Volume 12, Issue 16 - Wednesday, April 15, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

The world as we know it has changed rapidly and dramatically in the last few months. Normalcy is but a memory at this moment in time.

People are losing their jobs, businesses are closing, people are struggling, and some are dying. This is truly a sad time in history because of COVID-19. But, better days are ahead, and we will survive. I'm convinced that it is important though to take note of what's ahead. Our future world will be filled with significant changes.

We have entered into a new industrial revolution. That is evident. Our lives and our businesses are destined to be forever more technology-oriented than we may be anticipating. In the near future, we will do business in different ways.

COVID-19 is ushering in a new industrial revolution that will revolve around the merging of technology, science, research and health care. The role of health technology overall will be a permanent change. Additionally, the partnering of health-related research, science, and technology has unleashed more creativity and innovation than world leaders could have ever envisioned only a few months ago.

It is astounding to consider some of the innovation that has occurred and a little overwhelming to ponder how it will impact our lives and our work. Health tech, or digital health, which involves the use of databases, applications, mobile apps, wearables and more to improve delivery, payments and services will spill over into all other types of other services and deliverables.

Artificial intelligence (AI) that scans millions of health records in minutes, 3-D printing of health equipment, hands-free door opening devices for individuals, big data analysis, wrist mounted disinfectant sprays, snood masks with antiviral coating, drones that disinfect large air spaces or carry sensors with thermal testing capabilities - these are but a few of the new innovations that will impact our future.

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of the Treasury published guidelines this week for state, local, and territorial governments seeking financial assistance from the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the fund for states and also for 171 cities, counties, and local governments with populations greater than 500,000 to cover expenses incurred due to COVID-19.

These governments must not have included these expenses in budgets they approved as of March 27. The timeframe for incurred expenses is between March 1 and December 30.

Allocations paid to states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and other local governments will be based on the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent population data.

States receiving the most relief funding are:
●  California - $15.32 billion
●  Texas - $11.24 billion
●  Florida - $8.33 billion
●  New York - $7.54 billion
●  Pennsylvania - $4.96 billion
●  Illinois - $4.91 billion
●  Ohio - $4.53 billion
●  Georgia - $4.12 billion
●  North Carolina - $4.06 billion

The amount of payments made to each state will be reduced by the aggregate amount of payments that will be disbursed to eligible local governments within that state that have provided the required certifications to the Treasury.

Applications and certifications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST April 17 in order to receive funds within the 30-day period specified by the CARES Act.
Arizona highway construction
Arizona - The State Transportation Board is set to make its final decision on June 19 to determine what projects will be included in the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) 2021-2025 Tentative Five-Year Transportation Facilities Program.

The draft document includes more than $5.14 billion in bridge, highway, interchange, and other transportation facility construction, improvement and preservation projects with more than $2 billion of that total programmed for Maricopa County initiatives.

Some of the largest projects under consideration for the plan are:
  • Interstate 10 widening from I-17 Split to State Road 202L Santan - $685.34 million;
  • SR 30 Tres Rios - new highway construction from SR 303L to SR 202L - $539.42 million;
  • SR-202L - new highway construction from I-10 to 76 - $469.91 million;
  • Interstate 17 widening - Anthem Way to Cordes Junction - $356.51 million;
  • SR 303L - extension from Van Buren Street to Cotton Lane - $304.63 million;
  • I-10 widening from SR-202L Santan to Riggs Road 161 to 187 - $244.64 million;
  • U.S. 60-Grand Avenue-35th Avenue-Indian School Road intersection reconstruction - $162.69 million;
  • Sky Harbor West Airport Access - Interchange on I-10 at 150 and 151 - $100 million;
  • I-17 reconstruction from I-10 to 19th Avenue milepost 197 to 201 - $77.76 million; and,
  • U.S. 93 widening at Interstate 40 interchange - $71.2 million.
An average of about $310 million per year would be allocated to preservation of bridges and roadways throughout the state highway system. Preservation projects include repaving highways, filling potholes, extending the life cycle of existing pavement, and repairing or reconstructing bridges. Approximately 67 percent of all funding allocated to Greater Arizona will be directed to preservation projects from fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2025.

