Marc Becker photo
Speakers (L-R, seated) Joe Keane, MTA Bridges & Tunnels; Marcelo Velez, Columbia University; Julie D’Orazio, AECOM; Joseph Mizzi, F. J. Sciame Construction Co. Inc.; and Wally Caban, PANYNJ. Presenters (L-R, standing) Lenore Janis
“We rely on the expertise of you and your firms to keep us going — each project has different challenges,” said Wally Caban, assistant chief engineer of construction, PANYNJ, at the March 6, Meet the Construction Chiefs networking and exhibit table event hosted by Professional Women in Construction (PWC) at Club 101 in New York City. Caban was addressing a crowd drawn from small, mid-sized and large AEC businesses and related service industries as well as numerous professionals and vendors.
He noted that $3 billion in active construction occurred over the past four years then offered glimpses into the $500 million capital program for his construction unit for 2013, with approximately 110 new contracts planned for the Bayonne Bridge; Goethals Bridge; all metro area airports — JFK, LaGuardia and Newark; plus improvements and hurricane Sandy repairs for the PATH and Port Commerce.
Marcelo Velez, associate vice president, Manhattanville Development Group, Columbia University, gave updates on multi-phased plans for the new academic mixed-use campus to be built in West Harlem that will include development of 17 sites totaling 6.8M sq. ft. of academic, academic research, recreational and residential space.
Construction is well under way on a 450,000 sq. ft. Jerome L. Greene Mind Brain Behavior Institute and the Central Energy Plant and design is progressing on the Lenfest Center for the Arts; the Academic Conference Center; and the 450,000 sq. ft. Columbia Business School.
Julie D’Orazio, vice president, Northeast Transit/Rail market sector manager, AECOM, said that with her firm’s acquisition of Tishman, “we have moved from an A/E firm to an E/C firm. It’s an important distinction as it mirrors where the market and our clients are moving towards — which is looking for turnkey solutions that can expedite the design phase to construction completion. Nowhere is that more important as with needed repairs and mitigation measures to rail infrastructure after Super Storm Sandy. AECOM is working closely with our clients to restore rail systems destroyed by Sandy including PATH, which sustained significant damage.”
AECOM plays a key role on many large complex projects ongoing in NYC — including East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway, WTC PATH Terminal and Moynihan Station Phase I Construction.
Joe Keane, chief engineer, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the toll agency behind the MTA, spoke of a $2.1 billion capital program over five years with 15 percent committed for 2013. Thirty-five design and construction management contracts and 25 construction contracts will be awarded over the next two years. In addition, there will be three design/build contracts awarded. He noted a major $200 million project, the replacement of the Bronx Toll Plaza and work on restoration following Sandy.
Keane spoke of the agency’s two-tier small business mentoring program (SBMP), which includes minority and woman-owned business enterprises and provides training and an opportunity to work on MTA construction projects of $25,000 to $1 million.
Joseph Mizzi, president of F.J. Sciame Construction Company Inc., noted such recently completed or under construction projects as: FDR Memorial Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island designed by Louis Kahn which opened to the public last fall; 51 Astor Place, a 365,000 sq. ft. core and shell commercial office building with Edward J. Minskoff Properties completing spring 2013; and the newest 100,000+ sq. ft. engineering building at Princeton University. Just launched projects include the Columbia University Medical Center Physicians and Surgeons Building; a building for CUNY on the NYC College of Technology campus; and work on High Line Section III at Hudson Yards with the NYC EDC.
For more information, call 212/486-7745 or visit www.pwcusa.org/ny.