Volume 12, Issue 45 - Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Honolulu presses forward with P3 light rail plan
Hawaii – The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is pressing forward with plans for a public-private partnership (P3) for a $9.2 billion light rail project after a board decision failed to reach the necessary number of votes.

Earlier this year, HART extended its deadline to find a P3 partner to finance the construction of the last phase of its 20-mile project.

HART officials were eager to award the P3 contract for the final segment of the East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana line in order to receive $744 million from the Federal Transit Administration, but bidders requested a deadline extension because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff said they plan to continue discussions with P3 vendors in order to prepare a resolution and recommendation for the board and Federal Transportation Administration.
Los Angeles issues RFI to meet zero emission truck goal at port
California – The city of Los Angeles Harbor Department is considering public-private partnership (P3) models to accelerate the deployment of zero emission (ZE) trucks at the Port of Los Angeles.

In a recently released request for information (RFI), the department noted its goal of achieving 100 percent zero emission drayage trucks in the San Pedro Bay ports by 2035.

Funding options that it is exploring include federal or state funding and incentive programs, contributions from other public agencies, incentives from utility providers, private investments, or other potential in-kind investments, contributions or non-monetary incentives.

The ports are considering options for the implementation and administration of this program, including alternatives that use internal resources, private sector partners, and public sector partners. They also will consider a combination of these options.

In contemplating options that involve private-sector partners, consideration will be given to options that align the interests of the port and private-sector partners as well as adopt innovative approaches to:
  • Achieve the goal of 100 percent ZE trucks by 2035; 
  • Accelerate the deployment of ZE trucks at the port prior to 2035; 
  • Optimize funding sources and financing tools to support the program; 
  • Decrease costs associated with ZE technologies and supporting infrastructure;  
  • Maintain competitive total cost of ownership for use of ZE trucks; 
  • Maintain efficient operations at the port; and, 
  • Allocate, manage, and mitigate risks associated with the program. 

RFI responses are due by 4 p.m. PT on January 7, 2021.
Minnesota passes $1.87B bonding bill to advance infrastructure
Minnesota – Gov. Tim Walz recently signed a $1.87 billion Local Jobs and Projects Plan bonding bill that will support construction and renovation projects across the state.

The legislation allocates $627 million for transportation infrastructure such as roads and bridges, $269 million for water infrastructure projects, $166 million for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State, and $116 million for affordable housing.

Some of the largest single-project expenditures in the bill include:

  • $55 million to the Met Council to increase bus rapid transit; 
  • $52 million to replace the Third Street Kellogg Bridge in St. Paul; 
  • $29.5 million for a new state emergency operations center; 
  • $29.2 million to replace a child development building at the University of Minnesota; 
  • $24 million for wastewater infrastructure in Oronoco; 
  • $20.5 million to build infrastructure for a business park in Becker; 
  • $18 million for the Lake Bronson Dam in Kittson County; 
  • $13.5 million for seawall and surface improvements in Duluth; 
  • $13 million for wastewater treatment in Randolph; 
  • $12.5 million for an outdoor performance venue in Minneapolis; and, 
  • $10 million for a municipal athletic complex in St. Cloud. 

The bill, which is designed to create thousands of jobs, is the largest bonding package passed in Minnesota history.
NJ Transit abandons gas plant plan in favor of renewable energy
New Jersey – Amid public opposition to a gas-fired power plant, New Jersey Transit is planning procurements for the construction of a $557 million renewable energy plant in Kearny.

Designed to improve system resiliency, the plant will provide a reserve power system drawing from solar and battery storage rather than natural gas.

The transit authority will hire a renewable energy consultant to assist in the project’s design and feasibility process and will budget up to $3 million in stipends to qualified bidders in order to encourage creative, environmentally-sound bid proposals.

Developers will apply via a two-step procurement process involving an initial request for qualifications (RFQ) that will seek to establish a pool of qualified proposers followed by a request for proposals (RFP) that will require the qualified proposers to submit comprehensive technical and financial proposals to integrate renewable or other zero emissions energy technologies into the proposed Microgrid Central Facility.

Each qualified team will be awarded a stipend valued at $1 million after completion of the RFP step, with the total anticipated value of the stipend program not exceeding $3 million.
Union Station expansion scope driving D.C.'s debate with FRA
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the District of Columbia are debating the scope of the $5.8 billion to $7.5 billion plan to expand the Washington Union Station.

