Volume 12, Issue 47 - Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Bay Area transportation projects total $10.3B in draft plan
California – The Metropolitan Transportation Council (MTC) published the draft 2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) containing more than 330 Bay Area projects totaling $10.3 billion in committed federal, state, and local funding.

The largest project on the 2021-2024 TIP is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s $2.52 billion extension of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service from Warm Springs to Berryessa.

Phase I of San Francisco’s $2.26 billion Transbay Terminal and Caltrain Downtown Project is included as is its $992 million plan to replace U.S. 101 Doyle Drive.

The third phase of the Interstate 680-SR 4 interchange reconstruction project made the TIP for $136 million in funding.

Efforts to improve the San Francisco southeast waterfront community are programmed for $106 million in the CIP, work on ferry terminal and berthing facilities would get $98 million, and I-680 southbound high-occupancy vehicle lane completion would receive $76 million.

Federal approval of the TIP is scheduled for April 16, 2021.
Pittsburgh mayor promotes $600B 'Marshall Plan'
Pennsylvania – The mayor of Pittsburgh and other mayors from Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia united to pursue federal support for a $600 billion green energy initiative titled the Marshall Plan for Middle America (MP4MA).

Academic and policy researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the city of Pittsburgh, the Steel Valley Authority, and other partners developed the plan’s roadmap that calls for $60 billion annually in public and private funds over the next decade through:

  • $15 billion in federal assistance in the form of block grants to local governments for energy efficiency measures for commercial and residential building stock retrofits and conversions and public and private vehicle fleet transitions available annually from 2021-2030. 
  • $15 billion in low interest loans and guarantees for zero carbon energy generation production. 
  • $15 billion in tax incentives for manufacturers and labor cooperation for private, on-shoring production of clean energy equipment and supply chain development. 
  • $15 billion for workforce training, education, and research and development of advanced clean energy technologies and applied materials science that advance circular economic systems applications. 

The MP4MA Roadmap is intended to provide a platform for regional cooperation across the Ohio Valley.
Metra board OKs $386.8M in capital spending for 2021
Illinois – The Metra board approved $386.8 million in capital spending in 2021 to invest in railcars, locomotives, bridges, and stations.

More than half of the capital funding will go towards major projects, including:
  • $69.9 million for locomotive and car rehabilitation. Metra will fund programs to overhaul 21 recently purchased Amtrak locomotives and upgrade locomotives with AC traction motors. 
  • $61.5 million for new rolling stock. Metra is close to purchasing new railcars after asking manufacturers to propose new designs that maximize capacity and add customer amenities. 
  • $12.9 million for bridges. Metra has nearly 500 bridges that are more than a century old, and funding will be used to design and construct the replacement of several bridges. 
  • $47.3 million for stations. Metra is upgrading its stations, with an emphasis on improving accessibility and ensuring that every station has a warming shelter. 
  • $34.9 million for equipment and vehicles. 

Metra will forward its 2021 budget of $700 million and its capital program to the Regional Transportation Authority Board for approval as part of a consolidated budget for the region’s public transit systems.
New York issues RFI for insurance, banking licensing system
New York – The state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a request for information (RFI) for a comprehensive licensing system that includes support and maintenance.

DFS has separate systems for insurance and banking and must be able to manage and store related data separately.

The insurance licensing component must allow potential licensees to apply for a license and current licensees to log into a personal account to update information, print records, and obtain letters of certification.

A new banking component must be partitioned into seven modules:
  • Depository. 
  • Foreign and wholesale banks. 
  • Capital markets. 
  • Consumer protection and financial enforcement. 
  • Mortgage banking. 
  • Mortgage loan originators. 
  • Licensed financial services. 

Proposed systems must have the capacity to interact daily with various outside entities to import and export additional data. DFS requires applications that are not cloud based. They must be compatible with an Oracle database and allow for integration with two-factor authentication.

