Construction Equipment Guide: New York’s Scaffold Law Could Needlessly Add $300M to the Cost of the Gateway Rail Tunnel Project

“Common Good, the nonpartisan reform coalition, released Oct. 17 an analysis of New York’s obsolete, 19th-century Scaffold Law, which finds that it could add $300 million needlessly to the cost of the Gateway Rail Tunnel Project. For the analysis, a Port Authority official estimated that the planned $13 billion tunnels under the Hudson River, just one part of the Gateway Project, will incur between $180 million and $300 million in additional insurance costs because of the Scaffold Law. The costs imposed by the Scaffold Law on the entire project would be higher still.

New York is the only state with this antiquated law still on the books. According to one estimate, New York taxpayers spend $785 million annually for the insurance costs associated with public at-height construction projects due to the Scaffold Law. Insurance to cover potential Scaffold Law claims for the new Mario Cuomo (Tappan Zee) Bridge is expected to cost roughly $200 million.”

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