Connecticut Port Authority faces criticism, chooses firm for State Pier redevelopment

The Connecticut Port Authority is negotiating a contract with Omaha-based Kiewit, a national construction, engineering and mining company, to serve as construction manager for the $157 million redevelopment project at State Pier in New London. The recommendation of Kiewit, one of two companies shortlisted for the job, came after review by representatives from the port authority and state Department of Administrative Services and Office of Policy and Management. Those involved expect the choice of Kiewit will help jump-start a project slated to be completed in 2022 and transform State Pier into a hub for the offshore wind industry thanks to a partnership between the state and joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource. Chris Fryxell, the president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut, spoke before the State Contracting Standards Board on Friday and to the port authority board on Tuesday, calling for the construction manager position to be rebid “openly and fairly” without a project labor agreement so that it includes nonunion companies. Project labor agreements assure the use of union labor. Diamantis cast doubt on the contention the project labor agreement was contrary to state statute and said Tuesday the statutory authority “was there” and that he was sure the port authority had a PLA in place “for the best interests of the project.”

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