Volume 12, Issue 7 - Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Tennessee - The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) released a new report outlining the state's infrastructure needs for the five-year period between July 2018 and June 2023. The total cost is estimated at $54.8 billion.

Last year's estimate was $4.8 billion less, with this year's increase mostly attributable to an increased need for transportation and utilities infrastructure, as well as needed improvements for the state's education infrastructure. Many renovations, additions, and improvements are needed at existing public schools due to schools being in fair or poor condition.

Six general categories make up the current overall needs, including transportation and utilities ($29.6 billion); education ($14.2 billion); health, safety, and welfare ($7.6 billion); recreation and culture ($2.1 billion); general government ($894 million); and economic development ($300 million).

Current funding availability is estimated at $13.6 billion.
82nd Avenue in Portland
Oregon - The Portland-area Metro Council is exploring 13 transportation corridors as part of a $7 billion transportation package. The council plans to have the package mapped out this spring so it can place bond requests on this November's ballot.

A variety of projects are being considered, and the goal of the plan is to improve safety on streets with a focus on transit and creating a regionally connected transportation grid.

These projects include investments in safety for the Tualatin Valley Highway, 82nd Avenue, and McLoughlin Boulevard.

Additionally, the proposal will focus on the region's light rail system and extensions, including a line to Bridgeport Village.

The full list of projects will be further developed in the coming months. Funding sources will also be addressed during that time.
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

This year is shaping up to be a great time for government contracting firms. The upcoming opportunity pipeline we maintain is full of all types of planned projects. We also have a database of developing public-private partnership (P3) opportunities that we are monitoring. Additional information and data are gathered continually.

We learned more than two decades ago that the odds of being successful in the government marketplace are slim until a company has met decision makers and built relationships with them. We work with clients to vet opportunities, develop 'capture strategy plans,' and schedule meetings with C-level public officials. We facilitate the relationship-building process and do much more.

Once we begin working with a company, our experienced and well-connected consultants partner with its sales teams to support their business development efforts. It makes a very big difference!

The kind of business development services we offer cannot be found anywhere else, so don't hesitate to reach out to me directly if you are interested in knowing more. All of our service engagements are customized, and we work all jurisdictions throughout the country.

If you are interested in boosting your government sales revenues in 2020, we should talk. Please send a note to me at mnabers@spartnerships.com!

LA Metro's proposed Gold Line extension
California - The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has shifted its plans for the $6 billion Gold Line rail extension. Now, Metro is focusing on extending the line along the Washington Boulevard corridor and conducting a feasibility study.

This new route includes a 3-mile tunnel under Atlantic Boulevard and a Commerce station before it parallels with Washington Boulevard where it would mostly operate above ground.

This option avoids constructing a rail line along the 60 freeway, winding the route around a Superfund site, and factoring Caltrans's plans to widen the 60 highway. 

Measure M allocates $6 billion for this project with a $3 billion funding phase set for 2029 and another $3 billion for 2053. Metro could accelerate that schedule as it aims to build 28 projects before Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. A Metro planning committee is scheduled to hear the recommendations on February 19.
Washington, D.C. - President Trump released his draft FY 2021 budget on February 10 that proposes $1 trillion for infrastructure investment that joins budget plans by House Democrats and a U.S. Senate environmental committee.

The draft budget calls for a 10-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs with $755 billion in mandatory spending from the Highway Trust Fund and $55 billion in discretionary spending from the General Fund. These appropriations would be in addition to Trump's separate proposal for a one-time payment of $190 billion in infrastructure.

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and programs for research, technology, and statistics.

In total, the draft budget proposes an 8 percent increase in 2021 for highway and transit formula programs from the level provided in the last year of the FAST Act. The Budget also provides for a 3.8-percent increase to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from the level provided in the last year of the FAST Act.

If approved, the budget would fund several departments and programs including:
  • Federal Highway Administration programs - $50.7 billion for FY 2021, $602 billion over 10 years;
  • Federal Transit Administration programs - $13 billion in FY 2021, $155 billion over 10 years;
  • NHTSA and FMCSA programs - $1.7 billion in FY 2021, $19.8 billion over 10 years;
  • Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program - $1 billion for competitive grant programs and $1 billion in discretionary resources;
  • Federal Aviation Administration - $14.2 billion;
  • Essential Air Service - $154 million to support commercial air service to rural airports; and,
  • Amtrak - $550 million in transitional grants and $936 million in direct grants.
On January 29, U.S. House Democrats released a $760 billion infrastructure package to fund construction of roads, transit systems, airports, and water infrastructure. It would budget funding for five years that includes $329 billion for new highway construction and road safety improvements. It also would fund $105 billion for transit programs and $55 billion for rail projects. Clean water and wastewater initiatives would receive $50.5 billion, $30 million would go toward airport projects, and billions of dollars would support environmental and public safety programs.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced an America's Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) proposal in July 2019 that would reauthorize the FAST Act for five years. The bill authorizes $287 billion over five years, including $259 billion for formula programs to maintain and repair America's roads and bridges.
Pennsylvania - Over the next nine years, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) plans to shift $3.15 billion from local road projects to improvements on interstate highways.

