Volume 12, Issue 51 - Wednesday, December 30, 2020
COVID relief legislation allocates $45B to transportation projects
Washington, D.C. – More than $45 billion in emergency federal funding will go to transportation and infrastructure projects after President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act on December 27.

Of that total, state transportation departments are set to receive $10 billion for highway projects, which the Federal Highway Administration will distribute within 30 days of the COVID-19 relief legislation’s enactment.

Airlines will receive $16 billion, and transit systems will get $14 billion. The bill allocates $2 billion to both airports and intercity bus systems. Amtrak will receive $1 billion.

Almost $10 billion is authorized for 46 improvement projects in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and additional funding will go toward port- and harbor-related infrastructure and navigation programs including dredging and commercial initiatives.

The legislation reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act, which includes $250 million to support construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir designed to direct discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades rather than into the St. Lucie River.

Louisiana’s Terrebonne and Lafourche waterway projects will receive $350 million from the water resources act. The deepening of Baptiste Collette, the Houma Navigation Canal, and Port Fourchon Belle Pass are among the projects in Louisiana that will benefit from the reauthorization.

Funding will accelerate a $2.6 billion project to replace locks at the Emsworth, Dashields, and Montgomery locks and dams on the Ohio River in southwestern Pennsylvania. Construction on the project, which is currently in the design phase, could be completed within five years instead of the previously expected seven to 10 years.
Inglewood anticipates 1Q 2021 automated people mover RFI
California – The city of Inglewood is preparing to issue a request for information (RFI) for its $1 billion 1.6-mile Inglewood Transit Connector in the first quarter of 2021.

City officials intend to evaluate and incorporate RFI responses from industry participants into Inglewood’s expected procurement process for an automated people mover system that will connect the regional Metro rail system to the city.

Three new stations are planned:
  • Station 1 will be constructed on the southeast corner of Market Street and Florence Avenue with a direct connection to the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line. 
  • Station 2 will be built at the intersection of Prairie Avenue and Pincay Drive providing access to The Forum, SoFi Stadium, and Hollywood Park. 
  • Station 3 will be located at the intersection of Prairie Avenue and Hardy Street providing access to the SoFi Stadium and commercial uses at Hollywood Park, and the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center (IBEC). 

Inglewood recently released a draft environmental impact report that anticipates a construction timeline beginning in winter 2022 and continuing through fall 2026 for completion ahead of Los Angeles’ hosting of the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
Water board approves $205M for Enid's Kaw Lake project
Oklahoma – The Enid Municipal Authority secured $205 million in funding from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for the city’s Kaw Lake Water Supply Project.

This project will provide raw water from Kaw Lake to Enid’s new 10.5 million gallon a day (MGD) water treatment plant via a raw water micro-tunnel intake structure constructed at Kaw Lake, a booster pump station, and about 70 miles of 36-inch diameter transmission line.

The purpose of the program is to ensure sufficient clean, safe water to meet population projections, reduce average day demand on the regional aquifers by 35 percent, and remove 7.5 miles of cast iron pipe, which reduces pipes with lead-sealed joints.

Enid plans to convert its water system from 100 percent groundwater to a blend by using the treatment plant to mix surface water from the lake with groundwater from wells.
New Hampshire issues RFI for emergency operations center tech
New Hampshire – A request for information (RFI) by the New Hampshire Department of Safety is seeking input on upgrading or replacing the current technology in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).

The center, which is managed by Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) at the Incident Planning and Operations Center in Concord, uses projected desktops capable of multiple display configurations.

This equipment is outdated and beyond its end of life. HSEM is investigating options to upgrade or replace the current system with a video and information sharing solution that is flexible, adaptable, resilient, and future proofed for the next five years.

Staff envision a solution that includes the capability of displaying video from outside of the state network when appropriate, such as security video from an incident location in a prearranged or ad-hoc fashion.

RFI responses are due by January 14, 2021.
FTA awards $544.3M to transit infrastructure projects
Washington – Before Congress passed the COVID-19 relief legislation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the allocation of $544.3 million to seven transit infrastructure projects in various states.

Two of the projects receiving an allocation have an existing Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), and five projects are advancing towards readiness to receive a construction grant agreement under the FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.

