Volume 12, Issue 9 - Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Boulder County
Colorado - Boulder County commissioners approved a new transportation master plan that aims to increase opportunities for multimodal transportation, with 61 proposed projects that are estimated to cost a total of $2 billion to construct.

Projects range from expanding commuter rail and regional bus service, to redesigning intersections for increased safety, to building connector trails to promote biking.

To pay for the projects, commissioners say that they will use every funding source available, including federal and state governments, as well as public-private partnerships. Officials are also considering enacting a tax to help pay for the work.

High priority projects include expanding bus service along Colo. 119, improving Boulder's Downtown Station, and constructing the Downtown Longmont multimodal station at First Avenue and Main Street.
US Department of Transportation offices
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the availability of $1 billion in grants through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program. The USDOT issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for the discretionary funding in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20).

Grants are available for projects involving planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation. Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis that will consider which projects will have a significant local or regional impact.

Among the evaluation criteria are safety, quality of life, economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, state of good repair, innovation, and partnerships.

The USDOT plans to award 50 percent of BUILD program funding to projects in rural areas, which may receive a minimum award of $1 million. Projects in other areas are eligible to receive awards of at least $5 million and no greater than $25 million. Additionally, a single state cannot receive awards totaling more than $100 million.

The deadline to apply is May 18.
Courtesy of dbking
Georgia - The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will receive funding for rail and bus service in Atlanta, as well as in Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton counties after voters in all four jurisdictions of MARTA's service area approved a 1-cent sales tax.

The amendment allows MARTA to extend its long-term bonding capacity, maintain service levels, and advance expansion projects.

One major project that will receive funding is the Atlanta BeltLine project, which calls for transforming the route into a mixed-use corridor. The city of Atlanta plans to operate light-rail lines along 22 miles around the city's inner core, with proposed plans to connect MARTA's existing heavy-rail system and bus rapid transit (BRT) throughout the BeltLine. The light-rail projects will be completed in segments, with the first expected to enter the design phase by 2025.

Another key focus is to allocate $10 million to $15 million to rehabilitate each of MARTA's 40-year-old stations, which have not received any significant upgrades in their lifetime. This includes the Five Points Station, which will undergo a complete interior and exterior renovation.

MARTA's heavy-rail system will also receive improvements to its signal system, including a major investment to replace more than 11,000 electro-mechanical relays with new state-of-the-art devices. Officials plan to study available technologies this year and start developing specifications in 2021.

Through referendums, the city also plans to improve transit in underserved communities by increasing access to employment centers.
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Times are changing, and one of the most impactful trends in recent history should not be ignored - ever-increasing national debt. Every company, of any size and type, should avoid the cost that will result from ignoring this ongoing accrual.

The U.S. debt now exceeds $23 trillion, and that amount will be higher by the end of 2020. The consequences are obvious. Public funding for large government expenditures will be restricted. At the same time, public officials do not have the luxury of postponing infrastructure projects, replacing technology, or enhancing citizen services in health care and education. These projects must, and will, move forward.

Although public funding for critical initiatives will not be available to them, public officials will find ways to proceed. The move to public-private partnerships and collaborative initiatives will escalate quickly.

To be absolutely clear, infrastructure includes more than roads and bridges. Collaborative initiatives offered to public entities today include services that involve technology, education, health care, power, water, trash disposal, security, etc.

The time for government contracting firms to rethink their public sector offerings is now. Because of that, the SPI Team announces a new service offering to companies ready to look at the data and consider new ways to present their services and products. Collaboration will become the 'new norm' and we are prepared to help visionary firms develop a competitive advantage.

Interested in details? Send a note to mnabers@spartnerships.com, and I'll respond with a bit of information.
Rendering of I Street Bridge replacement
California - Sacramento and West Sacramento joined to select a final design for an estimated $210 million bridge to connect the cities and replace the I Street Bridge.

The I Street Bridge Replacement Project will include the construction of a new bridge upstream of the existing I Street Bridge. The bridge will provide a new connection across the Sacramento River between the Sacramento Railyards and the West Sacramento Washington Neighborhood planned developments. It will serve automobile, bicycle, transit, and pedestrian users.

