Volume 11, Issue 38 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Changes are occurring at warp speed, and it's extremely difficult for busy individuals to stay abreast of what is happening in every area of business. But, it is important to know about government changes because lifestyles and business practices are being impacted in significant ways.

Companies that sell to government must remain conversant and understand evolving changes. They should work hard to stay relevant and watch the trends because public officials expect nothing less from them.

One of the hottest and least understood topics today revolves around the smart city movement. This important trend is transforming how cities will function in the future, and while there's not a lot of information about what is happening locally throughout the U.S., there is data related to commonality in the type of projects that are being launched.

In some municipalities, government leaders are relying on 'Directors of Innovation' to lead smart city initiatives. But, the majority of municipal organizations do not have that luxury. Smaller cities and communities are resource constrained and they lack the manpower to keep citizens and the public well informed about planned changes and pilot projects that are being tested.

In ideal situations, cities are soliciting citizen input, working with other public- or private-sector partners to address community needs, and keeping the media well informed. However, that's not necessarily the norm. The most common denominator is that all smart city initiatives are tied to similar goals - economic development, sustainability, renewable energy, transportation, disaster mitigation, the digital divide, and efficient citizen services.

Pennsylvania - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) again is considering options to add more rail service to the east.

PennDOT recently completed a study of more service from Pittsburgh to Altoona, which concluded that $1.2 billion would be needed for track and station improvements to allow for three daily round trips. If a third track would be included, the cost would total $3.7 billion.

Adding two more trips between Altoona and Pittsburgh would increase ridership to about 250 daily passengers by 2040. However, the cost estimates associated with the improvements don't include any changes a private rail company might need.

The company owns the tracks throughout the corridor, and would require side-tracks where freight trains could pull over to allow passenger trains to pass. PennDOT is negotiating with the company over the price of a study that would estimate the cost of such improvements.
Baton Rouge
Louisiana - Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome officially launched the MOVEBR Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements program on September 23.

The largest infrastructure initiative in the city's history will invest $1 billion to reduce traffic congestion, build sidewalks, and manage traffic signals. Funding will come from the city's half-cent sales tax dedicated to voter-approved projects.

Broome said city officials have been working since July to collect public input including several meetings with stakeholders beginning in August. Those conversations will lead to the announcement of project prioritization in mid-October. 

Among the largest projects on the list of more than 70 initiatives with proposition funding are:
  • Nicholson Drive Segment 2 - $42 million to increase it to a four-lane capacity;
  • Nicholson Drive Segment 3 - $19 million, to increase it to a four-lane capacity;
  • Wax Road/Magnolia Bridge - $38 million, to increase it to a four-lane capacity;
  • Hooper Road - $38 million, to increase it to a four-lane capacity;
  • Lee Drive - $35 million for capacity improvements and turning movements; 
  • Sherwood Forest Extension - $30 million to construct a new roadway; and,
  • Thomas Road - $28.6 million, turning movements, shoulders, drainage.
The city will host a MOVEBR Small Business Outreach on October 3 to provide information on opportunities to conduct business with the program.

On August 28, the Metro Council approved an initial bond sale of up to $200 million in support of MOVEBR construction projects.
Los Angeles International Airport
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced $986 million in airport infrastructure grants on September 23 to 354 airports in 44 states and two U.S. territories.

The fifth allotment of the total $3.18 billion in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funding will help finance runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, noise mitigation, emissions reduction, and maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals.

Construction and equipment supported by this funding will increase airport safety, emergency response capabilities, and capacity.

