Volume 12, Issue 22 - Wednesday, May 27, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

As economies begin to reopen, one thing is clear. There is no guarantee that businesses, schools, and other commercial sites won't have to close again if COVID-19 escalates in the future.

Because of that possibility, the SPI Team has received numerous calls from companies that have decided it is time to diversify and move some of their resources into the government marketplace. We also believe that is an extremely wise decision.

Government does not shut down and government procurement officers purchase everything - products, services of all types, intelligence, staffing, etc. And, because so many governmental entities are working with constrained budgets, public officials are eager to hear about potential partnerships that reduce costs, generate revenue, stimulate economic vitality, or provide any type of operational efficiency.

So, below in this newsletter, you'll see a small announcement about a GUIDE that has been produced by the SPI Team. It is entitled Welcome to the Multi-Trillion Dollar Government Marketplace, and it was developed for companies that are trying to decide whether or not to move into government sales. The booklet, or guide, covers everything a company will need to consider, know, or learn. It offers a comprehensive look inside the government marketplace, and it outlines what it takes to be successful.

Most of this newsletter's readers are already interested in government, but this booklet is for companies that are not as knowledgeable or experienced in selling to government. I just wanted to explain a bit more about this unique resource.

Chain of Rocks Bridge
Missouri - Design phases are advancing for two of three portions of $1.2 billion in improvements to Interstate 270, a 24-mile major logistics corridor between St. Louis County and Madison County, Illinois.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials said construction has begun on the $700 million section of I-270 in Missouri that will include reconstruction of multiple interchanges, improved connections, and reconstruction of selected segments of the outer road.

Design is in process for the Mississippi River Chain of Rocks Bridge replacement project estimated to cost $223 million. Construction is anticipated to start within three to four years.

This project includes replacement of the existing two structures, constructed in 1966, over the Mississippi River, reconstruction of the Riverview interchange, and expanding capacity from four lanes to six lanes with shoulders.

Maintenance costs for the Chain of Rocks Bridge have continued to rise due to the age of the structure, increasing traffic volumes, and safety issue associated with narrow shoulders. At four lanes wide, the current bridge creates a severe freight bottleneck and is not equipped to handle the large freight flow increases forecast for the region.

The $290 million widening from the Mississippi River to Illinois Route 157 includes increasing the capacity of I-270 by expanding the 8.5-mile corridor from the Mississippi River to Illinois Route 157 from four lanes to six lanes.

This project, which is in the preliminary design phase, will help ensure the I-270/I-255 outer belt in the St. Louis region will have a minimum of six lanes to better accommodate future freight flows and reduce a severe freight bottleneck.
Washington, D.C. - Ten of the 15 fastest-growing large U.S. cities of 50,000 or more since 2010 were in the South, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released on May 20.

Frisco, Texas was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. from 2010 to 2019 with a growth rate of 71.1 percent. The city's population eclipsed the 200,000 mark during that time. Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas combined to equal 39.5 percent of the 2.4 million increase by the top 15 cities in numeric gain.

Among the 15 U.S. cities or towns with populations of 50,000 or more as of April 1, 2010, that had the largest numeric increases since 2010, eight were located in the South, five in the West, and one each in the Northeast and the Midwest.

Phoenix, Arizona, tops the list of the 15 largest numeric gainers with an increase of over 234,300 people or an average of 25,330 people per year between 2010 and 2019. Aside from New York, New York, and Columbus, Ohio, the other cities making up the list of the largest numeric gainers were located in the South or West.

Nine years after the 2010 Census, New York continued to be the nation's most populous city by a wide margin, with 8.3 million residents on July 1, 2019, followed by Los Angeles with almost 4 million and Chicago with about 2.7 million.
Interchange of interstates 285 and 20
Georgia - The State Transportation Board approved funding for a major interchange improvement project at interstates 285 and 20 on May 21.

Officials at the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) expect to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) on July 1 and a draft request for proposals (RFP) in November.

The design-build-finance project is estimated to cost $350 million to $450 million to design and construct under a 42-month timeline. Construction is scheduled to start in 2022 and finish for a 2025 opening.

Plans call for reconstructing ramps and constructing new collector-distributor lanes, auxiliary lanes along I-20 and I-285, and bridge replacements at Miller Road, I-20 over Snapfinger Creek, and Fairington Road.
Lane Community College Health and Wellness Center
Oregon - Voters approved several capital projects in the $121.5 million bond referendum held by Lane Community College (LCC) on May 19, according to unofficial state results.

