Volume 8, Issue 7 - May 11, 2016
Public-private collaborations producing municipal Wi-Fi networks
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Whether for work, school or leisure, the Internet is now an essential part of life. Most people cannot imagine life without access, yet one out of every four homes in America cannot connect to the Internet. This creates the Digital Divide - a huge disparity between those with Internet access and those without it.

Cities and states throughout the U.S. realize what negative outcomes result for people with no access, so public officials have stepped forward to find ways to provide free, municipal Wi-Fi networks. Many of the projects are accomplished through public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs).




In This Issue
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity
identification for all 50 states.

Click here for more information.
Government Contracting Pipeline Archives
View our other newsletter, Texas Government Insider
Texas voters approve $4.5 billion in bond propositions
School districts account for vast majority of projects in May bond election
Photo by Lending Memo licensed under CC  BY 2.0
Voters throughout Texas had their say over the weekend when they went to the polls for local bond elections. They approved about 70 propositions worth more than $4.5 billion. That amount was a part of the more than $5 billion worth of bond funding from 85 local entities up for voter approval May 7.

The great majority of the requested bond funding, almost 90 percent, was from school districts. In addition to public education, the bond propositions included projects put forth by cities, one community college district and two port districts. The port projects both passed and will total more than $100 million in contracting opportunities, ranging from smaller water and wastewater improvements to ship berth modernization and rail enhancements to a $35 million dock expansion.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc., has available for sale its Texas Bond Package, which provides a list of every public entity that held a bond referendum May 7. It also includes the dollar amount of each bond proposition, details on the proposed projects and whether they were successful. Additionally, information is provided that outlines bond elections currently being discussed for November of this year and beyond.

The school districts varied widely in what they are planning to accomplish with the bond funding. Two suburban Dallas districts, for example, each requested voters to OK more than $400 million worth of projects. That money will go to a variety of projects, from technology enhancements directly benefiting classrooms and students to new school construction and maintenance of existing schools. Other public education leaders have much more modest plans in mind. A small district in Central Texas put up the smallest bond package, less than $3 million, and its officials will pay for HVAC improvements and the addition of new classrooms.

Not all of these May 2016 bond elections met with voter approval, but hundreds of projects will receive funding because of the ones that did. Be sure to order a copy of the Texas Bond Package to remain up to date on all of the procurement opportunities.

Port Authority OKs $2.3 billion for Newark Airport
Board of Commissioners authorizes six-year terminal redevelopment project
Photo by Avijeet Sachdev licensed under CC BY 2.0
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been extremely aggressive in the past few years in terms of the improvements made to its facilities.

The transportation agency is in the middle of a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) project that will rebuild the Central Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. It has been called the largest PPP in the country's history. The Port Authority also has formed a partnership with the states of New York and New Jersey, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. As if that's not enough, the Port Authority has launched what it calls the "Bus Terminal International Design and Deliverability Competition" to take submissions for the redesign of Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal.

And, last week, the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners announced yet another large project at one of its transportation facilities, Newark Liberty Airport. The $2.3 billion project will be conducted in multiple phases and construct a new terminal building and a parking garage complex. The Terminal A project will replace a terminal facility first opened in 1973. It is scheduled for completion in 2022.

"Modernizing our aging airport terminals demonstrates the Port Authority's commitment to focusing on the region's transportation infrastructure," said Scott Rechler, Port Authority's vice chairman. "To achieve operating efficiencies, offer our customers the best in world-class service and meet the anticipated rise in passenger demand, it is imperative that the agency continues to make these investments in our airports."

The most immediate work approved by the board will include nearly $200 million for construction of an access bridge that will connect the central terminal roadways to Carson Drive just outside the airport's grounds. That first phase of the project also will relocate utilities, perform electrical repairs and include program management and design services for the construction of the new terminal.

Montana DOT aligns statewide traffic signal systems
New software platform integrates ITS programs for all cities no matter their size
Cities and towns across Montana's nearly 150,000 square miles of territory use versions of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) that time intersections and synchronize traffic lights. They have generally been controlled by municipal governments and work independently from each other.

However, Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) officials last month announced an agreement with a Colorado-based wireless ITS services company that will have all of those independent systems working together. The state transportation department and several of Montana's largest cities - like Billings, Missoula, Great Falls and Helena - have been using the company's software products for many years.

However, the latest agreement brings the technological capabilities to the state's smaller cities, linking up the ITS programs statewide. The radio-based technology works with existing traffic management systems to control traffic lights. It will help coordinate traffic light times across the different systems operated by the municipalities and generate system overviews for technicians.