Some of the airports receiving AIP funding are:
  • Los Angeles International Airport - $35.62 million to construct a taxiway and make miscellaneous airport improvements;
  • John F Kennedy International Airport - $28.8 million to reconstruct and widen a runway;
  • William P. Hobby Airport in Houston - $28.05 million to reconstruct a taxiway;
  • Long Beach/Daugherty Field in California - $24.07 million to reconstruct a taxiway;
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - $21.38 million to reconstruct an apron;
  • St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport - $19.7 million to rehabilitate a runway;
  • Orlando International Airport - $16.5 million to rehabilitate a runway;
  • Cedar City Regional Airport - $16.32 million to reconstruct a runway;
  • Burlington International Airport - $15.87 million to reconstruct a taxiway; and,
  • Falls International-Einarson Field in Minnesota - $15.84 million to conduct an environmental study, expand an apron, and reconstruct a runway.
Additional airports and fields receiving AIP grants are:
  • San Diego International Airport - $14.59 million to mitigate noise for residences;
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport - $13.48 million to construct a taxiway;
  • Philadelphia International Airport - $13.41 million to reconstruct a taxiway;
  • Dickinson-Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in North Dakota - $12.98 million to extend a runway;
  • Brackett Field in La Verne, California - $12.92 million to reconstruct two aprons;
  • Wayne County Airport in Detroit, Michigan - $12.38 million to reconstruct a taxiway;
  • Louisville Muhammed Ali International Airport - $12.1 million to reconstruct three taxiways, one runway, and runway lighting;
  • Lanai Airport - $11.3 million to rehabilitate apron, runway, and taxiway;
  • Lakeland Linder International Airport in Florida - $10.3 million to reconstruct runway lighting and strengthen runway;
  • Memphis International Airport - $10.01 million to construct deicing pad; and,
  • McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas - $9.63 million to reconstruct two aprons.
For a complete list of AIP grants, click here.
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Massachusetts - The sale of the Hynes Convention Center and expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) moved one step closer with the approval of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCAA) board.

Proceeds from the Hynes sale would go toward a proposed $500 million expansion of the Boston Convention Center that is set to include a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 60,500-square-foot ballroom, and 44,000 square feet in additional meeting rooms.

The Hynes Center, which opened in 1963 and underwent a rebuild in 1988, would require $200 million in capital investments over the next 10 years to maintain its current operating capabilities. The venue is expected to lose $250,000 this year.

Conversely, the BCEC opened in 2004 and outperforms national occupancy figures for major market facilities and possesses a greater variety of available spaces.

State legislation is required for the sale and expansion plans. Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration plans to file the legislation that includes a provision for the transfer of 12 acres behind the BCEC to the city of Boston. Once the legislation is enacted, the MCAA is anticipated to issue a request for proposals for the BCEC expansion project that would begin with a design phase.
Burnham Yard
Colorado - Officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) say they are close to purchasing Union Pacific's Burnham Yard, a 61-acre plot of land south of downtown Denver.

The train yard sits between Interstate 25 and the Lincoln Park neighborhood, and officials say acquiring the land would be transformative for transportation in and around the city.

Burnham Yard closed in 2016 and has sat empty since then, but CDOT staff say purchasing the parcel would lead to opportunities for infrastructure improvements that could benefit the entire state. Though funding is not yet available, CDOT already is looking at several designs and improvements.

Ideas include moving the freight rail line on the east to right-of-way in Burnham Yard, realigning the freeway or making it a double-decker design, and implementing a Front Range Passenger Rail system into downtown. The train yard also could allow for more residential development.
Washington, D.C. - Congress is crafting legislation that would create new grants and other programs to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments with their cybersecurity efforts.

The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act, which was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, would establish a grant program in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). At a recent public hearing, one DHS official cited a "technology deficit" across state and local governments, noting a particular vulnerability in state and local election systems. 

If approved as currently drafted, DHS' National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) would be required to coordinate with non-federal organizations to conduct cybersecurity exercises, provide operational and technical cybersecurity training, and provide notifications of specific incidents and malware information.

The bill also would mandate the NCCIC to work with federal, state, and local officials to implement information security procedures.

NCCIC staff would be authorized to provide, on a voluntary basis, operational and technical assistance to state and local governments. The department also would be permitted to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts to fulfill duties and activities related to the bill.
Florida - Cecil Spaceport, which is owned and operated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA), is planning several improvements as it prepares to be the site of a new satellite launch in 2021. The launch will help improve real-time threat warnings for the Department of Defense Space Test Program.

JAA officials also secured Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization for the facility to serve as a horizontal liftoff spaceport.

This summer, the JAA announced that it plans to make significant capital improvements to Cecil Spaceport by 2021. These projects include building a new air traffic control center, as well as a new spaceport operations center that will house telemetry, mission control, and weather monitoring equipment.
Courtesy of Waldo Jaquith
Virginia - Charlottesville leaders are considering a plan to consolidate administrations for the city, police department, and school services into a 200,000-square-foot office complex.

Charlottesville's city manager suggested the complex also could feature affordable housing, retail space, and 400 parking spaces.

City and school administrative functions are spread across four locations, including the current City Hall built in 1925 and expanded in 1967. Police operations are in a 1966 building.

The city's interim deputy city manager stated that current city facilities are no longer adequate and have reached their end of life. The official said moving to a new facility would save the city about $983,572 in ongoing annual maintenance costs.

Cost estimates for the project are unknown, but officials anticipated that a design phase would last about a year with construction beginning in late 2022 or early 2023.
Oklahoma - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a 161-page draft study on the Tulsa County levees, which examines several options to improve flood control in the area. A month-long public comment period will be offered for the tentative plan.

The plan calls for adding 13 miles of filtered berm on levees A and B, reinforcing the Charles Page Boulevard floodway, adding two detention ponds, and rebuilding seven pump stations. Costs are estimated to be between $150 million and $250 million, with 65 percent paid for by the federal government.

Officials say the plan is moving quickly after being fast-tracked due to the area's severe spring flooding.
Rendering of Central Park's north end
New York - The northern end of Central Park is getting a major revamp that includes a new recreational facility and landscape fixes. A total of $150 million will be spent on all components of the plan.

Harlem Meer's surrounding landscape will be restored and include better pedestrian circulation. The project calls for a boardwalk to be built to connect several small islands and across the freshwater marsh where the waterway flows into the lake. This will allow for fishing, canoeing, wildlife observation, and other recreational activities.

Another major component is the recreational facility that will be open year-round. This will include a pool and splash pad for use in summer months, and an ice-skating rink for use in colder months. The facility will include a gathering space near the pool deck, locker rooms, public restrooms, and a green roof overlooking the surrounding landscape.

The Central Park Conservancy hopes to begin work on the project in the spring of 2021. Construction is expected to finish in 2024.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Rendering of the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge
California - Voters approved the Rebuild San Diego measure in 2016 to boost money to fix roads, sidewalks, and storm drains. Now, funding is projected to be exhausted by the summer of 2022.

The measure promised $3 billion to $4 billion in expected revenue growth and pension cost savings to pay for infrastructure improvements over the next 25 years. Annual revenue would need to be $160 million to reach that goal. So far, only $59 million has been allocated.

San Diego has a nearly $2 billion infrastructure funding deficit. Significant repairs are needed to fix aging structures, roads, and sidewalks.
More than $25 million is going to road repairs like slurry seal maintenance and reconstruction work, while $9 million is going toward sidewalk improvements.

One major project receiving Rebuild San Diego funds includes the replacement of the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge which will have six traffic lanes across side-by-side bridges.

Additionally, $1.8 million will go to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements at Egger/South Bay Community Park and Olive Grove Community Park. Another $300,000 will be spent on new street lights in Mission Bay, and $345,000 will go toward installing security lighting at parks.

The 2020 ballot may include a new measure that would provide much-needed infrastructure funding, though the money wouldn't be available until fiscal year 2025.
Museum of Science and Industry
Florida - Hillsborough County leaders are exploring the possibility of attracting a film studio to the Tampa area.

The Hillsborough County Film Commission is conducting a demand-based study to gauge interest in a large-scale film studio, and County commissioners recently appropriated $2 million for a studio project.

The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is the front-runner for a new film studio site as the county owns the 70-acre parcel and buildings, the main building is "sound tight," and its proximity to the University of South Florida could spawn a film institute.

County Administrator Mike Merrill said a studio there could help transform the campus into a research village with residential, retail, and recreation uses. A request for proposals (RFP) from prospective developers is expected in 2020 or 2021.

MOSI's exhibit hall is sitting dormant after the museum's nonprofit organization downsized and reopened in a smaller "Kids in Charge" building on the campus. Its board of directors reportedly has indicated a desire to relocate to downtown Tampa.
Virginia - Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) are working on two projects to advance autonomous vehicle technology.

VTTI is collaborating with manufacturers, infrastructure owner-operators, and public safety communities on the Automated Driving Systems and Public Safety project. Their objective is to show how highly automated vehicles can adapt and respond safely to encounters with public safety. One such scenario is how an automated vehicle would respond to a police officer directing traffic around a crash scene with blocked off lanes.

A 17-member team of automated driving system technology developers, trucking fleets, six state departments of transportation, and other supporting organizations have united for the Automated Trucks and Mixed Fleets project. This effort will seek to provide the trucking industry with guidelines on safely implementing and benefiting from trucks equipped with automated driving systems.