Officials said they anticipate letting a design-bid-build (DBB) contract in 2022 with construction completion in 2023.

The existing I Street Bridge is more than 100 years old, its lanes are too narrow to serve buses, there are no bicycle lanes, and the sidewalks do not meet current accessibility standards.

I Street Bridge's lower deck will continue to serve as a railroad crossing, and the upper deck is being studied and planned for use by pedestrians and bicyclists. The approach viaducts to the existing I Street Bridge will be demolished, resulting in improved access to the waterfront in both cities.
City of Honolulu
Hawaii - State lawmakers are contemplating an underwater tunnel that would connect Ewa to downtown Honolulu. House Bill 1950 has been introduced and would require the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) to conduct a feasibility study of the route.

The tunnel would offer a direct connection between the regions and increase transportation capacity, as population growth is expected to double or triple traffic congestion in the coming decades. To maximize use of the tunnel, roadways would be expanded as needed.

A public-private partnership (P3) would be required to design, build, and operate the tunnel.

The legislation is awaiting a hearing in the House Finance Committee. If approved, the bill would appropriate funding to the HDOT for the study.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will award $520.5 million in Airport Improvement Program infrastructure grants to 287 airports in 41 states.

Officials are working to improve the funding award process through streamlining as well as cutting red tape and unnecessary regulations that do not contribute to safety.

Among the award recipients are Chicago O'Hare International Airport, which will receive $65 million for construction of a runway; Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which will receive $31.7 million for reconstruction of a runway; Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which will receive $24 million for construction of a taxiway; and the state of Wisconsin, which will receive $15.5 million for airport improvement projects across the state.
Bridgeton, Indiana covered bridge
Indiana - The state's Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced that more than $120 million in federal funding is being awarded to dozens of cities, towns, and counties in rural areas. A total of 52 recipients are receiving funds, which will be used on transportation projects such as road, bridge, and sidewalk improvements.

The money is dedicated to construction work for projects that will be bid during the fiscal year beginning in July 2025. For such projects, rural communities will be responsible for designing, developing, and purchasing land, while INDOT will contribute financially for design, engineering, and right of way acquisition.

Of the funding, nearly $87 million has been awarded to improving bridges, as 54 local bridges are currently rated as being in poor condition.

Other projects that have received funding include pavement resurfacing and reconstruction, traffic safety efforts, and Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) projects involving sidewalks, trails, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility.
Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina - Road upgrades could be coming to the state's rural areas, as South Carolina's budget has a nearly $2 billion surplus.

The bill would allocate $100 million in general funds, of which $77 million would go to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), and $23 million would be granted to counties in the budget year that begins on July 1.

The proposal comes two years after lawmakers approved a 12-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax hike, which would contribute to more than $600 million per year for road improvements.

Rural road conditions are one of the top complaints, and the funding would address much-needed work on two-lane areas throughout the state.
Courtesy of nolaships
Louisiana - Lawmakers announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will work to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet, an $85 million project that is part of the USACE's 2020 Work Plan.

The goal of the project is to allow more freight to travel through the Port of New Orleans.

Sediment taken from the Mississippi River will be used to rebuild the coast, which will improve the coastline's flood protection.
Other major construction funding projects in the USACE's 2020 Work Plan include $40.58 million for the J Bennett Johnston Waterway, $25 million for the SELA Algiers Sub-Basin project, and $18 million for the construction of disposal capacity containment dikes for the Calcasieu River and Pass.
OC Tanner Amphitheater
Utah - Dixie State University (DSU) is seeking consulting assistance in developing a request for proposals (RFP) for a possible partnership between the university and a private entity for the use of 81 acres of university land in Springdale, Utah, near Zion National Park. 

DSU would lease the land to a private entity for commercial development of some kind, possibly a hotel-resort-conference center.

One of the university's goals is the development and accommodation of an academic program in hospitality and hotel management. The university's OC Tanner Amphitheater, a 2,000-seat, outdoor facility with indoor conference space for approximately 200 people sits on the property.

The university issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for consulting applications. The deadline is March 10.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown delivers the State of the City.
New York - Mayor Byron Brown unveiled several new initiatives at his State of the City address on February 20 that focused on transforming Buffalo into a "City of Innovation."