Passage will authorize the college to direct $77 million to local workforce career investments that include:
  • Re-establishing a workforce development center;
  • Constructing a new building to house the college's Dental Clinic and expand health professions programs;
  • Expand manufacturing and technology programs;
  • Create a mobile manufacturing-welding lab; and,
  • Update the nursing program's simulation lab.

LCC will allocate $32.5 million toward safety and security updates and seismic retrofitting. Some LCC buildings are more than 50 years old and are seismically and structurally not up to code.

Other facility improvements include plans to make buildings and walkways more accessible, add automatic locks, secure learning spaces, and enhance communication tools. To ensure students are able to escape buildings in the event of a natural disaster, the college will reconstruct aging facilities.

The college will use $12 million from bond sales to update all science and biology laboratories with new equipment, ventilation hoods, and chemical storage. It also will install interactive technology and up-to-date classroom equipment and expand the Maxwell Student Veterans Center.
Elgin O'Hare Western Access Project
Illinois - Construction on sections of the Interstate 490 Tollway expansion in Chicago may commence after the Illinois Tollway board of directors approved two agreements on May 21 to acquire railroad property.

The railroads will allow the mutual exchange of property rights necessary for construction of the new I-490 Tollway extending south from the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) to the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) with interchanges creating new access into and around O'Hare International Airport and will enable improvements to rail operations in the Chicago Terminal area.

Construction of the new I-490 Tollway is planned to cross the Union Pacific Railroad at several locations, including where western access into and out of O'Hare International Airport is planned, as well as near the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) at the location of the future I-490/I-294 Interchange.

The new I-490 Tollway also is planned to cross over the Canadian Pacific at several locations including where western access to the airport is planned and in the railroad's Bensenville Yard. The project will require relocating Canadian Pacific tracks south of the yard.

In addition, the new property will advance adjacent projects supporting construction of Cook County's planned improvements to Touhy Avenue, which include replacement of the at-grade crossing at the Union Pacific Railroad with a new bridge that will relieve congestion and improve access to the north side of O'Hare International Airport.

More than 33 future contracts and $1.64 billion in unspent funds remain in the $3.27 billion project. The I-490 Tollway is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2025.
Microgrid equipment
California - The Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a minimum of six school microgrids.

According to the RFP, the district is looking for an applicant that can finance, design, permit, build, commission, own and operate, and maintain the microgrid infrastructure under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

The effort is part of a solar and resiliency project at 15 district locations designed to support SBUSD's self-sufficient power operations. This ability will aid the district during utilities' planned power outages to avoid causing wildfires.

Other anticipated benefits are energy resiliency, lowered electricity costs, a reduced carbon footprint, and shaded campuses.

Proposals are due June 25. SBUSD officials plan to award the contract on August 25.
Rendering of Block 65 development
Nebraska - The city of Lincoln is considering a request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of a 700-space city-owned parking garage with first-floor commercial space as part of the Block 65 redevelopment project.

The RFP would begin the third phase of the estimated $100 million downtown development. The city recently selected a private developer for the first two phases.

An office building built by the development firm is set for the first phase, and the second phase will feature the renovation of the Sharp Building to retrofit upper stories into apartment units while preserving its office space.

Planning commissioners are scheduled to host a public hearing on the project on June 10 followed by the City Council on July 13.
Images of Midland County before and after the May 19 flooding
Michigan - The state's Department of Transportation (MDOT) developed an interactive map that shows all road closures related to the flooding that resulted from two dam failures on May 19.

Gladwin, Midland, and Saginaw counties suffered the most flooding, and more than 20 state highways and local bridges have been impacted. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Midland County, helping to ensure federal aid availability for areas impacted by flooding.

MDOT officials report that many bridges will require extensive inspections and repairs before reopening. They are expecting more closures as water levels rise through Saginaw County.

The department immediately began establishing emergency contracts to begin inspections and repairs to the structures once water levels recede to allow the work.
Rendering of Gilcrease Expressway
Oklahoma - The Build America Bureau awarded $120.1 million to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) to help finance its Gilcrease Expressway West Project west of Tulsa.

OTA will build a 5-mile four-lane divided tollway that includes 22 bridges, four major interchanges, and a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail.

The project is intended to relieve congestion during peak travel periods and provide a new and more direct route to city attractions and various points of interest in the Tulsa urban core by improving connectivity between neighborhoods on opposite sides of the Arkansas River.

Tulsa County, the city, the state, the Indian Nations Council of Governments and a private partner are funding the $340 million project.
Courtesy of Slaven Gujic
Arizona - The Mesa City Council selected a $98.7 million package of transportation projects to consider for a potential November bond election.