The institute recently received two $7.5 million grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to support this research. USDOT's Automated Driving System Demonstration Grants program provided a total of $60 million in federal funding to projects across the country that test how to safely incorporate automated driving systems on U.S. roads.
Rendering of Rash Field Park
Maryland - The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore will lead the renovation of Rash Field Park, with phase one of the project set to begin in January. The city's spending board approved the public-private partnership, which will oversee construction of the $16.8 million first phase.

Plans for the new Rash Field include a modern pavilion with a 2,000-square-foot cafe, public restrooms, rain gardens, and a rooftop deck. Phase one is expected to be finished by spring 2021, and will add a children's nature park, a kinetic playground, a skatepark, and a shady lawn.

The first phase is being funded by public and private sources. Baltimore City is contributing $9.5 million, the state is contributing $4 million, and private donors are contributing $2 million to the project.

Though phase two is in preliminary stages, the Waterfront Partnership hopes to begin work as soon as phase one is completed so contractors can remain on-site. The second phase will include an open lawn, outdoor exercise equipment, jogging paths, an updated beach volleyball area, and a bird and butterfly lab.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking help with quantum information science.

The DOE is looking for nominations to the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee. Additionally, $1.2 billion is set aside over five years by the National Quantum Initiative Act, which will support research, development, and workforce training related to quantum information science.

Scientists say that taking a quantum approach to information processing can lead to major advancements in computer science in the near future. The White House also has identified the field as a critical industry that will help grow the economy, enhance security, and benefit the public.

Once established, the committee will advise and make recommendations that will influence policy and economic considerations. Nominations are being accepted through October 4.
The P3 Higher Education Summit program presents a series of keynotes, case studies, panels, workshops, and diverse networking opportunities designed for attendees to deepen their understanding on alternative project models, innovations in project delivery, the value proposition of public-private partnerships (P3s), and the role they can play in the delivery of essential campus infrastructure.

This year's Summit will be from October 24-25 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, in San Diego, California. Early check-in is available October 23.

The two-day agenda has been programmed to help you plan and procure successful projects, understand best practices in selecting and negotiating with prospective partners, and take steps to ensure project success.
More than 125 leading practitioners, including Strategic Partnerships, Inc. President and CEO Mary Scott Nabers, will present their firsthand observations of higher education P3 projects of all sizes in different markets around the country. The Summit also will offer in-depth roundtable discussions for delegates with interest in discussing specific P3 issues in a more candid and interactive forum.

With over 850-plus participating delegates, attendees find the Summit to be one of the most effective places on their event schedule to cultivate relationships and network with the industry's most active and influential professionals.

Some of the scheduled participants are:

  • Baylor University
  • Blinn College
  • Dallas County Community College District
  • Laredo Community College
  • St. Edward's University
  • San Jacinto College District
  • Tarrant County College District
  • Texas A&M University System
  • Texas State Technical College
  • The University of Texas (UT) System
  • UT Austin
  • UT Dallas
  • UT Rio Grande Valley
  • UT San Antonio
  • UT Arlington College of Engineering
  • University of North Texas System (UNT)
  • University of North Texas
  • UNT Health Science Center 

Register by September 27 to save up to $400!

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.

Connect with owners who want to better understand how alternative project delivery can be used for their next project, identify partners and procurement opportunities, and meet with other communities and agencies using P3s for their critical infrastructure challenges.

Join other delegates to discover new projects and new partners! To be included in future event updates, receive presentations, and connect with the over 800 delegates who attended last year's conference, please visit the conference website and register today!

Minnesota - McLeod County commissioners named Sheila Murphy as permanent county administrator. She had been serving in an interim capacity since Cindy Ford retired as administrator on May 31. Murphy previously was the county's deputy administrator.

New Mexico - The state's new Ethics Commission appointed Jeremy Farris as its first executive director. Farris currently serves as the chief legal counsel for the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration.

Michigan - Samuel Stanley, president of Michigan State University, selected Teresa Sullivan as interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Sullivan previously served as University of Virginia president. She will begin her interim position on October 1 and serve through the end of the academic year.

West Virginia - The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority board named Nick Keller as airport director of the New Yeager Airport. He takes over for retiring director Terry Sayre. Keller has been the airport's assistant director since 2015.

North Dakota - Kevin Parker has been hired to be North Dakota's chief reinvention officer. Parker most recently served as group chief information officer for the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. He succeeds Julie Cabinaw who stepped down in July.

California - The city of Belmont selected Afshin Oskoui as its permanent city manager on September 24. He had been serving since June after former City Manager Greg Scoles retired. Oskoui previously served as the city's public works director.
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