Goethals Bridge Construction To Offer MWDBE Subcontracts

Spanning the Arthur Kill, the Goethals Bridge connects Elizabeth, New Jersey to Staten Island, New York, and plays an essential role in moving cargo and commuters between airports, seaports, and regional markets throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area.

Constructed for $7.5 million, the Goethals Bridge replaced three existing ferry lines when it opened in 1928. Traffic volumes grew steadily, reaching a height of over 14 million New York bound vehicles in 2010. However, an analysis conducted by the Port Authority in the early 1990s showed that, due to changing vehicle sizes, traffic patterns, and port volumes, the current Goethals Bridge is in need of major rehabilitation and frequently causes congestion due to its antiquated, narrow design. The agency proposed completely replacing the structure instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on rehabilitation, which would cause years of delays and fail to address the bridge's obsolete design.

The Port Authority has embarked on a Public-Private Partnership (also known as the P3) to provide the design, build, financing, and maintenance (DBFM) for a replacement bridge. Essentially, the P3 is a financial arrangement between the private sector and the Port Authority to fund the new bridge, which the Port Authority will operate.

The new bridge will be located directly south of the existing structure and is slated to include:

  • six 12- foot wide travel lanes (three lanes running in each direction);
  • a 12-foot wide outer shoulder; a 5-foot wide inner shoulder on each roadway;
  • a 10-foot wide sidewalk/bikeway along the northern edge of the New Jersey-bound roadway;
  • a central strip between the eastbound and westbound roadway decks sufficient to accommodate a future mass transit service.

To view a short computer simulation of the build, click here.

Cost projections indicate that replacing the Goethals Bridge will amount to $1.5 billion. Provisions have been included for MWDBE participation, and work is slated to begin in 2013.

After a Request for Qualifications in October 2010, three developers were deemed best qualified to participate in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the new bridge's DBFM. The three developers and their subcontractors are:

Goethals Bridge Development Group of Coral Gables, Fl

  • ACS Infrastructure Development, Inc.
  • Dragados USA, Inc.
  • Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects, P.C.
  • Granite Construction Northeast, Inc.
  • John Laing Investments, Limited
  • T.Y. Lin International

Metro Bridge Partners of Whitestone, NY

  • PB Americas, Inc.
  • Skanska Infrastructure Development, Inc.
  • Skanska Koch, Inc.
  • Skanska USA Civil Northeast, Inc.
  • Traylor Bros., Inc.

NYNJ Link Partnership of New York, NY

  • Kiewit Infrastructure Co.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Inc.
  • Parsons Transportation Group of New York, Inc.
  • Transfield Services North America, Transportation Infrastructure Weeks Marine, Inc.

P3 marks the first time the Port Authority is partnering to such an extent with the private sector. This innovative public-private partnership is an important step in advancing the well-being of the region.

Under the current agreement, the Port Authority will be responsible for collecting tolls and paying back the successful bidder over 30-40 years, with interest rates to be reset annually per the Consumer Price Index and other metrics, according to the initial Request for Information.

What this Means for MWBEs and DBEs

As part of the P3 effort, the Port Authority is pursuing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program loans administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. If accessed by the developer, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation will be required on the project.

Eligible MWBE companies are encouraged to pursue DBE certification through either the New York State or New Jersey Unified Certification Program (UCP) partners. The four certifying participants in the New York State UCP are:

  • the New York State Department of Transportation,
  • the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and
  • the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

The three certifying participants in the New Jersey UCP are:

  • the New Jersey Department of Transportation,
  • New Jersey Transit, and
  • the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

For more information on how you can prepare yourself to capitalize on subcontracting opportunities, please see the article Great Opportunities are Afoot, Are You Prepared? in this issue.

Please also take note of the List of Subcontracting Disciplines for the Goethals and Bayonne Bridge Projects in this issue. 

Expedited Timeline Announced for Bayonne Bridge "Raise The Roadway"

The Bayonne Bridge has served as a vital link between Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York since its completion in 1931. It provides easy access to both Manhattan (via the Holland Tunnel) as well as points west for the millions of vehicles that pass through its tolls (3.5 million in 2010 alone).

While the bridge has made life easier for commuters, it's also presented an obstruction to the region's continued economic growth. Large vessels cannot pass beneath the bridge's current roadway, which offers only 151 ft. clearance over the Kill van Kull. In response to this dilemma, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began the "Raise the Roadway" initiative in December 2010.