CIG projects receiving allocations are:
  • San Francisco - Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project for $250.7 million. This project received an FFGA in September. The project will improve capacity on the existing Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) heavy rail system. 
  • Minneapolis - Southwest Light Rail Project for $100 million. The New Starts project, which was awarded a FFGA in September, is a 14.5-mile extension of the METRO Green Line from the existing Target Field station in downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie in Hennepin County, with 16 stations serving the suburban municipalities of Minnetonka, Hopkins, and St. Louis Park. 
  • Phoenix - Northwest Extension Phase II project for $49.4 million. The project is a 1.5-mile extension of the Valley Metro light rail system from the existing end-of-line station in Northwest Phoenix to the Metrocenter Mall. 
  • Gary, Indiana - Gary Double Track Northwest Indiana Project for $49.4 million. In the engineering phase of the CIG program, the project includes construction of 26.6 miles of new second track on the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District South Shore commuter rail line in northern Indiana between Gary and Michigan City, including 2 miles of new right-of-way. 
  • Kansas City, Missouri - Kansas City Streetcar Main Street Extension Project for $49.2 million. The project, which is in the engineering phase of the CIG program, is a 3.5-mile extension of the existing Kansas City Downtown Streetcar from the current streetcar terminus at Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City. 
  • Raleigh, North Carolina - Wake Bus Rapid Transit New Bern Avenue Project for $35 million. The project is a 5-mile bus-rapid transit line to be constructed by the city of Raleigh that will improve access and mobility along the New Bern Avenue corridor, connecting the Raleigh central business district and communities eastward to North New Hope Road. 
  • Ogden, Utah - Ogden/Weber State University Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project for $10.6 million. The project is a 5.3-mile BRT line to be constructed by the Utah Transit Authority that will connect the Ogden FrontRunner commuter rail station with Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital. 

These transit infrastructure investments are expected to help communities improve access and mobility to transit service as they address the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency and continue their economic recovery.
Legislation extends lifeline for Honolulu rail grant funding
Hawaii – U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz earned the Honolulu Rail Transit Project more time to complete construction on a final segment of a driverless, elevated light metro system by including a provision in the recently signed federal appropriations bill.

Schatz’ provision extends the deadline for a $250 million funding grant that was set to expire December 31 if unspent. The new spending deadline is December 31, 2021.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has been withholding federal funding from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) as it waits for the authority to award a contract for construction of the last four miles of the rail project.

HART sought to procure a public-private partnership (P3) to build the final segment, but the authority and its partner, the city and county of Honolulu, canceled the procurement after bids came in at more than $1 billion over the project budget.

In a new request for information (RFI), HART is gathering input from the construction industry on the best way to deliver the remainder of the Honolulu rail project, including the City Center Guideway and Stations (CCGS), the Pearl Highlands parking garage, transit center, and ramp.

The project is being developed by HART along a 20-mile corridor between East Kapolei, Downtown Honolulu, and Ala Moana Center on the island of Oahu. The system includes an elevated guideway structure, 21 stations, a rail operations center, four park-and-ride lots, and other facilities. It will be the first driverless urban light metro system in the United States.

RFI submissions are due by 2 p.m. on January 29, 2021.
North Miami preparing P3 procurement for NoMi redevelopment
Florida – As part of the city of North Miami’s plans to advance to revitalize and redevelop a section of its downtown known as NoMi, the city and its Community Redevelopment Agency are preparing a request for proposals (RFP) for a public-private partnership (P3).

The city owns several sites that total 384,451 square feet and provide the opportunity for private development that will help create a walkable, mixed-use downtown, which is a priority of the North Miami Community Redevelopment Plan and the Downtown Master Plan.

North Miami’s Community Redevelopment Agency recently authorized tax abatements for a new $86 million 384-unit workforce housing development as part of a revitalization effort anchored by the Museum of Contemporary Art and a city facility housing a new city hall and police station headquarters.

The city is preparing an updated space needs analysis for the city operations that will be housed in the new facility. This can be developed as a standalone structure of a minimum of 80,000 square feet. The new city hall structure will include office and customer service space, state-of-the-art public meeting space including a new council chamber, public art, parking, and a new police station with a separate entrance.
UI Health issues RFI for automated patient acuity system
Illinois – The University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health) is planning to implement an automated patient acuity system to replace its current manual tool.

UI Health has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking information on the industry standard for proven systems that promote patient safety and equitable patient assignments for nurses.

The new system is expected to encompass these features:
  • Integration with UI Health’s Electronic Health Record (EHR). 
  • Reliable, validated, and evidence-based model. 
  • Transparency into acuity calculation. 
  • Real-time based on patients’ condition and care needs. 
  • Documentation driven. 
  • Comprehensive data inputs. 
  • Reporting and dashboard capabilities. 
  • Successful implementations at academic health systems. 
  • Easily accessible/transparent to inform staffing and patient assignment decisions. 

UI Health recently implemented an enterprise EHR platform that integrates optimized business processes with standardized clinical workflows. All clinical documentation related to patient care is charted in the EHR, which serves as its legal medical record.

Patient acuity is currently documented outside of the EHR via a manual spreadsheet process that calculates acuity using a proprietary acuity model named NPAS (Nurse Patient Assessment System).