An important component of the program is that it will allow transportation workers to monitor systems remotely and diagnose and even repair errors from a centralized location. Using the software, municipal transportation departments will send information from their individual traffic cabinets - the electronic boxes that control each traffic light - to the central system at the Department of Transportation.

"Basically the goal is to have better ability to modify operational parameters in traffic cabinets, but also to have better ability to be able to diagnose things remotely," said Phill Balsley, an MDT traffic signal engineer.

A spokesman with the vendor said that remote functionality will offer a wide variety of communication options for users to be notified of problems in the system. "It has the ability to notify a technician, by text or email, that there is a failure in the field. A lot of times they will get the notice from the software before dispatch even knows there's a problem. That capability is critical, because we just improved their response time."

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Pennsylvania roads plan includes $5 billion in projects
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission has released its draft Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2017-2020, and it includes $4.9 billion in road projects over the next four years. The plan covers 10 counties, is updated every two years and only includes projects with expected or committed funding. Projects must be on the list to qualify for state or federal funding. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) intends to spend $465 million over the course of the plan on bridge repair and construction; included will be 84 structurally deficient bridges. Two of those projects will be in Pittsburgh: $20 million for the Andy Warhol Bridge, a four-year project beginning in 2017, and $21 million for the Rachel Carson Bridge, which will take two years beginning in 2018. Also, a $266 million project will widen and offer other upgrades to Interstate 70 from the Ohio border through Washington and Westmoreland counties. The draft TIP is available for public comment through June 3.
Salt Lake City airport adds second terminal to project
Officials with the Salt Lake City International Airport are in the midst of a project that will replace the facility's current terminal. Last week, they added significantly to the scope of that project but not to its timeline. The project will now see the addition of a second terminal, bringing its total costs to $2.6 billion. The second terminal always had been in the plans, but it was moved forward after officials realized their intention to keep the old terminal partly operational would entail additional costs and improvements. "This addition is essential in building a state-of-the-art facility to help attract more business and tourism dollars, and completely in line with my plan for robust economic development," Mayor Jackie Biskupski said. Though construction work has been ongoing for years on a small scale, it is about to kick into a higher gear with the relocation of some roads in and around the airport. The south concourse will have 45 gates and open in 2020. The decision to move forward the north concourse's construction will mean its 30 gates will be built in two phases and also completed in 2020. The two terminals will be connected by a tunnel.
MTA's repair plans could close tunnel for 18 months
New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has presented design alternatives for a project that will reconstruct a subway tunnel for the L train. The current tunnel is deteriorating dramatically from the corrosive salt water that flooded it during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. One version of the plans would close the tunnel from January 2019 to July 2020, stopping L train service in Manhattan for the duration, while the line's Brooklyn service would continue at more-or-less normal levels. The alternative plan would keep one of the tunnel's two tracks open to run trains between Manhattan and Brooklyn, which would entail extending construction for three full years. MTA Chair Tom Prendergast (pictured) called the project "by far, the most impactful capital construction project we have had to ever do on the system." Officials must decide on the project's design before August in order to award the construction contract for the $1 billion effort by November.
Arizona seeks federal funding for highway projects
Officials with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) have applied for $110 million in federal grants to go toward highway projects. Among the improvements that would be funded by the grants are a project for the stretch of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, a bridge rehabilitation on Interstate 15 in northwestern Arizona and upgrades to a highway at a border crossing in Nogales. The I-10 projects would include widening two stretches in Pinal County and technological additions, such as remote sensors that provide early warning of dust storms. ADOT planners also want to repair a 52-year-old bridge along I-15 that spans the Virgin River and to upgrade State Route 189 in Nogales by adding a raised median and improving ramps that connect the roadway with Interstate 19.
Saginaw City Council to upgrade regional water system
The Saginaw, Mich., City Council has authorized the sale of $19 million in bonds to pay for upgrades to the regional water system. "The water system is at the position where we need to start making some decisions," said Paul Reinsch (pictured), superintendent of the city's Water Treatment Division. "We want to make sure that raw water supply is consistent and redundant." The project will include the installation of two new water mains in Kochville Township and improvements to the city's reservoir. The first of the two new lines is a 10,400-foot section of 36-inch pipe that carries treated water from Saginaw to the city's wholesale customers at a total cost of $5.57 million. The other line is a 10,600-foot section of 48-inch pipe that will carry untreated water from the system's Lake Huron intake facility to the Saginaw Water Treatment Plant. It will cost $9.69 million. The city also will spend about $2.4 million to add a variable flow pump at the reservoir. Reinsch said he expects construction to begin no later than 2017.
