The building of a new Tappan Zee Bridge took a step forward today as the state and 14 major trade unions reached a deal for a project-labor agreement for the $5 billion construction project.
“It’s a good agreement. It’s a fair agreement,” said John Maraia, president of the Rockland County Building Trades.
The agreement seeks to limit overtime on the project. One of the stipulations calls for the possibility of four days of 10-hour shifts to limit overtime and pay straight wages, an estimated savings of $104 million, according to the agreement.
Another part of the deal would save $59 million by giving workers $25 a day in expense money rather than an hour of overtime if they arrive one hour prior to their shift to be taken to the work site.
Some unions have raised concern about the off-site fabrication of steel for the bridge, but the agreement anticipates $27 million in savings from the off-site construction.
Unions also agreed to a 40-hour work week, rather than 35 hours, the agreement states. That would save $9 million, according to the deal.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking to move forward as early as this year with the first phases of the bridge’s construction. Four teams bidding to design and build the bridge must submit proposals by July 27.
The funding for the bridge across the Hudson River between Westchester and Rockland counties remains uncertain. The state is seeking a $2 billion federal loan, and the state Thruway Authority, which owns the bridge, is coming up with a plan to fund the rest -– likely through borrowing and higher tolls.