Volume 12, Issue 11 - Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Screenshot of Mobile River Bridge video
Alabama - The Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization (Mobile MPO) and the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization (Eastern Shore MPO) proposed the Mobile River Bridge and Expressway Project to address increasing traffic congestion on Interstate 10 between Mobile and Baldwin counties.

The high-priority project will involve constructing a new, six-lane cable stay bridge over the Mobile River, as well as building 7.5 miles of new bridges over Mobile Bay to supplement the existing expressway route. These new bridges will include a four-lane divided expressway with two lanes in each direction, which will be built from the termination of the Mobile River Bridge to the Eastern Shore in Baldwin County.

Additionally, access will be limited along the expressway to address safety and access concerns. Projects include constructing a new diverging diamond interchange at Virginia Street on I-10 in Mobile; creating accessibility to U.S. highways 98 and 90 from the new expressway's eastbound route; creating accessibility to the existing causeway from the new expressway; and creating accessibility to the new expressway from U.S. 98 on the Eastern Shore.

In total, the project is estimated to cost more than $1.2 billion. Funding will be provided from state and federal sources.
City College of San Francisco
California - City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is getting $845 million for much-needed repairs and upgrades across all campuses after voters approved a March 3 bond measure.

As part of the measure, the bond funding will only be used for capital and infrastructure improvements.

The college's Ocean Campus is in need of critical repairs, with 70 percent of its buildings in poor or very poor condition. The campus has more than $450 million in deferred maintenance. Apart from making these repairs and additional renovations to existing buildings, the district plans to construct a new performing arts theater, child care facility, student union, and a science, engineering, arts, and math center.

At CCSF's Bayview Campus, school officials plan to renovate and expand the workforce training facility. Upgrades also will be performed on the buildings at 750 Eddy St., and general facility improvements will be made to CCSF's other campuses.

All projects align with the college's master plan, which was completed in 2019.
Illinois - Gov. JB Pritzker joined the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) on March 10 to announce the availability of $80 million in Rebuild Illinois funds for public infrastructure and economic development.

DCEO plans to issue a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to solicit funding applications from communities and stakeholders.

Of the $80 million, $50 million will be available for public infrastructure grants of up to $5 million by June 30. Projects eligible for investment include water and sewer main replacement, improvements to rail, air, or water ports; gas and utility extensions, and upgrades to publicly owned industrial and commercial sites. Other eligible projects are upgrades to water purification and waste disposal systems, maintenance of water towers, and dredging of waterways.

Available regional economic development grants total $16.5 million. Local governments, economic development organizations, nonprofits, and private companies are eligible to apply for these grants up to $2 million on a rolling basis. Funds may be used to support architectural planning and engineering design, land and building acquisition, demolition, costs related to site selection and preparation, utility work, and new construction, among other uses.

Illinois leaders also are providing up to $13 million in grants to support shovel-ready sites. Local governments, economic development organizations, nonprofit organizations, and private companies will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $2 million for most projects and $1 million for brownfield rehabilitation on a rolling basis. These funds will support investment in sites with significant economic development potential that require additional investment in order to become shovel-ready. Supported costs include site acquisition, environmental site assessment, architectural planning and engineering design, demolition, utility work, and other construction work related to site preparation and improvement.
Wisconsin road
Wisconsin - Gov. Tony Evers announced $75 million in grant funding awards to 152 communities across the state. The funding is made possible through the Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) program, and will fund projects that improve safety, connectivity, and economic growth.

The MLS program covers projects involving roads, bridges, transit capital and facilities, railroads, harbors, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

In Brown County, County Highway M will receive $1 million for road widening and improvements, including adding sidewalks, bike lanes, and controlled pedestrian crossing. Similar work will be performed on county highways throughout the state.

In total, 34 counties will receive funding, and the majority of projects involve road repairs and improvements. Work is expected to begin soon for many of the projects.
MassDOT South Coast Rail construction
Massachusetts - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is working to develop a planning study that will examine the use of passenger rail service in Buzzards Bay. The work would be part of the South Coast Rail project, which is currently underway with work to extend the Middleboro-Lakeville line.

Bourne has not had any specific talks with MassDOT, though officials have stated that they will conduct a high-level review of a tie-in train from Buzzards Bay.

The study will involve public outreach, which is expected to begin in the coming months.
California - Plans for the long-awaited $205 million Irvington Station in Fremont are taking shape after the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) board of directors recently approved a resolution of public compliance and an initial project report.

The future Irvington BART Station will be in the Irvington District at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Osgood Road, approximately halfway between the existing Fremont BART Station and the Warm Springs/South Fremont BART Station.

A Station Site Plan for the Irvington BART Station was previously designed as part of the Warm Springs Extension in 2003. More recently, an updated Station Site Plan was approved in August 2019.

Conceptual and environmental updates are nearly complete, and the next step is to begin design. Preliminary engineering will advance the design to 30 percent completion and will take approximately 14 months to complete.

Final design, right-of-way acquisition, and procurement are expected to follow with a goal of starting construction in 2022 and opening the station in August 2026.
Gulfstream Hotel
Florida - The city of Lake Worth Beach will seek voter input March 17 on two measures that would enable a public-private partnership (P3) designed to generate tourism dollars.

The first ballot measure would allow Lake Worth to generate tax revenues by leasing city-owned property at the complex in order to attract a private partner to develop a resort-style pool or aquatic center at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex.