Tucson to invest in arena to prepare for hockey
Members of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District Board of Directors have agreed to spend $3.2 million to renovate an arena in Tucson, Ariz. The project comes in anticipation of the city becoming the new home of an American Hockey League (AHL) team currently called the Springfield Falcons. The team is seeking approval from the AHL governing board to relocate from Springfield, Mass. The Facilities District was created by the city in 1999 and is funded by state sales tax revenue. The project at the Tucson Convention Center arena will include renovations to locker rooms and dressing rooms, repairs to its ice plant, which creates and maintains ice in the rink, the addition of video technology that will allow for television broadcasts and construction of a press box. The project would have to be completed before the beginning of hockey season in October. Further down the line, the Facilities District also is considering the construction of a practice facility that would be used by the new team, the University of Arizona's club hockey team and members of the public. That project would cost $8 million, though board members have yet to decide to move forward with it.
Federal grant will restore passenger rail to Burlington
Vermont transportation officials have spent years preparing to improve passenger rail service through the state. This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded the state a $10 million federal grant that will help pay for upgrades on a 75-mile stretch of track between Rutland and Burlington. Passenger rail service to Burlington ended about 50 years ago, but Amtrak trains could begin service to the state's largest city within four years now that the federal funding has come through. The project will improve highways crossings and build new passenger platforms in Vergennes and Middlebury. It will fit within other projects throughout New England, according to Vermont Transportation Secretary Chris Cole (pictured). "This is the type of system that we are building. This is the type of system we want to be connected to, to the rest of the East Coast," Cole said. "This is the future for mobility on the East Coast." Construction should begin next year on the $26 million project. The rest of the funding will come from state sources and other federal grants.
Springfield City Council approves new police annex
The Springfield, Mass., City Council last week agreed to spend $11.3 million to convert the former Arthur MacArthur Army Reserve Center into a police annex. The new facility will house an evidence room, a Youth Assessment Center and the police academy. The former Army Reserve center had been a federal facility until the U.S. government transferred ownership of it to the city in December 2015. Renovations to the building include installation of a fire protection system; upgrades to plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems; and construction of an evidence storage system. In addition to city funding, the annex facility will be paid for with $2.9 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to city officials. Other facilities to be based at the new annex will be a Juvenile Assessment Center and an office for the city's Tactical Response Unit.
City council to consider development of Pepsin Hill
City officials in Monticello, Ill., are considering the future of land in the city's downtown area, called Pepsin Hill, which formerly was the site of a manufacturing facility for a pharmaceuticals company. The city has owned the land for almost a dozen years and remediated the site using grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). City aldermen have discussed alternatives for redeveloping the site, ranging from a suburban-style development to a mixed-use development with both commercial and residential structures to a more rural or park-like setting. Redevelopment of the two-acre site could include rerouting a city thoroughfare, which runs through the property, as well. City Administrator Bob Mahrt (pictured) suggested that the town's leaders consider hiring an outside consultancy to guide planning. "There are economic development firms, and they will come in and help develop our consensus among the council on how that land should develop, and then you market it toward that," he said. Aldermen directed city staff to prepare a request for proposals (RFP) to identify development companies that can aid in the process.
Colorado bill proposes $3.5 billion for road projects
Colorado Senate Bill 210 passed through the upper chamber last week by a narrow margin and has moved on to the House of Representatives. Called the Fix Colorado Roads Act, the bill proposes about $3.5 billion in funding for 45 road and bridge projects across the state. If signed into law, it would place a 20-year bond program proposal on the November 2016 ballot for voters to decide. The proposal is similar to a 1999 bonding program in which state transportation bonds helped fund a $1.67 billion interstate expansion project in the Denver metropolitan area. The final payments on those bonds will be made in 2017. Projects that would benefit from passage of the bond program include separate improvements along Interstate 25 - from State Highway 14 south to US 36 and from Monument Hill to Castle Rock - and the new Pueblo Freeway.
SPI Training Services
News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

