Volume 8, Issue 30 - October 19, 2016
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
In early October, Florida Gov. Rick Scott rushed to prepare citizens for Hurricane Matthew as it swept Haiti, Cuba and the East Coast of the U.S. with 140 mph winds. Because it was registering as a Category 4 storm at its strongest points, the governor activated 3,500 members of the National Guard to help citizens. That was the right decision, but a very costly one.

Other public officials are being called on all too often to make similar decisions in emergency situations. Natural disasters are occurring at increasing rates. Most believe that climate change is the culprit but, for whatever reason, the cost to government is extremely large. The New York Times reported recently that natural disasters alone could result in costs of $300 billion by 2030.

Interoperable communications - a high-cost necessity when emergencies occur - is very expensive. In spite of the fact that communication often is the difference between life and death, not all regions have been able to implement robust communication systems.
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Grants will help fight congestion, increase connectivity and improve access to opportunity


U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $65 million in grants to 19 communities for advanced technology transportation projects at the recent White House Frontiers Conference on the future of innovation. One focus of the conference was on how new transportation innovations are transforming American cities.


"From automated vehicles to connected infrastructure to data analytics, technology is transforming how we move around our country, and some of the most exciting innovation is happening at the local level," said Foxx. "These grants will enable cities and rural communities to harness new technologies to tackle hard problems like reducing congestion, connecting people to mass transit and enhancing safety."


Grantees are expected to leverage the funds to provide for $170 million in projects associated with smart city technologies. Projects will improve the efficiency of highway systems and integrate new mobility tools.


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U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) officials have announced $14.7 million in grants to improve access to public transit in 16 metropolitan areas. The awards are part of the Transit-Oriented Development Planning Pilot Program for communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems.


infrastructure highway unsplash"These grants will help our nation's growing metropolitan areas plan for development alongside new transit lines that will open doors for residents to access jobs, education, medical care and other vital services," said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers.


Grantees include the City of Phoenix, which will receive $2 million to help plan for additional development and improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the South Central Light Rail Extension corridor. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will receive $2 million to help plan cooperatively to increase economic development throughout the proposed West Santa Ana Branch Light Rail corridor between downtown Los Angeles and Artesia. The Metropolitan Council of Minnesota will receive $1.2 million to help plan for economic development and revitalization in the METRO Blue Line Extension corridor, where a 13.5-mile light rail transit line is under development.


A list of selected projects and cities can be found here.

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Des Moines International Airport officials moved forward with plans for a new $500 million terminal to be built adjacent to the current terminal. After reviewing site options, the board voted to approve the plan to build on the east side of the existing terminal. The new terminal would include 14 gates. Construction is expected to begin in 2022. The project will be partially funded through passenger fees, but about $200 million still needs to be acquired for the project.

By Asaavedra32 - CC BY-SA 3.0
Elected officials from New York and New Jersey announced a plan to build new rail tunnels under the Hudson River is moving forward. They said the project is now part of a process that will allow for quicker environmental review. Once the environmental review is complete, officials will be able to apply for federal funding. The project is part of a larger $20 billion Amtrak upgrade. Officials expect construction on the tunnels to begin in 2019 and complete within 10 years.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials are planning to improve 12 bridges in Callaway County in 2017. The improvements will cost about $8 million. Funding will be provided through the Statewide Transportation Program. Work includes concrete patchwork and replacing bridge decks at several locations. One bridge will need to be completely replaced. Construction is expected to begin in March or April. The bridges are located on Route 54, Route H, Route O and Route UU.

Officials from Utah's Mountainland Association of Governments are considering plans for Utah County's transportation needs. Road expansion projects in the county through 2040 are expected to cost about $4.18 billion. Officials said the population of the county is expected to grow to 1 million with only three primary commuting roads. One road project under discussion was an I-15 expansion known as the Technology Corridor project, which would cost about $450 million. Funds have been allocated and the project is scheduled to begin construction in 2020. Other projects include widening SR 73, 2300 West and Mountain View Frontage Road. 

The program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Indian Energy in Alaska is studying small-scale hydropower projects to help rural communities. Alaska has thousands of rivers, streams and coastal areas with the potential for hydropower projects. Water-flow information, project costs and data from the Alaska Energy Authority and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory would be utilized to help community leaders quickly determine if hydropower would be economically viable. The review would also help communities secure funding for run-of-river projects.

