Volume 12, Issue 48 - Wednesday, December 2, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Citizens and taxpayers throughout the country supported extremely large bond packages for all types of projects in 2020. Most of the planning, citizen outreach, and preparation is underway, and project launches are expected to begin early in 2021. Examples follow … but, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Government contracting promises to be aggressive in 2021.

Portland Public Schools officials will begin the launch of construction projects funded by a recent $1.2 billion bond. Approximately $745 million is allocated for construction projects related to modernization and rebuilds of local school facilities. Spending at the Jefferson High School is projected to be about $311 million. The Benson Polytechnic High School has been allocated $250 million for modernizing Cleveland and Wilson High Schools. Voters approved another $13 million for additional building upgrades.

Voters in the city of Birmingham passed an $11.25 million bond last month that will provide ample funding for parks and recreation improvements. Another $4.75 million from an earlier bond package will be added to that amount. Twelve parks will benefit as well as the Birmingham Ice Arena and the Springdale Golf Course.

Cost estimates top $4.8B for Interstate Bridge replacement
Washington – The departments of transportation for Washington (WSDOT) and Oregon (ODOT) released a draft conceptual finance plan on November 24 for the replacement of the Interstate Bridge.

Updated cost estimates based on prior planning and design efforts range from $3.17 billion to replace the bridge and add a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) option up to $4.81 billion to reconstruct the bridge and implement a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line.

ODOT and WSDOT are jointly leading planning efforts in coordination with eight other bi-state partner agencies. They were on schedule to meet a December 1 deadline to finalize the finance plan.

Although the program is in the early stages of working with stakeholders and the public, six problems identified with the existing bridge are seismic vulnerability, limited public transportation, impaired freight movement, inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety concerns as a result of existing roadway design, and growing travel demand and congestion.

The northbound bridge was built in 1917, and the southbound bridge opened in 1958. Annual operating and maintenance costs are about $1.2 million.
Colorado exploring 2 options for $700M I-70 improvement project
Colorado – State transportation planners presented two build alternatives for the Interstate 70 Floyd Hill to Veterans Memorial Tunnels Improvements project at the Colorado Transportation Commission’s November 18 workshop.

The project is estimated to cost $700 million using a construction manager-general contractor delivery to alleviate traffic gridlock on one of the most congested sections of the westbound I-70 mountain corridor.

Among the improvements being considered: increasing travel-time reliability, increasing capacity on the highway, replacing a deficient bridge, and improving the geometric design of the interstate.

Planners developed a tunnel alternative, a canyon viaduct option, and a no build alternative, but they indicated a preference for the viaduct alternative at the workshop.

The tunnel alternative would construct a tunnel that would carry three lanes in the westbound direction of I-70. Eastbound I-70 would be realigned on the exiting highway footprint to flatten curves. This alternative includes two options for the alignment of the new frontage road on either the north or south side of Clear Creek.

The canyon viaduct alternative would construct a viaduct structure and elevate both the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-70 through the Clear Creek Canyon. The existing I-70 highway under the new bridges would be used for the frontage road and Greenway.

Environmental assessments are expected to be completed in early 2021, and final design is anticipated to start in 2021 and conclude in 2022. Construction is scheduled to start in 2022 or 2023 and last until 2025 or 2026.
California health services issues RFI for data warehouse
California – The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) issued a request for information (RFI) for the replacement of its existing Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW).

DHCS solicits information from prospective service and solution vendors for potential approaches towards implementation and new solutions and technologies that may help the department achieve its enterprise data management aims.

The current EDW, which was procured more than two decades ago, is the Management Information System/Decision Support System (MIS/DSS) that supports mission-critical activities throughout the department and beyond.

The MIS/DSS is comprised of analytics and reporting applications and services focused on efforts that improve data quality and completeness, as well as meet business needs associated with the Medi-Cal program.

Data in the MIS/DSS includes claims, encounter, provider, eligibility, reference, and standard health care-related data that is loaded and integrated into the warehouse. An integrated package of business intelligence tools to support wide-ranging reporting, analysis, and ad hoc querying capabilities to support DHCS users and stakeholders' information needs is provided. The MIS/DSS solution stores historical data; real-time data is not currently supported.

As of May, the MIS/DSS supports up to 600 licensed users with average monthly query counts of 275,000 per month. The current MIS/DSS houses 85 terabytes of data with an annual growth rate of 13.33 percent. In 2021, the MIS/DSS is expected to support up to 800 licensed users and 165 terabytes of stored data.

