Archive for the ‘Thruway Authority’ Tag

Can-Do Attitude Earns a Place in NNYB History

Casabella Contracting Pres. Marcela Pignataro at barracks demolition Friday/© Janie Rosman

Casabella Contracting Pres. Marcela Pignataro at barracks demolition Friday/© Janie Rosman

Monday was clean up after last week’s demolition, a highlight for Marcela Pignataro. Last June Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) awarded her company, Casabella Contracting of NY, Inc., a first tier contract.

“This is the largest job we’ve done on the (bridge) project,” Pignataro said. Their first job was tearing down trailers, then itemizing and relocating a trailer that was near Thruway Exit 12 in West Nyack.

She determined to realize the dream she had several years ago and told to her husband Frank.

Today her Croton-on-Hudson-based company is a certified Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) with between 20 and 35 employees — depending upon the season — 12 to 15 vehicles and environmentally friendly equipment. Projects include work for the Rockland Psychiatric Center, Camp Smith in Peekskill; the state Department of Environmental Conservation contracted with her to clean the area around the Croton Reservoir after Hurricane Sandy.

Friday’s demolition required taking down the building and then separating the steel, concrete and wood. “We try to recycle as much as possible,” she said.

Her slogan is “Girls Can’t Do What?”/© Janie Rosman 2015

Her slogan is “Girls Can’t Do What?”/© Janie Rosman 2015

Her slogan is “Girls Can’t Do What?”/© Janie Rosman 2015
The daughter of a mason, Pignataro grew up in the construction field surrounded by equipment and trucks. “It was a matter of time before I dug holes in the dirt,” she joked and admitted to picking up TONKA and Excavator toys before Barbie Dolls.

She and her husband have a 7-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy, and both are also interested in construction.

Pignataro’s attitude led to the “Girls Can’t Do What?” slogan. “I grew up with two brothers and one sister, and my cousins are boys,” Pigantaro said. “What they can do, I can do.”

Perseverance and determination led to contracts with TZC. “I love working on this (bridge) project and look forward to seeing where we can go with it,” she said about bids she submitted. “TZC is a great company to work for.”

Within the next few months the maintenance facility will be razed.
“We all work together as a team and have to wait for the other contractors — electricians, asbestos removal, etc. — before the rest of the building can be taken down,” she said.

Last month TZC was recognized for MWDBE contract opportunities on the bridge project. Spokeswoman Carla Julian accepted an award on behalf of the bridge design-builder at the NY Women Builders Council’s (WBC’s) 11th Annual Champion Awards Dinner at New York City’s Gotham Hall.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

PMIW Members Learn Communication is Integral to Managing and Delivering the NNYB Project

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson speaks  to PMI Westchester members in Mt. Kisco/NNYB Outreach

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson speaks
to PMI Westchester members in Mt. Kisco/NNYB Outreach

“This is the largest project in the country, and all our members at one time or another use the bridge,” PMI Westchester (PMIW) member Peter Roggemann said. “This was something we’d all find worthwhile.”

Roggemann, a former treasurer of PMIW, volunteers as an Event Coordinator and is responsible for recruiting the speakers

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson was keynote speaker for the group’s 5th Annual Professional Development Day (PDD). Held last April 4, the program featured eight presentations around the theme “The Twenty-First Century Project Manager: Delivering Stakeholder Value.”

“Many struggle with delivering a successful quality project safely, on or ahead of schedule and on budget — but it can be done. It will take a collaborative effort working with the design-build team from design refinement through detailed engineering until the final stages of construction.” — Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson

The chapter has almost 600 members from Westchester and Rockland, and is part of of Project Management Institute, the world’s largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PMI has more than 200,000 members in 150 countries worldwide.

“We also have 10 monthly chapter meetings with a speaker relating to some aspect of project management,” Roggemann said. “It can be about technical tools, templates for project metrics, leadership, communication, or defining project goals and outcomes,” he said.

PMI West. members  and keynote speaker/NNYB Outreach

PMI West. members and keynote speaker/NNYB Outreach

PMI Westchester’s Job Club meets meet at the Westchester Campus of Fordham University meets bi-weekly; this week features a demonstration on the latest version of LinkedIn 3.0.

““We offer two educational programs for people preparing for project management certification. One offers in-depth technical reviews of the Project Management Book of Knowledge (The PMBOK® Guide), which details the standards created by PMI,” Roggemann explained. “The next course begins April 11 and meets for five full session Saturdays on Iona College’s campus. The next study group begins March 24 and meets for six Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30. p.m.”