Hampton City, Va., city council members are considering a $31.5 million aquatics center. The proposed 100,000-square-foot facility would include an Olympic-sized pool, lap pool, kitchen and 1,500 seats for spectators.  The plan is considered a good fit for the city's interest in sports-based tourism projects. The facility could be built near the Hampton Coliseum and include outdoor recreational amenities as well. The estimated construction time is four years.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced $40 million in grants for multimodal transportation projects. The funds will be used for 37 highway, bridge, bike and pedestrian projects. For a full list of awards, click here. The Multimodal Transportation Fund was enacted in 2013. PennDOT evaluated 251 applications in this round and selected projects based on safety benefits, regional economic conditions, technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability. For more information about the program, click here

A $3 billion plan to recycle wastewater into drinking water is pending approval by San Diego's city council. The council's environment committee has backed the plan with a goal to deliver 30 million gallons of recycled water a day within the first five years, and eventually  83 million gallons of drinking water per day once the project is completed in approximately 20 years. The Pure Water San Diego program would build water reclamation facilities and install pipelines to deliver the water to area reservoirs and divert runoff. The goal of this program is to provide a local and stable supply of potable water that won't be affected by drought or uncertainties of importing water.

Missouri's Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, (EDCKC) is seeking statements of qualifications from consultant teams for the Blue Valley Redevelopment Opportunity Assessment. The project is a strategic economic redevelopment initiative for a major urban industrial corridor on the city's east side. Experts in economic development, brownfield redevelopment, urban/environmental planning and design, industrial real estate development and infrastructure assessment and design are encouraged to respond. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 18. Click here for details.

The city of Philadelphia has been awarded $25.2 million in state grants for local redevelopment projects. A Viaduct Rail Park project was among 11 Philadelphia-area projects selected through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The state granted $3.5 million to assist in the transformation of the 4.5-acre elevated Reading Railroad Viaduct into a public amenity and park. Phase I of the project includes a quarter-mile stretch and is budgeted at $9.6 million. For a full list of projects RACP programs awarded, click here.

News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

University System of Maryland officials announced a public-private partnership (PPP/P3) to address shortages in cybersecurity. RX5 is a cybersecurity workforce development program. The program is designed to provide highly-focused skills training and practical experience to address the needs of the military, intelligence community, federal civilian agencies and the commercial sector. The partnership includes 12 system institutions. After the RX5 candidates complete 18 weeks of cybersecurity training, they will be placed in an RX5 fellowship for an additional 12 weeks of hands-on cybersecurity workforce training.


Los Angeles, Calif., transit officials have announced a proposed public-private partnership (PPP/P3) with a contractor to accelerate the construction of some projects included in a November ballot measure. Measure M would increase sales tax to fund transportation projects. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority began advertising for potential partners last year. About 50 proposals to speed up Measure M projects were received. Additional partnerships could be announced for large projects, including the proposed West Santa Ana Branch light rail connecting Artesia to downtown L.A. and the Purple Line subway to Westwood.


Peoria, Ill., public school officials are seeking proposals to renovate the Peoria Stadium. Officials wish to find a partner who can help preserve the stadium's historical significance while expanding its recreational use. One initial suggestion laid out a $10 million project to replace the 111-year-old grandstand with a multi-use facility with a covered stadium and turf field. Another suggestion was to renovate the complex into a citywide high school. The deadline is Nov. 10. For details, contact Mick Willis at mick.willis@psd150.org. Finalists will be announced by mid-December. The school board is expected to vote on a final proposal in March.


United Nations officials are planning to launch a new platform to assist with scaling up public-private partnerships (PPP/P3) to meet the organization's Sustainable Development Goals. Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced the new partnership platform to generate financial solutions at a meeting between global treasury and foreign affairs officials and the leaders of global financial institutions. The Sustainable Development Goals would cost at least $1 trillion per year to achieve in order to meet targets by the year 2030. The platform is meant to engage governments, civil society, philanthropic organizations, entrepreneurs, investors, banks, project developers and development finance institutions.


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Office of Public-Private Partnerships (P3/PPP) announced that it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through Oct. 31. The agency is seeking proposals offering innovative ways to deliver transportation projects for roads, bridges, rail, aviation and ports. Applications for assets not owned by PennDOT can also be submitted directly to the P3 board this month. Details can be found on the state's P3 website, www.P3forPA.com.

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