Volume 12, Issue 44 - Wednesday, October 28, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Many cities and counties have funded feasibility studies related to large public projects scheduled for 2021. This analysis serves as a tool for governments to assess the viability and need for a significant capital investment. Based on the multitude of studies approved or already underway, the coming year will offer numerous contracting opportunities – even in less populated parts of various states. Here’s a sampling of some of the upcoming projects.

In 2021 the town of Dumfries plans to spend $34,438 to conduct a feasibility study to explore the creation of a Civic Learning Center in the Williamstown/Town Square area. The study will focus on a community facility equipped with internet access, meeting space, study rooms, computer labs, and a coffee shop. The city plans to spend another $30,000 for a study and a public outreach campaign for a new street plan for Williamstown Drive. This project will include widening the median, enhancing the landscaping, expanding roadside parking, and adding lighting, pedestrian crossings, and traffic calming measures.

Agawam officials have ordered a feasibility study for a new public safety complex, estimated to cost $30 million. The project will include construction of a multi-use facility which will include the existing town hall as well as police and fire station structures. It will include other office space, conference rooms, meeting space for boards and commissions, bathroom and locker facilities, firefighter training areas, and an area for custody and oversight of individuals in police custody.

NJ Transit approves $11.2B Five-Year Capital Plan
New Jersey – More than $11.2 billion in capital projects was approved by the NJ Transit board of directors on October 21.

The board adopted a Five-Year Capital Plan that contains two sets of projects – the first set includes $11.21 billion of projects already funded by existing or expected resources. The second set identifies another $5.78 billion worth of proposed projects for which funding has yet to be identified.

Two station rehabilitation projects – Lyndhurst Station at $35 million and Perth Amboy Station at $47 million – are scheduled for award during this current fiscal year.

This year’s procurement and construction activity also continues to support critical rolling stock renewals, such as 1,104 cruiser buses, 110 articulated buses, 113 multilevel III rail vehicles and 16 battery electric buses. Other infrastructure improvements include improved lighting, bathroom upgrades, and accessible elevators at Newark Penn Station.
Atlanta primed for projected resurgence in data center spending
Georgia The Development Authority of Fulton County in Atlanta is courting a $420 million data center to add to the metropolitan area’s burgeoning data center business that is attracting Fortune 500 companies searching for colocation space, shell conversions, and land.

Several hyperscale companies are showing interest in Atlanta and expect hundreds of acres under contract before the end of 2020. Multiple companies have fast-tracked construction on new Atlanta data centers.

Public cloud data center infrastructure spending soared by 25 percent year over year to a record $17 billion in the second quarter of 2020, according to a research group.

More than 60 percent of planned new facilities construction was halted this year in the private sector, but analysts predict larger enterprise data center sites to resume expansion in 2021 with year over year growth projected through 2024.

After a soft 2020, data center infrastructure spending is forecast to surge by 6 percent up to $200 billion in 2021, according to a report by another firm. Data center real estate investment trusts (REITs) have outperformed which has attracted new investment interest. This trend could garner new capacity for the market.

In the first half of 2020, several markets generated data center location activity including Austin-San Antonio where vacancy dropped to 3.3 percent, an all-time low.

A proposed subsea cable spurred Over-The-Top (OTT) technology and hyperscale activity in Boston, and Illinois’ new tax legislation helped DeKalb land a commitment from a social media company to build a $800 million data center there.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s massive supply for data center space led to the lowest colocation rates in its history, and multiple new development sites contributed to deals in the Denver area.

Demand exceeded supply in Northern Virginia, and data center leasing in Phoenix is expected to climb over the next 12 months. Cloud and gaming providers are leading demand in the Seattle area, and several enterprise and hyperscale commitments are expected to close in Silicon Valley by the end of 2020.

