May 24, 2022

LICA-Attends-AGC.pngLICA Attends AGC NYS Highway Division Meeting

On Wednesday, May 18, Cheri Rice represented LICA at the AGC NYS Highway Division Membership Meeting and Business Session held at the Melville Marriott. Billy Haugland, Highway Chairman for AGC NYS (and LICA board member) welcomed the attendees to the meeting.

Walter Pacholczak, AGC NYS’s Vice President of Government Affairs brought the group up to date on the association’s priorities in Albany this legislative session. The association is vigorously opposing the proposed ‘Carlos’ Law’, which ultimately seeks to award between $500,000 and $1 million worth of fines upon companies whose safety violations lead to workers dying on the job. This is a stark difference from the previous maximum fine of $10,000. (Read more about the proposed bill).

One bill that the GCA, LICA and other industry partners are lobbying hard to get passed is the Material Price Escalation Bill (S8844), introduced in the Senate by NYS Senator Reichlin-Melnick. The proposed bill relates to amending state construction and commodity contracts to provide equitable relief to contractors who have sustained unanticipated expenses by reason of construction materials price escalations. It is a critically important piece of legislation for all our contractors, particularly during these volatile times with global health and political issues affecting supply chains and pricing.

NYS DOT Region 10 Director Richard Causin followed Walter with some good news about upcoming Long Island projects. According to Rich, approximately 15 projects (costing between $1 million and $10 million each) are due to be let between now and FY 2023.  There are also four large jobs in the design phase that will be let between 2023 and 2025: the seventh segment of  Rt. 347; Oakdale Marge reconstruction, Southern State Parkway (exit 13) and I-495 concrete pavement repairs between exits 67-69. As many of us are aware, Gov. Hochul’s NYS Budget has increased CHIPS funding, Pave NY funding, Extreme Weather Recovery funding as well as funding for ‘Pave our Potholes’!

Other news that Richard shared was that the Governor’s Work Zone Safety Enforcement program will begin installing cameras at various jobsites beginning June 22. ‘Operation Hard Hat,’ a safety and awareness program targeted at cutting down incidents in work zones, will have NYS Police at jobsites to ticket motorists who aren’t obeying the law. Last year, New York State Troopers gave out approximately 25 tickets per hour on Long Island during the program.

Craig Ruyle, NYS Region 11 Director, followed Causin with more good news, recapping how COVID didn’t stop jobs from being let and completed. Some were done in record time, like Haugland’s repaving of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) which was finished in about 6 months, when 2 years had been allocated. In the coming years, significant projects totaling around or over $1 billion, will be let in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

John Sucharski, Sr VP for MTA Construction & Development’s Delivery Services Office shared with the group an overview of the 100+ active LIRR projects. Their new website for more information is:  new.mta.info/agency/construction-and-development/contracting.

Sarah Patrie, P.E., VP of Transportation Services at AGC NYS closed the meeting with some updates:

  • Electrification of buses and the supporting infrastructure CLCPA required by NYS: the scoping document has been received and is being reviewed by AGC NYS.
  • DEC has a new reporting requirement for companies with over 50 vehicles over 8500 lbs.  Also being reviewed by AGC NYS.
  • Standard 619 – Work sheets have changed; Changes to Section 100. Trucking insurance upgrades that should be reviewed by your insurance agents. 
  • An upcoming event that should be of interest to our industry is the 31st Annual Construction Industry Conference which will take place in-person December 6-8, 2022, at the Saratoga Hilton & City Center.

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