Volume 9, Issue 3 - January 18, 2017
Will Congress pass an infrastructure rebuilding program...or just punt the problem again?
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
After many months of hearing both presidential candidates talk about their plans for rebuilding the nation's aging infrastructure, there is now doubt about whether this will really happen. 

According to a recent poll, a majority of Americans oppose the idea. Sixty-six percent of respondents in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll say they "strongly" oppose President-elect Donald Trump's plan to offer $140 million in federal tax credits to private investors that invest in critical infrastructure projects. However, many believe that the negative results from respondents may have been obtained by questions that were at best "biased."

The poll sampled 1,005 adults by phone between Jan. 12-15 and callers explained that Trump's plan would mean that private-sector investors could then charge tolls on roads and bridges. That type of questioning almost guarantees a negative reaction. It is well known that users don't find tolls or fees of any kind appealing. And, since Trump has not yet laid out his plan, there are no numbers to quote. 

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

State and local departments of transportation throughout the United States are constantly looking for ways to develop their road networks and other transport links to meet their economic, political and social needs. In some jurisdictions this will mean building brand new roads.  In others it will mean focusing on refurbishing, widening and extending existing roads.  

According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours- 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag was $160 billion- $960 per commuter. Solutions to this increase of hours and dollars must involve a mix of strategies, combining new construction, better operations and more transportation options. One of those transportation options is toll roads.  

Turnpikes were the earliest forms of toll roads. In 1792, the first turnpike was chartered and became known as the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike in Pennsylvania. It was the first road in America covered with a layer of crushed stone.  

Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Announcement for Program Funding, the U.S. Agricultural Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will award up to $252 million dollars to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack invited private industry, non-government organizations, Native American tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities to submit applications focused on conservation solutions. USDA is now accepting proposals for Fiscal Year 2018 RCPP funding. Pre-proposals are due April 21. For more information on applying, visit the RCPP website.
Upcoming contracting opportunities

Michigan's congressional delegation is seeking $600 million in federal funding to construct a new passageway at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. The 1,200-foot-long lock would be built to resemble the Poe Lock, which handles large freighters carrying iron ore. More than 60 percent of current U.S. and Canadian ships are restricted by size to using the Poe Lock, according to a report by the U.S. Treasury. Closures of the aging lock are expected to increase in coming years, jeopardizing transportation of more than 40 million tons of iron ore and coal to manufacturers along the Great Lakes.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his second Buffalo Billion economic initiative that includes 20 proposals and $500 million in allocations. The proposals include a new visitor center in Grand Island, $10 million to clean up zombie properties in Buffalo, improvements to Goat Island and the Niagara Gorge in Niagara Falls and extending the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Rail to Amherst. Additionally, the funds will be allocated to help suburban centers like those in Clarence Center and Lewiston and to turn 1,000 acres of the Bethlehem Steel plant property into an industrial park. However, these are only a few of the many projects that are a part of the Buffalo Billion initiative.
Oklahoma transportation commissioners voted to raise the heights of nine county bridges over Interstate 35 in order to increase the clearances beneath the bridgesThe Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a $769,750 contract with an engineering firm to design a plan that will elevate the bridges.  An estimated $3 million construction project to raise the bridges is part of the state's eight-year construction plan and is scheduled to go out to bid in federal fiscal year 2018. If that project proves successful, the procedure could later be replicated on dozens of other Oklahoma bridges.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will contribute nearly $74 million for the Golden Gate Bridge suicide deterrent project. This contribution is part of the total $204 million suicide barrier project cost that will be supported by the MTC, California Department of Transportation and the Golden Gate Bridge Highway, Transportation District. The project will consist of twin nets woven out of stainless steel rope expanding almost seven football fields. The nets will hang 20 feet below the pedestrian deck and be cantilevered from either side of the 1.7-mile-long span. The project is expected to begin in early 2017 and take four years to complete. 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent 16 years studying the area and estimates the clean-up for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site will total to about $1.05 billion. The cleanup calls for more dredging and capping of contaminated soil along a 10-mile stretch of Oregon's Willamette River. Additionally, the cleanup's increasing importance stems from over 65 contaminants of concern in the area. The dredging and capping are part of a construction phase of the cleanup that is expected to take 13 years. The push to move forward with the project was due to ongoing risks to public health from consuming resident fish.
The city of Melrose is planning to rebuild most of its downtown after a fire destroyed 11 buildings and several apartments in 2016. A combined request of $3.85 million would cover construction, a sewer system and electric substation. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is requesting help from the Legislature in wake of the devastating fire, but due to the size of the bill, the city's fate is unknown. Melrose city officials hope to see a redeveloped town within the next 24 months. The city of Madelia is also seeking assistance from the Legislature. Melrose officials modeled their request after one made by Madelia, where a fire last February destroyed a portion of the city's main street.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging the Long Island Power Authority to approve construction of a 90-MW wind farm offshore of Long Island. The wind farm would be part of Cuomo's larger goal to have 2.4 GW of offshore wind power provide 50 percent of the state's renewable energy by 2030. The wind production tax credit extension has made the resource more financially palatable and developers are eyeing U.S. coasts for development. The first commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S. began operation in December, Deepwater Wind's 30-MW Block Island project off the coast of Rhode Island.
Los Angeles voters passed proposition HHH that allocates $1.2 billion to addressing homelessness within the city. The city's homeless population is second only to that of New York, which expands twice the size of Los Angeles. The proposition promises to target chronic homelessness or a person who has been without shelter for 365 consecutive days. Chronic homelessness accounts for about 30 percent of Los Angeles' homeless population. Construction for housing will initially go to people who have been in the street for the longest amount of time. Officials in Los Angeles state that housing will be a mixture of both individual units and family units.
A total of $32 million consisting of local funds, private contributions and a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was awarded to the City of San Francisco. The award will help the city to implement six transportation projects in reducing traffic congestion at Treasure Island. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) will spearhead the creation of the Treasure Island toll system and self-driving shuttle programs to encourage carpooling and using public transit. SFCTA expects to complete the tolling system installation in four years by using $10 million of the total $32 million in funds. The remaining $22 million be used to construct high-occupancy vehicle lanes for public transit and carpoolers on highways 101 and 280.
Northern Ocean County, located along New Jersey's Atlantic Coast, will receive $128 million to replenish beaches and dunes that were struck by Hurricane Sandy in 1992. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who is working with a Department of Environmental Protection and a marine construction company, awarded a $128 million contract for the first phase of the project. There are 14 miles remaining of the 127 miles that have engineered beaches and dunes. The federal government will pay for 65 percent of the project under the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act and New Jersey will pay for 35 percent of the project from the state's Shore Protection Fund.

A development advisor has joined the city of Miami Beach in a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) for the expansion of affordable and workforce housing projects. The city wants to partner with private sector businesses to carry out workforce housing in municipal-led development projects at existing or new residential buildings and new mixed-use parking garages, as well as other locations. The business partner will assist with the procurement process and evaluating the technical and financial capabilities of potential partners for the city of Miami Beach.
The city of Langley, located in Island County, Wash., is due for upgrades worth $14.7 million. The three infrastructure projects would address municipal needs such as the installation of water, sewer and storm lines, building pump stations and improvements to the roads. Financial backing could come from Island County's rural economic development grant fund, the Department of Ecology and the Washington State Capital Funds. If the city is unable to get help from the county, it may look toward a municipal bond or borrowing from the state.
The Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association is looking for a farm to turn into research plots. Currently, cranberry researchers in Wisconsin must rely on growers volunteering their plots to complete their work. However, the association created a foundation that currently has raised $750,000 in private donations and $650,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to find an independent plot to test the affect of disease or insects on cranberry growth. Wisconsin officials hope that the farm will provide a testing ground for research that will eventually become a world-class facility.

News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

The National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are collaborating in a public-private partnership (P3/PPP)  in order to speed up the availability of more-effective treatment options to patients with cancer. As the use of genomic sequencing data becomes more common in selecting cancer therapies, requests for access to multiple targeted agents for the conduct of clinical trials are becoming more common. The new drug formulary will help the National Cancer Institute expedite the availability of agents through the start of clinical trials by alleviating the lengthy negotiation process, sometimes up to 18 months, that has been required for investigators to access such agents on their own. 
Home renovations cost $325M through P3/PPP
The New York City Housing Authority will invest $325 million for a public-private (P3/PPP) renovations plan. Through the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program, the partnership will provide funding for renovations to the Ocean Bay Housing Authority development. Improvements will take place on 1,400 housing units at Ocean Bay that are home to 3,700 residents. Ocean Bay was damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the complex needs roof work as well as new boilers and heating systems and upgrades to elevator machinery. Renovations are also needed on interior and exterior lighting, kitchen and bathroom repairs and installation of new security cameras and new secure entry systems.

The Gateway Development Corporation, a group formed by the current commissioner of the New Jersey Port Authority and a former lawmaker, will work to secure low cost loans and federal grants to fund the Gateway Project. The project is projected to cost in the $23 billion range. The first part of the Gateway Project is the Hudson River Tunnel project, which calls for the construction of two new tunnels, replacing the aging Portal Bridge across the Hackensack River in Kearny and building two new tracks between Secaucus Junction and the new tunnels. The existing, storm-damaged, 106-year-old tunnels would be repaired after the new ones are built.
A technology business will take ownership and Augusta University will take part in the day-to-day operations of a new cybersecurity Innovation and training center in Georgia. The $50 million facility will provide a platform for state and local governments to come together to develop standards around cybersecurity and response tactics to cyberthreats. The center will also be a research hub for state, federal and private universities, agencies and businesses. There will be a groundbreaking on the facility in the spring, and it's expected to open within 18 months.

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 editor@spartnerships.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact