The LMCCC is coordinating extensive infrastructure work
Lower Manhattan construction is now on the "shoulders" of the peak forecasted for early 2009, making mitigation more important than ever. And with more than $22 billion invested in public and private developments south of Canal Street, coordination to streamline hauling, deliveries, labor, equipment, and other logistics also is paramount.
On December 10th, acting Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) Executive Director Robert Harvey explained to Community Board 1 (CB1) the many ways in which his agency is coordinating logistics between developers, managers, suppliers, and local stakeholders to help keep construction steady and the community informed.
The LMCCC tracks approximately 125 public and private projects now on the rise in the single square mile that is Lower Manhattan. Managers from many of those projects meet weekly at the LMCCC to coordinate logistics and resolve their sites' issues, which can include transportation, utility work, and community outreach.
The weekly meetings also allow the LMCCC to cull updates directly from construction managers, which feed the agency's logistics data (posted in the Information Library) as well as LowerManhattan.info's Project Updates. With that information, the LMCCC can more accurately forecast, for example, a project's truck-access, labor, and material needs -- as well as how to prioritize those needs against those of nearby projects.
Environmental compliance also is a key element of the LMCCC's executive orders, which were extended by Governor Eliot Spitzer in January 2007. Tom Kunkel, the director of Environmental Compliance and Coordination, reported that LMCCC air monitoring continues throughout Lower Manhattan and that readings have been consistent with baseline readings from two years ago. His team conducts physical inspections of idling trucks throughout downtown, limiting idling time to less than three minutes.
Kunkel's team also monitors construction noise to ensure compliance with the city's new noise codes, which took effect July 1st. Inspectors continually read ambient and targeted decibel levels -- including vehicle and equipment alarms and sensors -- and work with construction managers to minimize noise and limit noisy-work hours.
Through the LMCCC's traffic management plan, daily Permit Enforcement Taskforce meetings bring together city agencies -- including the Police Department and the Departments of Environmental Protection, Sanitation, Buildings, among others -- to help keep downtown traffic moving safely and efficiently. Local stakeholders from the Alliance for Downtown New York and CB1 also participate in taskforce meetings.
With so much development downtown, the LMCCC also is coordinating massive infrastructure projects with state and city agencies. For example, the LMCCC has worked closely with the city departments of Transportation and Design and Construction to address roadway reconstruction on Fulton Street, adjacent to the MTA's Fulton Street Transit Center site.
Though much work remains before downtown rebuilding construction peaks, Harvey is confident that his team's standards and protocols will help streamline the inherent complexities involved in the process.
"We're not on the down slope yet," said Harvey. "But I think if we all work together -- and that's happening more and more every day -- we can accomplish what is a very challenging task."