Volume 11, Issue 24 - Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Although large airport projects dominate the news, smaller regional airports are announcing numerous immediate upcoming projects. Record growth at regional airports along with projections that the growth will continue for decades is driving expansion, upgrades, and new construction. Many of the projects are quite large. The smaller, but crucial, airports are significant economic drivers which are critical to regional growth. Support for expansion of these types of facilities is significant at all levels of government.
A report by the Airports Council International recently estimated that $128 billion is needed to support U.S. airport infrastructure requirements over the next five years. Terminal projects make up about half that amount. To help facilitate improved airport infrastructure, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded $840 million in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants in 2019 to more than 380 airports in 47 states. More funding is on the way. The U.S. House Appropriations Committee recently approved $3.3 billion for AIP grants for 2020, plus another $500 million in discretionary funding for airport infrastructure.
Here are a few examples of upcoming projects:
The East Texas Regional Airport has $72 million in infrastructure improvements included in a master plan that was recently approved. The plan calls for a 200,000-square-foot increase in hangar space as well as electrical upgrades and infrastructure improvements. Airport officials hope to build about a half-dozen additional hangars of between 5,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet. Also included in the plan are projects related to a new taxiway and widening and pavement upgrades to current taxiways.
The Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina, one of the fastest-growing airports in the country, has announced plans to double its terminal size to accommodate a recent 67 percent increase in passenger service.Early cost estimates for the expansion plan are between $150 million and $200 million. Airport officials hope to start construction on the terminal expansion by 2021, with a roughly four-year timeline for completion.

Check out the latest article from our Texas Government Insider Newsletter!
Houston skyline
Texas - After retooling a plan years in the making, state transportation officials are moving forward on their expansion of Interstate 45 in Houston that could cost up to $7 billion.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) started the project in 2004 as a travel study. Years later, its North Houston Highway Improvement Project could receive federal approvals by the end of the year.

TxDOT's plan divides the project into three segments that stretch from the city's downtown up to the Sam Houston Tollway in the north. The downtown could undergo $3 billion in changes such as burying sections of interstates 45 and 69 and tearing down the Pierce Elevated section of I-45. Work is expected to begin on some sections in late 2020 or in 2021 with the entire project taking more than 10 years to complete.
Sky Harbor Airport
Arizona - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is one step closer to getting some much-needed improvements. On June 11, the Phoenix City Council approved the airport's Comprehensive Asset Management Plan (CAMP), estimated at $5.7 billion over the next 20 years. The plan calls for improvements to the airport's terminals, roadways, and support facilities.

The next step is to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.  The plan addresses concerns about future demand. It's projected that in 20 years, the airport will serve 80 million passengers annually and double its current amount of cargo. 

Major projects during the first five years are estimated to cost $1 billion, including $441 million to "trench" the existing railroad tracks on the north side. Other key developments aim to improve and add concourses, redesign Sky Harbor Boulevard, and construct service roads and facilities. 

About $1.2 billion in Sky Harbor Airport projects is scheduled for the second phase of the plan in years five through 10 that would fund construction of a new west terminal concourse, a north cargo area and facilities infrastructure, and a post-security passenger connector to link terminals 3 and 4. It also includes a redesign for improved connectivity, capacity, and security. A cross-field taxiway would be built as well.

Phase 3 in years 10 to 20 is estimated to cost $1.7 billion to complete the west terminal's south-side concourses, roads, and processing facilities, expand cargo capacity, and construct another taxiway. The final phase would cost $1.8 billion to erect concourses at the west terminal, construct a service-road tunnel, and remodel Terminal 4's international concourse.

