Dear Fellow New Yorkers:
City streets are New York’s basic circulatory system, serving huge numbers of daily foot, bus and auto trips, as well as facilitating the millions of large and small goods deliveries that keep our economy running. Our streets are also the conduits for the increasingly complex set of public utilities needed for daily life in the 21st Century – water, electricity, gas, steam and telecommunications of every kind.
At times these multiple functions conflict – nearly every New Yorker seems to have a story about a work crew digging up a freshly surfaced city street. Though better coordination of paving and sub-surface work seems elementary, it has been elusive owing to sheer scales of both our street system and the utility networks buried beneath them.
The New York City Street Works Manual represents a major step in solving this problem. The work by NYC DOT and the city’s major utility companies to produce both the Manual and a series of agreements about data-sharing and consultation on work needs will go a long way to protect the public’s investment in better street surfaces. New information applications will facilitate the coordination of vast and complex work schedules across the city.
In the same vein, the Manual also marks adoption of new, business-friendly technology improvements in NYC DOT’s issuance of permits to contractors who need to undertake work in or under city streets. All-electronic permitting will save time and money for the utility and construction industries, while reducing costs and saving taxpayer dollars.
Transportation and good streets have always been keys to the improvement of the city’s economy and daily life, which is why our Administration is a leader in infrastructure investment. While much of our country struggles to sustain basic upkeep, we have brought City-owned bridges to their best condition in a generation and expanded street resurfacing to a consistent 1,000 lane-miles per year. In just the last four years, NYC DOT has committed more than $4.3 billion in capital investments, an unprecedented effort in the Administration’s commitment to bring the city’s roads, bridges and sidewalks into a state of good repair.
The Street Works Manual will help us preserve and extend the benefits of this critical work, and facilitate investment by the utility industry in other systems that are equally critical to the people of New York City.