In the Study Group members take practice questions in preparation for the Professional Project Manager exam , and the leader discusses their answers. A monthly member-led breakfast roundtable focuses on topics that include “tools people are using, and how they’re using project tools,” he said.

“It is always a pleasure to meet with local professional organizations like Project Management Institute. These gatherings allow us to connect with other construction managers who deal with similar issues on their projects, share ideas, and explain the dynamics of running a complex mega-project like the New NY Bridge.” — Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson

“I was very impressed with the presentation and the process put in place to communicate with stakeholders,” Roggemann said. That the design build team is in the same building “was to us an impressive way to make sure everyone is on the same page so there’s no waiting time for someone to get back with answers.”

The theme for PMIW’s 6th Annual PDD on March 28 is “The Entrepreneurial Project Manager.” For specifics, click here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Safety Features on the New Bridge Will Aid Fire and Emergency Services

What better way for fire and emergency services personnel to kick-start the New Year than with a meeting about safety features on the new bridge?

 Lane configurations on the new bridge were of interest to fire and emergency personnel/Photo Cr: NNYB Outreach

Lane configurations on the new bridge were of interest to fire and emergency personnel/Photo Cr: NNYB Outreach

About 80 members of the Rockland County Fire Chief’s Association learned how its lane configurations and water system would aid their all-volunteer services.

“It was a great program, and all of the members at the meeting took some good information away from it,” RCFCA President Harold Straut said of Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare’s presentation. “This is such a large project that will affect Rockland County, especially rescue personnel, and I felt it would be beneficial for fire services.”

Formed in 1952 so the fire chiefs and officers could meet on a regular basis to talk about fire service concerns in their county, the association’s membership grew from 37 charter members to more than 600. Its monthly meetings cover events, training issues, ideas, scheduling educational fire, rescue, and leadership-based seminars, and any other issues affecting Rockland’s emergency services.

Many fire personnel cross the bridge for work, “and it’s important for them to know about the project and the new bridge,” Straut noted.

Project officials sought input from fire departments, including several RCFCA members in Tarrytown and Central Nyack, law enforcement, EMS teams and municipal agencies to help identify safety and security issues. Teams bidding for the project nearly three years ago had to respond to very specific safety requirements in the state’s Request For Proposal.

“It was a pleasure meeting with the Rockland County Fire Chiefs Association to give an update on the remarkable progress being made on the New NY Bridge project and answer questions. From the planning to the design and now construction of the new bridge, the project team continues to meet proactively with local fire, police and other emergency personnel to get their input and ideas on how to enhance and ensure safety for the traveling public and for the first responders themselves.” — Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare

Of specific interest were the safety nets underneath the viewing areas, the lane configurations and the new bridge’s water system. Three graded turnarounds will operate much like crossings in preparation for light rail.

Safety features will aid fire and emergency personnel response time. Photo credit: NNYB Outreach

Safety features will aid fire and emergency personnel response time. Photo credit: NNYB Outreach

Nanuet Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Ready, who commutes to Elmsford, appreciated the presentation and hearing about the new safety additions.

“It was very informative, and a push in the right direction towards safety,” Ready said. “I didn’t know there would be two spans or how they’re building the first one, then shifting traffic, and taking down the bridge, then building the second span,” he said.

Ready explained fire departments use a standpipe, like those outside high rise buildings, and open a valve through which water flows from the tanker truck.

The new bridge will have a fire department connection with valves at each end that allow water to flow through pipes directly to hydrants. Staggered on the inside and outside lanes at 350-feet intervals and not more than 175 feet apart, hydrants will be fed from a dry system (not filled with water until needed) in winter and a water-pumped system during summer months.

These all-volunteer firefighters and rescue personnel protect and answer the call in all weather, and last Sunday’s freezing rain was an extreme example of what they can encounter, Straut said. They’ve a two-fold concern: getting to the firehouse, and once there, response time is compromised because of road conditions.

“That is one of the reasons we had the presentation on the new bridge,” he said. “It not only affects us now (rescues and accidents during construction) but we need to learn what it will be for us as they progress and when it is completed.”