Each phase of the plan will begin as need arises. All phases will require approval from the Phoenix City Council. All projects will be funded by airport revenues, facility charges, and state and federal grants.
Interstate 49
Arkansas - The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ADOT) is preparing a $3.6 billion road project list, led by a $475 million effort to widen Interstate 40 between North Little Rock and West Memphis over 20 years.
The 31 projects outlined in the proposed plan would help relieve congestion on thoroughfares around the state, which has more than 8,000 roads with failing pavement ratings. A draft map of the projects also calls for spending $350 million in improvements to interstates 30 and 40 in Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Other projects include building two new sections of Interstate 49 from Highway 22 to Interstate 40 for an estimated $270 million and from an unincorporated area known as "Y" City to south of Greenwood for $270 million. Highway 67 improvements from Walnut Ridge to the Missouri state line would cost $180 million. A Highway 82 project would receive $160 million to widen the road from Texarkana to Lake Village. An estimated $150 million would fund construction of a two-lane Interstate 69 in southeast Arkansas, and $100 million would be spent to widen sections of highways 62, 63, and 412 from Huntsville to Black Rock.

The plan depends heavily on voters' approval to continue a half-percent sales tax in perpetuity. The tax was originally approved in 2012 on a temporary basis. If the measure is successful, the sales tax revenues would fund a $1.8 billion road construction program and generate $205 million annually.

ADOT's director expects to present a draft of the plan to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and finalize it by September 2019.
Lake Powell Pipeline route
Utah - Plans for the estimated $1.1 billion to $1.8 billion Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) are coming together at the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD).

The 140-mile buried pipeline would carry water from Lake Powell to Washington and Kane counties aided by five pump stations and six hydroelectric facilities providing a portion of the energy the stations need. According to the district's website, the pipeline would be capable of transporting 82,249 acre feet of water per year to Washington County and 4,000 acre feet of water per year to Kane County. The state of Utah will fund the LPP and be repaid through participating districts' impact fees, water rates, and property taxes.

District officials said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently finished its public comment period that now advances the pipeline project to the environmental study stage of its permitting process. A draft environmental impact statement is expected this fall. The project must pass several permitting stages and reviews before WCWCD opens it to contractor bidding.
Garden City Terminal at Port of Savannah
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on June 13 for maritime or port authorities to apply for a total of $292.7 million in grant funding.

The new Port Infrastructure Development Program aims to enhance the nation's gateway ports and maritime systems through a competitive grant application process open to projects that relate to port operations or intermodal connection to a port. These projects may be within or outside of the boundary of a coastal seaport.

Projects will be evaluated on criteria including the leveraging of federal funds, project costs and benefits, project outcomes, readiness, and domestic preference. USDOT will consider geographic diversity when selecting grant recipients.

USDOT also will take into account a project that advances: technology supported safety and design efficiency improvements; state of good repair and resiliency; efficient energy trade; manufacturing, agriculture, or other forms of exports; and, for only the top 15 coastal ports, the safe flow of agricultural and food products.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 made available $292.7 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, including $92.7 million for the 15 coastal seaports that handled the greatest number of loaded foreign and domestic twenty-foot equivalent units of containerized cargo in 2016, as determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Minimum award size is $10 million with a federal cost share not to exceed 80 percent. 
Stevens High School
South Dakota - The Rapid City Area Schools board of trustees approved a Sept. 17 special election for voters to decide on a $250 million bond package.
If the referendum passes, the district would close three elementary schools - Canyon Lake, Horace Mann, and Robbinsdale - and build three new elementary schools for $30 million each and rebuild two middle schools on the same site for $45 million each.

The district also would renovate four elementary schools for a total of $15 million and Stevens High School for $22 million. High school upgrades would include fine arts classroom additions, a theater, and safety and security upgrades.

In addition, funding would go toward districtwide renovations and upgrades for $33 million. These enhancements include 21st Century learning and Pathways upgrades, safety and security enhancements, and deferred maintenance needs. 
All contracts would go to bid, according to the district's website.
Rendering of courthouse annex
Nebraska - Omaha City Council members on June 18 approved $114 million in bonds to finance the construction of a downtown courthouse annex and juvenile detention center. Their action follows a June 13 vote by the Omaha-Douglas Public Building Commission to issue the bonds.

The project calls for building an eight-story $92 million courthouse annex at 18th and Harney streets next to the Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) headquarters, which will be renovated into space for juvenile and family services. The annex will house the Douglas County Juvenile Court, related services, attorneys' offices, and juvenile probation workers' offices. A four-story $27 million juvenile detention center would be connected to the courthouse and have space to hold up to 64 youths.

