Volume 12, Issue 6 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Over the next few months 33 state legislatures will approve funding for new budgets. The remaining states already have a budget for 2020. A quick look at funding requests indicates an extremely positive marketplace for companies that contract with government. The following overview outlines some of the interesting projects that will be launched in the near future.

Virginia
Virginia's proposed budget includes funding requests for $135 billion for the next two years. The governor's two-year budget outlines a request for new funding of $400 million for water quality projects that are part of the state's $733 million allocation for environmental improvements. The proposed budget supports the Chesapeake Bay clean water blueprint which calls for investments in projects related to storm-water pollution, wastewater treatment plants and supporting efforts to curb nutrient runoff.

The state hopes to meet a 2025 deadline for bay restoration, and alternative power companies will be pleased to know that the state's proposed budget creates an Office of Offshore Wind. Additionally, there's an allocation for up to $40 million for upgrades to the Portsmouth Marine Terminal with a plan to secure new investments in the offshore wind supply chain. The budget also provides $10 million for a revolving loan fund to enable investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Long Island Railroad Elmont Station rendering
New York - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced $8.8 billion for transit projects that it will address throughout 2020, the majority of which were funded in previous capital plans but ultimately did not progress.

During the first quarter of 2020, more than $964 million will go toward modernizing signals for the A, C, and E lines, as well as toward Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility at Livonia Avenue station on the L train. Also during this time, work will progress on Phase 1 of the 33rd Street Corridor project and on the Metro-North Harlem River Bridge.

In the second quarter, more than $2.5 billion will be spent on ADA accessibility at four Bronx stations and Phase 2 of the 33rd Street Corridor project. Other projects include infrastructure repairs to lines 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Brooklyn; elevator and escalator improvements at 11 stations; a new Long Island Railroad (LIRR) station in Elmont; and improvements to overhead rail power wires in western Queens.

During the third quarter, $1.6 billion will go toward ADA accessibility at six stations, structural repairs on the 7 Line, and LIRR signal modernization from Babylon to Patchogue.

During the final part of 2020 and into 2021, more than $3.5 billion will be spent on ADA accessibility at three stations, a new substation at Canal Street and 8 Avenue, the purchase of 25 standard buses, and the Second Avenue Subway Phase II, among other projects.
Virginia - Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing a $3.7 billion rail plan to double passenger rail service over the next 10 years and reduce traffic fatalities on state highways.

If no action is taken, the state's transportation fund is expected to fall below $500 million by 2030.

Funding is needed to repair and replace near end-of-life infrastructure, as well as other critical transportation projects.

The governor's proposal would establish a Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to manage rail lines, passenger service contracts, and the expected growth in rail transportation.
 
Northam's proposal also includes initiatives allowing for expanded use of speed cameras and other measures to reduce traffic fatalities, which have increased about 15 percent over the past five years.

The proposal also addresses barriers to transit use with a new incentive program that would encourage ridership in urban areas. This program calls for establishing regional bus lines, integrating fare payment systems, and paying for construction of bus-only lanes.
Jackson, Mississippi
Mississippi - Officials with the city of Jackson are researching smart street technology built into pre-cast concrete slabs as they address an estimated $4 billion backlog in street, water, and wastewater infrastructure repairs.
Seventy percent of the city's streets are rated as failing. Planners project it will take 10 years and $2 million to rehabilitate all 800 linear miles.

The city's 1 percent sales tax is generating revenues that city leaders are appropriating for road repairs. In 2019, the commission that oversees the fund approved $40 million for street paving projects.

As they plan improvements and repairs to the aging street system, Jackson city officials envision building technology into roads that will interface with the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technology solutions.

City officials said they are developing partnerships now that will allow them to take advantage of the data collected by future smart street infrastructure.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan - During her State of the State address, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Rebuilding Michigan plan that includes an additional $3.5 billion in funding for roads and bridges over the next five years.

Rebuilding Michigan will address 122 major new road projects involving high-volume corridors. These include freeway and non-freeway roads that have the greatest economic impact and the most average passenger vehicles per day.

The governor's plan will allow the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to perform nearly twice as much construction work on I-, U.S.-, and M-numbered routes, however the funding will not be used for repairs to local roads.

Because new pavement has a lifespan of 25 to 35 years, the plan calls for reconstructing highly-trafficked routes. This will save about $365 million over time compared to resurfacing the roads, which would only extend pavement lifespan by five to seven years. One such project involves Interstate 275 in Detroit, which was being let as a resurfacing job. It will now become a reconstruction project. 

On January 29, the State Transportation Commission approved the governor's plan to borrow funds to pay for the road and bridge projects.
Pennsylvania - Gov. Tim Wolf proposed $1 billion in state funding to remediate schools that still contain lead and asbestos materials.