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times January 22, 2015.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

For PMI NYC Members, Fascinating Insight into Delivering and Managing the NNYB Project

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson talks about delivering the state’s mega project/NNYB Outreach

Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson talks about delivering the state’s mega project/NNYB Outreach

While New York City’s streets buzzed with pre-holiday excitement, another energy filled the room where a prominent speaker discussed a $3.9 billion project less than an hour away.

To say Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson’s presentation was riveting would be an understatement.

“Our members were so engaged,” PMI New York City (PMI NYC) Program Manager Holly Ripley said of the more than 200 attendees. “His presentation was rich with data and easy to follow.”

“It is always a pleasure to meet with local professional organizations like Project Management Institute. These gatherings allow us to connect with other construction managers who deal with similar issues on their projects, share ideas, and explain the dynamics of running a complex mega-project like the New NY Bridge.” — Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson

The topic was also timely: Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) soon begins its third year on the clock, Governor Cuomo recently announced new appointments, and three top executives at the Thruway resigned within weeks.

“We try to bring in a speaker to talk on a mega project,” Ripley said of the annual meetings, which are larger than chapter meetings. “The previous year we had someone from Jones Lang LaSalle talking about the Empire State Building, and the year before that we had MTA Capital Construction talking about the Second Avenue Subway.”

Her takeaway was learning the bridge would be decommissioned when the new bridge opens, and realizing the incredible amount of work involved.

Members of PMI NYC with keynote speaker/NNYB Outreach

Members of PMI NYC with keynote speaker/NNYB Outreach

“We didn’t see much of the infrastructure early on, and now we’re seeing pillars in the water,” she said. “With a building it’s different because you can see the construction, and the progress is more apparent.”

Another discovery was the methodology: the bridge is scientifically planned and executed to provide support and modern structure. “That was a bit of news, too,” she said, “and learning about the political drivers was interesting for our members.”

Chapter members who attend meetings are professionals in their own industries, and hearing about project management for the bridge “was a whole new world for many of us,” Ripley said. “He (Sanderson) offered us a view of the complexity of a project that will be used by millions of people.”

“Many struggle with delivering a successful quality project safely, on or ahead of schedule and on budget — but it can be done. It will take a collaborative effort working with the design-build team from design refinement through detailed engineering until the final stages of construction.” — Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson

More than six years after joining the chapter Ripley — Director, Project Management – Worldwide for Omnicom Media Group — will become PMI NYC’s president next January. In 2013, she attended the international convention in Turkey, and this year she’ll head to its Global Congress in London.

Peter Sanderson chats w/PMI NYC member/NNYB Outreach

Peter Sanderson chats w/PMI NYC member/NNYB Outreach

“Annual regional and international conferences help members within chapters to network and collaborate with one another to gain critical information,” she said. “It’s important to have a network of professionals within your field, especially when you’re seeking certifications.”

They include PMP (Project Management Professional)®, PgMP (Program Management Professional)® and CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management). Members who are working toward certification are encouraged to participate in the chapter’s study groups.

“The most well-known (credential) is Project Management Professional (which demonstrates that someone has the experience, education and competency to lead and direct projects),” she said. “It means you understand how projects are delivered and managed locally and internationally.”

Nearly 3,000 strong, PMI NYC is part of Project Management Institute, the world’s largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PMI has more than 200,000 members in 150 countries worldwide.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Cuomo Announces Cabinet Appointments: New Top Aide and Thruway Authority Direction

Nearly three years ago Larry Schwartz frenzied Westchester and Rockland residents by announcing tolls on the new bridge could increase to $14.

Governor Cuomo at NNYB site this past October/© Janie Rosman 2014

Governor Cuomo at NNYB site this past October/© Janie Rosman 2014

Sunday Cuomo announced new appointments — among them, Schwartz’s replacement — following the recent resignation of three top Thruway Authority executives.

“New ideas and talent are critical to innovation and success. This team will build on the extraordinary progress made over the last four years by bringing experience, energy and fresh perspectives to the table,” Cuomo said. “This is an incredibly accomplished and dedicated group of individuals, and I am proud to welcome them to their new roles. Together we will continue moving New York State forward.”

Bill Mulrow will succeed Schwartz, who heads to the private sector. I covered several meetings where Schwartz described potential toll hikes with charts and diagrams. Enough said.

Bob Megna, Public Authorities Control Board’s (PACB) Budget Director since 2009, was appointed acting director of the Thruway Authority. His appointment must be confirmed by the State Senate.

Cuomo announced additional appointments Monday.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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