Washington state’s 100 percent sales and use tax abatement on data center equipment is one of several qualities attracting significant interest from companies seeking to expand their footprint, and several sizable requests for proposals have entered the Portland market.
Draft Oklahoma public transit plan identifies $2.45B funding gap
Oklahoma – The state’s inaugural draft public transit plan identifies a funding gap of more than $2.45 billion for operations and capital needs from 2021 to 2040.

The state of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Transit Association collaborated on the draft plan, which they released on October 23.

In it, they outline mobility priorities for the next 20 years that total an estimated $4.52 billion. If the current level of annual expenditures remains the same over that period, only $2.06 billion would be available.

The plan outlines the goals, strategies, objectives, and priorities to make Oklahoma a Top Ten state for public transit by 2040. Highlights from the plan include identification of the existing gap in funding for transit based on current and future projected needs, a strategic investment schedule outlining the best use of funds through 2040, and an in-depth examination of transit funding options used by peer states.

After a public comment period concludes, the final plan will be delivered to Gov. Kevin Stitt, the Oklahoma Senate, and the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Miami monorail project gets greenlight for engineering, design
Florida – The Miami-Dade County Commissioners Court reached a $14 million interim agreement for engineering and design planning for a proposed 3.5-mile monorail linking downtown Miami to the city of Miami Beach.

The Beach Corridor Trunk Line is the east-west segment of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan that traverses Biscayne Bay, connecting the Central Business District in the city of Miami to the city of Miami Beach.

It will integrate with other existing and proposed transit services on both sides of Biscayne Bay and act as a link between Miami International Airport (MIA) and PortMiami.

Numerous county-commissioned studies have identified a need for a mass transit solution along this corridor since as early as 1988 and have determined the MacArthur Causeway is the optimal route to alleviate traffic, improve connectivity and obtain the best possible value.

The project includes an exchange of county-owned land located at the Omni Bus Terminal with privately owned property located at NE 13 Street, between North Bayshore Drive and Herald Plaza. This property will serve as the location for a downtown multimodal transit hub, providing access to the monorail, the current Metromover system, and a new bus terminal.
Nashville refining $1.6B Metro Transportation Plan
Tennessee – Nashville’s mayor released a draft $1.6 billion Metro Transportation Plan that calls for projects that enhance community resilience, neighborhood livability, and system preservation and performance.

Metro’s Transportation Plan proposes core categories for investment that reflect the priorities of the city’s communities and the region: mass transit; neighborhood infrastructure such as $200 million in sidewalk projects, bikeways, and greenways; another $200 million for “state of good repair” for roads and bridges; traffic operations and signals; and safety/Vision Zero.

If the plan is approved, Nashville would develop a $413.3 million Murfreesboro Pike Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to connect Nashville International Airport, Thompson Lane, and downtown Nashville south of Broadway (SoBro).

A $92.89 million Clarksville Pike Rapid Bus system would operate along the existing Route 22, serving the Haynes Park, Bordeaux, North Nashville and Buena Vista neighborhoods. It will connect with the North Nashville Neighborhood Transit Center at Clarksville Pike and 26th Avenue North.

Up to 10 neighborhood transit centers would be built for an estimated $92.6 million, and a $40 million SoBro Transit Hub would be developed as a larger transit center anchoring the southern section of downtown Nashville. The plan states the hub would be an ideal candidate for a public-private partnership (P3). Additional bus stop shelters would be built for approximately $16.4 million.

More than $175 million would be spent to build an 8-acre Jefferson Street multimodal cap-connector over interstates 65 and 40 that would better connect west and east sides of North Nashville. The cap would include mixed-use investments along Jefferson Street. A park with pedestrian and/ or bikeways would occupy the remainder.

The plan includes more than $117 million for restoration and resiliency projects to harden infrastructure to better withstand future disasters.

Metro’s Transportation Plan will explore the creation of a Nashville Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to work toward efficient, effective management, performance, and accountability.

Projects within the plan will be advanced via individual funding strategies, including federal funding, while more comprehensive, dedicated revenue streams are reserved for possible future consideration.

