Governor George E. Pataki today demonstrated bold leadership for the revitalization of Lower Manhattan by affirming that the aggressive timeline he set forth in April is "right on track."
Speaking at an Association for a Better New York/Downtown Lower Manhattan Association luncheon at the Ritz Carlton, the Governor announced the creation of a Lower Manhattan construction command center to coordinate construction at the World Trade Center site across every level of government and with the private sector.
The new command center will ensure that construction conflicts do not hinder the rebuilding effort, while minimizing the impact of construction on residents, businesses, workers and commuters.
"We are entering into a new phase in the rebuilding effort, moving from planning to implementation. In the next year we will begin building the world's tallest building, a 21st century transportation hub, and most importantly a memorial, all at the same time," Governor Pataki said. "All of these projects will require tremendous coordination among all the rebuilding agencies, so I have directed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority, to work with the City of New York and all the agencies involved in the rebuilding effort, to establish a new command center in the upcoming months."
The new command center will coordinate all construction activity south of Canal Street. All agencies involved in construction will staff the command center. The center will be managed by a director, who in partnership with the development agencies, will establish protocols for Lower Manhattan construction, coordinate and maintain a construction schedule of activities; and keep residents, businesses, and visitors apprised of scheduled work and progress.
"I also applaud Mayor Bloomberg for taking an important step in proposing the Coordinated Construction Act for Lower Manhattan," Governor Pataki said.
The City's proposal for the "Coordinated Construction Act for Lower Manhattan" includes the following provisions:
- Allows public agencies to pre-qualify bidders, which ensures speed and high quality;
- Allows the City and the utility and telecommunications companies to bid together on infrastructure projects, which greatly reduces the need to rip up streets repeatedly;
- Requires the use of contractors with state-certified apprenticeship programs on large projects, which increases safety on the worksite, ensures minority access to construction jobs and trains a future skilled workforce;
- Requires the City to follow the State's laws on the hiring of minority- and women-owned businesses, which ensures wide opportunities;
- Allows the use of owner-controlled insurance programs and the use of alternate dispute resolution if so desired, which would help win insurance at an affordable rate and reduce costs;
- Requires all public agencies to use ultra low diesel fuel with construction vehicles, which keeps the air clean and the workers healthy;
- Makes it easy for public agencies to purchase construction goods, such as fuel, cooperatively and thus, more inexpensively.