Crain’s New York Business published an op-ed from Common Good’s David Choi about how the Scaffold Law increases the cost of public infrastructure projects like the planned Gateway tunnel:
Fixing New York’s decrepit infrastructure is a high priority and includes crucial projects such as the $13 billion Gateway rail tunnel project under the Hudson River. But New York taxpayers will pay hundreds of millions in needless costs unless the outdated “scaffold law” is repealed.
While New York, New Jersey and the federal government struggle to arrive at a formula for funding Gateway, New York clings to a 19th-century law that could add as much as $300 million in insurance costs.
The vital project will build a new passenger-rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan and then fix the two existing ones, which are more than a century old and badly in need of repair. With such a crucial project being jeopardized by a fight over funding, the last thing it needs is an inflated insurance bill.