Volume 11, Issue 44 - Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc. 

It's difficult and costly to deliver broadband or high-speed internet to rural communities. And, there's no way to generate enough revenue to make it worth the effort for private sector companies.

Yet, broadband is a critical component of education, economic development, home-based health care, eldercare, professional education, social engagement, and e-government. High-speed networks provide a lifeline to small and rural communities and the people who live there. That's why some public officials throughout the country are finding ways to step up and deliver broadband to rural America.

Visionary leaders, determined to deploy broadband, are moving forward in different ways. In some parts of the country, several jurisdictions are partnering to tackle the broadband problem on a regional basis. Others have been successful in obtaining grant funding, and many are engaging in public-private partnerships.

No matter what option is selected, there will be an abundance of contracting opportunities for private sector firms.

In Montgomery County, a study of options for delivering a regional broadband plan and a cost analysis will be finalized soon. The county has already identified communities that are unserved or underserved by internet access, so now the objective is to determine the best option.

U.S. Capitol from Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate passed a minibus spending package on October 31 for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020), which includes $86.6 billion in appropriations concerning the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Key transportation programs to be funded include $1 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants, $1.25 billion for Surface Transportation Block Grant funds for eliminating railway/highway grade crossing hazards, $2.8 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and $13 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

A variety of railroad grants would be funded, including $300 million for Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants, and $255 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants. Of the $13 billion that would go to the FTA, $1.99 billion would be allocated to funding Capital Investment Grants. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would receive $17.7 billion; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would receive $972 million; and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would receive $679 million.
Rendering of Sepulveda Transit Corridor monorail
California - Officials at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) are seeking a public-private partnership (P3) with up to two private contractors on pre-development work on the $9.5 billion Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project.

LA Metro plans to build a fixed guideway transit line that will initially link the San Fernando Valley and the Westside. A final project phase includes an extension to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The Sepulveda Transit Corridor is part of LA Metro's Measure M Expenditure Plan, with approximately $5.7 billion for new transit service to connect the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, scheduled to open by 2033. Approximately $3.8 billion is allocated to extend that service from the Westside to LAX with a 2057 opening date. State and federal funding is anticipated to augment the authority's funding.

LA Metro officials are considering a design-build-finance-operate-maintain structure for the project for a term to be determined. Some of the pre-development work will involve early project definition and design.

The last date for prospective proposers to submit their initial qualifications is December 4. Final proposals are due to LA Metro by 2 p.m. April 1, 2020.
Billions of dollars in local government bond projects were voted on in special elections held across the country on November 5.

Want to know which bond referendums succeeded and what contracting opportunities will result? Strategic Partnerships, Inc.'s Fall 2019 National Bond Report has everything you want.

Compiled by Kirk Yoshida since 2007, the bond reports list every public entity that calls a bond election, project information details, cost projections and the election results.

The fall 2019 national bond report also includes details for elections held between June 2019 and November 2019 along with a list of proposed upcoming bond elections under discussion for December 2019 and later.

Call to reserve your copy of Strategic Partnerships' National Bond Report today!

For more information or to view a sample report page, contact Yoshida at 512-531-3927 or kyoshida@spartnerships.com.
Illustration of Metro's proposed Southwest Corridor upgrades in Portland
Oregon - Portland's regional government and planning organization is considering a list of transportation infrastructure projects that could be on the 2020 ballot.

Voters would determine more than $3 billion in Metro's regional projects, which would be eligible for an additional $2.1 billion from local, state, and federal sources.

The largest project involves $975 million to upgrade the Southwest Corridor parallel to Interstate 5, with an 11-mile extension of the MAX light rail line, reconstruction of two trestle bridges, street reconstruction, a new parking garage and bus hub, and safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

Other plans include $370 million to improve sidewalks, crossings, and lighting for the 10-mile 82nd Avenue corridor and $350 million for safety upgrades, street enhancements, and planning for the 15.3-mile Tulatin Valley Highway corridor.

Downtown Portland would receive $220 million for street reconstruction, as well as for planning for a 3-mile light rail tunnel. The nearly 100-year-old Burnside Bridge would receive $150 million for seismic upgrades.

For the referendum to be on the November 2020 ballot, a final decision must be made by next spring.
Rendering of SDSU Mission Valley project
California - San Diego State University (SDSU) made a revised offer of $86.2 million to purchase the Mission Valley stadium site from the city of San Diego as part of the university's plans for a $3 billion development.

San Diego City Council is set to consider the updated offer on November 18 for a site where it envisions a university campus, research center, and 35,000-seat multi-use stadium. Almost 1.6 million square feet of campus-tech office space would comprise the innovation district.

The development plan also includes transit, 95,000 square feet of retail space, about 4,600 housing units, 4 miles of hike and bike trails, and more than 80 acres of community parks, featuring the 34-acre River Park.

