Volume 11, Issue 31 - Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Missouri - Kansas City has chosen new leak-detection technology to implement along a 22-mile section of its wastewater system. The project, which is part of the city's $4.5 billion smart sewer program, will allow the city to pinpoint sewer defects.

The entire program is funded through wastewater enterprise funds and focuses on data and technology to better maintain its sewer infrastructure. Capital project deployment and long-term environmental compliance are crucial to the city's selection of technologies. City leaders hope to realize up to $1 billion in cost efficiencies by implementing innovative infrastructure components.

The contractor's leak location technology automatically detects sewer defects and pinpoints their locations. For the 22-mile section of sewer, this technology will help in assessing at-risk assets and prioritizing necessary pipe repairs.
Rendering of Bryn Mawr Station Platform
Illinois - The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is set to begin work this fall on its Red and Purple Lines, which is part of a $2 billion rail project. The work will involve reconstructing and modernizing the century-old rail lines and building a new Red-Purple Bypass on Chicago's North Side.

In September, construction will begin on the Red-Purple Bypass, a new rail bridge that aims to provide smoother and faster commutes while eliminating overcrowding on trains and platforms. The bypass will carry Brown Line trains over Red and Purple Line trains north of Belmont. 

Other work this fall will focus on making stations more accessible with modern upgrades. 

Beginning in the fall of 2020, more upgrades will also be made to the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr stations.
Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant
New York - Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a 15-year program to extend the operating life of the Niagara Power Project (NPP). The NPP supplies 10 percent of New York State's energy, and the new program aims to help the state achieve its clean energy goals with modern power equipment and technology.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is launching the Next Generation Niagara program with the goal of investing $1.1 billion to modernize and digitize the NPP. Most of the work will focus on the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, the NPP's main generating facility.

Improvements include replacing aging equipment with modern machinery and technology to optimize hydroelectric performance.

The program will be carried out in four phases, with work set to begin later this year. Phases include a comprehensive inspection of the Robert Moses plant's penstocks, refurbishing the 630-ton crane used for mechanical work, upgrading and digitizing control systems, and building a new back-up control room and replacing mechanical parts.
Naval Base Point Loma Old Town Complex
California - This fall, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will commit $50 million to help the redevelopment of the Naval Base Point Loma Old Town Complex, the U.S. Navy's 72-acre site that will become a hub connecting transit lines to the airport.

Last month, the city signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Navy, and $500 million has already been committed to the plan. The project could include a mile-long tunnel, up to 10,000 housing units, and 10 million square feet of office space.

The board is allowing unsolicited proposals. SANDAG's $50 million commitment will come pending board approval, and will go toward predevelopment of the project.
Rendering of versatile test reactor (VTR)
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials stated August 5 that the agency is studying the impact of a nuclear test reactor in the U.S. to begin operations by 2025.

Their plan is to build a versatile test reactor (VTR), or fast reactor, that would test future fuels and materials that industry is designing for advanced civilian nuclear power reactors. The fast-neutron-testing VTR would be the first such reactor built in the U.S. in decades.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the testing capability is critical to modernizing the country's nuclear energy infrastructure and developing nuclear energy technologies that reduce waste generation and strengthen nuclear security.

Two locations the department is considering for the VTR are Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee.

The department is starting the process by soliciting public comment through September 4 as it is preparing an environmental impact statement. DOE officials will host webcast scoping meetings at 6 p.m. ET August 27 and 8 p.m. ET August 28 to provide information about the VTR and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
Anticipated Construction Contract Breakouts
New York - The city of New York has a plan to protect Staten Island from future storms similar to 2012's Hurricane Sandy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a study in June for a series of levees, berms, and seawalls that will stretch from Fort Wadsworth to Great Kills. In total, it's estimated that the proposed project will protect 7,300 structures and more than 30,000 people.

The new system will guard against storms that surge two feet higher than Sandy did. It consists of 4.5 miles of buried seawall, more than a half mile of levees, and .35 miles of floodwall. Additionally, the proposed system includes more than 500 acres of natural storage, ponding areas, and tidal wetlands.

Construction could begin in summer 2020 and finish by the winter of 2024.

Funding comes from an agreement between USACE and the state, which has secured $400 million. Another $150 million is coming from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation, and $65 million in capital funds is being contributed by New York City.
Juneau International Airport in Alaska
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $478 million in infrastructure grants to 232 airports in 43 states and several territories in the fourth round of the FAA's $3.18 billion Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

Funds will go to projects that improve airport safety, emergency response capabilities, and capacity by reconstructing and rehabilitating runways, constructing firefighting facilities, and maintaining taxiways, aprons, and terminals.

Some airports include Alabama's Huntsville International Airport, which was awarded $9.02 million to construct a taxiway and rehabilitate an apron, runway, and taxiway lighting, and New Mexico's Casper/Natrona County International Airport, which will receive $7.3 million to repair the airport apron.

