Project Management in a New York Minute

April 28, 2010

Various industries are positioned to grow in 2010 thanks to funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act including a number of sections in the construction industry. However, one area in particular where the industry is beginning to see an increase in activity created by these federal funds is in the transportation construction space.

While the funds were a bit slow to be released last year—with some reports estimating as little as 25% of the infrastructure contracts were handed out—the majority of the funds are predicted to hit the economy in the year ahead. In recent months, a number of new transportation jobs have been coming to fruition, and one such example is currently taking place in New York.

The New York MTA (metropolitan transit authority) Capital Construction Co., www.mta.info/capconstr, New York, N.Y., is currently working on its East Side Access Project, which will connect the Main and Port Washington railroad lines in Queens to a new terminal located below Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal. The aim of the project is to cut down on traffic and provide passengers with faster trips to Queens and Long Island.

While this is just one example, a number of similar transportation projects are also being awarded. As transportation construction companies are beginning to find new work, firms are also beginning to turn to new technology, as more transportation jobs are moving forward.

The New York MTA selected the Unifier solution from Skire Inc., www.skire.com, Menlo Park, Calif., for the project. According to Skire, the New York MTA represents the latest in a number of transportation authorities to implement the Unifier platform into operations.

With the Unifier platform, New York MTA will be able to compile and store all contract information in one location for quick access. Unlike traditional processes for modifying contracts, which use spreadsheets, different applications, and can take more than a month to complete, Unifier automates the modification process and gets reports out to project managers in a timelier manner.

Aside from an improved modification process, Unifier will provide New York MTA with more effective management of individual projects, as well as the associated costs and documentation. Of course once the project is complete, the time passengers will potentially save on their daily commute will be a benefit all in itself.