying an estimated $22 billion of the annual economic cost of motor vehicle crashes involving their employees in which roadway condition is a contributing factor, including health-related fringe benefit expenses for insurance, workers' compensation claims, sick leave and Social Security. These crashes cost government (taxpayers) at all levels $12.3 billion.

"We took skeletons and derelict equipment to Albany to represent the death of careers, loss of homes and missed opportunities that stimulus funds were supposed to create," concluded Herbst, "and now we learn that Albany's bureaucratic failure to approve routine and stimulus roadway projects in a timely manner can literally mean death to drivers and passengers on our roads."

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst - 631-231-5422

For immediate release - June 17, 2009

Three skeletons dramatize the pending death of the Infrastructure construction industry.

News from Downstate: We're dying. 'Shovel ready' means interment.

Click for a videoThe Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is presenting three mock skeletons across from the State Capitol draped on unused construction equipment as the iconic symbol of an industry that can't wait any longer for the state's bureaucratic machinery to produce approvals.

Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA stated, "We are in the midpoint of the 2009 heavy construction season and men and equipment continue to lie idle. Despite federal dollars being allocated, the industry faces unemployment levels exceeding 35%. These three skeletons represent the death of careers, the loss of homes and the missed opportunities these stimulus funds were supposed to create. For Long Island and all of downstate `shovel ready' means burial of the construction industry, not its rebirth."

The news conference comes on the heels of meetings with members of the Long Island Assembly and Senate delegation where the hard economic numbers and detailed analysis was presented to elected officials in a report entitled, "Long Island is in danger of being looted of its future."

Herbst told officials, "You may be hoping that Wall Street comes to the rescue and starts to rehire, invest and produce billions in state revenue. In fact, no one in the financial community expects that to happen for years. The recession is too deep, the investor too damaged, and Wall Street too shell shocked from systematic changes being dictated by Washington.

"Long Island has consistently demonstrated the ability to reinvent itself and create the revenue that helps make New York solvent. But to make it happen requires leadership in each Chamber so that a five year plan of prioritized state public works is identified, drafted, appropriated, and implemented," he continued.

LICA says it is not enough to propose a draft document. The group is calling for Albany to pass legislation that mandates the arrival of a five year master plan on the desk of the Legislature desks by October 1. The organization believes accountability is key if the public infrastructure is to be protected, strengthened and enhanced on Long Island and throughout New York.

Support from the State Comptroller & legislators

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the ability to expedite and prioritize these issues is key. He told LICA, "The federal stimulus funding is designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs," State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. "But there won't be any jobs created if New York doesn't get the money out the door and on to the roads and bridges. We need to start turning shovels. My office is approving stimulus related contracts about three days after we receive them. Unfortunately, we haven't received all that many. The state needs to get bids out, get contracts approved and get people to work."

New York State Senator John Flanagan (R-2nd S.D.) reacted, "The primary purpose of the stimulus money is to get our economy going and we need to have a clear plan to make it work. This funding belongs to the taxpayers of this state and they have a right to know where the money is, where it is going to be used and how it will create sorely needed jobs." "The men and women who build our infrastructure are the backbone of our state and it is time to use the stimulus money to put them back to work for the good of our collective future," he added.

Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, dean of Long Island's Assembly delegation, (D- 11th A.D.) observed, "New York State must expedite stimulus related projects. The federal funding will not improve our infrastructure or our competitiveness nor create or save a single job unless the funds are spent as intended."

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of Long Island's region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Marc Herbst - 631-231-5422

For immediate release - June 16, 2009

Three skeletons to arrive in Albany to dramatize the death of the construction industry.

News from Downstate: We're dying. 'Shovel ready" means internment.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) will hold a news conference with three life size replica human skeletons donning hard hats positioned on an inoperative, dilapidated piece of heavy equipment on State Street, beside the State Capitol, to symbolize the state's inability to aggressively move downstate infrastructure projects due to a lethargic, indifferent bureaucracy, contributing to the death of an industry.

Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA will state, "We are in the midpoint of the 2009 heavy construction season and NOT ONE SHOVEL has moved downstate despite federal stimulus dollars being allocated and counted. Instead, the industry faces unemployment levels exceeding 35%. These three skeletons represent the death of careers, the loss of homes and the missed opportunities these stimulus funds were supposed to create. For Long Island and all of downstate, `shovel ready' means burial of the construction industry, not its rebirth."

What: Long Island Contractors' Association to stage mock internment of construction industry.

When: Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at 11:00 a.m.

Where: State Street, New York State Capitol, Albany

Why: Multiple layers of state bureaucracy are preventing projects from starting and people from working.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Rubenstein Associates 212-843-8070, Gary Lewi

For immediate release - June 8, 2009

Sheryl Buro of Farmingville Named Comptroller by Long Island Contractors' Association


BuroThe Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) is pleased to announce that Sheryl Buro has been named Comptroller of the organization. LICA, the voice of Long Island's highway and infrastructure professionals has grown to over 120 members, contributing $3.8 billion in economic activity to the Long Island economy. Buro will be responsible for maintaining management functions for the association, including administrative, financial, market analysis, and marketing and personnel services.

"Sheryl Buro brings the highest caliber of expertise and capability to this organization," said Executive Director Marc Herbst. "Her experience is key to our continuing support for our members, and the continued expansion of programs and activities in our services that include maintaining industry standards, monitoring state and local regulatory actions, advocating for increased funding of public infrastructure projects, engaging in labor negotiations and contract enforcement, and providing timely industry news and information."