Officials estimate that money for regional projects will drop from $90 million per year to about $11 million per year by 2028. Current highway road conditions call for much-needed rehabilitation, as the state has deferred maintenance costs for years. 

This year, $150 million will be taken from local projects to pay for interstate projects, and this amount will increase by $50 million every year until 2028.
In 2012, a statewide road assessment revealed that Pennsylvania would need to spend $7.2 billion per year to meet interstate needs by 2020. As of 2019, annual spending was only $2.4 billion.

Officials note that many of the state's highways are more than 50 years old and require complete reconstruction and expansion to handle modern volumes of traffic.

Some major projects include much-needed repairs to the Parkway East, from the Squirrel Hill Tunnel to Monroeville, as well as replacement of the Commercial Street Bridge near the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. In addition, I-79 requires new pavement from the Neville Island bridge to I-279 in North Hills.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Nebraska - The Nebraska Transformational Project, referred to as NExT, is a public-private partnership that the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is proposing to state lawmakers. NExT would make Nebraska the national destination for all-hazard responses.

The plan is estimated to cost $2.6 billion and includes constructing a new teaching hospital as well as a research and education tower on UNMC's Omaha campus.

A bill (LB1084) has been introduced that would provide $300 million in state funding if federal and private funding conditions are met.

A major component of NExT is to provide a federal all-hazard disaster response military and civilian partnership for training in the management and care of infectious diseases and emerging threats.

The plan comes as a result of the Department of Defense's (DoD) requirement to create at least five major aeromedical transport hub regions, which is detailed in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

If the DoD chooses UNMC as one of the five sites, the project is likely to receive $1 billion in federal funding to begin construction. LB1084 would require $300 million in private funding before the state contributes its share of $300 million. Upon completion, the new center would be owned by Nebraska University.

Officials expect the DoD will make its decision in spring 2020.
XL Center
Connecticut - Gov. Ned Lamont released a $1.7 billion bond package that includes many construction and upgrade projects throughout the state. The next important step is to gain approval from the State Bond Commission.

Included in the bond package is a proposal for $200 million over a two-year period, which would fund construction, repair, and maintenance of highways, roads, bridges, and bus and rail facilities and equipment. Another large project calls for $55 million over two years for investments to renovate and improve the XL Center in Hartford.

Other items include $40 million over two years for upgrades to courthouses and other judicial buildings; up to $22 million over two years for research laboratories, telecommunications improvements, and advanced manufacturing programs for state colleges and universities.

The package also mentions major transportation projects, such as those that involve widening and improving interstates 84, 91, and 95. Projects must be approved by the State Bond Commission.
Kentucky - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) submitted its 2020 Recommended Highway Plan to state legislators, which includes hundreds of millions of dollars in road improvements and maintenance.

One major investment calls for $367.5 million to accelerate progress on the Mountain Parkway and Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing projects.

The plan also calls for investing $100 million over two years to improve safety conditions on rural roads and $8 million over two years for the installation of more than 100 miles of guardrail across Kentucky.

Annual investments would include $200 million for pavement improvements statewide and $80 million for the repair and replacement of critical bridges.
Project Clean Lake tunnel construction
Ohio - The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) in November 2020 for the design of the $325.8 million Southerly Tunnel as part of its effort to reduce Lake Erie pollution.

Plans call for a 3.41-mile, 23-foot diameter tunnel controlled by the Southerly Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station to send dry and wet weather flows to the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The tunnel is one part of Project Clean Lake, which will combine large tunnels, treatment plant improvements and expansions, and green infrastructure projects into a system designed to capture and treat more than 98 percent of wet weather flows by the time it is completed in 2036.

NEORSD has more than $1.2 billion in water and wastewater improvement projects in the pipeline for its 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan. The district scheduled the Southerly Tunnel design phase to begin in the first quarter of 2021 and construction to be awarded in early 2024.
Dr. Courtney Phillips
Louisiana - Gov. John Bel Edwards has not officially appointed a health secretary to replace Dr. Rebekah Gee, but two publications reported February 12 that Dr. Courtney Phillips would be named to the position.

Both the Texas Tribune and New Orleans Advocate cited unnamed internal sources stating that Phillips, executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), would be the next leader of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), the state's largest agency.

HHSC is Texas' largest state agency with a 2020-2021 budget of $78.5 billion, 40,000 employees, and 220 programs, according to its website.

Gee created the vacancy in Louisiana when she resigned as the state's health secretary, effective January 31. Edwards appointed LDH executive counsel Stephen Russo as interim health secretary.
Rendering of Navy Hill development
Virginia - The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System released details of a proposed complex in the Navy Hill project, a development that would provide much-needed facilities and services to people in downtown Richmond.