Officials said the bonds would require an additional 1.1 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Wisconsin - Milwaukee Public Museum leaders have narrowed their list of possible sites for a new home from 10 to four downtown locations. The new facility is estimated to cost $100 million.

Museum leaders have been considering future sites since 2015, but they have not released the locations to the public with the exception of one - the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Directors said their goal is to break ground on the museum project by 2022. They plan to launch a fundraising campaign to help with the building costs.
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on June 12 for states, cities, and other agencies to apply for $60 million in advanced transportation technologies grants. The award ceiling for each grant is $12 million.

The funding would come from the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program (ATCMTD) to support new technologies that boost transportation efficiency.

Established in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, the program strives to improve transportation system performance by funding use of the latest technologies that become examples for improving commuter and business travel. 
FHWA officials will be looking for projects that incorporate data from various systems, such as integrated corridor management, real-time traveler information, traffic data collection and dispersal, and other multi-modal intelligent transportation system technologies.

State departments of transportation, local governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations representing populations of at least 200,000, and other eligible organizations may apply.

Public-private partnerships or joint efforts with other public agencies, including multimodal and multijurisdictional entities, research institutions, organizations representing transportation and technology leaders, or other transportation stakeholders, are encouraged.

The application deadline is July 19.
Detroit skyline
Michigan - State transportation officials are laying the groundwork for issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to construct an intermodal transportation facility combined with a possible mixed-use development in the TechTown area of Detroit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) RFP would solicit proposals to develop the project on 3.1 acres of MDOT property on the west side of Woodward Avenue between Amsterdam Street and Baltimore Avenue.

MDOT officials said they are seeking a predevelopment plan to identify facility needs, market conditions, project benefits and risks, including sources of capital, operations and maintenance expenses, and environmental impact.

Department staff recently met with project stakeholders including city of Detroit representatives, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, bus and rail company leaders, and the Suburban Mobility Authority on Regional Transportation to go over plans with property owners and neighboring developments. Public input will be factored into weighing various development options, prior to publishing the RFP.
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Conneaut's shoreline on Lake Erie
Ohio - Conneaut councilmembers are seeking a hotel developer to join the city in a public-private partnership to build a new hotel at Lakeview Park.

At the City Council's June 10 meeting, councilmembers directed city staff to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the potential hotel on Lake Erie that would catalyze the city's redevelopment of the Harbor District.

The city's Comprehensive Plan outlines Conneaut's goal to redevelop the Harbor District into a mixed-use destination that features residential, retail, and restaurant uses that promote tourism and serve water recreation needs as well as residents and visitors. A hotel would be located on 10 acres of city-owned land at Lakeview Park and the now-closed Lakeview Trailer Park. The Comprehensive Plan also suggests retaining an area of the site for public open space and incorporating the historic Art Center east of Lakeview Park.

Since last year, city leaders have commissioned a hotel feasibility study and reviewed development concepts prepared by the Cleveland Urban Design Center at Kent State University.
Alabama - Auburn University President Steven Leath announced on June 12 that a working group has formed to explore options for a new $60 million football operations facility. According to reports, the university has raised about $30 million for the project.

Some features of the new facility would likely include a locker room, weight room, meeting rooms, a student-athlete lounge, training room, nutrition and fueling area, and coaches' offices.

The new facility would allow the football team to relocate its operations from the university's athletics complex, which would open space there for other athletics personnel who work in the Beard-Eaves Coliseum.

Leath said the working group is expected to provide options and recommendations to Auburn's athletics department staff, trustees, and senior leadership by early fall 2019.
Indiana - Efforts to fund a new library in Marion are gaining momentum with the City Council voting unanimously to support a project not to exceed $18 million plus land acquisitions costs if needed.

Officials are considering a site in Uptown to construct a 52,000-square-foot freestanding library to replace the current 24,000-square-foot Marion Public Library, which was built in 1996. Land that the city owns and that is next door to the existing library is one site option. The city currently uses the site for overflow library parking.