Buro previously worked with Ivy Asset Management LLC of Jericho, and F. A. Spina & Company, Incorporated of Huntington. Buro of Farmingville holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of our region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Visit www.licanys.org
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Rubenstein Associates 212-843-8000, Jane Rubinstein

For immediate release - May 7, 2009

Latest transportation funding formulas creating dangerous political schisms that will turn NYS against itself

Statement of Marc Herbst, Long Island Contractors' Association, Executive Director

There is a dangerous schism being created in New York State by our politicians. It does not run along any of those obvious and rather dangerous fault lines of income or race. Rather, our elected officials are creating a new and unstable two tier system of reward for those who travel for work, recreation or commerce. Simply put, they are funding mass transit at the expense of roads and bridges. They are making a conscious decision to punish the millions of New Yorkers who can't use rail and, by doing so, they are going to create a political rip tide that will be nothing less than ferocious.

Whether this is a lack of vision, an abdication of leadership or something far more calculated, it is destructive to our state, harmful to our impaired economy and corrosive to the fabric of our society. Their decision pits one group of stakeholders against another and, by doing so, takes punitive action against those who spend their time behind the wheel.

This formula cannot be allowed to stand because if it does it will destroy the very foundation upon which we are restarting our economy. It would be tragic that the lasting legacy of this funding schism is the destruction of the very region it sought to aid.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Rubenstein Associates 212-843-8010, Gary Lewi

For immediate release - April 23, 2009

Long Island Contractors' Association On Facebook
Invites Motorists To Speak Up For The Roads They Drive Every Day

~get the attention of those who decide what gets fixed, where and when~
LICA Facebook Launch Part of Statewide Call to Invest in Infrastructure to Invest in Our Future


Who speaks for the motorist driving to work? Who speaks for over 70,000 students who commute daily to college on Long Island? Who speaks for the truck drivers who move our goods, products and commerce? Who speaks for the tourist motoring to our multibillion dollar destination industry? The Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) says they should speak for themselves. And to each other. And to the elected officials who are dividing up the billions of dollars for infrastructure, mass transit and road repair.

So LICA has created a Facebook page opening a digital social network for those on wheels, allowing New Yorkers throughout the region that are dependent on roads and rubber to communicate with each other in a manner that is nothing less than historic.

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst says, "There is no stronger political force in the world than one that speaks to each other. We are putting the Internet to work in supporting a motorists' fair share crusade by creating this Facebook page that will allow anyone with a set of wheels to talk to each other about the state of their commute and how best to get the attention of those who decide what gets fixed, where and when."

LICA's move to social media is just one activity among the members of the Coalition to Keep New York Working a broad coalition of labor, business civic leaders and construction trades workers who have joined together in a common message that, investing in our infrastructure is investing in our future. Among the Coalition's actions are a rally at New York City Hall demanding that the State Legislature act swiftly to support the MTA funding plan and funding for major transportation infrastructure projects included in the State's Department of Transportation 5-year Capital Construction Program, and a Construction Industry Council (CIC) jobs rally with approximately 100 construction workers at the Westchester County Office Building in White Plains.

"The message is simple, `Fair share for the motorists.' Now, with the power of Facebook this community on wheels has the means to communicate with each other and decide when and how they want to be heard on the subject of road condition and repair."

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of our region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 231-LICA
www.licanys.org

Contact: Rubenstein Associates 212-843-8010, Gary Lewi

For immediate release - January 5, 2009

Long Island Contractors Association launches public information campaign to enlist region's motorists in the fight for infrastructure dollars


The Long Island Contractors Association has launched a public information campaign that seeks to enlist motorists throughout New York's downstate region in the fight to obtain crucial infrastructure dollars for public works. LICA is purchasing messages adjacent to commuter traffic reports on local radio stations so that the full implication of federal infrastructure funds can be immediately realized by every listener sitting on local roads and bridges.

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst stated, "It is not enough for a trade association to advocate on behalf of the state's public infrastructure. We need a grass roots campaign in which the voter is empowered by information to join forces with everyone who uses a road, drives over a bridge, crosses a street or waits for a truck to deliver their products. There is a lot at stake in the national competition for federal infrastructure funds and, to date, New York has failed to aggressively pursue its fair share or allocate dollars for projects on Long Island."

Narration for LICA's sponsored message explains, "This traffic report is brought to you by the Long Island Contractors Association which reminds you that without dollars to rebuild our region's infrastructure New York can't get on the road to economic recovery. Learn what you can do to help New York get its fair share at www.licanys.org.

Herbst says the listener will find a web site that warns how New York may allow itself to be a distant also ran in the competition for federal infrastructure dollars because there seems to be little political will to engage in the race. "Only now is New York talking about what they plan to compete for but Utah already 136 projects worth $10.8 billion submitted to Washington. New York State has only formally submitted 40 projects worth $550 million. In addition, it is unclear how many dollars would be allocated to which projects. For example, Long Island, with nearly 3 million people, remains dramatically underfunded for infrastructure projects."

Herbst says listeners are directed to a web site where they are encouraged to become directly involved by writing to their Congressmen, Senators and State elected officials to ensure that politicians know this issue has become a priority for their constituents.

"We are creating our own infrastructure future - either by our action or our inaction. This is a direct call to action and we think New Yorkers will respond," concluded the LICA executive director.

LICA represents the interests of over a hundred of our region's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the transportation infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers and other public works, LICA's member companies play a significant role in the economic vitality of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

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