The mayor’s administration is soliciting final community input on this draft plan prior to it being considered by Metro Council for a vote of endorsement.
NH city issues RFI for disaster recovery server infrastructure input
New Hampshire – The city of Rochester issued a request for information (RFI) for disaster recovery solutions for server infrastructure.

City officials are soliciting input and identifying potential partners to provide a comprehensive disaster recovery solution that meets recovery goals, is easy and efficient to maintain, and is easily scalable.

Rochester is planning to implement a disaster recovery solution in the current fiscal year and is open to a variety of solution types. Vendors who sign a nondisclosure agreement with the intention of responding to this RFI will be given information about the city’s production server environment, current backup and recovery processes, and network environment.

Respondents are expected to provide recommended solutions and action plans that would meet the city’s recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives.

Deadline for RFI submissions is 5 p.m. November 20. The city anticipates issuing a request for proposals on January 4, 2021.
Port of Seattle revives cruise terminal construction project
Washington – After scuttling its request for proposals for a public-private partnership (P3) to build a $200 million cruise terminal at Terminal 46, the Port of Seattle board of directors is set to vote in November on a five-year capital improvement plan that includes the project.

The proposed new cruise terminal would add the capacity needed to accommodate the growing demand for Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and West Coast cruises, which can no longer be met by the three berths at the port’s two existing terminals: Terminal 91 and Pier 66.

A cruise terminal at Terminal 46 would occupy the northern 29 acres of the overall 86.5-acre terminal facility. The remainder of the site would be maintained as a marine cargo facility and administrative use.

A future procurement opportunity list on the port’s website indicates an advertisement for the project will be released in the second quarter of 2022 with a project cost to be determined.

Later in 2022, the port plans to begin soliciting for the construction of a $42 million gateway building and $14 million Maritime Innovation Center at Fisherman’s Terminal. Earlier in 2022, it plans to procure construction services for berths 6 and 8 at Terminal 91.
Maryland county airport planning $80M runway, road project
Maryland – Commissioners recently approved the first phase of an $80 million runway expansion at Carroll County Regional Airport.

Preliminary engineering and sub-consultant work will begin on the relocation of a section of Meadow Branch Road to accommodate the runway expansion. Designs, geotechnical data, and stormwater management are included in this phase.

The airport’s 2015 master plan recommends building a 5,500-foot replacement runway west of the existing 5,100-foot runway.

A new runway would help meet the existing and forecasted aircraft demand over the next 20 years. Types of aircraft forecasted to use the airport over that period include a family of medium-sized business jets, similar to the Challenger 605 aircraft.
Missouri to issue RFP for $26M design-build bridge project
Missouri – Supported by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a $26 million design-build project to replace 41 bridges.

The RFP is scheduled for release on January 12, 2021, to replace 41 deficient bridges in MoDOT's Northeast and Northwest districts as part of its Fixing Access to Rural Missouri (FARM) Bridge Program. RFP proposals would be due April 6, 2021.

MoDOT anticipates releasing a request for qualification on November 16, the same day it will host a virtual information presentation.

The bridges are low-volume routes, weight-restricted, in poor condition, on timber pile, and one-lane but carry two-way traffic.

One design-build team will be selected to safely deliver the project within the program budget of $21.98 million on or before October 31, 2023, use innovation to maximize the number of locations to be addressed, provide quality long-lasting structures, and minimize public inconvenience through increased construction speed and flexibility in scheduling.

Following selection of a design-build contractor, MoDOT expects that design and construction would be completed in two and a half years.
Lincoln Airport launches $44M expansion for aging terminal
Nebraska – The Lincoln Airport is planning a $44 million renovation of its 50-year-old terminal to expand the 58,000-square-foot facility by 35,000 square feet and add modernized amenities.

These LNK NEXT renovations will include enhancements for passenger safety in the terminal security areas, as well as a fully renovated lobby on the main floor, including flooring, lighting and other fixtures. This project will also incorporate new COVID-19 design concepts and remodeled airport administrative offices.