Proposed project components are new 1st and 2nd street entrances, 30-foot wide train platforms, below-track concourses, and a new bus facility and parking garage. Construction is anticipated at 11 to 14 years with the opening planned for 2040.

FRA officials released a draft environmental impact statement this summer that recommended construction of an east-west train hall north of the historic station building. New bus and parking facilities would be built where the current Union Station parking garage stands.

The multimodal hub, which was completed in 1908, is the nation’s second-busiest railroad station, serving more than 37 million visitors each year.

D.C. leaders contend the FRA’s plan focuses too much on cars and does not include sufficient access for pedestrians and bicyclists. After receiving public comment on the draft environmental impact statement, federal officials will issue a single document containing the final environmental impact statement and record of decision.
New York Power Authority gains priority status for line rebuild
New York – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) gained priority status from the state for the development of a bulk transmission project known as the Northern New York Project.

The project represents Phase 2 of the Smart Path rebuild of an approximately 86-mile line that runs from the St. Lawrence Power Project’s Robert Moses Power Dam Switchyard in the town of Massena, New York, to the Adirondack Substation in the town of Croghan.

Phase 2 represents approximately 8 miles of the larger project. The line was built in 1942 and consists of approximately 8 miles of double-circuit lattice structures and approximately 78 miles of single-circuit predominantly wood H-frame structures.

NYPA proposes to rebuild the line as two single-circuit 345 kV lines on steel monopoles, and the lines will initially be operated at 230 kV. In addition, NYPA plans to build new 345 kV switchyards at the existing Moses Switchyard and at the Adirondack Substation. Most of the project will be on an existing right-of-way, except for an approximate 1-mile segment that will be rerouted at the State University of New York at Canton campus.
Metro's $267M bus rapid transit project undergoing review
California – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) released a draft environmental impact report on the $267 million North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project scheduled to open in 2024.

The $267 million, 18-mile project will establish a bus rapid transit (BRT) line connecting the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, traveling east-west between the North Hollywood Metro B Line Station and Pasadena City College with stops in downtown Burbank, Glendale, and Eagle Rock, depending on the route option.

Construction of 35 possible station sites includes 21 potential stations along with two optional stations along the proposed project route, plus an additional 12 potential station locations along route option segments. The proposed project would generally include dedicated bus lanes where there is adequate existing street width, while operating in mixed traffic within the city of Pasadena.

After the conclusion of a public review period on December 10, the Metro project team will identify and recommend a locally preferred alternative to be selected by the Metro board and incorporated into a final environmental impact report set for release in spring 2021.

Metro anticipates a 24- to 30-month construction timeline.
North Carolina hospital seeks state approval for tower addition
North Carolina – New Hanover Regional Medical Center is planning to build a new $209.9 million 66-bed hospital in Scotts Hill.

A two-story addition with eight operating rooms would be attached to the existing Scotts Hill emergency department.

The proposed site is adjacent to the center’s existing campus in northern New Hanover County by Emergency Department-North, which would be integrated into the new 197,891-square-foot facility.

Hospital officials filed a certificate of need for review by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Pending state approval, the hospital would begin the procurement process in 2021 and target an October 2024 opening.

According to its website, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the ninth-largest, and largest county-owned public hospital, in North Carolina.
Kentucky issues RFI for update to workforce assessment tool
Kentucky – The Department of Workforce Investment (DWI) within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet of Kentucky is seeking information about the availability within the marketplace of an assessment tool for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

In its request for information (RFI), the department states its desire to replace current assessment tools in use as well as the need to add an assessment functionality to other areas within the department.

DWI’s ideal assessment tool for WIOA requirements has the ability to accurately measure skill gains, identify areas of skill deficiencies, and verify readiness in the workforce for pre-employment and workplace contexts. The system must be public-facing for the job seekers to utilize as well as employers. The desired tool should be easy to use and provide enough flexibility to adapt to future processes, legislative updates, and organizational changes.

The goals and system requirements are to:
  • Assess citizens’ basic reading, math, listening, writing, and speaking skills; 
  • Be user friendly for both staff and citizens, mobile friendly, and browser agnostic; 
  • Measure skill gains for all learners in common employability and workplace environments; 
  • Enable employers to submit positions for hiring and or apprenticeships and attract and recruit employees with the skills needed; 
  • Provide employers with labor market information to forecast their labor and employee training needs; 
  • Ensure highest-level security to continue to comply with security certification and personally identifiable information from inappropriate access, use, and disclosure; and, 
  • Produce several federally required reports and the ability to securely transfer the reports. 