The deadline for RFI submissions is November 23.
University of Memphis plans new student housing development
Tennessee – The University of Memphis will seek State Building Commission approval of its plans for a new student housing development at its Park Avenue Campus.

As the university continues to pursue its Deloach Street housing development, it is working to better support its student-athletes as well as students in nursing and health programs with a housing development on the campus.

The housing development, which will have no more than 49 percent of its occupants as student-athletes, will be centrally located on the Park Avenue Campus and will feature academic and nutrition support and study spaces. The gated complex will be a part of a campus beautification that will have interconnected walkways, landscaping, and lighting that will include the tearing down of outdated buildings.

University officials said project design and construction will follow state approval.
Study outlines $380M San Diego-area rail expansion
California – The North County Transit District released a pathing study detailing a phased expansion of passenger and freight rail services along the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor.

The study developed concepts for providing eight freight paths per direction between CP Atwood and the Port of San Diego during off-peak passenger hours, extend COASTER services south to a new station at the San Diego Convention Center, and extend Pacific Sunliner services south to a new maintenance facility in San Diego’s National City.

With the study’s completion, the district and its rail partners will work together with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), LOSSAN Corridor Agency, California State Transportation Agency, and other stakeholders to identify approximately $380 million to implement the prioritized mid-term improvements.

An estimated $700 million will be needed to implement all phases of investment over the long-term planning horizon while advancing state and national economic, transportation, and environmental goals.
Pennsylvania approves P3 delivery method for major bridgework
Pennsylvania – A state transportation board approved a new program that will allow for the delivery of major bridges through public-private partnerships (P3s).

The P3 delivery model will allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to direct user fees to fund critical work on major bridges across the state and:
  • Accelerate the renewal of major bridges to ensure public safety. 
  • Avoid time and financial impacts of travel diversion resulting from bridge restrictions and closures due to bridge condition. 
  • Help offset gas tax revenue losses, as identified by the state Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Ensure users (including out-of-state traffic) contribute fairly to the replacement or rehabilitation of the bridges based on usage. 
  • Create a sustainable funding model for the state’s major bridges. 

PennDOT will consider the P3 delivery model for major bridges in a geographically balanced manner statewide. Major bridges are structures of significance based on physical size, location, and cost to replace or rehabilitate. These structures are in a condition that necessitates action to enhance safety and to avoid disruptions and community impacts.

By using a P3 delivery method, PennDOT can leverage private-sector innovation to address complex projects and to help ensure the longevity of infrastructure investments.

The Major Bridge P3 program is a component of PennDOT’s forthcoming Pathways initiative, part of the department’s ongoing work to explore sustainable transportation funding options in response to a growing highway and bridge funding gap.
Water district prepares solicitations for Everglades reservoir
Florida – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) anticipates issuing a request for bids by the end of November for a reservoir project that would reduce Lake Okeechobee discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

SFWMD's board asked the state to transfer $64 million from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project to secure the remaining funds for the $174 million stormwater treatment area.

The 6,500-acre reservoir will clean water stored in the 240,000 acre-foot EAA reservoir and allow it to flow south to the Everglades.

When used in conjunction with other Everglades restoration projects that will be completed over the next several years, the EAA Reservoir Project will reduce environmentally damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the northern estuaries. In addition, the project will increase the flow of clean water south to Everglades National Park.

Construction is anticipated for completion by 2023.
SCDOT seeks module-based learning management system
South Carolina – The state’s Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will host a pre-proposal conference at 11 a.m. ET on December 3 as it plans to acquire a module-based learning management system.

SCDOT will require the awarded vendor to provide existing learning capabilities as well as implement additional requirements.

The solution must include at a minimum:
  • Module-based learning management system solution. 
  • Implementation, support, and training. 
  • Software support. 
  • Competencies and organizational roles. 
  • Individual learning plans. 
  • Curriculum management. 
  • Reporting. 
  • Calendar. 
  • User management. 