The project will add two gates to the north side of the terminal as well as install two additional passenger boarding bridges to accommodate peak hour demand. These additions will leave room for additional expansion.

Plans call for infrastructure to be installed that would enable full Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck capabilities, and the airport would add full service post-security food and beverage options.
California to solicit microgrid resiliency technologies
California – The Energy Research and Development division at the California Energy Commission anticipates releasing a $14 million solicitation on December 31 to support increased resiliency during grid outages.

The commission aims to encourage development and demonstration of Mobile Renewable Backup Generation (MORBUGs), clean energy microgrid alternatives to mobile fossil fuel backup generators. The systems can use any type of renewable generation combined with energy storage and must be mobile for deployment to support communities during grid outages, including public safety power shutoffs.

MORBUGs would be used to supplement or replace large mobile fossil systems, such as those supporting emergency response teams or provide power for personal electronic or medical device charging.

The awarded projects will be in three groups: two in Technology Demonstration & Deployment for systems that can support small or large loads, and one in Applied Research & Development to develop systems that can fully replace mobile fossil fuel systems supporting larger loads.
County association forms broadband task force
Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Counties (NACo) is overseeing a new task force that will examine the intersection of public and private sector efforts to deploy broadband networks and create a blueprint for local governments to help bridge the digital divide.

Earlier this year, NACo and several partner organizations released a report that found almost 65 percent of U.S. counties experience internet speeds below minimum standards as set by the Federal Communications Commission. In rural areas, that number climbs to 77 percent.

Task force co-chair Craig Rice, a councilmember from Montgomery County, Maryland, pointed to increased working from home and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic as further need for the group.

Local governments often face state-imposed limitations to expanding access to broadband connectivity. In 22 states, local governments are restricted from making investments in broadband infrastructure networks. NACo is working to pass federal legislation that would remove those barriers and expand broadband access.

Lack of or limited high-speed internet is consistently identified as a top challenge facing small businesses in rural America and stifles entrepreneurship by restricting the ability of individuals to take on independent work.
Ohio – The Cincinnati City Council named Paula Boggs Muething as its city manager on October 14. She had been serving as interim city manager after former City Manager Patrick Duhaney accepted a position in Virginia Beach. Boggs Muething previously served as city solicitor. Before joining the city, she was general counsel and vice president of community revitalization of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority.

Arizona – The city of Scottsdale selected Mark Melnychenko as transportation and street director. He succeeds former Director Paul Basha who resigned in September 2019. Melnychenko previously served as deputy director of the Phoenix Street Transportation Department.

Michigan – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Brom Stibitz to serve as the director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) on October 19. He served as acting director and chief information officer since DTMB Director Tricia Foster was named chief operating officer in March. Prior to his role at DTMB, Stibitz served in leadership roles at the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Michigan Legislature.

Wisconsin – The University of Wisconsin System board of regents named Dr. Thomas Gibson as the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point chancellor, effective January 11, 2021. He will succeed Chancellor Bernie Patterson who will retire at the end of 2020. Gibson most recently served as vice president for student affairs and vice provost at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

California – San Benito County selected Benny Young as director of its Resources Management Agency (RMA). Young most recently served as interim deputy director of the RMA for public works and facilities at Monterey County. Prior to that, he was director of the Monterey County RMA and city manager for South Tucson.

Wyoming – Gov. Mark Gordon appointed Dan Shannon as the permanent director of the Department of Corrections on October 26. Shannon had been serving as interim director since former Director Bob Lampert retired in July. Shannon previously served as deputy director of the department and as prison division administrator.
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Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Mary Scott Nabers, Publisher
Devin Monk, Editor
Ph: 512-531-3900
Government Contracting Pipeline, a publication of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., is a free, weekly newsletter detailing important happenings nationwide and the premier source for federal, state, and local government news and contracting opportunities.
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