RFI proposals are due by 3:30 p.m. EST on November 20.
Pennsylvania provides $181M for water, wastewater projects
Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) will invest $181 million in 16 water, wastewater, and non-point source projects.

Capital Region Water in Dauphin County received a $65 million loan to make several improvements as part of an existing capital improvement plan, including upgrades to the project clarifier and rehabilitation of the Front Street and Paxton Creek interceptors. The project will reduce infiltration into the sewer system, address collection and conveyance issues that cause wet weather backups, and address a federal consent decree.

Altoona Water Authority in Blair County was awarded a $36.61 million loan to install a class A digester and biosolids thermal dryer, while replacing aeration blowers and dewatering facilities. This project will decrease the need to apply biosolids on nearby farm fields, capture nearly all of the gas output on fixed-cover digesters, and reduce energy bills to the authority.

Elizabeth Township in Allegheny County received a $17.3 million loan to install a new pump station and conveyance system, including a new force main to convey sewage to an existing multi-municipal treatment center in McKeesport. The project will address a consent order initiated in 2016 and will reduce wet weather overflows into a nearby water source.

The funding for these projects originates from a combination of state funds approved by voters, Growing Greener, Marcellus Legacy funds, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency, and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards.
USDA supports Baton Rouge Parish medical center expansion
Louisiana – The Hospital Service District 1 of East Baton Rouge Parish will use a $61.38 million investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to renovate and expand the Lane Regional Medical Center.

One of 256 projects to receive funding from the USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program, the expansion will add a four-story 82,000-square-foot medical tower. The addition includes 48 acute patient care rooms, surgical and intensive care units (ICU), nurses’ stations, and administrative areas.

Renovations include expanding admitting and surgical lobbies, outpatient surgery care, and increasing the radiology and post-anesthesia care unit departments.

Hospital officials anticipate breaking ground in spring 2022 with a three- to four-year project timeline.
IndyGo releases RFI for 'mobility concierge' program
Indiana – The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) issued a request for information (RFI) to collect input in the creation of a “Mobility Concierge" program.

IndyGo, in an effort to leverage its existing technology solutions, is issuing the RFI for the purposes of determining if there is a turnkey, technical solution – in whole or in part – that could help the agency get closer to realizing its goal of having a one-stop shop for a multi-modal trip planning and payment integration system.

Specifically, IndyGo seeks to know what applications are available that meet most, if not all, of its needs. For those capabilities that are undeveloped, IndyGo wants to understand how companies have developed, tested, and launched application add-ons in the past.

This RFI focuses primarily on the technology solution and must work as a platform that can integrate two or more mobility service providers into a single, multi-modal trip planner and payment system.

A key component of the Mobility Concierge Program will be ensuring that the unbanked population can access and use all modes, which is one potential tie-in with the customer service component of the program.

RFI responses are due by 4 p.m. EST on November 30.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
North Carolina – The Elizabeth City Council appointed Montre Freeman as the new city manager. He will succeed Rich Olsen who accepted a position as a town manager in Texas. Freeman most recently served as the town administrator for Enfield, North Carolina.

Florida – Sarasota County Area Transit named Jane Grogg as its new director. She took over for Interim Director Rob Lewis who filled the position after Rocky Burke resigned. Grogg has worked in several positions with Sarasota County in the Planning and Development Services Department.

California – The California State University board of trustees appointed Cathy Sandeen as the president of California State University, East Bay, effective January 4, 2021. She will take over for President Leroy Morishita. Sandeen currently serves as chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Georgia – The Rockdale County board of commissioners selected Margaret Moore-Jackson as director of technology services. She will succeed Al Yelverton who resigned in July. Moore-Jackson previously served as special agent-in-charge of the Department of Justice’s Atlanta Field Division.

Virginia – The Virginia Port Authority board of commissioners named Stephen Edwards as chief executive officer (CEO), effective January 19, 2021. He will succeed John Reinhart. Edwards most recently served as president and CEO of a container terminal company.

Tennessee – The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority named Jeff Roach as the executive director of operations and development at John C. Tune Airport, effective November 2. Roach previously served as the airport’s assistant vice president of strategic planning and as manager of the Fairbanks International Airport.
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