Volume 11, Issue 47 - Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Philadelphia highways
Pennsylvania - The state's transportation infrastructure needs an estimated $5.5 billion in updates to its aging highways, bridges, and public transportation facilities, according to a new report by the Pennsylvania House Transportation Task Force.

The report found that 23 percent, or 3,500, of the state's bridges have structural integrity issues. An estimated $1.8 billion is needed to make these repairs and replacements.

Task force members called for $2.5 billion to address the state's traffic congestion on highways near large cities and $1.2 billion to improve public transportation facilities and services, including a program that transports residents with disabilities to medical appointments, hospitals, and pharmacies. 

Sources of funding could include redirecting transportation monies that are going to the Pennsylvania State Police budget and adopting legislation that enables cities and counties to raise local funding for transportation projects.

The report also encourages establishing public-private partnerships to expedite infrastructure projects and reduce the fiscal impact on taxpayers.
Proposed San Francisco seawall project
California - Officials from the Port of San Francisco outlined the $5 billion plan to rebuild the city's seawall at the "Strategies for Storms, Flooding, and Sea Level Defense" conference on December 3 in Oakland.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has identified the city's waterfront district as one of the most endangered historic places in the country due to seismic hazards, flood risks from rising tides, and the fragile condition of many of its historic resources.

Included in the district are lifeline infrastructure and the 3-mile Embarcadero Seawall, which anchors the historic piers. The seawall protects regional transportation infrastructure, utilities, emergency assets, and businesses but has suffered more than a century of erosion and deterioration. Once the project is complete, the seawall will help protect the city's downtown from flooding and earthquakes.

Representatives from other ports in California and around the world convened at the conference. As rising sea levels threaten coastal infrastructure, port leaders are developing plans for multibillion projects to stem the tides.

This summer, researchers Sverre LeRoy and Richard Wiles estimated the cost to protect United States coastal populations and infrastructure from sea-level rise over the next 20 years will exceed $400 billion. They determined such a defense strategy would require building about 50,000 miles of coastal barriers in 22 states. More than $180 billion would go toward defending Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia with thousands of miles of seawall.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on December 3 that it will disperse more than $2.3 billion in grants to assist with long-term disaster recovery efforts in 15 states and several United States territories..

HUD's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program is the source of the funding that will be directed to recovering from damages to housing, business, and infrastructure projects since 2017.

The state of California will receive $525.58 million as it recovers from 2018 wildfires. HUD will award $287.53 million in CDBG-DR funding to the state of Florida for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts and $212.74 million to the state of Texas as it comes back from Tropical Storm Imelda.
North Carolina is set to receive $206.12 million in HUD funding to support Hurricane Florence projects. Projects in Nebraska and Iowa earned $108.93 million and $96.74 million, respectively, as those states recover from severe storms and flooding earlier this year.

For a complete list of CDBG-DR recipients, read the HUD press release.
Preliminary Bay Park Conveyance design
New York - The state will team with Nassau County to seek requests for qualifications (RFQ) in early 2020 from design-build teams for its Bay Park Conveyance Project.

The Bay Park Conveyance Project aims to stop treated sewage from discharging into Reynolds Channel, and instead divert it into the ocean. Part of the project involves rebuilding the Bay Park Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is nearly completed, so it can divert treated sewage to the Cedar Creek plant in Wantagh. The two treatment plants will be connected by two underground tunnels.

Annually, about 19 billion gallons of treated sewage will flow into the ocean instead of into the Western Bays. This will help restore the marshlands that protect coastal communities from storm damage.

The RFQ is scheduled to be issued in January 2020, and the most qualified and cost-effective proposals will be selected in the summer. Once the project is finished, Nassau County will own and operate the new facilities.
Maryland - State leaders have committed to a feasibility study for a proposed monorail system to ease congestion on Interstate 270 between the Shady Grove Metro station and Frederick.

The project would be developed through a public-private partnership, and an international firm is already showing interest in getting involved.

To construct the 22-mile monorail, the cost is estimated to be about $127 million per mile, an estimate that is much less than the alternative cost of extending Metro north. There are currently six stations proposed for the line.

Officials are reaching out to developers who may be willing to pay for construction of the stations, which could significantly lower construction costs.
Rendering of Los Angeles Street Civic Building
California - The city of Los Angeles shared new details about its planned mixed-use office building that will be built on the former site of the Parker Center. The details focused on construction of Los Angeles Street Civic Building and the next steps of the plan, which include the request for proposals (RFP) process that is expected to begin in early 2020.