Question 3 on the ballot would grant the city the ability to raise the maximum height allowed in the block where the Gulfstream Hotel is located. By raising the limit, the city could draw more interest from a potential developer who would renovate and operate the hotel, which was built in 1923 and opened in 1925. It joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Another ballot measure would permit the city to offer a 99-year lease for Palm Beach County to continue management and maintenance of the Jewell-Steinhardt Cove on the Intracoastal Waterway as a nature preserve.
Rendering of Huntsville City Hall
Alabama - The city of Huntsville is moving forward with its project to construct a new city hall, which officials hope will lead to more efficient administration as the city is projected to become Alabama's largest in the next few years. In total, the new building is estimated to cost $60 million. An architectural firm has already been selected, which recently took part in a public input session. 
 
Currently, government offices are spread throughout the city. The existing building, which is 56 years old, is too small to accommodate all departments. The new building will be constructed on the site of the municipal parking garage located at Gates Avenue and Fountain Circle, and will accommodate all offices, including the Urban Development Department. 
 
As part of the design process, a series of public input sessions will be held throughout 2020. Construction documents are expected to be complete in the third quarter of this year, with construction bidding to follow in the same period. A construction partner will be selected by the end of the year, and construction will begin in 2021 and last 18 months.
Phoenix Center rendering
Michigan - The city of Pontiac approved a $659,000 contract for architectural and engineering services for repairs needed for the Phoenix Center amphitheater and parking garage.

The contractor will begin work to bring the center up to code by fixing the center's lighting, elevators, and necessary structural components to meet the city's November 1 deadline.

Total costs for all repairs are estimated at $13 million to $16.5 million.

A design phase will take about three months to complete. Meanwhile, the City Council continues to explore how to pay for the center's improvements. Proposals include using the city's general fund and passing bonds.
Munger Landing
Minnesota - Munger Landing in western Duluth is the target of a new $19.35 million cleanup effort by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

MPCA officials announced on March 6 the selection of the cleanup remedy for sediment contamination at Munger Landing in the St. Louis River Area of Concern, which comprises several contaminated sites in the St. Louis River and Duluth Harbor.

The Wisconsin and Minnesota departments of natural resources and city of Duluth are partnering with the MPCA on the project that will remove about 121, 400 cubic yards of contaminated sediments. Contaminants of concern include lead, nickel, zinc, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins/furans.

If the MPCA is successful in reaching a Great Lakes Legacy Act project agreement, the project sponsors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could start the cleanup as soon as 2022. The EPA is scheduled to let the project as a federal contract in 2021.
Glasgow downtown square
Kentucky - The Glasgow Downtown Park Steering Committee is drafting a request for proposals (RFP) for design-build teams to develop a downtown amphitheater/market pavilion. The committee plans to have the RFP ready before the end of the month.

If the final draft is approved to be sent out for bid, design-build teams would have three or four weeks to submit their proposals.

At the committee's regular meeting, members discussed including environmentally friendly design and construction elements, such as solar energy power and permeable sidewalks.

The committee plans to fund construction of the project from a combination of public and private sources.
Kent State University campus area
Ohio - The city of Kent, Kent State University, and the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority (PARTA) approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to redevelop the city's business districts.

In total, the project will cost an estimated $20 million, and will include East Main Street.

The university aims to create a more vibrant environment by improving its surrounding infrastructure, such as roads, signals, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and mass-transit infrastructure. All three organizations will work together to find solutions that alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety along the East Main Street corridor from Willow Street to Horning Road.

The new agreement allows the organizations to pursue federal funding for the project.
Former Fall River police station
Massachusetts - The city of Fall River is drafting a new request for proposals (RFP) to seek a developer who will purchase and redevelop the site of the former Bedford Street police station.

City officials said their goal is to issue a RFP with a response deadline of April 24. They are targeting start of construction for June 2022 and building occupancy in June 2023.

Early indications are that the project scope will call for a mixed-use development with housing and first-floor commercial use in the 47,920-square foot four-story building.

The property has seen multiple owners over the years with the city reacquiring the tract in 2012 and commissioning an environmental site assessment in 2014. An auction attempt in 2019 did not produce a sale.
Davenport site photo
Iowa - Downtown Davenport is closer to having a world-class outdoor playground along its riverfront after its City Council approved a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a multi-million dollar recreation area.

According to the RFQ, the design competition calls for two phases, the first of which involves city leaders evaluating qualified consultants, and the second of which involves finalists being given $20,000 each to develop constructible plans.

The consultant that wins the competition will further develop the selected idea into a contract with the city. Finalists will be announced in April, and it will take about four months to determine a winner.

Officials estimate the 2-acre recreation site will cost about $3.5 million to construct. The city has accounted for this amount, though additional funding might become available through grants or public-private partnerships.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2022.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE


Georgia - The Cobb County Board of Commissioners appointed Dr. Jackie McMorris as county manager. She will succeed Rob Hosack, who is retiring April 1. McMorris most recently served as Cobb County's first deputy county manager. Prior to that, she was the county's publics services director.

Wyoming - The University of Wyoming board of trustees appointed Edward Seidel as the university's president on March 4. Seidel currently serves as vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System. He will take office in July.

Oregon - The city of Springfield selected Nancy Newton as its new city manager. She will succeed Gino Grimaldi who retired in June 2019. Newton currently serves as the assistant executive for Sacramento County in California.

Michigan - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer named Brom Stibitz as the state's new chief information officer (CIO). He will succeed David DeVries who stepped down in January 2019. Stibitz will retain his position as the chief deputy director for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

Washington - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport announced that Jeffrey Brown has been selected to serve as the new aviation chief operation officer. Brown most recently served as director of aviation facilities and capital programs for the Port of Seattle.

Maine - Gov. Janet Mills swore in Peter Rogers as director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on March 10. Rogers has served as acting director of MEMA since June 2019, his second stint as acting director, and as deputy director since 2014.
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