Volume 8, Issue 32 - November 2, 2016
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Innovative highway technology is changing America's roadways. In the very near future, technology will turn the country's highways into safer, more efficient and even revenue-generating assets for state and local governments. "Smart roads" will soon deliver solar energy generation, snowmelt systems, photoluminescent markings and Intelligent Transportation Networks. 

Photoluminescent markings offer big savings related to roadway lighting. Instead of constructing street lights that need constant repair, photoluminescent markings glow at night and reduce the need for street lights. The paint for the markings is made of photoluminescent powder and it charges throughout the day from sunlight. At night, the powder glows and illuminates the area. European countries, such as the Netherlands, have implemented photoluminescent markings on their highways and they are rewarded with 10 hours of light after the sun goes down at night. America is testing this new possibility.
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Cross-functional connectivity is expanding city services

Cities across the country are rushing to embrace smart city connectivity in a variety of ways. The internet of things (IoT) makes it possible to connect municipal services to citizens in ways that enrich their lives - using data and connectivity to improve efficiency and quality of life. From smart trash cans to sound-sensing streetlights to parking space monitors, cities are trying it all. 

Connected transportation may see some of the largest investments in the IoT sector, which experts at the nonprofit Smart America Challenge estimate to reach up to $41 trillion in worldwide investments over the next 20 years.
Autonomous vehicles are being tested all over the country in places where connected infrastructure exists. Last week, a self-driving truck traveled 120 miles over a Colorado interstate to deliver 2,000 cases of beer. Self-driving cars are being tested in about a dozen American cities and government officials are drafting policies for the use of the autonomous vehicles that will be available to the general public soon. 

Self-driving vehicles are not the only improvements in connected transportation. Last year, the Utah Department of Transportation equipped more than 500 vehicles, including snowplows, with GPS trackers. Citizens are able to access snowplow locations to plan their trips and the department can receive immediate notification of any mechanical problems.


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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Build America Bureau is accepting applications for up to $850 million in Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant. The FASTLANE program provides discretionary funding for projects that address critical freight issues on U.S. highways and bridges.


Anthony Foxx

"Across the country, there are sidelined projects that are essential to America's cities and our transportation network, and leveraging a FASTLANE grant from the Build America Bureau can move many of these projects forward," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "FASTLANE grants give us an opportunity to identify and invest strategically in those projects that are critical to keeping our nation's economic engine running."


In the most recent announcement of FASTLANE grants in September, the department announced the selection of eighteen projects to receive $759 million. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 15. For more information, visit www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/FASTLANEgrants.

Upcoming contracting opportunities



ballpark_village_phase2_2 Officials for the St. Louis Cardinals announced a $220 million expansion to Ballpark Village, the mixed-use district adjacent to Busch Stadium.  Phase two of the Ballpark Village project is expected to begin the second half of 2017 and be completed by 2019. The proposed 550,000-square-foot development will include a 29-story apartment tower, an office building and entertainment, retail and restaurant space. The new phase is more than five times the scale of phase one, said officials. The project is funded in part through a transportation development district sales tax.


Chicago Board of Education members announced plans for $840 million in capital projects and authorized the sale of $1 billion in bonds. The board approved an initial capital program of $338 million for fiscal 2017 and details on the additional projects have not yet been released. The new budget will be considered at the board's meeting on Dec. 7.


University of Washington officials released the draft for the university's 2018 master plan update, which calls for 20 percent growth over 10 years. The plan identifies 85 potential development sites on the main campus and looks to add 6 million square feet of space in the next decade. The plan also examines proposals for a pedestrian network, new open space, and improved bicycle network and parking. View the master plan here.


Phoenix City Council members approved a $950 million project to improve the Sky Harbor International Airport. Plans call for a new concourse at Terminal Four and a two-mile extension of the Sky Train to the rental car facility.  The new concourse could provide up to eight new gates. Airport officials intend to fund $700 million of the project with charges paid by passengers and businesses. Construction is expected to start in 2017.


Illinois Tollway officials are reviewing the 2017 tentative budget which includes $915.1 million in funding for Move Illinois projects. Move Illinois projects include $374.5 million for work on the new Illinois Route 390 Tollway and planning for the new Interstate 490 Tollway. A $163.5 million project to add SmartRoad technology and other improvements to the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) is also planned. Tollway officials said more than 75 percent of revenue in the tentative budget is allocated to support infrastructure, including $639 million for capital investments and $336 million for maintenance and operations. Details of the budget are available for review here.