Nearly 400 hotel rooms and 40,000 square feet of conference space would be adjacent to the stadium and serve as a professional incubator for graduate and undergraduate hospitality and tourism students.

The university estimates initial costs at $300 million with funding to come through short-term financing and revenue bonds issued by the California State University system. According to its website, SDSU projected the cost of total site development at $3 billion. Ultimately, SDSU plans to develop the site through public-private partnerships (P3s) and use lease revenues from its public-private partners to repay the bonds.
Rendering of Charlotte Douglas International Airport project
North Carolina - Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is set to begin work on its Terminal Lobby Expansion, a $600 million project that the Charlotte City Council recently approved.

The five-year Terminal Lobby Expansion project will add a total of 175,000 square feet of new space for security lanes, ticketing and baggage claim areas, basement-level offices, an outdoor canopy, and access to subterranean walkways. Also included is construction of a central energy plant that will provide mechanical space for the project.

Since 1998, CLT's annual passenger volume has expanded from 23 million to more than 46 million. The Terminal Lobby Expansion is part of a larger project called Destination CLT, a capital investment program that includes upgrades and renovations to the airport's concourse, roadways, curb front, airfield, and terminal. Destination CLT is projected to cost $2.5 billion to $3.1 billion.
Illustration University of Michigan innovation center
Michigan - The University of Michigan (U of M) plans to build a $300 million innovation center for researchers and professors involved in automotive mobility, sustainability, cybersecurity, and other technology disciplines. Plans include a hotel as well as a conference center.

Costs for the 190,000-square-foot innovation center could exceed $300 million, while total costs including other buildings range between $500 million and $750 million.

The innovation center will be operated by U of M and offer academic programs for 1,000 students. These programs will focus on technology such as artificial intelligence, data science, financial technology, and others.

More planning and community outreach are expected during the next three to six months. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021.
Rendering of Gold Line station
Minnesota - Planners of a $461 million bus-rapid transit project in St. Paul are seeking public input to help move the project closer to securing federal funding.

The Gold Line is a proposed 10-mile, bus-rapid transit system that will include 21 stations and serve the east side of St. Paul. Service is expected to begin in 2024 between Woodbury and downtown. The line also will serve the city's East Side, Landfall, Oakdale, and Maplewood.

It's estimated that by 2040, the Gold Line will carry between 6,350 and 7,100 passengers daily.

Planners have held two open houses seeking public input regarding the project's environmental impact.

Planners are seeking funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which will cover about 45 percent of the project's construction costs. Local funding has already reached $75 million.
Baton Rouge
Louisiana - The mayor of Baton Rouge released the prioritization of more than 50 Move East Baton Rouge (MOVEBR) projects. The MOVEBR program aims to improve the transportation infrastructure of East Baton Rouge Parish, with construction involving roadways, sidewalks, traffic signals, and more.

A committee of 10 community representatives prioritized the projects by applying an objective, data-driven evaluation process focusing on five areas of benefit: readiness to construct, safety, congestion relief, complete streets, and quality of life.

Of the 51 total projects, 22 will move forward immediately with funding from an initial bond sale. These include adding capacity and enhancements to major roadways such as Airline Highway, Florida Boulevard, Jones Creek Road, Pecue Lane, and others. Some of these projects will be under construction soon, as preconstruction efforts are nearly complete, while most of these projects will be under construction within 24 to 36 months.

Sidewalk, signalization, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) projects are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2020.
Proposed route of Chicago-Quad Cities rail line
Illinois - Efforts to connect Chicago by rail to the Quad Cities got a boost when two U.S. senators and a U.S. representative secured an extension of $177 million in Federal Railroad Administration funding to the end of 2024 and $225 million from the Rebuild Illinois capital bill.

The 160-mile rail line would connect Chicago to the Quad Cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in Illinois. Intermediate stops are planned in Illinois at Geneso, Princeton, Mendota, and Plano.

Efforts began in 2010 to establish twice daily round trip service between the two destinations with a new station in Geneso and a layover facility in the Quad Cities area; however, political roadblocks delayed project funding and support until now.
Charles F. Hurley Building
Massachusetts - The state is planning to redevelop the Charles F. Hurley Building amid Boston's favorable real estate market.

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration plans to capitalize on the 3.25-acre site on the corner of Staniford and Cambridge streets, in a deal that could be worth at least tens of millions of dollars.

The state would seek a development partner to oversee the design, planning, and construction of a new office complex. Also, it's likely that the project would include new ground-floor retail and restaurant space.

In the next 18 to 24 months, the state hopes to identify a development partner to which it would issue a ground lease. Construction could begin three years from now.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Courtesy of Port Authority of Allegheny County
Pennsylvania - A gaping sinkhole formed on 10th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh and swallowed part of a bus, causing officials and engineers to ask important questions regarding aging underground infrastructure.