The project calls for redeveloping Navy Hill District's Block D between 9th and 10th streets, from Leigh Street to Clay Street. The complex, which would be built through a public-private partnership (P3), would include 250 physician-faculty office spaces; replacement facilities for The Doorways; a new Ronald McDonald House; child care and retail pharmacy spaces; other health care-related areas; space for retail shopping and dining; and more than 1,500 parking spaces.

Block D would be sold to a private developer, and facilities would be constructed to specifications defined by partners in the P3 agreement. The facilities also would require a long-term lease.

New facilities would feature suites to accommodate immuno-compromised patients, spaces for families and communities, and dozens of sleep rooms. Officials are anticipating the complex will open in 2021.
Rendering of Allen Road railroad crossing
Michigan - Officials from Wayne County, city of Woodhaven, and the Michigan Department of Transportation reached a tentative agreement on a $39 million plan to reconstruct a railroad crossing on Allen Road in Woodhaven.

Chronic traffic delays last up to 45 minutes during train crossings. On average, more than 30,000 vehicles, including 2,140 commercial trucks, traverse the Allen Road crossing daily and typically compete with nine trains.

The project will create a grade separation at Allen Road elevating the train crossing above the road, which will be lowered by more than 20 feet to allow motorists to pass freely under the bridge. Work also will include road reconstruction of both Allen and Van Horn roads as well as construction of a pump house and relocation of utility, water, and sewer lines.

Pending approval of the Wayne County Commission and Woodhaven City Council, the agreement will be finalized.
After that, the county will bid and award the projects over nine months. Officials anticipate project completion in three years.
Missouri - State lawmakers' long-term goal in Missouri is to build a hyperloop that can carry passengers from St. Louis to Kansas City in just 30 minutes.

Legislators recently introduced House Bill 1963 that would qualify tube transport systems for public-private partnerships (P3) under a state program.

Some legislators suggest building a 15-mile test track to study the concept's feasibility before moving forward with large-scale plans.

According to the proposed legislation, the hyperloop would be classified as a tube transport system eligible for financing through a P3 agreement, joining a list of other eligible items such as ports, ferries, and light rail systems.

The law also defines the hyperloop as a system in which pressurized passenger or freight pods ride on an air cushion via magnetic levitation as they are propelled by electric power through a vacuum tube.

Officials recommend a P3 agreement to build a test track at a projected cost of $300 million to $500 million. Estimates for a St. Louis-to-Kansas City track are about $10.4 billion. Currently, both cities are planning to bid to be home to the test track.
Funding for the first phase could come from federal and private sources. Research and testing could take up to seven years.
Alabama - The Mobile City Council voted to support a Gulf Coast passenger rail that will run between the port city and New Orleans. Starting in 2023, the city will begin committing funding over a three-year period for a total of about $3 million.

The city's support is dependent on four contingencies: Mobile's financial commitment will be limited to no more than $3.05 million from 2022 to 2024; a freight rail impact study will be completed, with any negative impact able to be mitigated; the impact study will evaluate the impact of widening and deepening the Mobile ship channel; and, Mobile will not fund any portion of the improvements along the freight line.

However, more work is necessary, including nearly $2.2 million in infrastructure improvements as well as construction of a train station. The total cost of improving tracks, siding, and switches is estimated at $5.79 million, with $2.89 million being financed through a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration.

Other stops planned for the route are the Mississippi cities of Pascagoula, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Bay St. Louis.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives

Alaska - John MacKinnon, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF), announced Rob Carpenter as the department's new deputy commissioner. Carpenter succeeds Mary Siroky who is retiring. He previously served for 20 years as a senior fiscal analyst with the state's Legislative Finance Division.

North Carolina - Gov. Roy Cooper named Eric Boyette as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Tracy Doaks as secretary of the Department of Information Technology (IT), effective at the end of February. Boyette, who currently serves as the state's IT secretary, will succeed Jim Trogdon who is retiring. Prior to his current role, Boyette was NCDOT's chief information officer (CIO), inspector general and Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner. Doaks currently serves as the state's chief deputy state CIO. Prior to joining NC DIT, Doaks worked for Duke Medicine, where she served as the Senior Director of Service Delivery. 

Ohio - Cincinnati Metro named John Ravasio as chief operating officer (COO) and Michelle Jeng as chief financial officer (CFO). Ravasio most recently served as director of employee and labor relations/employment law before being promoted to interim COO. Jeng joined Metro as senior director of treasury and then served as its interim CFO.

New Jersey - The city of Cape May appointed Jerry Inderwies Jr. as city manager on February 4. Inderwies Jr. previously served as a councilman, deputy city manager, and fire chief of Cape May. He succeeds Neil Young who resigned as city manager but retained his position as chief financial officer.
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