Aecom and Hill picked to spearhead four new NYC jails as Rikers Island heads for closure

Aecom and Hill International have won a $107.4m contract to act as programme manager for the construction of four new prisons in New York City (NYC) in preparation for the closure of the infamous Rikers Island complex.

In 2017 NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a decision to close Rikers Island Correctional Facility, a complex of prisons accumulating since the 1930s, after an independent commission led by a judge called it as a violent, dysfunctional and inhumane place, and a "stain on our great city".

The judge, Jonathan Lippman of the New York Family Court, proposed the island could be used for other purposes, such as an extension of La Guardia airport, a research park, or even housing.

The new jails, intended to be closer to inmates’ communities, will be in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Aecom and Hill were hired by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), and Aecom said it is the city’s first ever design-build programme.

Aecom called it a "multi-billion capital programme".

"We’re humbled to support DDC and the City of New York on this first-of-its-kind transformative design-build program," said Steve Morriss, Aecom’s president of design and consulting services. 

"A project like this was made for Aecom’s unique strengths in the design-build space and we look forward to starting this important work to deliver on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s justice reform vision."

Image: Orthophoto of Rikers Island (US Geological Survey/Public domain)

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