The deadline for RFI submissions is 4 p.m. PT on December 22. DHCS may issue a future request for proposals and may use information from the RFI responses in its development.
Designs almost done for Pittsburgh's $230M BRT project
Pennsylvania – Design completion is coming to a head on the $230 million Downtown-Uptown-Oakland-East End Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is partnering with the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority to implement BRT service between downtown Pittsburgh and neighborhoods to the east and connect the second- and third-largest employment centers in Pennsylvania.

Plans call for a new BRT that will feature upgraded stations with real-time arrival information and fare payment, transit signal priority, specially branded electric buses, dedicated travel lanes, changes to street parking, and upgraded pedestrian amenities. The project partners anticipate the BRT will spur economic development opportunities near the new stations and lines.

Current bus transportation options in the area suffer from inconsistent traffic patterns, gaps in service and bunching of buses, overcrowded buses followed by empty buses, late buses, and larger gaps in service.

Local partners secured a $99.95 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration earlier this year to help fund the project.

The Port Authority plans to bid and let the project in fall or winter of 2021. Construction would commence shortly after awarding the contract, and revenue service would begin in 2023.
Illinois funds design, planning for Discovery Partners Institute
Illinois – The state of Illinois released design and planning funds for a $250 million permanent headquarters for the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in a new 62-acre South Loop development on the Chicago River shoreline.

The DPI center will aim to jumpstart tech careers and companies, with a focus on training for high-demand tech jobs. DPI also will foster innovation and job creation by bringing together top researchers, business, and industry from around the world.

DPI will operate the facility upon completion to catalyze the formation of an innovation district and connect to neighborhoods, schools, and community organizations. The facility will anchor a network of innovation hubs that connect universities, national labs, companies, and schools around the state and beyond.

The funding is made possible by the Rebuild Illinois Capital program, with state DPI investments matched through university, private, and philanthropic funding sources. A non-state match of $15 million is anticipated to combine with a total state investment of $235 million.

Plans are for the DPI to help anchor a large-scale development on downtown Chicago’s largest undeveloped site. More than 10 million square feet of office, retail, hotel, and residential space is planned.
Maine to seek permit for offshore wind research array
Maine – Gov. Janet Mills announced the state’s plan to establish the U.S.’ first floating offshore wind research array in the Gulf of Maine.

The array would be 20 to 40 miles offshore at a site to be determined in an area that would allow a connection to the mainland electric grid in the southern half of the state.

It is expected to contain a dozen or fewer floating wind turbines over approximately 16 square miles of ocean or less. Commercial offshore wind lease areas along the East Coast are frequently greater than 10 times this size.

Maine claims some of the highest sustained wind speeds in the world, and the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Maine has great potential for generating clean energy and economic opportunity. Offshore wind investment in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $70 billion through 2030, according to the governor’s office.

The research array is part of the ongoing Maine Offshore Wind Initiative announced by Mills in 2019. In October, the state received a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Agency for the initiative to support long-term planning for offshore wind with fishery, business, environmental, and science representatives, as well as assessing port and infrastructure needs and evaluating the supply chain, manufacturing, and workforce opportunities.

The state intends to file an application for the research array with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees renewable energy development in federal waters.
U.S. tops list of countries worst-affected by data breaches
A new report by a price comparison firm placed the United States as the No. 1 worst-affected country for data breaches.

More than 6.19 billion data breaches have been reported in the U.S. since 2013 with an estimated 1.88 million data records stolen per 100,000 population.

The report stated the U.S.’ high population and large number of technology companies served as lures for cybercriminals.

South Korea was second with 446,129 data records stolen per 100,000 population, and Canada ranked third with 243,311 thefts per 100,000 population. The UK was fourth with 206,433 data records stolen per 100,000, and Australia was fifth with 197,423. Russia was 19th with 38,881. Despite having large populations and technology sectors, China and India did not break the top 20.

The firm ranked the countries by categorizing total breaches and companies that reported compromised data to provide top 10 in the form of brands, sources, periods of time, types of data, and total compromised data.

According to the report, the most commonly stolen data are email addresses, passwords, and usernames, followed by IP addresses, names, dates of birth, phone numbers, physical addresses, genders, and website activity.
UC San Diego microgrid testbed to research distributed energy
California – The University of California San Diego (UCSD) plans to build a testbed to research improved integration of distributed energy sources including solar panels, wind turbines, smart buildings, and electric vehicle batteries into the power grid.

Boosted by a $39 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UCSD will build the DERConnect testbed that replicates the entire California power grid on one campus.

DERConnect will include more than 2,500 distributed energy resources, or DERs, on the campus’ microgrid, with its fuel cell and solar panels, a dozen classroom and office buildings, as well as 300 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs). It will entail the construction of a new energy storage testing facility on the East Campus.

An upgrade to the microgrid will give researchers real time control over heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting, solar panels, battery storage, and EVs. The testbed’s control center will be housed in a UCSD hall, which will be turned into a fully controllable building that can be disconnected from the campus’ grid at any time.

Construction is expected to begin in the 2020-2021 academic year with equipment testing to begin in 2022.

The university is aiming to open access to the testbed to research teams and industry partners by 2025 with the goal of decarbonizing the electrical grid, safeguarding it from cyberattacks, and enhancing resiliency.
Hawaii to reissue RFP for managed care integration
Hawaii – The Department of Human Services (DHS) in Hawaii is preparing a request for proposals (RFP) with a tentative release in early December for Med-QUEST integration with Medicaid managed care.

The state’s Med-QUEST Division provides low-income adults and children access to health and medical coverage through managed care plans.

In May, DHS’ Med-QUEST rescinded the contract awards it made with managed care organizations in January, canceling the request for proposal (RFP) released August 2019. Those contracts were scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

The postponement of the effective contract date allowed DHS to devote internal resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to avoid confusion of beneficiaries.

Proposals would be due in early February 2021 with contracts awarded in March 2021. The new system would be implemented by July 2021.
Winter Haven airport envisions P3 for new development
Florida – The city of Winter Haven is eyeing public-private partnership (P3) opportunities at its regional airport and creating a development plan to guide the future of 97 undeveloped acres on airport property.

In addition to attracting aviation industries to the new development, airport officials also envision non-aviation partners operating at one of several developable tracts on the 520-acre airport property. One alternative included in the airport’s 2016 master plan features a hotel, anchor store, multi-purpose stores, and six outparcels all on a 44-acre tract that fronts U.S. Highway 92.

Airport officials expressed an interest in joining with local education partners to construct an aviation education or training facility.

The development plan is expected to take six months to complete.
IndyGo seeking information on traffic signal priority technology
Indiana – The Indianapolis Public Transit Corporation (IndyGo) issued a request for information (RFI) to identify fully developed and proven transit signal priority technology (TSP).

IndyGo seeks to confirm compatibility with existing systems through a 30-day proof of concept that incorporates the use of high-resolution controller data to quantify transit vehicle signal performance measures.

Three of IndyGo’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines operate or will operate in dedicated lanes along a high percentage of their corridors. The system’s sources of transit delay are either dwell time at stations or intersection delay at signals.

IndyGo is looking to reduce transit delay by optimizing its TSP performance. In addition to exploring technology solutions for future capital projects, IndyGo desires to implement advanced analytics along three BRT routes and select local routes using high-resolution controller data to enable better monitoring and management of TSP.

By 2026, IndyGo will be expanding the number of intersections that are equipped with TSP by way of three capital investment projects:
  • Local Route Fleet and Corridors (locations to be determined) – about 75 intersections. 
  • Purple Line BRT – 25 intersections. 
  • Blue Line BRT – 85 intersections. 

IndyGo expects to implement TSP on selected local routes in 2022-2023. Purple Line BRT is planned for start of revenue service in fall 2023, and Blue Line BRT start of revenue service is expected in fall 2025-spring 2026.

RFI submissions are due by 4 p.m. EST on December 11.
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.

Missouri – The city of Webster Groves appointed Marie Peoples as its new city manager. She will take over for Interim City Manager Joan Jadali who filled the position after Steve Wylie retired in July. Peoples previously served as deputy county manager and chief health officer of Coconino County, Arizona.

Mississippi – The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning selected Thomas Hudson as president of Jackson State University. He was serving as interim president after President William Bynum Jr. vacated the office. Hudson previously served as special assistant to the president and chief diversity officer.

North Carolina – The Cape Fear Public Transportation board of directors named Marie Parker as its executive director, effective December 7. Parker currently serves as the general manager at GoRaleigh. Prior to that, she was general manager of a multimodal transit company.

Minnesota – Beltrami County selected Thomas Barry as the new county administrator. He will succeed Kay Mack who is retiring. Barry most recently served as city manager of Minot, North Dakota. He was the director of public works and utilities for the city of Meridian, Idaho, before that.

Florida – The city of Tampa hired Brenda McKenzie as director of workforce partnerships and special projects. McKenzie is the former president and chief executive officer of the Baltimore Development Corporation, director of economic development for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and deputy commissioner of planning and development for the city of Chicago.

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Army announced Raj Iyer as its new chief information officer. He takes over the role from Greg Garcia, who served as the Army’s acting chief information officer. Iyer most recently served as a managing director in the private sector. Prior to that, he was senior technology adviser at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and director of information services design and development at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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About Government Contracting Pipeline
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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