Councilmembers reviewed several potential transportation projects at a study session on May 21 before selecting a dozen for consideration.

The 12 projects they will consider in order of priority are:
  • Signal Butte Road improvements from Williams Field to Pecos Road - $9.5 million;
  • Signal Butte Road improvements from Pecos Road to Germann Road - $6.8 million;
  • Broadway Road from Mesa Drive to Stapley Drive - $17.5 million;
  • Southern Avenue and Country Club Drive - $900,000;
  • Arterial reconstructions package No. 1 - $22.6 million;
  • Center Street from McKellips to 10th Avenue - separated bike lane - $6.8 million;
  • Eastern Canal shared-use path from Broadway Road to Baseline Road - $3.1 million;
  • Ellsworth Road from city limit to State Road 24 - $6.2 million;
  • Sossaman and Baseline roads - $1.2 million;
  • Ray Road connection to Ellsworth - $6.8 million;
  • Stapley Drive and University Drive intersection - $9.4 million; and,
  • Val Vista Drive from Pueblo Avenue to U.S. Highway 60 - $7.9 million.
City Council is scheduled to vote on June 15 whether to call the bond election.
Washington, D.C. - Divisions of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are planning a solicitation to collect information on self-screening technology that would allow travelers to safely progress through the airport checkpoints.

The DHS S&T Screening at Speed (SaS) program is pursuing research and development that supports a self-screening process similar to the experiences of self-checkout at grocery stores, self-tagging of checked baggage, or use of ATMs.

This concept is initially targeted towards the TSA PreCheck environment, but as the capability matures it may be deployed as a part of a variety of security postures.

No response is required at this time.  A solicitation will be posted on beta.SAM.gov. After the solicitation is released, all responsible sources may submit one or more white papers which shall be considered by the agency.

Those submitting white papers will be notified of evaluation results and invited to submit full proposals. Submission of a white paper will be required in order to submit a full proposal.

Notification of selection for an award is anticipated in late fiscal year 2020 or early fiscal year 2021.
Plattsburgh waterfront and parking
New York - The city of Plattsburgh is seeking requests for proposals (RFPs) for a public-private partnership (P3) to build a waterfront development project that will contribute to creating an economically vibrant Lake Champlain waterfront and downtown.

City leaders envision development of the Dock Street Waterfront District to take advantage of its lake views, existing open spaces and kayak launch, marinas, and future home of a farmer's and crafter's market.

The city also sees the development as an opportunity to attract catalytic investment in downtown Plattsburgh by connecting the city's historic core with its waterfront and attracting visitors.

The city intends to contribute a 341-space parking lot and use grant funding it obtained to develop a Harborside master plan and update its comprehensive plan and zoning code, as well as finalize its Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP).
Completion of the LWRP will allow the city to apply for funding for future improvements to the Harborside area to make it a pedestrian oriented, waterside gateway with mixed-use development.

The 10-acre property is adjacent to city park land, a recreation path, Amtrak Train Station, a boat launch, and two marinas with a total of over 200 slips. Its amenities include a newly paved parking lot with 341 spaces, lighting and landscaping, sewer and storm water infrastructure on site, and power on site.

Deadline for RFPs is June 10.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives

California - The University of California (UC) board of regents appointed Dr. Juan Sanchez Munoz as UC Merced's fourth chancellor on May 20. He will take over from interim chancellor Nathan Brostrom who will return to the UC office of the president on August 1. Munoz most recently served as president of the University of Houston-Downtown. 

Oklahoma - The state's Department of Transportation (ODOT) named Ron Brown as division engineer for Division Three. Brown previously served as construction engineer for the same region. Prior to that role, he was ODOT's resident engineer in Ada, Oklahoma.

Alabama - Former state Rep. April Weaver accepted a position as U.S. Health and Human Services Regional Director for Region IV, which comprises Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Weaver previously worked for more than 23 years in hospital management in urban, suburban, and rural hospitals.

Ohio - The city of Middletown named James Palenick as its next city manager, effective July 13. He will succeed acting City Manager Susan Cohen. Palenick most recently served as the city administrator for Racine, Wisconsin. Before joining Racine, he was the director of economic and business development for the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Florida - Broward County selected Jonathan Daniels as the chief executive and port director at Port Everglades on May 20. He will succeed acting chief executive and port director Glenn Wiltshire. Daniels most recently served as executive director of the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi. Prior to that role, he was the executive director of the Port of Oswego in New York.

Nevada - Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed Caleb Cage to serve as the state's COVID-19 response director on May 18. Cage is the former head of the State Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and most recently the assistant vice chancellor for workforce development and community colleges at the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).
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