Underground utility lines can cause sinkholes, especially in soils like Pennsylvania's which contain carbonate bedrock. This type of rock is easily dissolved by acid found in rainwater, leading to enough soil displacement to result in sinkholes.

However, the nation's infrastructure as a whole is in poor condition. In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave a grade of D- to the country's infrastructure. The local ASCE chapter graded Pennsylvania's roads at a D+, the state's drinking and stormwater systems each at a D, and wastewater systems at a D-.

Because most of the nation's infrastructure is already in place and the number of issues continues to grow, solutions are needed to repair and renew the existing framework.
Rendering of UC Health expansion
Ohio - Over the next several years, UC Health will invest $221 million into its Clifton Campus to transform patient care and access. As the largest construction project in the academic health system's history, the investment will cover Clifton Campus' 14 acres with plans for new construction, expansions, and renovations.

The 30-year-old Emergency Department at University of Cincinnati Medical Center will undergo significant improvements, including the addition of three floors above the existing emergency department, and a 41,000-square-foot addition built on adjacent land. To accommodate the new structure, the Medical Center B Pavilion will be demolished. In total, the Emergency Department project will cost $110 million.

Other plans include a new three-story building to add operating room capacity, and two new parking garages that will add 1,300 parking spaces. These will each cost $40 million.

An architectural firm will be hired by the end of 2019, but a general contractor has not yet been selected. Funding will come from operational dollars, financing, and donations. Physical changes to Clifton Campus will begin in 2020 and are expected to be completed by 2025.
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center rendering
Louisiana - The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Authority is developing a mixed-use district around its proposed headquarters hotel and will issue a request for proposals (RFP) with a finalist selected early next year.

The chosen applicant would be expected to create and execute a master plan for residential, entertainment, and retail spaces for the $558 million hotel, which will be attached to the convention center and include 1,200 rooms. In total, the mixed-use district surrounding the hotel will cover 39 acres.

Also part of the plan is a 7.5-acre pedestrian park that is already under construction, interior and exterior upgrades to the convention center, and a transportation center for shuttles, taxis, and ride shares.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering up to $4 million in funding for projects that support manufacturers in improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity, and accelerating manufacturing innovation.

Through the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative, the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is inviting qualified industry partners to work with DOE's National Laboratories on projects that use high-performance computing to solve key technical challenges in the areas of manufacturing and mobility.

Nine DOE labs will partner with the private sector to use the labs' supercomputing capabilities and advanced simulation and data analytics techniques.

High-performance computing (HPC) for manufacturing aims to support new and innovative clean energy technologies, reduce energy and resource consumption, and inject advanced computing expertise and technology into the manufacturing industry. The program seeks proposals that require HPC modeling and simulation to overcome impactful manufacturing process challenges resulting in reduced energy consumption and/or increased productivity.

HPC for materials strives to enhance the U.S. materials-development, fabrication and manufacturing industries, and to investigate, improve and scale methods that will further the development and deployment of materials that perform well in severe and complex energy application environments. The program seeks proposals that will address key challenges in developing, modifying, and qualifying new or modified materials using HPC modeling, simulation, and data analysis.

Informational webinars are scheduled for November 13 and November 21. Concept papers are due December 10.
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.

Please visit the conference website and register today!

Washington, D.C. - Amtrak named Steve Predmore as its executive vice president and chief safety officer. He succeeds Ken Hylander who will retire November 15. Predmore joins Amtrak with nearly 30 years of experience in aviation, oil and gas, and contracted passenger services. He most recently served as vice president and chief safety officer of a provider of rotary and fixed wing aviation services for offshore transportation and search and rescue.

North Carolina - University of North Carolina System President Bill Roper appointed Dr. Ron Mitchelson as interim chancellor of East Carolina University (ECU). Mitchelson currently serves as provost and senior vice chancellor. He previously held positions at ECU as professor and chair of the Department of Geography.

Ohio - The Central Ohio Transit Authority has appointed Kimberly Sharp as its new senior director of development, effective November 11. Sharp is currently the deputy director of planning and development for the city of Westerville, Ohio. She previously served as comprehensive planning manager and redevelopment for the city of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Oklahoma - Durant City Council hired John Dean as the city's new manager. Dean most recently served as city manager for Ovilla, Texas. Previously, he served as city manager in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and for 20 years in the U.S. Army.

West Virginia - The Greenbriar County Airport Authority voted unanimously to hire Brian Belcher as the new manager of Greenbriar Valley Airport. Belcher previously served as director of air service development at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and director of marketing and air service development at the Mobile Airport Authority.

Washington - The city of SeaTac selected Gwen Voepel as deputy city manager on November 1. Most recently, Voepel worked as a senior performance adviser for a private company. She previously served as SeaTac's assistant city manager from 2012 to 2016.
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