Spread over the five years, more than $687.87 million would be spent on pavement rehabilitation throughout the state with $648 million of that expected in federal aid, $170.11 million on various highway safety projects, and $95 million on study, planning, and research support.

Almost $101 million would be programmed for design and construction of minor projects with $93.64 million of that anticipated in federal aid, and more than $88.81 million in federal dollars would go toward $94.18 million in minor and preventative pavement preservation.

The plan also would set aside $35 million for public-private partnerships (P3s).
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on April 14 announced the award of about $10 billion to commercial and general aviation airports from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program.

USDOT's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ready to deliver CARES Act grants in April to eligible airports throughout the nation. The grants will provide economic relief to airports around the country affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta will receive $338.53 million, the largest funding amount among U.S. airports.

Some of the airports receiving large payments are Los Angeles International with $323.63 million, San Francisco with $254.78 million, and San Diego with $91.22 million.

Texas airports are set to receive more than $810 million with Dallas-Fort Worth collecting $299.2 million and George Bush getting $149.19 million.

Denver's airport is set to receive $269.07 million, Chicago O'Hare will get $294.44 million, Phoenix Sky Harbor will get $147.88 million, Boston's Logan airport will collect $141.34 million, and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County will get $141.88 million.

New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports will receive $193.39 million and $102.93 million, respectively. Miami at $206.95 million, Orlando at 170.7 million, and Fort Lauderdale at $134.96 million top the list of Florida airports receiving funds.
McCarran International in Las Vegas was awarded $195.49 million, Seattle-Tacoma - $192.13 million, Newark Liberty - $147.52 million, Washington-Dulles - $143.39 million, Charlotte-Douglas airport in North Carolina - $135.57 million, Minneapolis-St. Paul airport - $125.17 million, and Philadelphia - $116.28 million.

This funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the pandemic. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

The CARES Act also provides funds to increase the federal share to 100 percent for grants awarded under the fiscal year 2020 appropriations for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Supplemental Discretionary grants. Under normal circumstances, AIP grant recipients contribute a matching percentage of the project costs.
Firehouse at Historic Albuquerque Rail Yards
New Mexico - The city of Albuquerque issued a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) on April 3 from developers and businesses seeking a public-private partnership (P3) to redevelop the first phase of the Historic Albuquerque Rail Yards.

The Rail Yards Master Plan's mission is to revitalize the Historic Santa Fe Atchison & Topeka Steam Locomotive Repair Facility into a vibrant district within the city's urban center focusing on the preservation of the industrial-era monuments and celebrating the communities surrounding them. 

Specifically, the RFEI is seeking expressions of interest to develop and lease the 1.1-acre Northern Entrance Rail Yards parcel that includes the former repair facility's Firehouse, Waste & Paint Room, Pattern House, and the area between these buildings.  

City goals for this project are catalytic activation of the Rail Yards, contribution to Rail Yards Master Plan (RYMP) goals, site synergy, and inclusion of local, small, minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises. 

Per the RYMP, the Firehouse and Waste & Paint Rooms are on Parcel 9, which is zoned for commercial, retail, restaurant, service, housing, and public uses. The Pattern house is on Parcel 10, which is zoned for business professional uses, office, light manufacturing, training/education, and retail. 

Development of the site is one phase of the larger 27-acre Rail Yard redevelopment project. The city is actively investing in the Rail Yards by conducting environmental remediation activities, extending utilities, planning for bike and pedestrian connectivity, and creating public spaces such as the Rail Yards Plaza, which opened in 2019. 

RFEI applications are due by 3 p.m. MT July 17.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses multi-state council.
Washington, D.C. - Seven East Coast states created a council and three West Coast states entered a pact on April 13 to develop plans for reopening and restoring their economies.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island governors announced a multi-state council assigned to gradually lift stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased coronavirus spread.

Their council will include one health expert, one economic development expert, and chiefs of staff from each state.

California, Oregon, and Washington governors formed the Western States Pact designed to reopen their economies and control the virus into the future.

The group will focus on four goals of protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease, ensure the care of those who are suffering from COVID-19 and other conditions, mitigate non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, and protect the general public.

They stated that any successful lifting of state requirements would require developing a system for testing, tracking, and isolating and sharing of best practices.
Robert A. Stewart Bridge in Columbus, Indiana
Indiana - Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced the state would distribute more than $126.56 million in state matching funds for local road projects under the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative.

