Deputy Commissioner for Bridges
Henry D. Perahia
Mr. Perahia is the Department of Transportation's Chief Engineer as well as its Chief Bridge Officer. Mr. Perahia is a lifelong New Yorker, with both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering from the City College of New York. He is also a Professional Engineer, licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey.
For the first 11 years of his career, he worked for private consultants in the planning, licensing, designing, constructing and operating of large industrial facilities. In 1983, he left the private sector to work for the New York City Department of Sanitation, and was the Director of Engineering for the Bureau of Waste Disposal. In that capacity, he was responsible for all the engineering and planning activities of the Bureau. He supervised the divisions of Project Design and Construction, Landfill Engineering, and Planning & Implementation, as well as contractors and independent consultants in activities related to the design and operation of bureau facilities.
In 1989 Mr. Perahia joined the Department of Transportation as the Director of Engineering Management for the Bureau of Transit Operations. In that capacity, he was responsible for the planning, design, and implementation of all the bureau's capital and expense projects for the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of ferries, terminals, movable bridges, fender structures and maintenance facilities. During his tenure, the bureau's capital commitment performance increased from less than 15% to over 97%.
In 1994 Mr. Perahia was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Bridge Maintenance, Inspections and Operations. In that capacity, he was responsible for the maintenance and inspection of all of the City-owned bridges. He directed a staff of approximately 650 engineers, trades people, analysts, and clerical personnel; and was responsible for an annual expense budget of approximately $40 million and an annual capital budget of approximately $50 million. Major accomplishments included instituting a preventive maintenance program for East River Bridges, initiatives for the use of salt substitutes, and the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for lead paint removal.
In 1998 Mr. Perahia was promoted to Chief Engineer of the Department. In 1999, he was given the added responsibilities of Chief Bridge Officer. As Chief Engineer, he serves as the Department's representative on all engineering issues, including review of all major Department projects, response to engineering emergencies, and advising the Commissioner on all engineering issues. As Chief Bridge Officer, he is responsible for the planning and administration of all aspects of design, construction and maintenance of approximately 750 City-owned bridges, tunnels, and culverts, with an annual capital program of approximately $500 million and an annual expense budget of approximately $56 million.
The Division of Bridges is responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of all City owned bridges and tunnels. It undertakes the design and construction of all rehabilitation and reconstruction work, including in-house design, engineering support, engineering review, and quality assurance. It inspects the City's bridges to identify hazardous or potentially hazardous.