Lead and asbestos are still present in many structures and water systems, especially in Philadelphia. The governor's $1 billion would be made available through grants as part of the state's expansion of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Grants would fund remediation efforts in affected schools.

The proposal is part of the governor's 2020-21 budget.

Support for the measure is expected to be high, as asbestos has forced the closure of six schools as well as an early childhood education enter.
Florida - Officials revealed Miami's new resiliency and sustainability plan, called the Miami Forever Climate Ready strategy, which outlines the city's efforts for a more sustainable future.

The plan aims to address several issues over the next 40 years, including flooding and environmental challenges, as well as carbon emissions.

According to the strategy, Miami will become more resilient to climate change by achieving five goals. These include ensuring decisions and investments are data-driven; ensuring Miami residents and businesses are informed, prepared, and engaged; protecting and enhancing the city's waterfront; investing in smart, resilient infrastructure; and promoting adaptive neighborhoods and buildings.

Much of the strategy focuses on combating sea level rise through a storm water master plan, which will detail crucial areas for the city to place pumps and pipes, raise sea walls, and elevate roads. The storm water master plan is expected to be finished early next year.

The strategy also mentions ways to decrease carbon emissions by using electric vehicles and planting more trees.
Officials are still contemplating funding sources for the plan.
North Carolina - Raleigh-Durham International Airport plans to expand its Terminal 1 by adding as many as 15 gates. Planners expect to have a proposal ready in April, at which time they will present their plan to the airport's governing board.

Three options are being considered, which involve adding seven, 12, or 15 gates to Terminal 1 to accommodate a recent growth in airport traffic. Adding seven or 12 gates could cost $500 million but would not require significant changes to the road and drop-off zone in front of the terminal.

If the proposal is approved in April, it will take at least five years to design and construct the expansion before opening it to passengers.

The airport also approved a contract to construct two additional security lanes in Terminal 2, which will be built in space previously occupied by a restaurant and several offices.
SC 160-Interstate 77 interchange rendering
South Carolina - The state's Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is planning $30 million to $60 million in reconfiguration improvements at the interchange of SC 160 and Interstate 77.

The SC 160 interchange reconfiguration will improve access to and from I-77 Exit 85, as well as, widen SC 160 from Sutton Road to US 21. Improvements may include the widening of the existing SC 160 bridge or additional structures spanning I-77. More than 30,000 vehicles travel on these roadways every day, and traffic is expected to increase two-fold over 20 years.

SCDOT is exploring four project alternatives: a diverging diamond interchange, single-point urban interchange, a directional interchange, and a no-build option. Project goals are to enhance traffic operations, increase roadway capacity, reduce traffic congestion, and improve safety.

The department plans to identify the preferred alternative in spring 2020, complete right-of-way acquisitions in fall 2020-2022, start construction in late 2022, and complete the project in late 2024.
Pulaski Street Elementary School
New York - Riverhead Central School District will propose two issues to voters on Feb. 25, as the district aims to address several infrastructure and security needs with its latest capital expansion and improvement plan.

Two community meetings are scheduled to take place before the vote, and the district is inviting all community members to attend.

First on the ballot will be an $87.7 million proposal to address spatial, infrastructure, and security needs. The second issue, which will only take effect if Proposition 1 is approved, will be an $8.8 million proposal for funding improvements to athletic facilities, adding parking capacity, and creating a fairgrounds entrance.

About 50 percent of the $87.7 million proposal will go toward the addition of a two-story wing at the high school, which is over capacity with 2,035 students. The funds would also put in place new support spaces, cafeteria, serving line, and gym lockers.
 
Pulaski Street Elementary School would receive $15.4 million to add 10 classrooms, four support classrooms, and physical education space. Phillips Avenue Elementary School would receive $2.1 million to remove three modular classrooms and convert them into permanent spaces within the building. Roanoke Avenue Elementary School would receive $495,243 to create four support spaces at its upper mezzanine balcony. 

Major district-wide items include parking lot construction, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, safety and security improvements, and repairs and replacements of roofing systems, boilers, and toilets at all buildings.

If the issue is approved by voters, the new facilities could be finished as early as September 2023.
Rendering of proposed Nebraska state building
Nebraska - The state will seek a public-private partnership (P3) to build a four-story $58.6 million building in Lincoln to house its departments of banking, insurance, and revenue.

Department of Administrative Services (DAS) officials presented schematic design plans for the new building to the Legislature's Appropriations Committee on January 30. The combined office building and parking garage will be located on the Capitol grounds' geothermal well.

DAS will continue with developing design documents and will issue a request for proposals (RFP) in summer 2020 to interested developers. The new office building is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2022 and will include two levels of parking with over 400 parking stalls.