The deadline for RFI responses is 5 p.m. CST on January 15, 2021.
Ohio Turnpike commission seeks solar solutions in RFI
Ohio – The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission issued a request for information (RFI) to seek input on the potential development of solar projects within its right of way on the James W. Shocknessy Ohio Turnpike.

The commission seeks innovative ways to utilize solar energy to optimize the use of publicly owned property, reduce operating expenses, raise additional revenues, and become more environmentally responsible.

To explore whether solar energy opportunities on the Turnpike could reduce operating expenses, unlock additional revenues to keep its facilities in a state of good repair and further its current energy initiatives, the Commission is assessing whether solar energy development at, around, or atop its real property and buildings would make business sense.

The Commission controls and maintains 210 acres of potential solar site locations in addition to its right of way, including undeveloped property, service plazas, and toll plazas across the 241-mile limited access turnpike.

RFI responses are due by 5 p.m. EDT on January 22, 2021.
Las Vegas planning railroad-themed regional park
Nevada – The city of Las Vegas is in the process of leasing land from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the proposed Northwest Regional Park.

Phase I of the proposed park would encompass approximately 40 acres at the northwest corner of Log Cabin Way and El Capitan Way. The site includes a portion of the historical railroad bed of the former Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad, as well as the Tule Springs/Ten Mile railroad water station and a former railroad construction camp.

The park will include new little league fields, adult baseball fields, soccer fields, an indoor soccer field house, and indoor and outdoor aquatics center with space for a future high school and library.

It will provide needed recreation and cultural amenities to northwest Las Vegas and will serve as the starting point for trails connecting to the Tule Springs Fossils National Monument.

City officials said that once the BLM lease is finalized, they will begin preparing a schematic design and project budget for the 160-gross-acre park.
Orlando Utilities Commission issues RFI for management system
Florida – The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) issued a request for information (RFI) to gather supplier input on Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) software and services.

The ADMS solution is meant to identify a commercial off-the-shelf software product that, at a minimum, includes fully integrated Distribution Management System and Outage Management System components within the same platform and has the capability of being extended or integrated to include an Energy Management System and a Mobile Workforce Management System.

Additionally, OUC is seeking information on services associated with the successful planning and implementation of ADMS and/or the components outlined above including:
  • Project planning and management. 
  • Project or product implementation. 
  • Systems integration. 
  • Data and system migration. 
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) and network model. 
  • Others as applicable per the vendor’s experience with successful ADMS implementations. 

RFI proposals are due by 2 p.m. EDT on January 26, 2021.
Colorado division's RFI solicits veterans claims application input
Colorado – The Division of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) in Colorado issued a request for information (RFI) to solicit vendor input on a web application claims management system.

Design and maintenance of a mobile application is sought as well as a system that is user friendly and enables users to conduct various services and activities in a secure environment.

The design must include DMVA and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) links and display of appropriate service offices via geolocation, real-time updates of selected informational pages of state and federal agencies, account creation, and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

DMVA staff will need assistance and information regarding the scanning capabilities used for various records and the ability to fill out applications and claims that are required by DMVA and the VA. The division anticipates the system shall be developed in a phased roll-out over the life of the contract.

The deadline for RFI responses is 2 p.m. MDT on January 5, 2021.
New York – The state of New York selected Angelo “Tony” Riddick as its next chief information officer (CIO). He will succeed interim state CIO Jeremy Goldberg who filled the position after Robert Samson retired in August 2019. Riddick most recently served as CIO and director of the Bureau of Information Technology for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Kentucky – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced new co-leaders for the city’s community and economic development agency, Louisville Forward. Rebecca Fleischaker and Jeff O’Brien succeeded Mary Ellen Wiederwohl as chief of the department. Fleischaker was named Louisville’s director of economic development in 2019 after serving as deputy director since 2014. O’Brien joined Louisville Metro Government in 2014 as an urban planner. He was appointed director of Develop Louisville in 2018.

Washington – The Community Transit board of directors named Ric Ilgenfritz as its new chief executive officer, effective January 11, 2021. He will take over for Emmett Heath who is retiring. Ilgenfritz most recently served as vice president of the Puget Sound region for an engineering consulting firm. Before that, he was executive director of planning, environment, and project development at Sound Transit.

North Carolina – The University of North Carolina board of governors elected Dr. Philip Rogers as chancellor of East Carolina University (ECU), effective March 15, 2021. He will take over for Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson. Rogers is senior vice president of learning and engagement for the American Council on Education. Before that, he was chief of staff and a policy analyst at ECU.

California – The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport Authority selected Courtney Pene as deputy director of planning and outreach, effective January 11, 2021. Pene most recently served as an administrative analyst for the County of San Luis Obispo. Before that, she was a management analyst for the city of Carlsbad.
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