NYC officials push for Cuomo to allow for “design-build” for city projects

City officials desperately want Gov. Cuomo to allow them to use a fast-track contracting method that could lead to big savings on big projects.

A bill passed by the state Legislature in June would allow several New York City agencies to leverage “design-build” — a method the governor has cited as the reason why the new Tappan Zee and Kosciusko bridges were completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

The bill still awaits Cuomo’s signature.

The method bids out design and construction work as a single contract, and forces private contractors to cover any extra costs that come with unexpected changes to a project.

“Design-build saves time and money and leads to better projects,” said city Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “Once signed by Gov. Cuomo, this will speed up construction of firehouses, libraries, medical facilities and other vital community institutions, all while saving taxpayer money.”

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and state Sen. Diane Savino sent a letter to Cuomo last month urging him to sign the bill quickly.

The pair said they wanted the city to use a design-build bidding process to complete reconstruction of four crumbling bridges on the Belt Parkway in South Brooklyn. The city Department of Transportation estimated the construction won’t be done until the end of 2028 with its current contracting method.

Cuomo is such a big fan of design-build that he pushed through legislation that requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to use the contracting method for any project that costs more than $25 million.

When asked why the governor hasn’t signed the design-build bill, Cuomo spokesman Patrick Muncie said the office was busy with hundreds of other pieces of legislation.

“There were more than 900 bills that passed both houses at the end of session and nearly 500 bills remain under review,” Muncie said.

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