Under the "Raise the Roadway" project, a new roadway for the Bayonne Bridge will be constructed above the current one, resulting in a 215-ft. clearance that allows for the passage of larger "Post Panamax shipping vessels. In what many consider a feat of modern engineering, this construction will take place without closing the bridge to daily traffic. Cars and trucks will continue to cross over the current roadway while the new one is assembled overhead, thus maintaining ease of transportation between Bayonne and Staten Island (click here to view a detailed video of the planned construction phases). When combined with the Port Authority's ongoing 50-ft. harbor deepening project, "Raise the Roadway" will allow even the largest shipping vessels easy access to the Port of New York and New Jersey.

And there's more good news. On July 18, the Port Authority announced it will complete "Raise the Roadway" a full six months ahead of schedule. The revised timeline sees construction beginning in mid-2013 and finishing by Fall of 2015, in time to allow next-generation super-sized cargo vessels to enter the Port of New York and New Jersey once the newly-expanded Panama Canal opens in 2016. Experts forecast that "Raise the Roadway "will create more than 6,300 jobs for the region, $380 million in wages, and $1.6 billion in economic activity while ensuring that the Port of New York and New Jersey maintains its status as the premiere center of east coast trade for many years to come.

"Raising the roadway on the Bayonne Bridge paves the way to a brighter, competitive economic future for New Jersey and the region," said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. "Completing this important project ahead of schedule will ensure that our ports remain a vital link to the global economy and the destination of choice for international shippers and cargo."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed. "Raising the Bayonne Bridge is critical to ensure that our region's port will remain competitive in the global market. The expedited construction timeline puts the Port Authority on pace to complete this major construction project ahead of schedule . . . New York and the entire region will benefit directly from many of the 6,300 high-paying jobs created by the innovative Raise the Roadway project."

It's worth noting that, in 2011, the Port of New York and New Jersey set an all-time record for cargo volume, surpassing the previous record set in 2007 before the start of the global economic downturn. But competition remains fierce among East Coast ports. The Port of Miami, for instance, announced it will invest $450 million to build a new tunnel connecting its waterfront to its network of roads, thereby attracting more business. A similar announcement came from South Carolina's Port Charleston, where officials said they will invest $300 million. 

"Put simply," says Lash Green, of the Port Authority's Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights, "there's going to be a lot of subcontracting work available on the Bayonne Bridge project, and we want the MWBE and LBE community to participate and take advantage of the many opportunities."

What This Means for Certified MWBEs and LBEs

Beginning next year, bridge construction activities will provide needed, well-paying employment opportunities for a range of trades, from ironworkers to electricians, and provide significant economic benefits to local businesses. For a list of trades, please see the List of Subcontracting Disciplines for the Goethals and Bayonne Bridge Projects in this issue. 

To fast track the Raise the Roadway project, the Port Authority has prequalified five world-class construction teams seeking to bid on the major public works project. The prequalified teams include:

  • American Bridge (American Bridge, Tutor-Perini, Traylor Brothers);
  • Bayonne Bridge Builders, Joint Venture (Schiavone Construction Co., LLC, Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc., Defoe Corporation);
  • CRJD Bayonne (Conti Enterprises, Inc., J.H.Reid General Contractor, Judlau Contracting, Inc., DYWIDAG-Systems International USA, Inc.);
  • Flatiron/EE Cruz/Tully, A Joint Venture (Flatiron Constructors, Inc., E.E. Cruz and Company, Inc., Tully Construction); and
  • Skanska Koch – Kiewit JV Team (Skanska Koch, Kiewit Infrastructure Co.)

According to Engineering News Record rankings, the five joint venture contracting teams include five of the top ten national transportation firms.

For more information on how you can prepare yourself to capitalize on subcontracting opportunities, please see the article Great Opportunities are Afoot, Are You Prepared? in this issue.

Great Opportunities Are Afoot, Are You Prepared?