More than 210 cities, towns, and counties in Indiana will receive the funds from the latest round in which the total amount of funding requested exceeded dollars available.

To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds: 50 percent for larger communities or 25 percent for smaller communities, from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction.

In response to local requests to help manage project flow, INDOT now accepts applications in both January and July, with a $1 million cap annually per community. An estimated $100 million will be available for communities opting to apply during the July 2020 call for projects.
Tulsa levee
Oklahoma - A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) final report is expected by May 1 after federal engineers accelerated a feasibility study of the Tulsa-West Tulsa levee system by 18 months.

Completion of the study is a prerequisite to funding and starting repairs across the 20-mile system. Recommended improvements include filtered berms with toe drains, a landslide impervious blanket, pump station reconstruction, and detention ponds.

Design and pre-engineering could take up to two years with construction taking several additional years.

Total project costs are estimated at approximately $150 million to $200 million. The federal government will cover approximately 65 percent of costs, and local city and county governments will be expected to cover the remaining 35 percent.
Screenshot of Private Kit: Safe Paths app
Massachusetts - Three local governments in the U.S. were set to sign letters of intent last week to use a new location tracking app to help prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks.

MIT and Harvard professors and researchers developed the free, open-source Private Kit: Safe Paths app with a team of epidemiologists, engineers, data scientists, digital privacy evangelists, and other public and private sector partners.

After a user installs the Private Kit: Safe Paths app, the system's trail generator logs the device's location once every five minutes to create a 28-day "location trail."

The system relies on "chirps," which are Bluetooth signals communicated between Private Kit users' phones, to record contacts of app users in close proximity to each other.

The app allows users who contract COVID-19 to opt to provide their 28-day location trail to their health official. Using the web app Safe Places, the health official redacts the patient's personally identifiable information from the location trail. Then, the location trail is released, and the Private Kit app notifies users who came in close contact with a diagnosed patient. A healthy user's data never leaves his or her phone.

The agreements with local governments cover collaboration, training, and support. A MIT spokesperson said 17 more communities across the nation are considering launching the app within the next two weeks. He declined to name the specific communities, but he said they range from some of the largest U.S. cities to remote vacation communities.

Stanford University and the University of Southern California also are developing location tracking apps, some of which may interface with the Private Kit app.
Virginia - School construction and renovation funding could get a boost if state legislators approve Gov. Ralph Northam's amendments to a gaming law referendum proposed for November's election.

Both the Virgina House and Senate passed SB 36 that would allow the cities of Danville, Bristol, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond to hold separate public referendums to determine if they wanted to allow a maximum of one privately owned casino to do business in each city.

Under the proposed bill, two-thirds of the state's portion of casino gaming revenues would go to Virginia's general fund. Northam proposed a policy amendment on April 11 that would commit the funding to K-12 school construction, renovation, and repairs.

The legislative session is set to reconvene on April 22. If lawmakers approve the governor's amendment, SB 36 becomes law and the five cities would be allowed to place the local referendums on the November 3 ballot.

A study last year by a joint audit and review commission projected the combined revenues of the five casinos at more than $900 million within five years.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently released a 2019 National Bridge Inventory database that reported 37 percent of the country's bridges need major repairs or replacement.

Of the 231,000 that need work, 46,154 spans are rated in poor condition and deemed "structurally deficient." The database identifies 81,000 bridges that should be replaced.

The cost to repair or replace all 231,000 bridges is estimated at $164 billion, based on Federal Highway Administration data.

States with the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges are Rhode Island (22.3 percent), West Virginia (21 percent), Iowa (19 percent), South Dakota (17 percent), and Pennsylvania (15.3 percent).

Iowa, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Missouri top the list of states with the largest number of structurally deficient bridges.

Among the specific bridges in need of repair are:
  • Brooklyn Bridge - New York;
  • Teddy Roosevelt bridge - Washington, D.C.;
  • San Mateo-Hayward bridge - California;
  • Robert S. Maestri Bridge - Louisiana;
  • Albemarle Sound and Lindsay C. Warren bridges - North Carolina;
  • Pensacola Bay Bridge - Florida;
  • Vicksburg Bridge - Mississippi; and,
  • Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge - Washington.
Twelve states showed increases in the number of structurally deficient bridges over five years including West Virginia by 472, Illinois by 260, Florida by 131, Missouri by 80, and Montana by 77.
Elk River Public Safety Facility
Minnesota - Elk River councilmembers approved funding on April 6 for the design of a third fire station and improvements to the city's Public Safety Facility financed by its building reserve fund.