Los Angeles requires that the building have the capacity to house 3,000 workers and include underground parking, a conference center, a child-care center, ground-floor retail space, and a 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot community center. The building will be 15 to 29 stories tall.

A public-private partnership would be sought for the project. The selected developer would be responsible for design, financing, construction, and long-term operation, while the city would be responsible for making annual payments once the building is ready for occupancy.

After the RFP is released, there will be a blackout period until a preferred proposal is chosen in early 2021. Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2021 and finish by 2024.

Replacement of the Parker Center is the first phase of the Los Angeles Civic Center master plan that includes new government offices combined with commercial and residential space. The project is designed to boost development in the area around City Hall.
Firefighters at San Jose International Airport
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that it will award $485 million in airport infrastructure grants to 108 airports in 48 states, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Since January 2017, $10.8 billion in federal money has been invested in more than two thousand airports in the United States.

The government is working to help deliver airport improvements more quickly by streamlining the approval process and cutting unnecessary regulations that do not contribute to safety.

Some notable awards include $10 million to San Jose International Airport for an aircraft rescue and firefighting building; $7 million to New Orleans International Airport for a taxiway extension; $6 million to Tampa International Airport for terminal building improvements; and $5 million to Gerald R. Ford International in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for terminal building rehabilitation.
Louisiana Capitol
Louisiana - State offices continue to recover from a ransomware attack that forced state officials to shut down many state websites and email services.

Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on November 22 and announced Louisiana activated its ESF-17, the cybersecurity response team, after a ransomware attack on state government servers. Louisiana's ESF-17 team consists of the Office of Technology Services, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security, Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana National Guard, state university systems, and other cybersecurity experts.

State officials reported they did not lose any data, nor did they pay a ransom; however, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles closed numerous locations for several days and reopened a few November 25. While state services were offline, residents could not register vehicles, apply for or renew driver licenses, or file tax forms with the Department of Revenue where its computers were locked. Officials at other state departments reported the attack affected their email, internet, and toll-free lines.

Edwards' declaration was the second for Louisiana within six months. In July, several school districts were victims of a ransomware attack.
A European multimodal transportation facility
Colorado - A committee participating in the process to develop recommendations for airport improvements and expansion suggests the need for a multimodal transportation facility to be built near a new Aspen-Pitkin County Airport terminal and Highway 82.

The committee reports that to improve airport connectivity, more convenient ground transport should be considered. If feasible, this would include mass-transit modes such as light rail, monorail, gondola, and Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) buses.

The report also suggests that creating weather-protected facilities should be a priority to enhance convenient movement to and from the new terminal. Overall, the report says that there should be an appropriate balance of facilities to accommodate parking, car rental, shuttle, taxi, and private drop-off and pick-up.

A multimodal transportation facility could be created with help from design-engineering-funding consultants that have experience in multimodal airport ground-transport projects.

Major considerations that the committee suggests are providing public buses that loop through the airport; building a large European cable-car type gondola; and creating a designated structured parking facility to accommodate rental-car and long-term parking.

The report will be formally presented on December 5.
Georgia - Twenty-three United States cities are among the top 100 most hyperconnected metropolises around the world as ranked in a new report titled "Building a Hyperconnected City."

A coalition of sponsors at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, commissioned the report last month which started with a list of 171 cities. The report's authors then trimmed that list to 100 hyperconnected cities in 52 countries and used detailed benchmarking surveys to rank them.

To be included on the list, a city had to appear in at least one of the secondary sources and/or be a suggestion from a sponsor or research partner.

The 23 hyperconnected cities in the United States are:

Kansas CityMiami
New York
DetroitLos Angeles
Washington, D.C.

One of the report's major recommendations is to use the latest technologies to transform and interconnect cities' ecosystems in order to gain complete social, economic, and business value. It also found that the average return on investments in hyperconnected projects is 3 percent to 4 percent.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Edmond, Oklahoma
Oklahoma - The city of Edmond is seeking to take advantage of federally established Opportunity Zones before the opportunity to apply expires in 18 months.

Edmond's designated Opportunity Zone extends from Second Street north to Edwards Street, and east from Ayers to Bryant Avenue. The city is seeking a public-private partnership (P3) to build office space and explore mixed-use development options for the city-owned land.

Edmond's mayor says the first priority of a strategic plan is to construct a new administration building on the site of the former police station on East First Street. Additionally, a downtown parking garage will be necessary to accommodate the city's expanding population.