Under the P3 model, it is estimated the state will save about $35 million over 30 years compared to the cost of leasing space over the same time.
Washington, D.C. - California, Texas, Michigan, and Wisconsin are in line to benefit from their lack of broadband services in rural areas after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the first phase of the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund on January 30.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will subsidize the construction of high-speed broadband in 48 states through a reverse-auction format over 10 years. The FCC's goal is to connect the nation's estimated 6 million rural residence and small businesses to high-speed broadband networks.

California's 421,000 bid-eligible sites led the country followed by Texas' 381,000 sites, Michigan's 286,000 sites, and Wisconsin's 271,000 sites. Locations in Alaska and New York are not eligible because they have established programs to fund rural broadband.

During the first phase, the FCC would target $16 billion to areas that are wholly unserved by such broadband where download service of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps is not available.

For the second phase, the FCC would use its new granular broadband mapping approach, called the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, to target unserved households in areas that are partially served by such broadband areas where some households have access to 25/3 Mbps service but others do not. The second phase also would include areas that do not receive winning bids in the initial phase.

The FCC will require winning bidders in the first phase to offer the supported broadband and voice service to all eligible homes and small businesses within the awarded areas, as determined by the Wireline Competition Bureau.
Montana - Officials with the Montana Heritage Center (MHC) committee held their first design meeting to begin conceptual planning of the new building. The committee discussed opportunities and concerns regarding the site's access, visibility, and parking, and members ultimately agreed to exploring a ground-level addition to the current building.

Members also approved considering an option to hire a construction manager/general contractor instead of selecting a partner based on the lowest bid for the project estimated to cost $52.7 million.

The committee seeks to create a building that is as efficient as possible, and that might adhere to third-party certifications such as U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or the Green Building Initiative.

Although a final design has yet to be selected, preparations are already being made for construction, with temporary parking designs currently being created. The new heritage center will be located at 6th and Roberts.

Teams also performed a 3-D scan of the MHC building. The committee anticipates construction will begin as early as this summer.
Illinois State - Center for the Performing Arts
Illinois - Gov. JB Pritzker released the remaining $52.3 million in funding for the state's project to create an integrated fine arts complex at Illinois State University. The total cost of the project is $62 million, and will involve a combination of renovation, demolition, and new construction work.

Funding comes through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

The Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts will receive major renovations that will improve instructional spaces for a number of facilities. These include Centennial East, Centennial West, the Center for the Visual Arts, and the Center for the Performing Arts.

Most of the buildings are not designed for modern use, and also require frequent repairs to maintain safety.

Also part of the plan is 67,000 square feet of new construction to accommodate music, theater, dance, visual arts, and classroom space.

A detailed construction timeline has not been released, but the work will be carried out in phases. The state will continue working on the architectural planning and design phase.
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which allocates grant funding for transit bus projects.

The NOFO was issued on January 30 and will close on March 30.
Grant funding is part of the Buses and Bus Facilities Program, which provides financial assistance for projects that involve replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing, or leasing buses or bus-related facilities.

Eligible projects include those that involve buses, vans, and related equipment, as well as those that involve technological changes or innovations for the modification of low- or no-emission vehicles or facilities.

Eligible applicants include fixed-route bus operators, including those at the state and local levels, as well as Native American tribes.
 
The program will provide federal funding for 80 percent of a capital project's cost. This share may be greater for eligible projects involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), and some bicycle projects.

Funds will remain available for four fiscal years.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE


Washington - State Commerce Director Lisa Brown announced Kendrick Stewart as the state's new deputy director of commerce on January 30. He succeeds Martin McMurry who had been serving in an interim capacity after Connie Robins retired in November 2019. Stewart joins the commerce department from the Washington Department of Enterprise Services where he was human resources and safety director and equity inclusion manager.

Colorado - The Regional Transportation District of Denver appointed Paul Ballard as interim general manager and chief executive officer on January 28. He takes over for Dave Genova who announced his retirement in late 2019. Ballard previously served as chief executive officer for Trinity Metro which serves Fort Worth, Texas.

Florida - The city of Homestead named Cate McCaffrey as its new city manager on January 22. She had been serving as interim city manager since October 2019 after George Gretsas resigned. McCaffrey previously worked as assistant city manager for Homestead.

Utah - The Grand County Council recently appointed Andrew Solsvig as director of the Canyonlands Fields Airport. He succeeds interim airport director Tammy Howland. Solsvig was the assistant airport director and operations manager at the Eagle-Vail Regional Airport in Eagle County, Colorado.

Ohio - The Clinton County Port Authority named Jennifer Ekey as economic development director. Ekey previously served as the economic development director for the Ohio cities of Middletown and Harrison.

South Carolina - The Winthrop University board of trustees appointed George Hynd as interim university president on January 31. Hynd will serve in the role from March 1 to June 30, 2022. He most recently served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
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