Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 7, Issue 10
June 10, 2015
Public-private collaboration becoming common at federal level of government
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Mary Scott Nabers

Large governmental agencies remind me of huge ships that change course slowly and methodically. It is easier not to make course changes, but often outside forces make it necessary. That's what is happening throughout government today. Technology, higher expectations, global competition and reduced funding all contribute to the need for significant changes.


The federal government's Office of Management and Budget has mandated that federal agencies develop digital service offices to address long-standing challenges with citizen-facing interactions. Citizens want to interact with government via the Internet and few governmental entities were moving quickly enough to meet the demand - thus the mandate.  




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Missouri DOT launches 'Road to Tomorrow' initiative


State officials seeking to make Interstate 70 nation's first 'smart' highway

Road to Tomorrow They're calling it the "Road to Tomorrow" initiative. It's Missouri's proposal to make 200 miles of Interstate 70 the first "smart" highway in the country. Smart highway, technologically advanced highway...what it all boils down to would be a fitting tribute to the nation's oldest interstate highway.

"It's only appropriate that the re-birth of the nation's interstate system begin at its birthplace," said Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) Chair Stephen R. Miller (pictured). "Missouri has always been at the heart of highway transportation."

It's not suprising that today's technology that is showing up in many different industries, markets and segments of government should also be considered for the nation's highways. And, Miller is hoping that opening up possible solutions to innovators and entrepreneurs will result in solutions for transportation problems. "We're open to any and all ideas," Miller said. "Just as MoDOT's design-build projects over the last decade have Stephen Miller produced insights and innovations not previously imagined, we are confident that offering free reign to human creativity and a designated site for implementation will generate the very best in American ingenuity."


Transportation has already been inundated with today's technology, from the creation and use of new construction materials to GPS systems and alternative fuels. Miller sees that as the start of the creativity necessary from inside and outside the state to deliver new ideas and innovation to rebuild the route between Independence and Wentzville as a technologically advanced highway. 

A team of MoDOT experts has been appointed to solicit and evaluate ideas from the private sector. What the agency is looking for is not just innovations in traffic engineering, design and construction, but also bringing to the discussion table possible new and creative ways to finance transportation infrastructure.

Miller is not discounting the fact that these innovative would-be solutions are not right around the corner and that the state will continue to have to find funding sources that can be used to maintain the current system. Plans for how the proposals will be vetted by the state and how the state might move forward on them are still issues for discussion. MoDOT officials are operating on the premise that "there are no bad ideas." More information is available at


Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement program starts


Public-private partnership will result in 558 new bridges throughout state

Leslie Richards It's on! The highly touted Rapid Bridge Replacement Program is about to get under way in Pennsylvania. The program is a public-private partnership (P3) between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP). It calls for the replacement of 558 bridges throughout the state within a 36-month time frame. 

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards (pictured) last week visited the site in Cressona where parts for the new bridges will be fabricated.

"Part of the responsibility of a government that works is keeping people moving safely, but also efficiently," Richards said. "This project will deliver high-quality bridges with as little disruption to the public as possible, now and for decades in the future."

Under the terms of the P3 agreement, the Commonwealth will remain owner of the bridges, and PWKP will be responsible for maintenance of the bridges for 25 years after they are replaced. In addition to maintenance, PWKP will also be responsible for the design of the bridges and their construction. The construction team will bring the money to the table to finance the projects, while PennDOT will then make performance-based payments to the team, based on its meeting terms of the contract. The construction is moved along faster because of the use of prefabricated components being assembled at the bridge construction sites. 

In addition to providing much-needed work on bridges throughout the state, the projects are also going to create a wide variety and large number of contracting opportunities for private-sector firms, including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms and many subcontractors. More information about the projects and bidding opportunities is available at For more information about public-private partnerships and the bridge program in Pennsylvania, click here.


May 2015 Texas Bond Results

Upcoming contracting opportunities

City in Illinois approves funding for $60 million hotel development

In Belleville, Illinois, the city council recently approved a tax increment financing plan that will result in development of a hotel. The $60 million development will benefit from $15.69 million in tax incentives, $6 million of which will come from the tax increment financing (TIF). The project will not only include a hotel, but also will have a gas station, convention center, a German Hofbrahaus, beer hall and restaurant. The city is looking forward to the jobs that will result from the project. Ground is expected to be broken in July, with the total project completed within three years.  