Alaska's Juneau International Airport will receive $18.9 million to repair taxiways, provide access to hangars, and purchase an emergency generator, and Arizona's Phoenix Deer Valley Airport will collect $15.56 million to build a taxiway. Palm Springs Airport in California will get $9.54 million to purchase an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle and modify and improve terminal buildings, and Des Moines International Airport will use $11.26 million to reconstruct a runway.

Detroit's Metropolitan Wayne County Airport was awarded $21.44 million to reconstruct a runway, and Memphis International Airport in Tennessee will receive $11.29 million to construct a taxiway, improve terminal buildings, and reconstruct a taxiway.
Airports can receive AIP funding each year based on need, and the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.

For a complete list of recipients and projects, click here.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
North Carolina - New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) is looking for new ownership. The 52-year-old, county-owned hospital is the region's largest employer and is seeking to sell if approved by county commissioners. A September 3 board meeting will include a vote on a resolution of intent to sell. 
If approved, a request for proposals (RFP) would be developed and distributed nationwide. 
The NHRMC is estimated to sell for hundreds of millions, possibly even in the $1 billion range. 
Three county commissioners have already voiced support to develop an RFP, while two others would like more community input to influence their decision. 
Should an RFP be distributed, county commissioners would oversee all crucial decisions regarding projects, contracts, and buyers. State officials would also have to approve all decisions. Officials would evaluate RFP responses based on future services, employees, health equity and costs, and other issues. 
The process of finding a new owner and signing an agreement could take more than a year. 
If the NHRMC does sell, all proceeds would go to New Hanover County which would use the funds to benefit the community. Some examples include improving public schools, affordable housing, and business development.
Togwotee Trail
Wyoming - U.S. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming introduced a bill that would provide $287 billion in highway funding over the next five years. If approved, nearly $1.9 billion would go to the state's road budget to help with deferred maintenance and operating costs.

The state currently has a multi-million-dollar operating deficit and years of deferred maintenance. Barrasso's American Transportation Infrastructure Act would infuse Wyoming with $1.65 billion in grant money for rural initiatives and another $247 million for small projects, from Fiscal Years 2021 through 2025.

The bill would provide the Wyoming Department of Transportation with appropriate funds to address these issues.
Photo by Airman 1st Class Lauren Parsons
Texas - Trustees at the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) authorized a contract with the U.S. Air Force on August 6 to begin work on a $200 million wastewater pipeline, the most expensive in the utility's history.

The tunnel-drilling project will involve the use of a large boring machine to drill a 10 foot-wide tunnel up to 130 feet underground.

In February, SAWS hired an engineering firm to design a 5-mile loop around Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland that will upgrade the sewer's current capacity of 4.5 feet in diameter to prevent raw sewage from flowing into the area's watershed. The Air Force requirement that the line be routed around the base added to the costs.

SAWS officials anticipate construction will start in June 2020 and the line will be complete in 2023. The new system will serve an estimated 500,000 SAWS sewer customers.
Rendering of Central City Line stop
Washington - Transportation officials in Spokane are nearing the final design stages after 15 years of planning a new Central City Line to connect Brown's Addition to Spokane Community College via a 6-mile downtown loop.

Spokane Transit Authority (STA) board members approved an extra $20.2 million from the authority's cash reserves to help finance the estimated $92.2 million rapid transit bus route that could begin operations in July 2022. Project design is at 90 percent with completion set for August.

The Federal Transit Administration awarded the project $53.4 million in April that STA will combine with $15 million in state funding, $2.2 million from a regional mobility grant, and $1.4 million from a federal air quality grant.

More than 1 million rides per year are expected on the line's modern-style electric bus.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Toft (QC Drone)
Iowa - Davenport is considering options to combat flooding after the Mississippi River rose to record-setting levels this summer. Mayor Frank Klipsch has formed a task force to ponder how best to keep people dry without sacrificing the city's main draw - easy river access.

The current containment system is modest, featuring a wide strip of grass and Nahant Marsh's 305 acres of wetland.

But in the face of recent flooding that forced popular businesses and attractions to close, officials are contemplating hard measures including a $175 million floodwall. Neighboring cities of Rock Island, Bettendorf, and Moline, Illinois have floodwalls and all have remained dry. However, such a project would require Davenport to acquire funding from local sources.

Another option is to give the river a wider buffer instead of building a wall. The drawback to this is that it would require a large amount of land, and would be less reliable.
The Barbara Reing School in New York City
New York - Officials at New York City are seeking space for 70 school sites as part of a $17 billion capital plan released last fall that includes new schools and improvements. City staff anticipate a need for 45,000 seats for students in the next five years.

