FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #19-006
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850
De Blasio Administration Highlights a Major Bronx Construction Project Using MWBE Companies
Since the beginning of the Administration the city has awarded over $10 billion in contracts to M/WBEs under the OneNYC program; One certified firm, Blackridge Construction, a minority-owned small business, won a $3.4 million contract to help reconstruct Unionport Bridge over the Westchester Creek in the Bronx
THE BRONX - To celebrate City Hall in Your Borough week in the Bronx, the de Blasio Administration highlighted Blackridge Construction, a Bronx based minority-owned firm. Among its contracts with the City, Blackridge won a $3.4 million sub-contract on a major DOT project, the $226 million reconstruction of the Unionport Bridge over the Westchester Creek in the Bronx – a project with contracts with 26 separate MWBE firms. De Blasio Administration officials made the announcement today at Blackridge’s headquarters in Hunts Point.
Last year, Mayor de Blasio announced that the City awarded more than $10 billion to M/WBEs since 2015, when the Mayor established his OneNYC goal to award $20 billion to M/WBEs by 2025. In 2018 alone, the City awarded more than $3.7 billion to M/WBEs through mayoral and non-mayoral agencies.
“New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the word, and it is important that in all of the work we do, we reflect that,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Last year, DOT was among the top five agencies in M/WBE awards, with more than $275 million in contracts to MWBEs since 2015. It is an honor to continue working with Mayor de Blasio on initiatives addressing historic disparities in contracting, and DOT thanks Blackridge Construction for their valuable work helping us build a better Unionport Bridge.”
“The Mayor’s M/WBE goals go further than any other Administration before it,” said Senior Advisor and Director of the M/WBE Office Jonnel Doris. “Each year, contracts awarded to M/WBEs like Blackridge Construction allow for small businesses to grow, hire employees, and help foster economic development in their neighborhoods. As demonstrated here in the Bronx, M/WBE certification is key. I am proud to say that for the construction services sector, the number of contracts awarded is growing and revitalizing much needed local infrastructure that improves safety and quality of life for all.”
Mayor's Office of MWBEs: As part of the Administration’s OneNYC efforts, Mayor de Blasio created the Mayor's Office of MWBEs in 2016 to address historic disparities in City contracting and provide minority and women entrepreneurs increased opportunities to do business with the City. The Office is responsible for oversight, policy and accountability of the City's M/WBE Program. It serves as a One-Stop-Shop for MWBEs interested in doing business with the city and its agencies. Since its creation, over $10 billion in contracts have been awarded to ethnic and gender-diverse companies throughout New York City.
Unionport Bridge: Completed in 1953, the Unionport Bridge is a moveable bridge that carries Bruckner Boulevard over the Westchester Creek, connecting the Unionport and Schuylerville sections of the Bronx. The bridge is located in the high-traffic “Bruckner Interchange” that also includes the Cross Bronx Expressway and the Hutchinson River Parkway. On an average weekday, over 60,000 vehicles cross the bridge. DOT’s $226 million reconstruction of the Unionport Bridge consists of construction of a temporary bridge, followed by a full demolition and replacement of the movable bridge itself as well as its approach spans and roadways from Zerega Avenue to Brush Avenue. The new bridge will also include separated bike and pedestrian paths from the roadway to improve safety. Reconstruction is expected to be completed by 2021.
Blackridge Construction: Headquartered in Hunts Point and certified at the Federal, state and local level as an MWBE and DBE, Blackridge provides dump truck services, excavation, as well as paving and milling to contractors in the New York area. The company employs up to 50 employees, the vast majority of them Bronx residents and people of color. Blackridge Construction has worked on a number of projects for major transportation agencies – including work with the MTA on the 86th Street Q subway station, and with the Port Authority for reconstruction of runways at JFK Airport. In Fiscal Year 2018, the firm was awarded a $3.4 million subcontract by DOT for the replacement of the Unionport Bridge. James C. Carroll, president of Blackridge, has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry, and is a New York City native.
“Our certification as an M/WBE has been a critical part of our success as a small business, and we thank the Mayor,” said James “Chris” Carroll, President of Blackridge Construction. “We are not only based in the Bronx, we employ people from the community. We are also proud to be part of the construction team replacing the Unionport Bridge right here in the Bronx. The hard work we are doing there right now will allow this tough bridge to stand another hundred years.”
“It is important that the contracts awarded by the City of New York reflect the demographics of our communities. The MWBE designation provides equity in economic opportunities throughout NYC. As a minority and immigrant New Yorker, I’m proud that this major DOT capital project of renovating Unionport Bridge will include Blackridge Construction, a MWBE firm from the Bronx,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation.
“Ambitious goals on paper only gain meaning when they are realized in practice. That’s why I welcome this announcement. It represents another important milestone on a pathway to success in realizing our City’s commitment to MWBEs and to economic inclusion,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the NYC Council Task Force on MWBEs. “Congratulations to Blackridge Construction. We must keep up our efforts alongside the Mayor’s Office of MWBEs to ensure that we continue to advance shared prosperity for all New Yorkers.”