During their videoconference meeting, they determined that the city's architectural firm would begin preliminary design work on the city's Fire Station No. 2 at the Public Safety Facility by fall 2020 with work on Fire Station No. 3 to come later.

Per the city's request for proposals for design services in late 2019, a 17,500-square-foot satellite station would be built in east Elk River.

At the Public Safety Facility, about 3,800 square feet of additional space would be built at Station No. 2 for station personnel support spaces including locker rooms, showers, offices, kitchen, and dayroom facilities. It also would feature expansion of the training room used for the Fire Academy and upgrades to office space, including the expansion and security of the front entrance.

For the Police Department, which also is located in the Public Safety Facility, the project scope includes expansion of the indoor parking garage to accommodate 26-plus squad cars, the completion of an interior renovation, and expansion of a 4,000-square-foot second floor space to improve security and workspace efficiency to accommodate department growth. In addition, modifications will be made to the main floor secured entrance and improvements made to existing work stations/roll call areas.

Once construction designs, plans, cost estimates, and specifications are prepared, the city will seek bids for a general contractor for the construction services.
New York City essential construction map
New York - The city of New York Department of Buildings (DOB) launched a new interactive map tool that identifies emergency or essential construction sites that are allowed to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Real-time updates to the map create an evolving database of essential and emergency construction projects throughout the city.

The map identifies construction work involving affordable housing, hospitals, health care facilities, and utilities. It also includes emergency work to protect the safety or health of building occupants, restore essential service such as heat and electricity, or projects where stopping the work would create an unsafe condition.

It does not include construction sites outside of DOB jurisdiction - for example, sites in New York City under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), or the federal government.
Massachusetts - The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute is advocating the creation of a new public health workforce similar to the Peace Corps or Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Such a workforce would address gaps in community and public health staffing and resources and a growing number of unemployed workers.

Doctors say these specialized workers could help conduct contact tracing, which is the monitoring of individuals who have been in contact with an infected person, such as family members, friends, co-workers, or health care providers.

They also could deliver food to residences, facilitate telehealth appointments, and collect and distribute home essentials.

When not engaged in a public health crisis, the public health workforce could support health care systems by providing education and advocacy in communities and assisting individuals suffering from undertreated chronic illnesses.

Health care officials are looking for potential sources of funding that could include the $4.3 billion in stimulus funding that will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to disperse to state health departments.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE


Washington - Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Judge Helen Whitener to the Washington State Supreme Court on April 13. She replaces Justice Charles Wiggins, who retired from the bench in March. Whitner most recently served as a judge for the Pierce County Superior Court. Prior to that, she was a judge on the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

Florida - The Jacksonville Transportation Authority selected Bonnie Todd as chief operations officer and senior vice president. Todd previously served as executive director of operations at Sound Transit in Seattle and chief of safety and security at Miami-Dade Transit.

California - Long Beach City Council unanimously approved Tom Modica as its new city manager on April 14. He was appointed acting city manager in September 2019 following the departure of City Manager Patrick West. Modica previously served as Long Beach's assistant city manager, director of government affairs, and acting director of development services among other leadership positions with the city.

New York - The State University of New York (SUNY) named Maurie McInnis as president of Stony Brook University, effective July 1. She will take over for interim President Dr. Michael Bernstein who filled the position after Dr. Samuel Stanley stepped down in August 2019. McInnis previously served as executive vice president and provost at The University of Texas at Austin and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Virginia.

Wisconsin - The Marathon County Board appointed Lance Leonhard as county administrator on April 10. Leonhard has served as interim county administrator since January. Previously, he was the county's deputy administrator and deputy corporation counsel. Prior to joining county administration, he was an assistant district attorney in Marathon County.

Texas - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed Brint Ryan as the chair of a new business task force on April 7. Ryan currently is the chair of the Advisory Board on Tax Policy that reports to the lieutenant governor. He also serves on the board of regents of the University of North Texas System. 
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