Brown identified several new programs that will fund new housing, infrastructure, and connected technology.

One new initiative, Buffalo's Race for Place, will engage emerging workforce talent and determine the assets and offerings needed to foster the City of Innovation. By developing public-private partnerships (P3s), the city aims to create critical mass at downtown locations.

Brown announced a goal to build 2,100 housing units for this new workforce along a Knowledge Corridor stretching from Canalside to the University at Buffalo - South Campus.

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) to seek ideas from prospective development partners for the revitalization of its housing developments.

A $38 million Accelerate Buffalo Fund that supports business development and talent attraction will be presented to Buffalo City Council in the coming weeks. This fund aims to provide infrastructure improvements and technology upgrades such as car-sharing and free 5G technology.

City officials also continue to work with stakeholders on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to create Buffalo's first Smart Corridor along middle Main Street.
Toho Water Authority
Florida - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a $40.1 million loan for the Toho Water Authority in Kissimmee. The loan is made possible through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and will contribute to the authority's $81.9 million project to upgrade its sewer and wastewater treatment system.

One major goal of the project is to reduce sanitary sewer overflows that stem from problems related to the collection system. The project will involve work to repair, rehabilitate, and replace sewer mains, sewer lines, and manholes, along with other aging and damaged infrastructure.

Other benefits include helping the Toho Water Authority to meet its regulatory requirements and saving an estimated $7.9 million through use of the WIFIA loan instead of a bond issuance.
U.S. 50 Camino Safety Project
California - The U.S. 50 Camino Safety Project, a $55.4 million effort to improve safety along 6 miles of high-collision roadway east of Placerville, is getting an extension to its bidding period due to the number of inquiries. The bidding period will reopen March 4.

A major goal of the project is to improve safety by filling in gaps in the roadway's center median barrier.

The plan calls for installing a new barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes, along a 6-mile stretch between Still Meadow Road and Carson Road.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) wants to build a complete interchange at Carson Road; however, the agency has not been able to raise enough funding for such a project. The current project calls for constructing an undercrossing that will allow traffic from Carson Road to go underneath the highway and connect to Sierra Blanca Road, which will be extended south of the highway.

Culvert work is planned for the project, along with construction of a wildlife-crossing tunnel that will go under U.S. 50.

El Dorado County is contributing $7.3 million to the project, and the state is committing $5.5 million. The remaining portion is coming from the federal government.
Elk Rapids Grace Memorial Harbor
Michigan - Suttons Bay and Elk Rapids leaders are considering public-private partnership options as they discuss a pedestrian ferry linking the two Grand Traverse Bay villages.

Estimates for the non-vehicle ferry are up to $12 million.

The project would require construction of loading and unloading docks at both village harbors and possible dredging in Suttons Bay.

Project advocates are planning a cost-benefit analysis which would be followed by committing funds to a feasibility study.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives

Arkansas - The state's Highway Commission named Lorie Harris Tudor as director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) on February 20. Tudor will succeed Scott Bennett, who announced his retirement effective March 20. She previously served as ARDOT's deputy director and chief operating officer.

Ohio - Powell City Council appointed Andrew White as the new city manager, effective April 1. He will replace city manager Steve Lutz who is retiring. White currently serves as city manager of Huron, Ohio.

Illinois - The St. Clair County Public Building Commission named Bryan Johnson as the new director of the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois, effective April 3. He will succeed Tim Cantwell who is retiring. Johnson most recently served as a senior consultant for an aviation management consulting firm. Prior to that, he was airport director at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colorado.

Oklahoma - The state's Office of Management and Enterprise Services named Shelley Zumwalt as the agency's chief of innovation. Zumwalt most recently served as the chief of communications and strategic engagement at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Virginia - The Stafford County Board of Supervisors appointed Frederick Presley as county administrator, effective July 1. He will take over for retiring County Administrator Tom Foley. Presley currently serves as the county's deputy administrator. Before that, he was town manager for West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Texas - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner selected David Fields as the city's first chief transportation planner. Fields most recently served as principal planner at a private planning firm.
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