Volume 11, Issue 27 - Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Upcoming public sector opportunities can be found in almost every area of the public sector marketplace. But, at the moment, the sheer number of upcoming opportunities related to law enforcement facilities is enough to make one ponder. Has every incarceration facility become obsolete all at once? Have local and state officials all decided to upgrade jails, prisons, and justice centers at the same time for some reason? Are there enough experienced construction firms ready to meet the demand?

Although most would think of law enforcement projects as being small, that's not necessarily the case. Not only are hundreds of individual projects extremely large, but many upcoming projects also are being designed to consolidate law enforcement, fire, and emergency personnel. Those projects will definitely be large, and many are significant enough to catch the interest of private sector investors.

Officials in New York recently announced their decision to close the old Rikers Island Prison. It will be replaced with a number of smaller prisons that will be scattered across many boroughs. Additional law enforcement projects also will be launched as a result of the closure. The Brooklyn Detention Complex will be doubled in size, and while that project will be attractive to many contractors, it is only a part of the region's larger plan to spend between $8 billion-$11 billion for new jail facilities before the prison closes. Construction will, of course, represent the largest segment of contracting opportunities, but there will be other opportunities to provide equipment, technology, furniture, and products of all types as the facilities are furbished.

Artist concept
California - The California High-Speed Rail Authority staff has made its route recommendations for a 130-mile high-speed rail that would run from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The bullet train, estimated to cost as much as $98.1 billion, would operate on a partial system as early as 2029. The full system would begin in 2033.

Engineers are faced with the challenge of building across the San Gabriel and Tehachapi mountains. The project is divided into phases, the first of which involves the San Francisco to San Jose section. This will accommodate travel between the Transbay Transit Center, 4th and King, Millbrae, and Diridon stations. Also part of the first phase is the San Jose to Merced section, an 84-mile project between stations in San Jose, Gilroy, Merced, and Fresno.

A major focus of the entire project is to electrify the rail. Caltrain and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are working on this process of blending the system, which would allow both operators to share the tracks.

In September, staff will present its recommendations, along with the feedback received during outreach, and will seek direction from the Board of Directors for which alternatives to identify as the state's preferred routes. Subsequently, the draft environmental documents are due out in December 2019 for the San Jose to Merced project section and in March 2020 for the San Francisco to San Jose project section.
JFK Airport
New York - As part of its 10-year $32.2 billion capital plan, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is proposing $4.8 billion in additional spending. If approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, the funds would be used for a new AirTrain Newark project, as well as other investments in Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK airports.
Port Authority infrastructure will get a $1.9 billion increase for the JFK Airport redevelopment project. This will provide a total of $2.9 billion for roadways, airfield improvements, utilities and electrical substations, and a ground transportation center.

The proposal increases AirTrain Newark funding from $300 million to $2.05 billion, with construction slated to begin in late 2020 or early 2021. The AirTrain project at LaGuardia Airport will get an additional $390 million, and the Newark Liberty Terminal One redevelopment project will get another $350 million.

The proposal also calls for $200 million for the PATH Improvement Plan, a plan to reduce system delays, and customer-experience improvements such as full integration with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's tap-and-go fare payment system. An additional $50 million will go to the construction of electric vehicle infrastructure, and another $35 million will be spent on planning for the Newark Liberty Airport Terminal Two project.
Interstate 471
Kentucky - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet revealed its list of potential transportation projects, which includes improvements to major freight routes. Investments mostly focus on reconstruction and widening, ranging in cost from $500,000 to more than $1 billion. The list uses the State Highway Investments Formula for Tomorrow (SHIFT), which prioritizes projects based on safety, economic growth, cost-benefit ratios, and other factors.

Major items on the list include widening of the I-471 corridor from US-27 to the Ohio state line for an estimated $1.6 billion, refurbishing the Brent Spence Bridge and constructing a new bridge nearby for $1.2 billion, and reconstructing the I-65/I-264 interchange for $500 million.

A major widening project of the Newtown Pike from KY-4 to I-75, which will cost $27.6 million, was ranked highest on the priority list. Other high-ranking projects involve widening of I-75 in Laurel County for $85 million, I-64 in Woodford County for $128 million, and I-71 in Jefferson County for $211 million. In Pulaski County, a new route is planned for the Somerset Northern Bypass. The project is estimated to cost $126.9 million and calls for "grade and drain" work, including at the KY-39 interchange.

Local officials and transportation leaders plan to meet to determine projects that will have regional impacts.
California - San Diego International Airport is getting $500 million for future transportation investments. The funds have been pledged in a 10-year agreement between the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and several of its partner airlines.

The airlines pay fees that fund airport operations, and the agreement calls for increases in these fees over the next 10 years.

Although the details have not been discussed, airport leaders say that $350 million can go toward on- and off-site transportation projects. These could include a new transit station, a people mover or trolley extension, or a contribution toward a grand central station.

