$41 million bridge rehabilitation will strengthen vital infrastructure
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that work will begin on Western New York's first design-build project to strengthen infrastructure in Niagara County. The project is composed of a $41.1 million rehabilitation of the three bridges carrying I-190 and NY Route 265 (Military Road) over the New York Power Authority reservoir in the towns of Niagara and Lewiston.
Cuomo passed New York's first design-build law in 2011, "streamlining the bureaucracy of major infrastructure projects to speed construction schedules and reduce cost." As part of his executive budget, Cuomo has proposed extending the legislation that authorizes use of the design-build procurement method. That legislation currently expires at the end of 2014.
Without design-build, these bridge reconstruction projects would not have reached the construction stage for another two years.
"We are using the design-build process for the first time in Western New York to jump-start bridge projects that are a key part of the region's vital infrastructure," Cuomo said. "The design-build process will help us strengthen these bridges on a speedy and efficient schedule that keeps costs low. This is another step forward in our effort (to) reimagine New York's infrastructure to be ready for the future."
This project meets the goals of Cuomo's "Drivers First" initiatives to ensure construction causes the least impact to motorists.
Work on the project is expected to continue through December 2016.
The project includes the complete bridge superstructure replacements for the southbound I-190, northbound I-190 and NY 265 bridges over the NYPA reservoir. The approach slabs will also be replaced, and repairs will be made to the substructures of the bridges. New guiderail will be installed along both I-190 and NY 265. NY 265 will be resurfaced between its intersections with NY Route 31 and NY Route 104.
"Rehabilitating the bridges over the power reservoir will restore the integrity of these structures to ensure that they remain serviceable for the next 40 years," said DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. "Thanks to Gov. Cuomo, this project is another smart investment in our infrastructure, which will minimize future maintenance and repair costs with minimal disruption to traffic."
The design-build process, implemented by Cuomo in December 2011, allows for the combining of design and construction services into single contracts to help expedite repair work to vital infrastructure to save taxpayer money. Design-build contractors submit proposals to design and build the bridge at the same time. This usually results in a design consultant teaming up with a construction contractor to jointly deliver the project.
The design-build team for this project includes Oakgrove Construction Inc. (construction); Bergmann Associates Inc. and Hatch Mott MacDonald Group Inc. (design); Urban Engineers of New York (inspection services); and SJB Services (material testing).
As part of the "Drivers First" initiative developed by Cuomo last year, the project plans went through rigorous review to ensure construction will have the least possible impact to the traveling public. For this project, it was determined that performing most of the work at night, with limited lane and ramp closures, would allow the project to be completed and meet the goals of the "Drivers First" initiative.
Cuomo's camp said it is imperative motorists remember to drive carefully through this and the many other highway and bridge construction zones they will encounter during the upcoming construction season.
State Sen. George Maziarz said, "The repairs getting underway next week are substantial, and they are critical. These bridges are at the center of a key travel artery in western Niagara County, and we must make every effort to minimize the impact of construction on area motorists. The design-build strategy will help us achieve that goal, not to mention getting the project starter sooner than expected."
Assemblyman John Ceretto said, "This is an important infrastructure project that will ensure the future safety of both residents and tourists while also creating much-needed construction jobs for the region. This is another step in the progress we have made toward redeveloping Western New York and the Niagara Falls area."
Assemblywoman Jane Corwin said, "These complete bridge superstructure replacements will have a profound positive impact on both the Niagara and Erie county economy. Ensuring safer roads in addition to reinforced bridge and guardrail structures will allow for more efficient travel, and improve conditions for commuters who want to take advantage of all that Niagara County has to offer. These improvements will reinforce driver safety and open the gateway for more tourism in Lewiston, Wilson and throughout the Niagara County Wine Trail."
William L. Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, said, "The rehabilitation of these three bridges in Niagara County is a major investment in our region's infrastructure, and will mean a safer and significantly improved commute for the local community. By moving this project forward under the design-build model and in line with the 'Drivers First' initiative, the governor is ensuring that these critical improvements are completed quickly and with minimal impact to local commuters. This is a major win for Western New York, and I look forward to seeing the project completed."
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