School Siting Task Force members said they have located only two viable sites out of 7,000 city-owned properties they scouted, so city leaders anticipate issuing a request for proposals (RFP) in a few weeks for private properties.

Potential sites must be a minimum of 20,000 square feet and on solid ground, not marshland. The RFP will solicit sellers such as developers, retiring business owners, family who inherited property they no longer want, and other private property owners.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Lake Houston Dam
Texas - Houston officials announced August 2 that the city will receive federal funding for two of the city's large-scale flood mitigation projects almost two years after Hurricane Harvey.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will award $46.9 million to the first phase of the Inwood Forest Stormwater Detention Basin Project and the initial phase of the $47.1 million Lake Houston Dam Spillway Improvement Project.

FEMA will provide 75 percent of the costs for the Inwood project, the state is expected to provide 18.75 percent, and the city of Houston and the Harris County Flood Control District will pay for the remaining costs.

The Inwood project will protect more than 4,400 structures in the White Oak Bayou and Vogel Creek watersheds. The city and county aim to build 12 floodwater detention basins to hold a total of about 1,200 acre-feet of water. The city and the flood control district acquired the former golf course in 2011 as a potential flood mitigation facility. The initial Inwood project grant is $2.8 million for design with the city set to receive $44 million for construction, with a goal of completion by 2022. The project would take seven or eight years without federal funding.

Ten gates will be added to the Lake Houston Dam to allow for larger controlled releases of water in advance of heavy rains, protecting about 35,000 residents and 5,000 structures. The FEMA grant provides $4.3 million for the initial phase and positions the city to receive $42.7 million for construction, with a goal of completion by 2022.

FEMA also is awarding a total of $11.5 million to the Lone Star College System (Kingwood), the Clear Creek Independent School System, and the Texas Department of Transportation for "emergency protective measures" in parts of the city that flooded during Harvey.
Courtesy of LAND and Aerial Agents
Ohio - A $36 million project received federal funding to transform a hillside along Cleveland's Cuyahoga River.

Irishtown Bend, which has been eroding away and threatening to collapse into the river, is one step closer to being restored. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded $9 million for the project, which would include adding 3,200 feet of new steel bulkheads along the river. In total, $25.5 million has been raised.

In addition to stabilizing the hillside, the project seeks to transform the area into a 23-acre park that would include sweeping views of downtown Cleveland. The waterfront park would feature a riverside boardwalk and also connect several trails from Edgewater Beach to Peninsula.

More than 20 community partners are working on the project, including Ohio City Incorporated. West Creek Conservancy has purchased properties along West 25th Street bordering the park, and some buildings could be demolished this fall.

A firm has been hired to prepare construction drawings. These could take 12 to 18 months to complete before any major work would begin.

Arizona - Gov. Doug Ducey recently appointed Tim Roemer as the state's chief information security officer (CISO). Roemer had been serving in the governor's administration as his deputy director of legislative affairs. He succeeds Owen Zorge, state compliance and privacy officer, who served as acting CISO from January 1 to July 1 after Mike Lettman left the office at the end of 2018. Roemer also held positions as the governor's public safety adviser and deputy director for the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. Before joining the state of Arizona, Roemer served in Central Intelligence Agency for 10 years.

Michigan - New University of Michigan-Flint chancellor Debasish Dutta began his tenure August 1 after being appointed by the university's Board of Regents in June. He succeeds Susan Borrego as the campus' chief executive officer and as executive officer of the University of Michigan (UM). Dutta previously held positions as an assistant professor and professor at UM's Ann Arbor campus. He most recently served as chancellor at Rutgers University. 

Wisconsin - The La Crosse Regional Airport board of directors recently hired Ian Turner to serve as the airport's new director. He succeeds Clinton Torp who stepped down in May. Turner is the director of aviation at Pueblo Memorial Airport. He previously served as airport operations supervisor at Stockton Metropolitan Airport and airport operations specialist at the Port of Bellingham. La Crosse airport officials said they expect Turner to start September 9.

Iowa - Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Annette Dunn as the state's chief information officer, effective August 5. Dunn was serving as the Information Technology Division director (CIO) for the Iowa Department of Transportation since 2015. Before that, she held positions as the department's director of support services and winter operations administrator. Dunn earned a certified public manager designation and served eight years in military service.

Virginia - Norfolk councilmembers approved Dr. Larry "Chip" Filer as their new city manager on August 1. He replaces Doug Smith who resigned in June. Filer is the associate vice president for entrepreneurship and economic development at Old Dominion University where he previously served as chair of its economics department and directed its MBA program.

Louisiana - Sharon Weston Broome, mayor-president of the city of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, appointed Mark Armstrong as her office's chief communications officer. Armstrong previously worked as a multi-media journalist for a Baton Rouge TV station and as a production assistant, assignment editor, and reporter for a TV station in Gulfport, Mississippi.
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