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Kent’s Testimony May Result in a Closer Look into the Design-Build Project

PEF President Susan M. Kent delivered a powerful testimony Wednesday, December 11 before the state Assembly Standing Committee. Kent urged the lawmakers to take a cautious approach to the design build method of construction.

“New York state can save real money and get greater value out of the dwindling transportation dollars by doing more engineering work in-house and decreasing its reliance on costly consultants,” Kent testified. “PEF urges the Legislature to cast a critical eye towards design-build. Now is the perfect time to pump the brakes and take a more cautious approach.”

Kent explained that design-build reduces competition because fewer companies are capable of performing both the design and build aspects of the contract. She said design-build projects are inspected by consultants hired by the design builder means there is less independent oversight of the project.

Bill Holthausen, a civil engineer and PEF Executive Board Member, accompanied Kent and also answered questions fielded by David Gantt, chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation.

Gantt invited Kent to further discuss the design-build project and how an independent commission could be developed to analyze how state workers are the best qualified and would cost less to perform these projects.

To see President Kent’s entire testimony, click HERE.

For more on the dangers of the Design Build program, click HERE.

For Capital NY Jimmy Vielkind’s article on the hearing, click HERE.

For Rick Karlin’s article for the Times Union click HERE.