In addition, it must feature course enrollment, virtual instructor-led training, job-related training, collaboration learning platform, and online library.

Historical data will need to be preserved and brought over to the new system.

The maximum contract period is five years with an initial one-year term and four optional one-year renewal terms. The contract would start on March 9, 2021 and end March 8, 2026.
Jersey City joins P3 to support development of science high school
New Jersey – The Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) and city of Jersey City have reached an agreement with the Liberty Science Center to establish a public-private partnership (P3) to build a new Liberty Science High School.

The new magnet school will be located in the 30-acre SciTech Scity innovation campus and will include a set of skill-centric classes for K-12 students. Liberty Science Center plans to break ground on SciTech Scity in 2021.

Under the new collaboration, HCST will oversee operations at the new public county magnet high school and the Hudson County Improvement Authority will be designated as the project developer to construct the school.

Jersey City donated 12.5 acres to SciTech Scity and will assist in funding the school’s operating costs.
Kansas USD voters pass $24M school construction bond
Kansas – Officials at USD 416 in Louisburg held off on declaring their $24 million bond election a success until the votes were canvassed November 13.

The result stood, and the district will move forward on facility improvements at several of its school campuses.

Broadmoor Elementary School, which was built in 1977, will undergo $8.94 million in renovations to its classrooms, kitchen, library, multi-purpose room, special services classrooms, learning resource classrooms, family and consumer science classrooms, and nurse area. The district will replace the school’s roof, windows, doors, and utility infrastructure.

More than $5.42 million will go toward construction of a new classroom addition at Louisburg Middle School to serve as a high wind shelter and renovations that include partial roof replacement, kitchen improvements, and replacement of mechanical systems.

Louisburg High School will undergo $4.88 million in improvements including a new multi-purpose addition that will house physical education classrooms, a new weight room, and wrestling room.

District offices within the 1959 Circle Grove Elementary School will be renovated for $2.53 million, and a total of $1.54 million will be spent on security, technology, and furniture for all school locations.
P3 Government Conference spotlights procurement experts
Join the P3 Government Conference in a virtual forum from December 9-11 for three days of project delivery and market discussion at one of the largest gatherings of local, state and federal agency representatives, developers, and public-private partnership (P3) experts in the country.

Those planning their next procurements will want to attend to hear how other communities are moving projects forward during the pandemic, responding to current budget and planning challenges, and preparing for 2021.

Public agencies and industry practitioners will share their experiences, discuss project upgrades and new projects currently in development, and detail structures and best practices used in developing, building, and maintaining projects of all sizes.

Stay connected and informed. Discover new project and partners. Meet with policy and public leaders, and learn how owners are planning development in the post-COVID era.

Sign up by November 20 to secure the early registration price of $299.
Washington, D.C. – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) board of directors elected Victoria Sheehan as president and Shawn Wilson as vice president on November 13. Sheehan is the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Wilson is secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Illinois – The board of trustees of the Western Illinois University appointed Dr. Guiyou Huang as the university’s president, effective January 1, 2021. He will take over from Interim President Martin Abraham who filled the position after former President Jack Thomas resigned in June. Huang currently serves as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he served as the chancellor of Louisiana State University of Alexandria.

Missouri – The city of Kansas City named Brian Platt as its new city manager, effective January 4, 2021. He will succeed Troy Schulte who resigned in November 2019. Platt currently serves as the business administrator for the city of Jersey City, New Jersey. Before that, he served as Jersey City’s first chief innovation officer.

New Mexico – The city of Clovis hired James Harris as the airport director for the Clovis Municipal Airport. Harris most recently served as airport operations superintendent for Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Before that, he was assistant airport manager at Salisbury Regional Airport.

Colorado – The Colorado Office of Information Technology will be headed by Tony Neal-Graves as chief information officer. He will take over for Theresa Szczurek who resigned in August. Neal-Graves most recently served as acting CIO. Before that, he was the executive director of the state’s Broadband Office.
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Devin Monk, Editor
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