$107M Contract Awarded for Rikers Island Project

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2019

Joint venture AECOM (Los Angeles) and Hill International (Philadelphia) has been recently awarded a $107.4 million contract by the New York Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for the program and project management of four original New York City jails.

The project plans to replace the 85-year-old Rikers Island detention facility and is the city’s first-ever design-build program.

Design-Build Discussions

Mayor Bill de Blasio first announced the closing of Rikers in April 2017—a capital project involving a 10-year plan—that would close the eight facilities on the island and build four smaller facilities in locations around the city.

A little more than a year ago, in March 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s counsel Alphonso David penned an outline to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson proposing New York City allow design-builds for all capital projects.

Through a design-build, one team (often a joint venture or partnership) is responsible for the design phase through construction, streamlining large projects into one contract.

Prior to David’s proposal, legislation for expanding design-build as an option for more agencies and municipalities in New York had failed to pass entirely. However, at the time it was proposed once more, big projects planned such as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Rikers Island were forming, stressing various time crunches.

“[If] the city was aggressive in expediting the closing of Rikers, they would request design/build authorization for construction of the new jails,” David’s letter read.

By February of this year, de Blasio and his administration announced a new initiative, “Strategic Blueprint for Construction Excellence,” which included a design-build strategy, among others, in effort to control construction costs and reduce schedule times of capital projects.

“We are overhauling operations in order to deliver City capital projects more efficiently and within budget,” de Blasio said in a press release. “This plan will ensure critical infrastructure projects are finished faster and with less disruption to our neighborhoods.”

What’s Happening Now

The DDC will be working with AECOM-Hill in order to structure the upcoming procurement, develop program requirements and manage the chosen design-build teams. Design-build teams will be chosen for the construction of the four new jails, slated to be built in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Moving forward in the $107.4 million contract, JV AECOM-Hill will be tasked with the following:

  • Creation of procedures, protocols, forms and program and project manuals for all aspects of the design-build program;
  • Development of procurement strategies and protocols;
  • Creation of program- and project-specific virtual document and payment control systems;
  • Preparation and management of industry outreach strategies;
  • Preparation of specifications and criteria for each design-build project;
  • Monitor the design-build teams’ minority- and women-owned business enterprise requirements;
  • Management of the four jail projects until closeout of each; and
  • Quality assurance/quality control services.

“DDC will soon face a pressing need for contractors and subcontractors of all types to complete the borough-based jails program for New York,” said Commissioner Lorraine Grillo.

“We strongly encourage vendors seeking to do business with the City of New York to become familiar with contracting requirements, and, if eligible, to become a New York City-certified Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise.”

According to The Real Deal, the total project is slated to cost $8.7 billion and each facility will house 1,500 inmates. A request for qualifications is anticipated to be issued no earlier than December.

“We’re humbled to support DDC and the City of New York on this first-of-its-kind transformative design-build program,” said Steve Morriss, AECOM’s president of its Design and Consulting Services group in the Americas.

Rikers Island jail facility is expected to close by 2027.


Tagged categories: Construction; Contract awards; Contractors; Contracts; Design build; Government; Government contracts; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Prisons; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Upcoming projects

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