The city could fund a new library by establishing a local option sales tax that could collect up to $5 million for the project, selling the current library site for about $3 million, raising an estimated $3 million from donations, using tax increment financing to generate $1 million, and issuing a $6 million bond. Library staff members and board officials also initiated a feasibility study to determine private funding sources and amounts and hope to receive results in August. They will then use that data to develop a potential bond proposal to fund the project.
Beech Fork Lake
West Virginia - Backed by a House bill amendment passed in March that calls for a feasibility study, Wayne County officials are moving forward on a decades-old plan to build a Beech Fork Lodge and Conference Center.

The Wayne County Economic Development Authority and the Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research recently hosted a public meeting to review the project's history that dates to 1977 when a study was conducted for a 117-unit lodge concept.

In order for the project to proceed further, two public hearings must be held before Oct. 1. The first of the two hearings will be held to collect input on a public-private partnership and financing of a lodge. The state set a deadline of Dec. 1 on a feasibility study to ensure its completion before the 2020 legislative session.

Planners said the lodge would be a prime marketing tool to attract visitors to the W.Va. Route 152 and advertise it as an "Appalachian-themed tourism corridor."
Arkansas - Springdale's mayor is forming a task force to explore the possibility of a white water adventure park in the city.

Some of the water park's features could include a man-made route for white water kayaking or floating on an inner tube. Zip lines, rope courses, rock climbing walls, concert shells, and other amenities are being considered.

Stakeholders suggested a 10-week study with public input would help guide the proposed water park's size, cost, and organization. Springdale Chamber of Commerce representatives pitched an idea of the city providing the land and maintenance with Springdale Water Utilities pumping the water. A private-sector partner could fund operations with oversight by a local commission.

Oklahoma - The city of Norman selected Darrel Pyle as its new city manager June 11. Pyle comes to Norman from Hanford, California, where he was that city's manager. He takes over for interim City Manager Mary Rupp who has been serving in the position since October 2018. Pyle most recently served as an assistant finance director for the city of Visalia, California. Before that, he was city manager of Tulare, California, and finance director at the city of Porterville, California. Pyle's first day as Norman's city manager will be July 15. 
Rhode Island - The U.S. Navy announced that Rear Admiral (lower half) Shoshana Chatfield will be the next president of the Naval War College. She takes over for former president Jeffrey Harley. Chatfield will be the college's 57th president and first woman president in its history. She is a helicopter pilot who held both squadron and wing command positions and served as a Provincial Reconstruction Team Commander in Afghanistan. Her current post is as commander of the Joint Region Marianas in Guam. 
Washington - Andrew Singelakis started his new position last week as the city of Bellevue's transportation department director. Singelakis joins Bellevue from his position as director of land use and transportation for Washington County, Oregon. Before that, he was deputy director of urban planning and design and then transportation for the city of Tuscon, Arizona. He also served as executive director of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission in Vermont and director of planning and development for the town of Brunswick, Maine. 
Virginia - The city of Staunton appointed Steven Rosenberg as its new city manager June 13. Rosenberg succeeds 12-year City Manager Stephen Owen who is retiring at the end of June. Rosenberg served under Owen as Staunton's deputy city manager for six years. Before joining the city, Rosenberg worked as an associate general counsel and special assistant attorney general at the University of Virginia for five years. He also was the senior assistant city attorney for the city of Alexandria, Virginia, and county attorney for Augusta County. 
Georgia - The University of Georgia System Board of Regents selected Dr. Angel Cabrera as president of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cabrera will take office by Sept. 15. He previously served as president of George Mason University (GMU). Cabrera serves on several nonprofit boards and on the board of a publicly traded biotech company. Before becoming GMU's president, he led the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is now part of Arizona State University, and the IE Business School in Madrid. Cabrera is the first Spanish-born president of an American university.

California - Cynthia Guidry has been named director of the Long Beach Airport, effective July 29. Guidry has served for five years as the deputy executive director for the city of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) which oversees LAX and Van Nuys airports. She also held management positions in LAWA's planning, environmental, engineering, and facility management divisions. Previously, she worked as chief of planning and civil engineer at LAWA and in the city of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. Guidry takes over for Jess Romo who retired in February. Interim Long Beach Airport Director Claudia Lewis will return to her role as the airport's manager of finance and administration.  
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