The agreement also makes $165 million available for an inbound roadway that would be free of traffic lights and connect Laurel Street to the airport. The roadway, which is already planned, would be adjacent to Harbor Drive and could create more space for rapid bus or light rail transit.
Florida - The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is gathering input on a proposed $469.5 million toll road that would connect U.S. Highway 27 to State Road 429 in west Orange County.

Seen as a boon to the local economy, the 5-mile, four-lane divided highway would span 15,000 acres of mostly open land west of Orlando and serve as one of the few east-west connectors in the area.

CFX officials have selected a preferred route, completed environmental studies, developed cost estimates, and worked on other details in advance of a board vote in August to consider action on advancing the project.
McGhee Tyson Airport
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on July 9 issued $477 million in airport infrastructure grants, the third of five allotments from the agency's $3.18 billion Airport Improvement Program (AIP). FAA officials will distribute the latest round of grants to 264 airports in 44 states, the Pacific Islands, and Washington, D.C.

Some of the selected projects include rebuilding runways, constructing firefighting facilities, and maintaining taxiways, aprons, and terminals while increasing safety, emergency response efforts, and capacity.

Among the grant awards are:
  • Pullman/Moscow Regional Airport, Washington state - $27.5 million to construct a runway, acquire an emergency generator, and acquire snow removal equipment;
  • McGhee Tyson Airport, Tennessee - $14.82 million to reconstruct a runway;
  • San Francisco International Airport, California - $14.63 million to reconstruct a runway;
  • Portsmouth International Airport, New Hampshire - $13.38 million to reconstruct a runway;
  • Chicago/Rockford International Airport, Illinois - $11.3 million to rehabilitate a runway and a taxiway;
  • Westchester County, New York - $11.15 million to install navigation aids and guidance systems, reconstruct taxiway lighting, and rehabilitate a runway; and,
  • Memphis International Airport, Tennessee - $10.01 million to construct a deicing pad with associated facilities.
The county of Gallatin, Kentucky, secured a $9 million grant to help fund the construction of a new airport in Sparta, Kentucky. For a complete list of grants, click here.
Capital Facilities Advisory Committee
Washington state - The Highline Public Schools Board members heard a proposal for a $418 million bond that could be on the ballot as early as 2020. Capital Facilities Advisory Committee members recommended using the bond funds to rebuild three schools and replenish the district's critical needs fund.

In 2016, voters approved design work for Evergreen and Tyee high schools and Pacific Middle School. Evergreen and Tyee will each cost nearly $167 million and have a student capacity of 1,200. Pacific is estimated to cost more than $105 million and accommodate 950 students. Design work is scheduled to begin this year.

The bond also calls for $16.7 million to replenish the critical needs fund that is used to maintain the schools and their facilities. Aside from paying for essential maintenance and emergency repairs, the replenished fund would be used to replace Transportation Building L and expand the kitchen at Sylvester Middle School.
Rendering of Dobbins Landing
Pennsylvania - The Erie-Western Port Authority is seeking a design firm to conceptualize master plan improvements to Dobbins Landing pier and updates to Bicentennial Tower. Consultants estimated the cost at $215 million in 2018.

The Port Authority's Master Development and Facilities Plan outlines improvements such as new space for restaurants and retail stores. Other upgrades focus on redesigning an outdoor lounge area, changing the parking layout, and enclosing an existing parking structure. Evaluation of the tower's public restrooms, indoor seating, and concessions will be considered. Additionally, there are recommendations for boating docks, boardwalks, and upgrades to the area near the tower. Design work is expected to be complete by Dec. 31.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $192 million in 29 states for rural water infrastructure. The investment is being made through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program, which funds drinking water, stormwater drainage, and waste disposal systems projects in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

States include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

In Virginia, $20.1 million is going to the Nelson County Service Authority to improve the Wintergreen sewer treatment and collection system. The wastewater treatment plant is more than 40 years old and will be replaced with a 300,000-gallon-per-day membrane bioreactor treatment plant. The plant's collection system will include concrete pump stations and 152,500 linear feet of sewer pipe, and a closed-circuit television system will be installed for sewer line rehabilitation.

In Pennsylvania, more than $15 million is going to Waynesburg Borough's wastewater treatment plant. The money will upgrade the plant's infrastructure, alleviate high flows, and comply with pollutant discharge permit requirements.

In Arkansas, $12.8 million is going to the city of Gentry. The funds will be used to construct a 2.5 million-gallon elevated water storage tank with a single 2,300-gallon-per-minute booster pump station.
Midwest - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill in late June that included a $5 million provision for a hyperloop study.

The initial funding would support the creation of safety and environmental regulations for a Great Lakes Hyperloop System, an experimental high-speed project that would connect Cleveland and Chicago. Using magnets and vacuum technology, the system would propel passenger pods at speeds as high as 700 mph. A trip between the two cities could take 30 minutes.

Now the bill shifts to the U.S. Senate for deliberation and possible action. A separate study is underway that is funded by a regional transportation planning organization that includes partners such as the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Turnpike Infrastructure Commission. That study is scheduled for completion in the fall.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Mesa Valley District 51 board
Colorado - The Mesa Valley School District 51 Board of Education approved a $179.5 million bond measure to be put on the ballot this November. The funds would go toward major improvements to four area high schools.