Is your firm ready to compete for all the remarkable opportunities outlined in this issue (and more set to come in the future?) Preparedness is the key to any successful venture, and the following

  • Have you bookmarked the Supplier Diversity section of the Port Authority's website? You should, and check it regularly to stay abreast of forthcoming, important announcements related to subcontracting opportunities. Visit http://www.panynj.gov/business-opportunities/supplier-diversity.html.
  • Have you made sure your online Mini-Profile is up to date? It is easy to let key information about your firm expire. Make certain your contact information is current, as well as your certification status. Pay special attention to the reevaluation date on your MWBE certificate. If your certification has expired, take immediate steps to update it.
  • Have you joined our LinkedIn group: "Supplier Diversity Programs at The Port Authority of NY & NJ"? LinkedIn has fast become one of the more exciting, effective, and dynamic ways for companies to solicit work from each other, advertise forthcoming projects, and build stronger, more reliable and forward-looking business networks. The Port Authority began a group geared specifically toward our registered MWSBE community. Members learn about upcoming opportunities while sharing information about business trends and their expertise. You can check out our LinkedIn group by clicking here.
  • Have you applied for DBE certification with either the New York State or New Jersey UCP partners? 
    • For the NYS UCP website click here.
    • For the NJ UCP website click here.

List of Subcontracting Disciplines for the Goethals and Bayonne Bridge Projects

  • Air Monitoring
  • Asbestos Removal
  • Bridge Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Concrete/Precast Concrete
  • Construction Equipment
  • Construction Inspection
  • Construction Materials and Supplies
  • Construction Trailers
  • Cost Estimating
  • CPM Scheduling
  • Demolition
  • Electrical
  • Excavation/Site Preparation
  • Fencing
  • Graphic Design/Printing
  • Green Building
  • HazMat (including removal, testing and disposal)
  • Janitorial
  • Landscaping/Streetscaping
  • Lighting (including aesthetic, bridge, street)
  • Maintenance and Protection of Traffic
  • Masonry
  • Noise and Vibration Monitoring
  • Office Furniture/Supplies
  • Ornamental Metal
  • Painting
  • Paving
  • Pest Control/Exterminating
  • Plumbing/HVAC
  • Rebar Installation
  • Roadway Construction (including curbs and sidewalks)
  • Roofing
  • Signage (aesthetic, construction, traffic control)
  • Site Security and Safety
  • Snow Removal
  • Sprinklers/Fire Systems
  • Steel
  • Trash Removal/Waste Disposal
  • Trucking
  • Utility Relocation

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Celebrates Graduates

"It's hard, very hard," said Charles Williams. "It's like double jeopardy -- you did your time, but it's still difficult to find work."

Mr. Williams is 39 years old. He served 11 years for drug offenses and now finds himself speaking for the community of ex-offenders who say that reintegration with society – finding the means to begin a new, productive life -- is harder than they had hoped. Harder, though not impossible.

On June 26, 2012, Mr. Williams joined nearly a dozen men and women in becoming the second proud class of graduates from the Metro Newark Environmental Job Development and Training Program, a Newark-based initiative run in partnership by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NJISJ works to address social and economic imbalances between inner city populations and the rest of the nation.

"This [program] gives people a chance to give back to the community, and be productive where they live," said John Martin, a spokesman for U.S. EPA. 

The commencement ceremony was held at the Paul Robeson Center on the Rutgers-Newark campus. Speakers included Lisa Feldt, Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA , and Tracey D. Syphax, a former drug dealer turned prosperous New Jersey business man who inspired the graduates with his own incredible story of hope, courage, and self-determination.

The Metro Newark Environmental Job Development and Training Program prepares its students for careers in lead abatement, asbestos removal, hazardous-waste management, and other "green jobs" skills. Remarkably, the program boasts a 100 percent placement rate for its graduates. Along with the opportunities now available to him through his graduating from the program, Mr. Williams said he has also found work at Anheuser-Busch and the Prudential Arena. He plans to apply for a third job with a major soft-drink manufacturer.

Port Authority Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights Director Lash Green says "By providing local residents with the skills necessary to get jobs in the 'green' industry, we are helping to keep this region's job market strong and its economy growing. This program provides students with the personal, academic, and vocational skills they need, and graduates often have the opportunity to become full-fledged professionals."

NJISJ is a Newark-based urban research and advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of New Jersey's urban areas and residents. Established in 1999 by the Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein Foundation, the Institute provides a dynamic and independent voice for change necessary to create just, vibrant and inclusive urban communities throughout New Jersey.

The Opportunity Report is published by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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