In 2021, we don’t have hovercars but what we do have is quite incredible digital and information technology that allows many of us to work, shop, order pizza and watch the latest blockbuster from the comfort of our living rooms. And of course, over the last year, most of us having been doing that an awful lot. Because of this, people have started to question whether we now no longer need roads, or indeed all of that other pesky infrastructure that blights our countryside, creates pollution and tends to cost quite a lot of money.
Large infrastructure projects are often subject to intricate contractual relationships between the relevant stakeholders, and this will also include collateral warranties to cover any potential gaps in liability to mitigate potential effects of one of the participants in the contractual matrix becoming insolvent. Parties lower down the contractual chain may engage their own designers or consultants to discharge their obligations up the contractual chain. An interesting scenario arose in the recent case Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd v Bathgate Realisations Civil Engineering Ltd (Formerly Dunne building & Civil Engineering Ltd (In administration) (2) BRM Construction LLC (3) Argo Global Syndicate 1200 (2021) , and the two issues that were heard by way of preliminary issue.
The Guardian on Tuesday 30th March had an interesting article entitled “UK criticised for ignoring Paris climate goals in infrastructure decisions”. In summary, various luminaries, scientists, legal and environmental experts, have written a letter expressing concern about the UK’s infrastructure projects and the UK’s participation in the Paris Agreement.
This sounds like a lot of money, but in real terms it is not anything like enough to restart the economy in the manner suggested by the Government. In the heady days before COVID-19, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new investment into infrastructure in the UK totaling £600bn between now and 2025. By comparison, £5bn is nothing like what is required to “level up” the economy in the way promised by the Chancellor. In his Dudley address, the Prime Minister confirmed that the £5bn promised was an accelerated release of those funds promised by the Chancellor, but it remains to be seen whether that £600bn will ultimately be released.
As the government eases the lockdown provisions around the country, the Prime Minister today made a speech in Dudley, the historical heart of the industrial revolution, setting out his £5 billion economic recovery plan for the country. This is the government’s plan to build our way out of the recession caused by the pandemic, and has been compared to the New Deal proposed during the Great Depression by US President Franklin D Roosevelt.
Today, July 11, 2013, the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors will be presented for approval a capital plan for Fiscal Year 2014 in the amount of $1.228 billion. Foremost among the plan’s elements are funds for rolling stock modernization including the procurement of over 1,400 new buses, over 400 multilevel railcars and more than 50 electric and dual power locomotives. The program will also invest in hard assets including railroad bridge rehabilitation, track replacement, signal upgrades to overhead power lines and electric substations, improvements to rail stations and bus shelter upgrades. Included is a $60 million installment of a $600 million 5-year planned investment in improvements to the Northeast Corridor.
Approximately 60%, $741 million, is dedicated to fixed expenses including capital maintenance and prior debt service ($691 million), mandated uses including the federal rural transit program ($46 million), and ongoing support for job programs ($4 million). Approximately 40%, $487 million, is dedicated to fund basic capital program improvements including rail improvements ($132 million), rail rolling stock ($53 million), rail station improvements ($37 million), bus and light rail infrastructure improvements ($195 million) , and system-wide improvements such as technology upgrades ($69 million).
In November 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo formed the NYS 2100 Commission in response to the recent, and extraordinary, weather events experienced in New York State (Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee). The Commission, consisting of 25 members, is co-chaired by Judith Rodin, President of Rockefeller Foundation, and Felix Rohatyn, former Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation.