Barclays Public Finance Department (PFD) and Town+Gown tasked the Capstone team to provide a cost benefit analysis designed to assess the economic reasonableness of rebuilding roadways, enhanced to incorporate multi-utility tunnels in parts of New York City, which would permit utilities to access their respective infrastructure and resources for repairs, maintenance, and service changes without engaging in roadwork reconstruction and repair. The Capstone team will estimate and evaluate the cost savings associated with avoiding roadwork reconstruction and repair and will attempt to determine the cost of the multi-utility tunnel project for a carefully delineated stretch of road in Manhattan; the team will then extrapolate the results to estimate the economic value to engaging in a program on a large scale.

If economically viable, the analysis may serve as a jumping-off point to starting a new financing or bond program for the City to finance smart road construction and repair. As an importance foundational analysis to help move New York City to a “smart” city, this project would use a pre-selected case study of a completed roadway reconstruction project in Manhattan (“Manhattan Case Study Project”) to:

  1. Develop a rigorous life-cycle cost benefit analysis (LCCBA) of implementing modern subsurface utility infrastructure over time as part of NYC’s ongoing capital roadway reconstruction program;
  2. Analyze various financing options to fund the new infrastructure design and construction, which have public-private use and ownership issues. Financing options could include a new revenue credit and a public-private partnership financing vehicle under current franchise arrangements.