SunRail service to Orlando International Airport may be available by 2020

Members of the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission Technical Advisory Committee indicate that SunRail service to Orlando International Airport could begin as early as 2020. The Florida Department of Transportation will commission an environmental impact study next month regarding extending a five and one-half mile stretch of SunRail from the San Lake Road Station to Orlando International Airport's new Intermodal Station. FDOT will use $5 million for the environmental study and another $20 million in funding is expected to be used for the remainder of the project. FDOT will also seek federal grants funds that could pay as much as half of the $70 million in costs it would take to extend the rail service to DeLand. 


Museum in Oklahoma to benefit from $25 million in funding from state

Mary Fallin The Oklahoma State Legislature has passed legislation and Gov. Mary Fallin (pictured) has signed it that will lead to $25 million in funding for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP). The museum will be located on donated land. Although the state had approved funding for initial construction, it will not provide additional funding for operations. Most of the contents of the museum will be donated instead of purchased. Those exhibits are likely to be valued at about $10 million. They include Oklahoma Historical Society-secured collections from noteworthy Oklahomans including Garth Brooks, Bob Wills and Will Rogers. Fallin said the museum will be both a tourism destination and an economic driver for the city of Tulsa. "It's another addition to a beautiful city that continues to grow every day," said the governor.   


Youth offenders in Baltimore to get separate facility from adult offenders

Youth offenders who previously have been housed in the same jail as adult offenders in Baltimore will soon have a separate facility. The state has approved the construction of a $30 million, 60-bed jail to house those teenagers charged as adults. The city was found in violation of the law by the U.S. Justice Department for keeping youth and adults in the same facility. Often those young offenders did not have access to schooling or other services. Officials originally had planned to build a youth jail in the city, but now will renovate an existing pretrial facility near the detention center. A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said that the department is committed to housing juveniles charged as adults in a new building. That new facility will include classrooms, program space and medical and recreation areas.  


Busy Connecticut train station awarded funds to help with renovations

The third busiest Bridgeport, Connecticut, train station is getting ready for a facelift. Bridgeport Metro-North station will undergo a complete renovation after state and federal funding totaling $8 million was recently approved. Historic numbers of riders are boarding trains in Connecticut and the renovations are necessary to make sure facilities are up to date and that they meet the needs caused by an increased capacity. The $8 million in funding will cover such projects as digital information boards inside the terminal and overhangs to protect commuters from inclement weather. The renovation projects are expected to begin in June. 


Capital spending plan for Pennsylvania city includes $3 million in projects Christopher Soff

A three-year capital spending budget was recently approved for the city of Meadville, Pennsylvania. The proposal includes $3 million in new borrowing. Mayor Christopher Soff (pictured), who voted for the plan, said the city's "options are limited" if the city council wants streets paved and police cruisers replaced. Included in the list of needs for the budget plan is $1.6 million for a new aerial/ladder truck for the fire department. That, however, is not in the $3 million in new borrowing, according to City Manager Andy Walker. Walker said buying the truck is contingent on receiving grant funds that will be used toward the purchase. 

Detroit airport gets $8.8 million grant to make improvements to taxiway

The Detroit Metropolitan Airport will benefit from an $8.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant funds will be used for improvements to the airport taxiway. The announcement of the grant funding was made by U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. Stabenow said the grant funds and changes to the taxiway will make travelling from Southeast Michigan safer and more efficient, and will also encourage businesses to come to the area, thus positively affecting the economy and creating jobs. Peters said the taxiway project will also allow the airport to continue to support the state as a center for trade, commerce and travel.  


Road widening project in Kansas county expected to cost $1.7 million

Widening of Urish Road in Shawnee County, Kansas, from two lanes to five from S.W. 17th Street to S.W. 21st Street has been approved by the county commissioners. The project is expected to cost $1.7 million. The price, about $1.6 million of which will be funded from a federal exchange program, will include engineering, design and construction. County Commissioner Kevin Cook (pictured) was in favor of the project if it would help children reach a planned swimming pool near S.W. 21st and Urish Road. The project will include sewers and a sidewalk of at least five feet on each side. There is a chance the sidewalks could be extended to 8 to 10 feet to accommodate bicycles.