FHA provides funding for Texas 288 toll road project
The project to reduce the traffic congestion that plagues Texas State Highway 288 in the Houston metropolitan area received a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan last month. The $357 million in federal financing will go toward a project that will build toll lanes on a 10.3 mile stretch of SH 288 that runs between US 59 and the Harris County line. It will also include direct ramps to the Texas Medical Center, a new interchange with the Sam Houston Tollway and upgrades to the Loop 610 interchanges. The loan will be repaid through toll revenue over the lifetime of the public-private partnership (P3/PPP) agreement, which runs through 2068. The private partner will build, operate and maintain the new toll lanes. "Critical infrastructure projects like this one depend on innovative new approaches, and the Lone Star State has been a leader in using such creative solutions," said Federal Highway Administration leader Gregory Nadeau. "The people of Houston have needed improvements to this corridor for a long time." Construction is expected to begin before the end of this year and be completed in 2019.
Manatee County RFP seeks water park developer
Officials with Manatee County, Fla., last month issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking to identify a developer who will design, build, finance, operate and maintain a water park within Tom Bennett Park. The nearly 200-acre park was opened in 2011 and is located adjacent to Interstate 75. The RFP states that, while the primary purpose is " to offer a first class recreational amenity to the community," bidders also may include in their responses alternate options for cold weather or for non-swimmers. The piece of property allotted to the project is about 20 acres. The winning proposal will need to include a stormwater management system. Officials also have requested proposals for a compensation plan with base monthly payments and a percentage of monthly gross receipts the developer would pay to the county. Bidders will provide a 10-year business marketing plan for the park, as well. Responses are due June 1.
CalPers invests in Indiana Toll Road PPP
Officials with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) announced last week that the nation's largest public employees' pension fund had bought into the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company LLC (ITRCC). The 10 percent stake purchased by CalPERS will entitle the pension fund, one of the nation's largest institutional investors of any kind, to a share of revenue generated by tolls along the Indiana Toll Road. The 156-mile length of highway stretches across the northern part of the state between Ohio and Illinois and is a component of Interstate 90. The investment fund that sold the stake to CalPERS acquired the concession company in 2015 for about $5.7 billion. "This solid, long-term investment represents our first foray into a transportation asset in the United States," said Paul Mouchakkaa, managing investment director of CalPERS's Real Assets program. "We continue to make progress building up this important program, and the ITRCC aligns well with our recently adopted strategic plan for real assets." The ITRCC operates and maintains the highway and is spending $200 million over two years to rehabilitate half of its length. Its concession expires in 2081.
San Francisco releases RFI for gigabit Internet service
Information technology leaders within the San Francisco Department of Technology have issued a request for information (RFI) on behalf of both the city and county of San Francisco as the next step in their attempt to develop a citywide fiber-optic network. The goal is to offer gigabit Internet access to all households and businesses. The Department of Technology has determined that 12 percent of San Francisco residents, more than 100,000 people, do not have Internet service at home and another 50,000 receive only dial-up speeds. The RFI is seeking to find a partner who will help develop a request for proposals (RFP) and follows on the March 15 release of a report that researched different procurement methods to reach that goal. The report's authors concluded that a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) was best suited to the city and county's goal while providing less risk and increased cost effectiveness. Responses to the RFI are due May 20.
Rye Playland to continue as public-private partnership
Westchester County, N.Y., owns and operates Playland Amusement Park (also known as Rye Playland), and the park's future has been in doubt for several years. Last week, the county's Board of Legislators voted to enter into a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) agreement with an amusement park operator that will assure the park of sustainable growth. The private partner will pay the county an upfront fee of $2.25 million, invest another $27.75 million within five years to refurbish the park and make annual payments to the county. In exchange, the company will have a management agreement to run the park for 30 years. The refurbishments will include new rides and attractions, as well as upgraded dining options and renovations to the grounds and facilities. The county, too, committed to fund 11 capital projects that will rehabilitate the infrastructure at Playland, at a cost of $32 million. "We started with a blank piece of paper for how to save Playland six years ago," Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. "Now we are taking a historic step forward. The capital, the operator and the vision are in place to protect both taxpayers and the Dragon Coaster for years to come."

About Government Contracting Pipeline

Note to media: Need expert commentary on procurement issues relating to public-sector entities, public-private partnerships (PPPs/P3s), state agencies or decision-makers? Give us a call at (512) 531-3900, and we'll arrange an interview for you with one of our experts.

Permission to reproduce, reprint: This newsletter may be reproduced, and all the articles within may be reproduced without permission when credit is given to the author (if listed) and Government Contracting Pipeline, a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., and the company website, www.spartnerships.com is listed.
Strategic Partnerships, Inc., 901 S. Mopac Expressway, Ste. 1-100, Austin, TX 78746
Sent by cc@spartnerships.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact