Volume 11, Issue 42 - Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Bridge replacement on ILL 171 at Long Run Creek
Illinois - Gov. J.B. Pritzer and the state's department of transportation (IDOT) released the 2020-2025 Proposed Highway Program on October 21 that lists road and bridge projects scheduled for $23.5 billion in improvements.

The projects are part of the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan passed earlier this year. Of the projects included in the five-year plan, $3.76 billion in work is slated for the 2020 fiscal year.

Overall, the state's infrastructure earned a C rating due to deterioration brought on by state officials delaying improvements or repairs until a road or bridge presents a safety hazard and underfunding maintenance needs by several hundred million dollars.

Of the major categories of state investments in the plan, $7.58 billion will go toward roadway reconstruction and preservation, $4.99 billion for bridge replacements and repairs, $1.59 billion for safety and system modernizations like interchange reconstructions, $3.08 billion for strategic expansion of the system, and $2.11 billion for system support such as engineering and land acquisition.

Chicago's Interstate 190 from Bessie Coleman Drive to Interstate 90 is among the projects scattered around the state. The project calls for $561 million in reconstruction, auxiliary lane construction, utility adjustments, and physical and construction engineering.

A Joliet project at Interstate 80 at US 6 and Des Plaines River for interchange work and bridge removal and replacement will receive $345 million, and the Interstate 57 at Eagle Lake Road interchange project is due for $205.5 million in construction, land acquisition, and utility adjustments.

Joe Page Bridge that connects Greene and Calhoun counties will be replaced for $130 million with another $30 million budgeted for engineering and land acquisition costs. The Airport Road-Lockport Road interchange at Interstate 55 in Romeoville is set for more than $90 million in initial construction and pavement work.
Rendering of Gateway Station in Charlotte, North Carolina
North Carolina - The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently released a draft environmental impact statement for three proposed routes for a Charlotte-Atlanta high-speed rail line. Driving from one city to the other currently takes about five hours. 

One proposed route would incorporate Amtrak's existing Crescent route at a cost of $2 billion to $3 billion, but it would be the slowest at 79 mph to 110 mph and attract the fewest passengers of the three options.

Another option would build a new corridor for an estimated $6.2 billion to $8.4 billion and produce a line capable of 125 mph to 220 mph speeds for a two-hour travel time. It would serve an estimated 6.3 million passengers a year by 2030.

A third alternative would construct new tracks along Interstate 85 at an estimated cost of $13.3 billion to $15.4 billion. The trains could travel at speeds as high as 180 mph at travel times of less than three hours between Charlotte and Atlanta.

Officials at the FRA and related state departments of transportation are hosting public meetings next week in Charlotte, Greenville, South Carolina, and Atlanta to gather input on the three options.

The Charlotte-Atlanta high-speed rail line is one piece in a planned Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHR) Corridor that would link Atlanta and Charlotte to other cities including Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Rendering of proposed Houma Navigational Canal Lock
Louisiana - The Morganza-to-the-Gulf Hurricane Protection Project in Terrebonne is now a fundable project, according to officials from New Orleans.

Originally, the Morganza project was estimated to have a construction cost of $10.3 billion. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) worked with the state to reduce the cost to $3.2 billion.

More than $400 million in Terrebonne Parish tax money has gone toward the project, and the USACE New Orleans district still has funds from a $1.4 billion emergency supplemental bill issued in 2018.

The hurricane protection system will consist of approximately 98 miles of earthen levee with 12 floodgate structures proposed for the navigable waterways and a lock structure in the Houma Navigational Canal measuring 200-feet wide by 1,200-feet long. The structural features are integrated into the levee alignment to provide flood protection, drainage, and environmental features, while allowing navigational passage.
Washington, D.C. - Two federal agencies are publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are seeking public comment on the authorization of transportation of LNG.

Currently, LNG can be transported by rail only when in a portable tank and approved by the FRAHowever, other flammable cryogenic liquids may be transported in tank cars with the DOT 113 specification, a design specification that may suit the safe transportation of LNG. 

Safety standards will be a priority during any rulemaking, and the agency will collect and analyze the latest data regarding rail cars. However, the chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee opposed USDOT's action, stating that its passage would avert sufficient testing, analysis, or reviews and pose a significant risk to public health and safety.
California - The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the state of California approved statewide public testing of the California Early Earthquake Warning System.

The system is powered by the USGS's early warning alerts, called ShakeAlerts. These alerts will be delivered via the federal Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, as well as through the University of California Berkeley's MyShake app, and can provide seconds or even tens of seconds of warning before a user feels shaking from an earthquake.

ShakeAlerts will be delivered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which currently delivers AMBER and weather alerts to cell phones. ShakeAlerts will be sent to people who could experience shaking from a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake, while the MyShake app will alert people to a magnitude 4.5 or greater earthquake.

This public testing phase will help increase the speed, reliability, and public use of ShakeAlerts as the USGS will closely monitor the system to identify opportunities for further developments.
Courtesy of Omaha Airport Authority - Eppley Airfield
Nebraska - Omaha Airport Authority officials are finishing the planning validation phase of a $500 million terminal modernization program for Eppley Airfield.

Airport staff members are working with planners and architects to refine a conceptual layout of the airport that is projected to serve up to 8 million passengers a year by 2036. The airfield surpassed 5 million passengers in 2018.

Among the renovations are widening and lengthening the terminal drive to 10 lanes - four normal lanes for picking up and dropping off passengers, three lanes for commercial use, and three lanes for ride sharing. A speed ramp will be built to take drivers directly to the parking garage's third floor.

The upgrades also will include realigning the terminal's concourse and airline gates to increase the number of gates to 22 with the option to expand to 28 gates later. The airport also would shift airline and ticket counters to the second floor and add escalators and elevators for visitors entering on the first floor.

Construction is anticipated to start in early 2021 with a 42- to 46-month timeline.
Ala Wai Canal
Hawaii - Local executives released a new report detailing the costs of the state's future infrastructure and public employee retirement obligations.

Titled "Troubled Waters: Charting A New Fiscal Course For Hawaii," the report estimates Hawaii will need $88 billion over the next 30 years to address its infrastructure, pension, and healthcare costs; however, the report does not offer any solutions.

The report projects $47.2 billion will be needed for infrastructure. This includes $14.7 billion for transportation, $12.6 billion for public schools, and $8.9 billion for deferred maintenance of and improvements to public facilities. Other investment areas include affordable housing, water/wastewater, public safety, and other private infrastructure.
To prepare for natural disasters and climate change, the report anticipates $15.3 billion will be needed to protect coastal highways that are vulnerable to sea level rise, as well as toward the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project to guard the Ala Wai watershed from severe flooding. Airports and harbors also will require investment to protect against climate change. However, no cost estimates have been released.

The estimate's remaining $25.7 billion would go toward satisfying state employee healthcare and pension obligations.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for $396 million in grant funding as part of the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program.

Funds are available for Fiscal Year 2019 to go toward projects that reduce repair backlog and improve intercity passenger rail performance. Fundable projects include those that repair, replace, or rehabilitate qualified railroad assets.

To be eligible, applications must include projects related to track, ballast, switches and interlockings, bridges, communication and signal systems, power systems, grade crossings, station buildings, support systems, signage, track and platform areas, passenger cars, locomotives, maintenance-of-way equipment, yards, terminal areas, or maintenance shops.

The program aims to benefit public or Amtrak passenger rail infrastructure, equipment, and facilities, which includes enhancing economic vitality, leveraging federal funding, innovating to improve safety and expedite project delivery, and holding recipients accountable for achieving measurable outcomes.

Applications are due by December 9.
Ventura Water Reclamation Facility
California - The Ventura City Council approved a wastewater treatment plan that will cost more than $200 million and include a new wastewater treatment plant. The goal of the plan is to provide the city with a greater supply of drinking water while reducing the amount of treated wastewater released by the sewer plant into the Santa Clara River estuary.

Using a process known as "indirect potable reuse," the new plant will intercept the wastewater that currently flows into the estuary, treat it to drinking water standards, and then pump it into the city's underground wells.

Currently, Ventura releases 7.4 million gallons of treated water per day into the estuary. The new treatment plant is expected to be operational by 2025, and will decrease the amount of treated water going into the estuary to about 1.9 million gallons per day.

As a result of the new plant, the city's groundwater supply will increase by about 4,000 acre-feet of water per year.

To pay for part of the cost, Ventura is seeking $20 million in federal grants; however, the remaining portion must come from water bills or other city funds. Next steps include acquiring permits, locating an appropriate site, and other approvals.
Indiana - The state's Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced the distribution of $99.2 million in state matching funds for infrastructure construction projects. The funds are available through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative, and according to INDOT, will be awarded to 229 cities, towns, and counties across the state.

Top projects for the program include road resurfacing, preservation, and reconstruction, as well as bridge rehabilitation and replacement. Also eligible for funding are material costs associated with crack filling and chip sealing.

To be considered for funding, local government agencies must submit an asset management plan approved by INDOT for maintaining existing roads and bridges and provide matching funds from sources approved for road and bridge construction. Small communities must match 25 percent, while larger communities must match 50 percent.

Applications are accepted in January and July, and there is a $1 million cap per community. Indiana law requires 50 percent of matching funds to be awarded to cities or towns within counties that have populations of 50,000 people or fewer.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
University of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania - Fourteen state universities are seeking to expand their online infrastructure for data sharing and service consolidation across campuses. The universities are asking the state for $100 million over a five-year period, which will go toward expanding and streamlining online operations.

Investments will be made in online infrastructure and training, as well as service and data sharing, with a plan to consolidate all 14 student information systems.

The goal is to better accommodate online education and offer joint academic degrees among campuses. Due to declining numbers of on-campus students, the universities hope to capture the growing market of adult learners opting for online instruction, as well as to provide all students with instruction offered at all 14 campuses.

Funding will be sought through the annual state budgeting process.
Utah Lake
Utah - The Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) released an updated transportation plan, called TransPlan50, which provides details of the future of transportation in Utah County.

The regional transportation plan, which calls for proposals through the year 2050, includes transportation projects to help accommodate the expected future population growth in the area. For example, Utah County's population is projected to more than double, from 600,000 to 1.3 million by the year 2050. Other cities such as Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs, Vineyard, Payson, and Lehi are also expected to grow.

Possible transportation projects include two bridges over Utah Lake. One would connect Saratoga Springs to a community in the east and be built by 2050. The other bridge would be built further south and be built sometime after 2050.

The plan also calls for improving main corridors between the west and east, and adding a north-south highway from Payson to Lehi. A light rail system in Utah County is also proposed, and includes both east-west and north-south routes.
Nevada - The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) received a Road to Zero federal grant to help identify and deploy five new Strategic Traffic Management Sites (STMS). The agency will use artificial intelligence (AI) software to aid its efforts to reduce crashes and improve traffic safety.

Last year, a department pilot project resulted in 17 percent fewer crashes along Interstate 15 in Las Vegas.

NDOT will use the same technology to implement five new STMS locations. These elevated, protected platforms will be built along "high risk" corridors of I-15 and US-95, and will allow law enforcement to encourage drivers to slow down. Messaging boards are also being used in conjunction with the STMS sites. 

The project will assist national efforts to improve data flow into traffic networks that use AI software.
Ocean City bayfront
New Jersey - Ocean City leaders are committing $20 million to a five-year dredging program and $25 million to roadwork and flood mitigation projects over the next five years.

The dredging projects are designed to deter frequent flooding and lagoons backed up with sediment along the city's bayfront. Mud and sediment often trap boats in their slips at low tide.

Dredging is scheduled to begin this fall at the Bayside Center, Waterfront Park and Marina, and North Point Lagoon. The city's center will undergo dredging at Snug Harbor, Glen Cove, and Sunny Harbor, where a 16-foot sediment trap will be built.

Pumping stations, elevated and repaved roads, and new drainage pipes are part of the flood mitigation effort. New 2.5-foot to 4.5-foot tall levees may be erected to keep floodwaters at bay.
Indiana - A $60 million donation from an Indiana University (IU) alumnus will support the creation of a multidisciplinary initiative in artificial intelligence (AI) at the university. The funding also will support the construction of a new artificial intelligence center to house the research.

The initiative, which is in the university's School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, will initially focus on artificial intelligence concentrations in digital health.

State-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces will be featured in the new building dedicated to supporting advanced work in AI and machine learning and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.

The donation also will support the establishment of six endowed chairs, six endowed professorships, and six endowed faculty fellowships. It also will fund graduate and undergraduate scholarships.
Join more than 850 public representatives, design-build leaders, and P3 experts at the P3 Government Conference for two days of transportation, water, energy, and social infrastructure project delivery. 

The conference is scheduled from December 3-4 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

The P3 Government Conference invites local, state, and federal project representatives evaluating upgrades and new developments for two days of P3 education and networking.

This year's program provides the essential tools and know-how to successfully plan, deliver, and operate P3 projects of all sizes.

Connect with owners who want to better understand how alternative project delivery can be used for their next project, identify partners and procurement opportunities, and meet with other communities and agencies using P3s for their critical infrastructure challenges.

Join other delegates to discover new projects and new partners! To be included in future event updates, receive presentations, and connect with the over 800 delegates who attended last year's conference, please visit the conference website and register today!

Mississippi - The state's Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) unanimously approved Glenn Boyce as the University of Mississippi's new chancellor. Boyce most recently served as commissioner of higher education for the state of Mississippi. Before that he served as associate commissioner for academic and student affairs for IHL. He succeeds interim chancellor Larry Sparks who replaced Jeffrey Vitter who resigned in November 2018.

Colorado - San Miguel County commissioners named Mike Bordogna as the next county manager. He takes over for retiring County Manager Lynn Black. Bordogna most recently was the county's building official. He previously served as the executive director for the Lake County Economic Development Corporation.

Missouri - Troy Schulte, city manager of Kansas City, named Tammy Queen as the city's new director of finance. She succeeds Randy Landes who retired on September 13. Queen most recently served as the city's deputy director and city treasurer.

Washington - Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Russ Elliott as director of the State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce. Elliott previously served as broadband manager for the state of Wyoming and chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and president of several private companies.

Illinois - Members of the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) named Kristin Faust as the executive director of the state's housing finance agency, effective November 12. She most recently served as president of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. Faust succeeds Audra Hamernik who resigned in August to accept a position with a housing nonprofit in Nevada.

California - The city of Eureka has selected Dean Lotter as its new city manager. He will take over for Greg Sparks who is scheduled to retire by the end of 2019. Lotter is currently the city manager of New Brighton, Minnesota. He previously served as city administrator of two other Minnesota cities, Minnetrista and Janesville.
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