Salt Lake City officials vote to help fund extension of streetcar line

A streetcar line in Salt Lake City will be extended after the city council voted to match $3.1 million in federal funds. The Sugar House Streetcar line extension would cover 0.4 miles to Highland Drive and 2100 South. The streetcar currently runs from the TRAX Central Station at 2100 South west to 1050 East and 2250 South. If approved, the grant would ensure $15 million is available toward the $27.1 million project. The remainder of the necessary funds would come from a $6.5 million match from Salt Lake County and $2.5 million from the city's match approved last year. 

Contracting Opportunities

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • Hamm, Inc. won a $1,746,061 contract from the Kansas Department of Transportation for a state highway construction and maintenance project that includes intersection improvements on 46th Street.
  • Dietzler Construction won a $1.6 million contract from the Wyoming Department of Transportation to replace the bridge over the Medicine Bow River in Elk Mountain in Wyoming.
  • Bontke Brothers Construction Co. was awarded a $1.17 million contract from the city of Abilene, Texas, for street reconstruction on North 13th and East North 16th Street.
  • Hardrives Inc. was low bidder and won a $3.3 million contract from the city of Coons Rapid, Minnesota, for reconstruction of three collector streets and mill overlay work on four others.
  • Whiting-Turner Contracting Company won a $7.6 million contract from the Wicomico County (Maryland) Board of Education for phase three of the Bennett Middle School project, including everything from demolition to the construction of new athletic fields. 
  • Cohen Industrial Supply has been awarded the primary pipe, valves and fittings contract, valued at $5.5 million, from the city of McAllen, Texas, for construction of the McAllen South Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • Riverside Contracting was awarded a contract for $3.4 million by the Wyoming Department of Transportation for surface and bridge rehabilitation work on 4.5 miles of US 14-16-20 about 14 miles west of Cody. The work will include rehabilitation of the Shoshone River and Trout Creek bridges at each end of the project and a new layer of asphalt between the bridges.
  • Capelle Bros and Diedrich was awarded a contract not to exceed $1.7 million from the city of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, for construction of a new senior center.
  • MV Transportation won a $256 million contract from Capital Metro in Austin, Texas, to oversee the operation and maintenance of The University of Texas shuttle routes, MetroRapid routes and several other bus routes. The contract is for three years with two three-year extension options.
  • Surface Preparation Technologies LLC won a contract for $78,972 from the Kansas Department of Transportation for 43 miles of milling on Interstate 70 in Dickinson County, I-70 rest areas in Geary County, U.S. 24 in Mitchell County and U.S. 36 in Jewell and Republic counties
  • Kolbe Striping was awarded a $1.9 million contract from the Wyoming Department of Transportation for epoxy striping on highway sections in Albany, Carbon, Crook, Laramie, Lincoln, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton and Weston counties. 
SPI Training Services

News about public-private partnerships (P3)


City to benefit from public-private partnership building upgrades

The city of San Antonio will benefit from a public-private partnership (P3) that involves upgrades to the Weston Urban/Frost Bank facility development plan. City officials recently approved the P3, which involved Weston Urban developers making a new headquarters tower for San Antonio's Frost Bank. The result will be a dramatic addition to the downtown area. The project will include improvements to the existing Frost Tower, which happens to be where the city plans to consolidate its downtown offices. The development is also expected to include hundreds of new residential spaces downtown. The project is the result of an unsolicited proposal by Weston Urban and Frost last year. Their proposal drew a request from the city for more information on its specific plans. P3 partnership guidelines for the project were approved three years ago. Weston officials are touting the project as something that will spark other development in the downtown area.


Mayor looking for partners to help finance new football stadium for UAB

William Bell Football is returning to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). But, building a new stadium facility is going to take a little help, according to Birmingham Mayor William Bell (pictured). UAB President Ray Watts said he has been in discussions with the city and the business community about helping toward that end. The business community is expected to play a major role in helping to find funding, said Bell, who noted that the city does not have the resources to fund the stadium and the best bet for seeing a new stadium built is a public-private partnership. Watts, too, has said the university will not be able to pay for the stadium. "It is not possible for the city to build a stadium at this time," Bell said in the report, noting that the debt service on a new stadium would cost the city $5 million per year. But a stand-alone, on-campus stadium is not the only option. Officials are also kicking around the possibility of a multipurpose facility. Suggested is a partnership between UAB and the city on such a facility. 


Final section of U.S. 35 in West Virginia partly result of public-private partnership

A Lexington, Kentucky, firm has been awarded a $174  million contract by the West Virginia Department of Transportation's Division of Highways for the final section of U.S. 35. It is the largest construction contract the state Division of Highways has ever awarded. The project, which is using both a design-build process and a public-private partnership (P3) construction model, include construction of the final four-lane section of the highway that runs through Mason and Putnam counties. Under the P3 construction portion of the contract, the construction company will be paid in installments as progress is made. The contract calls for the construction firm to complete the 14.6-mile grade and drain project that will lead to the final stretch of the new highway. A change in the law led to changes on how the state can finance construction projects, thus leading to the use of a P3. Design and engineering plans must be approved before construction can begin, allowing construction to begin with groundwork. Once the grading and drainage work for where the roadway will be is completed, another contract will be awarded for paving, probably toward the end of 2018. Officials are hopeful the project can be completed by the end of 2019.  


Kentucky House Speaker proposes 140-mile Mountain Parkway extension

Greg Stumbo Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo (pictured) has it in his mind that the Mountain Parkway should be extended from Prestonsburg to Beckley, West Virginia. He's calling for a 140-mile extension, but where the $8 billion to $10 billion would come from to fund the project is still a matter for discussion. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says Stumbo's idea could help transform the region. He also says it would be a prime candidate for a public-private partnership, given the dwindling state road budget. Stumbo, in pushing for the extension, wrote a letter to each member of the Kentucky and West Virginia congressional delegations and the governors of Kentucky and West Virginia urging support for the extension. He also noted that federal funding is a must. "Investing in our infrastructure is critical to supporting ongoing economic growth in the Appalachian region; however, these major projects are difficult without funding support from Congress," said a spokesman for West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. But roads through the Appalachians are costly. Stumbo also pointed out that the President has authorized spending $1 billion in coal reclamation funds for projects in the area. He said that would "make a good down payment for this project."


Public-private partnership likely for completion of next section of Corridor H

The next section of Corridor H in West Virginia will employ a public-private partnership (P3) funding option, according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The 4.4-mile stretch of the highway was recently opened and the next section is expected to be a 7.5-mile extension. The governor has instructed the state's Department of Highways to solicit bids for the section of Corridor H from Kerens to Parsons. State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox wants to keep the momentum going and sees a P3 as they key to success of the project. Mattox cited projects on the Coalfields Expressway and U.S. Route 35 that have been successful P3s. The Corridor H Authority also supports the P3 method of finance for use on the remainder of Corridor H to finish the highway by 2020.   


New plans for old residence buildings at Oregon State University

Dan Larson Some of the oldest residence facilities on the Oregon State University (OSU) campus are about to be repurposed. OSU plans to convert its former co-op housing into a group of buildings that will serve as "student services clusters," according to officials there.  The four buildings - Avery Lodge, Azalea House, Dixon Lodge and Oxford House - were built in the 1950s and have been home to more than 200 students. The four buildings will be used for a human services resource center, a service area to support student parents and their childcare needs, office space for University Housing and Dining Services and short-term and long-term housing for visiting scholars and researchers. Dan Larson, executive director of University Housing and Dining Services, said the upgraded facilities are expected to be ready for occupancy in April of next year. Moving UHDS offices will free up housing for 60 more students. Because ending co-op housing has increased on-campus student housing capacity by nearly 35 percent in the last few years, Larson said the university is likely to seek a public-private partnership to address current and future housing needs on the OSU campus. 


Collaboration Nation

Where are they now?

 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Andrew Palmer.


Andrew Palmer Andrew Palmer, deputy chief information officer (CIO) for the $42.3 billion Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System in Nashville, has been selected as the new chief investment officer of the $45.7 billion Maryland State Retirement & Pension System in Baltimore. Palmer will replace former Maryland CIO A. Melissa Moye, who resigned last August to become senior policy adviser with the Treasury Department's office of state and local finance. Deputy CIO Robert Burd has been serving as acting CIO and will resume his deputy CIO post when Palmer takes over on July 22. A replacement for Palmer with the Tennessee organization has not yet been announced. Palmer spent more than 20 years early in his career with ASB Capital Management, serving as both a fixed income sector specialist and director of fixed income investments. That part of his career lasted from 1985 to 2005. In April 2006, Palmer was named director of fixed income for TRCR, and was selected as deputy CIO in 2008. He holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Maryland College Park.


Opportunity of the week...

A North Carolina community college is anticipating rebidding a project for a water line replacement. The original request for bids netted only one bidder, with the bid more than $500,000 over the estimated cost. The project is likely to be rebid and opened to a wider range of contractors. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Mary Lamie Glenn McCullough Billy Peppers Mary C. Lamie (top left), vice-president of a civil engineering and surveying firm, has been named executive director of a new freight development agency - The Regional Freight District - that will coordinate planning and projects for the region's freight and shipping infrastructure and will be part of the area's mass transit authority, the Bi-State Development Agency/Metro of St. Louis. Glenn McCullough (top center), former Tupelo mayor and Tennessee Valley Authority chairman, has been appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant as the new executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, replacing Brent Christensen, who left to become chief executive officer and president for the Greensboro Partnership in North Carolina. Billy Peppers (top right), director of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development since December of 2012 and former economic development services director for the city of Woodstock, has been chosen as the new city manager for the city of Canton, Georgia.The city of Plano, Texas, has selected Sam Greif Sr., assistant chief of operations for the Fort Worth Fire Department since 2011 and a 30-year veteran of that department, as its new fire chief, replacing former Chief Brian Crawford who let to become chief administrative officer for the city of Shreveport, Louisiana. Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown has announced that the city has chosen Rick Cole, who has served as city manager in Venture and Azusa, was mayor of Pasadena and Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the city of Los Angeles, as the new city manager, replacing Rod Gould, who retired. Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education's Technology Management Director, has been chosen by Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods as the state's first Chief Privacy Officer. Texas Health and Human Services Commission Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek has announced he will resign in July and Gov. Greg Abbott has Chris Traylor Arthur Tyler William Howland said he will appoint Chris Traylor (bottom right), current deputy commissioner, to replace Janek. Arthur Q. Tyler (bottom center), chancellor of the City College of San Francisco, who was appointed to that post in 2013 and has served for 19 months, has announced he is stepping down, and Susan E. Lamb, vice chancellor for academic affairs, has been named interim chancellor. Washington, D.C., Public Works Director William O. Howland Jr. (bottom left), who has held that position for 11 years and under four mayoral administrations and previously spent 17 years in government in Fairfax County, has announced  his retirement. Mark Nechodom, head of the California Department of Conservation for the last three years and who is a former policy adviser for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as a former senior climate science policy adviser to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, has announced his resignation. Cleburne, Texas,  Interim City Manager Dan O'Leary has hired a new city finance director, Terry Leake, who serves as assistant city manager in Colleyville, to replace Interim Finance Director Marcie Freelen, who took over for former Finance Director Kim Galvin, who left last year. Manchester, New Hampshire's Assistant Police Chief Nick Willard, who has served the police department in the city since 1992, has been named the new police chief, replacing Chief David Mara, who is retiring in July. 

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Calendar of events

NASCIO IT Workforce Webinar series event set for Jun 24

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers' (NASCIO) Workforce Webinar Series on Wednesday, June 24, at 4 p.m. Eastern time will feature Jim Smith, CIO of the State of Maine, and Mark Bengal, CIO of the State of Tennessee. The two will discuss the NASCIO publication State IT Workforce: Facing Reality with Innovation. They will also discuss the innovative work they have been doing in their respective states. For more information about NASCIO's workforce publication, please visit: For more information about the webinar, please contact Meredith Ward, To register, click here. 


NASTD plans August annual conference, technology showcase

The National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) will host its Annual Conference and Technology Showcase on Aug. 23-27, in Cincinnati. Theme for the event is "Collaboration Through Partnerships:  Leveraging Core Competencies in State Government." Among the issues to be discussed is cybersecurity, which will feature a panel moderated by Jim Edman, deputy commissioner, Bureau of Information & Telecommunications, State of South Dakota. Panelists will include several private-sector representatives. Leslie Scott, executive director, National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE), and James A. Honchar, Deputy Secretary for Human Resources, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will address state IT workforce challenges. There will be a number of other speakers and panels. The agenda is now available. 

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