A local architect's 2018 feasibility study concluded that for long-term needs, Edmond will need to add 80,000 square feet of office space. However, some water- and sewer-line improvements will be needed west of Broadway in order to lure developers and add residential units.
FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams announces Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities funding on November 26.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is awarding $423 million in grants for 94 projects in 42 states, including the District of Columbia.

The funding is part of the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, which aims to improve the safety and reliability of bus systems. 

Qualified projects include those which replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as those which purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities.

Notable grant awards include $24.5 million for three projects in North Carolina, including $17.3 million to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to help several rural transit systems replace vehicles and construct public transportation facilities throughout the state as well as $6.8 million to the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation to purchase new vehicles to replace those that have exceeded their useful life.

In Arizona, two projects will receive a total of $17.4 million, including approximately $17.3 million to the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority to construct a new Downtown Connection Center in Flagstaff and purchase all-electric buses.

The city of Detroit Department of Transportation and Flint Mass Transportation Authority in Michigan will receive a total of $12.8 million, including $8.5 million to modernize Detroit's fare collection system on buses and $4.3 million to help Flint purchase new buses that will replace diesel buses that have exceeded their useful life.

The FTA received applications for 318 eligible projects totaling $1.9 billion. Project proposals were selected based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
Interstate 475-U.S. 23 interchange
Ohio - The Review Advisory Council (TRAC) of Ohio's transportation department is allocating $79 million to a future phase of reconstructing and widening I-475/U.S. 23 in Toledo.

A total of $107 million is needed for the project, which includes widening I-475/U.S. 23 between Airport Highway and U.S. 24, and building a new interchange at U.S. 20A. For the interchange portion of the project, land has already been acquired for construction of the freeway's ramps, and additional funding has been secured from local agencies and the Lucas County Transportation Improvement District.

The project is expected to begin construction in 2022.

TRAC also began engineering work on a proposed upgrade of the Hancock County Road 99 interchange on I-75 north of Findlay, a project that is scheduled to begin construction in 2023.
Camden County High School
North Carolina - Camden County received $10 million in grant funds that will be used to help plan and build a new school. 
The project calls for constructing a new Camden County High School, which will also be home to Camden Early College High School. A total of $33.3 million is needed to fund the project. 
The grant is awarded through the Public School Capital Fund, a fund created by the General Assembly to help school districts in lower-wealth counties. Revenue from the North Carolina Education Lottery provides funding awards. 
Another $63 million went to school districts in Graham, Hertford, Northampton, Rutherford, and Wilson counties. 
Applications were reviewed based on several priorities, such as high debt-to-tax revenue ratio, ability to generate revenue, and the extent to which a project will adequately serve current and future student populations. Emphasis was placed on projects that were already in planning and could begin construction within 12 months.
Central Virginia Community College
Virginia - Officials with the Virginia Community College System, which oversees all of the state's community colleges, are exploring campus housing options for students attending Central Virginia Community College (CVCC).

CVCC offers no campus housing, so its students must commute daily and often rely on public transportation.

The system's leaders soon will solicit proposals from contractors who can provide critical insights about constructing housing on or near community college campuses.

The agency currently does not have an explicit timetable for issuing requests for proposals or evaluating ideas. System leaders said they also will need to consider whether additional dining and other student services would need to be provided if campus housing were introduced.

California - The Port of Oakland, which is a department of the city of Oakland, recently appointed Danny Wan as executive director. Wan had been serving in an interim capacity since July. Previously, he was the port's attorney for six years.

Wisconsin - The University of Wisconsin-Stout named Katherine Frank as its chancellor, effective March 1, 2020. Frank is the vice president of academic innovation and professor of English at Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, Washington. She previously served as provost and vice president of academic and student life at CWU.

Utah - The executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development appointed Kori Ann Edwards as managing director of operations, effective November 25. She took over for Jill Flygare who accepted a position with the Utah Inland Port. Edwards previously worked at a private firm for 20 years, most recently as its senior vice president.

Louisiana - The Shreveport Airport Authority recommended Wade Davis as its new director on November 21. Davis is currently the executive director of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority in New York.

Illinois - The McLean County Regional Planning Commission announced Raymond Lai as its new executive director on November 26. Lai currently serves as the city of Decatur's director of economic and community development. He is scheduled to begin his new role with the county on January 6, 2020.

Washington - The state of Washington named Allyson Tucker as chief investment officer of the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), Olympia, effective January 1, 2020. She will succeed Gary Bruebaker who announced he is retiring after 19 years of service with the agency. Tucker currently serves as WSIB's director of risk management and asset allocation.
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