Beaver Creek-Grayling Township Utility Authority officials in Michigan announced a $7.3 million water project. The project is funded through a $3.2 million grant from the U.S Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and a $4.1 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service. The funds will be used to construct water and wastewater facilities on the 4 Mile Road corridor. The project includes drilling water wells, installing a 750,000-gallon water tank and building a wastewater facility on land secured from the state of Michigan.


San Diego City Council members voted unanimously to approve a $3 billion plan to recycle wastewater into drinking water. The project will require the construction of water reclamation facilities, the creation of pipelines to deliver the water to area reservoirs and a way to divert runoff to those new plants. Recycled water will be purified and mixed with water from traditional sources. The fully implemented Pure Water San Diego plan will create 83 million gallons of drinking water per day.


Louisiana officials are updating the coastal master plan with a 2017 rewrite. The state plans to build coastal restoration and storm surge protection projects. Projects planned for the next 15 years will cost about $10.7 billion. Initially, project funding will come from a BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement that includes $5 billion for a natural resource damage assessment, about $872 million for restoration projects and $1.2 billion to rebuild the barrier islands and build sediment diversions. Some additional funds will come from offshore oil revenue and state mineral revenues. The 50-year plan is expected to cost at least $50 billion.


Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officials are moving forward on two major transit projects, a new rail line connecting Plano and DFW Airport and a new downtown subway. The new Cotton Belt line will run from Plano, Texas, to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The new line and the subway, known as D2, are both dependent on federal grants and loans to move forward. The Cotton Belt line is projected to be complete by 2022 and the D2 subway line project by 2024. Each of the projects is expected to cost about $1 billion.


A proposed transit-oriented development is gaining public support in Hammond, Ind. Northwest Indiana Redevelopment Authority officials recently presented plans for the $615 million West Lake project to residents. The project would include two stations and a maintenance facility in Hammond. Final designs are expected in the spring. Construction on the project is expected to begin by 2020 and be operational in 2022. More information is available at westlaketod.civicpage.com.


News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

Officials at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are planning a recycling and composting facility on the airport grounds. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he wants the airport to be one of the most sustainable airports in America. Private partners are being sought for the Green Acres ATL Energy Park project. The facility would handle recyclables and food waste generated by the airport's restaurants, stores and other operations, as well as other sources. The public-private partnership (P3/PPP) airport officials seek would include a 30-year lease. Responses to the request for proposals are due Dec. 7, with a contract award possible in 2017.

The city of Dallas is moving forward with plans for a $250 million park along the Trinity River after receiving a $50 million donation for a planned park. Management of the park will be a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) with the Trinity Trust, a nonprofit that has funded $60 million in trails and bridges along the Trinity River since 2004. The donation will be used to fund a significant part of park design and construction between the Margaret McDermott Bridge to the south to the Ron Kirk Bridge to the northwest. The U.S. Corps of Engineers will have to approve any construction in that area, which is in a floodplain.

Palm Drive PromenadeUniversity of South Florida officials announced the start of construction on the first phase of a new housing village on its Tampa campus. The project is a $134 million public-private partnership (P3/PPP) with a developer.  Officials said the project is the largest P3 approved by the Florida Board of Governors. The initial phase of the development includes two residence halls, a dining hall and a wellness facility. The first phase is expected to be completed in time for the Fall 2017 semester. A second phase calls for three more residence halls.

The Van Horn Dam in Springfield, Mass. is undergoing $2 million in improvements. The dam was cited as a high hazard in 2007 after it was found to be structurally deficient and in poor condition. It was considered a threat to the Atwater Park neighborhood and Baystate Medical Center. The project is a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) between the city, state and an insurance and financial services company. The project is one of several the city of Springfield is undertaking as part of a national disaster resiliency program using funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Seattle officials announced the city will issue a request for proposals in January for the redevelopment of Key Arena, the former home of the SuperSonics.  A 2015 report estimated remodeling the arena could cost about $300 million. A recent suggestion involves renovating the venue to accommodate both NBA and NHL teams.

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