If voters approve the measure, most of the money will go toward replacing Grand Junction High School with a new facility at its existing site. The ballot language approved unanimously by the board states the bond measure would rebuild Grand Junction High School on the north side of the current campus and take down the current building, which has multiple non-secure doors, a sinking foundation, and multiple entrances and buildings.

Other investments include improving Central, Palisade, and Fruita Monument high schools. Plans call for various renovations at all three schools, such as removing exterior entrances, adding security vestibules, and constructing enclosed courtyards.
Sugar Land City Hall
Texas - Councilmembers in Sugar Land are discussing their priority projects as they develop a bond package to put on the November ballot.

Totaling almost $90 million, items under consideration include proposed drainage projects for $47 million, public safety and public facility projects for $32.9 million, and streets projects for $9.86 million.

Some of the projects are the construction of a Chimneystone subdivision drainage channel and Acacia Drive trunk line for $16.5 million, an emergency operations center and dispatch facility for $11.5 million, and a public safety training facility for $10 million.

Councilmembers are set to review of all the proposed items and corresponding timelines at their July 23 workshop. To place the bond package on the November ballot, the City Council must call the election by Aug. 19.
Oklahoma - Recently passed state legislation established a new Office of Mobility and Public Transit within the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

HB1365 transferred all responsibilities from the ODOT Transit Division to the newly created office that will oversee and implement various pilot programs, expand the Veterans' Ride Connect call center, and develop the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan.

Office staff will audit the state's public transit system, manage federal grants, and extend Oklahoma's rail and bus systems to rural counties. Their efforts also will include developing a policy for expanding ODOT's transit network, a process that agency leaders expect to take a year.
New York - The Buffalo Common Council chose Buffalo State College, State University of New York (SUNY), to develop the 8.8 acres between Elmwood Avenue and Grant Street. In coming weeks, a request for proposals (RFP) will be issued seeking concepts that are creative and innovative.

SUNY officials said they have no predeterminations for what kind of project should be presented, and the RFP is being left broad to encourage creative proposals. The college has 18 months to choose a plan for the site.

Proposals can include waterfront access because the site leads to the Scajaquada Creek, though it's unclear who owns the land surrounding the creek. Proposals can also include transforming a building near Grant Street into a facility for university police and campus operations.

SUNY officials are seeking community input and will publicly exhibit submitted proposals. After a lengthy approval process, the Common Council must review and approve the final plan.
Pullman Regional Hospital
Washington state - A $29 million bond measure is returning to the ballot this November for Pullman Regional Hospital (PRH). The PRH Board of Commissioners approved the rerun of the measure, a 25-year bond that would support $40 million worth of investments and capital improvements.

The public district hospital's Next Era of Excellence project outlines proposed funding. Projects in the plan include adding a 45,000-square-foot pavilion next to the existing hospital, implementing an electronic health records system, and constructing an outpatient medical facility, among others.

PRH leaders said they plan to retire the hospital's current bond in 2020.

North Carolina - The city of Asheville named Eunice Lovi as its new transit planning manager. Lovi previously served as transit manager for Broward County Transit in Plantation, Florida, and for a transit company in Modesto, California. She also was director of planning and development for a transit agency in Thousand Palms, California, and planning and scheduling manager for the San Joaquin Regional Transit District in Stockton, California.

New Mexico - Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently appointed Rolf Schmidt-Petersen as the new director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (ISC). He replaces acting director John Longworth. Schmidt-Petersen was ISC's Colorado River Basin manager, interim Colorado River Basin bureau chief, and Rio Grande Basin bureau chief. Before serving in those positions, he was an engineer adviser for the Rio Grande Compact Commission and worked as a hydrologist in the private sector.

California - Danette York is Butte County Public Health's new director, succeeding former Director Cathy Raevsky who retired in March. York served as director of the Lewis County Public Health and Social Services in Washington state from 2009 to present and as health commissioner of the Brown County Health Department from 1998 to 2009.

Illinois - The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees appointed new Provost and Academic Vice President Martin Abraham as the university's acting president until the selection of a long-term interim president. He replaces former university president Dr. Jack Thomas. Previously, Abraham was a professor of civil/environmental and chemical engineering at Youngstown State University since 2007 and provost there from 2015-2018. He also was Youngstown's interim provost from 2014-2015 and founding dean at its College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics from 2007-2014.

Oklahoma - Two longtime employees have been named to new positions in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Rick Johnson was appointed director of capital programs, and Jared Schwennesen was named rail division manager. Johnson joined ODOT in 1997 as a transportation CADD specialist in roadway design. He transferred to the special projects branch of the agency's Roadway Design/Project Management Division in 2001 where he became Division 8 project manager in 2010. He then established and managed ODOT's Facilities Management Division before serving as project management division manager from 2016 to 2019. Schwennesen started with ODOT in 2009 as an engineer in training. He advanced to positions in the department's bridge, traffic, and environmental programs divisions and in fiber optics. He most recently served as assistant to the director of capital programs.
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