Volume 12, Issue 34 - Wednesday, August 19, 2020
SANDAG releases $177B draft 2021 regional transportation plan
California – Staff at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) presented a draft 2021 Regional Plan on August 14 that features $177 billion in projects and initiatives to address traffic congestion, social equity, and state and federal mandates.

Titled San Diego Forward, the plan outlines a vision for San Diego transportation over 30 years. Its development will incorporate policies, programs, and technologies to implement a set of strategies for mobility called the 5 Big Moves.

Complete Corridors would provide a regional network with a variety of travel choices such as managed lanes, active transportation and demand management (ATDM), smart infrastructure and connected vehicles, curb management, and electric vehicle infrastructure. It also would prioritize transit, active transportation, and shared mobility services.

Transit Leap would offer high-speed, high-capacity, high-frequency transit services including commuter rail service every five to 10 minutes all day, light rail service every 10 minutes all day, next-generation rapid bus service every 10 minutes all day, local bus and microtransit services, and special transit projects such as a Central Mobility Hub to the San Diego International Airport.

Mobility Hubs are places of connectivity where walking, biking, transit, and shared mobility come together. Supportive land use and amenities as well as intelligent transportation solutions also would enhance the hubs that can span one, two, or a few miles to provide on-demand travel choice for short trips around a community.

The Flexible Fleets strategy builds on the popularity of shared mobility services such as micromobility options for bikes, scooters, and other rideables, ridesharing, microtransit, ridehailing, and last-mile delivery. Flexible Fleets are primarily accessible through mobile apps and can be operated by public and private agencies or through partnerships.

Next Operating System (OS) is a digital platform that uses technology and data to connect and manage different modes of transportation – passenger vehicles, buses, ride-sharing vehicles, delivery trucks, autonomous vehicles, bikes and scooters, and more – to improve overall efficiency and accessibility for people and goods to move throughout the region.

SANDAG staff will prepare more detailed documentation on the approach to developing the cost estimates that will be shared with the association’s working groups, policy advisory committees, and board of directors in late 2020.

A draft 2021 Regional Plan will be available for public review and comment in spring 2021, and the SANDAG board will be asked to adopt a plan in late 2021.
Pennsylvania commission updates $64.8B transportation program
Pennsylvania – The State Transportation Commission updated Pennsylvania’s 12-Year Program (TYP) that will direct $64.8 billion toward multimodal transportation projects in three phases of four years.

In the newly adopted program, which takes effect October 1, nearly $34 billion will go toward highway and bridge projects and $28.74 billion will support public transit improvements over the next 12 years.

Multimodal transportation projects will receive $997 million and rail freight initiatives would get $686 million in state funding over 12 years.

The state will allocate $138 million on aviation projects in each of the three phases for a total of $414 million in airport spending over 12 years.

State law requires the commission to review and update the TYP every two years. No capital project can move forward unless it is included in the program.
Nashville mayor developing $1.5B transportation plan
Tennessee – Details are starting to emerge from the Nashville mayor’s draft transportation plan that will feature $1.5 billion in expansions, mostly funded by federal and state grants and other sources.

The mayor and city transportation advisers are developing a plan that emphasizes bus transit improvements, including a 13-mile rapid bus route from Antioch to downtown Nashville. It also features new transit centers, road and bridge rehabilitation, and new sidewalks.

According to the mayor’s office, a full transportation plan will be released by the end of September.

Earlier this summer, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Infrastructure was formed with execution of the plan as one of its primary responsibilities.

The office’s recommendations on a new transportation plan will be the result of public listening sessions, best practice/expert reviews, and learning from past community-based planning exercises, including the Nashville Community Transportation Platform.
Louisiana planning largest marsh restoration in state history
Louisiana – The state’s recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues with a new round of funding from the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (LA TIG).

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) will receive $176 million for its project that will use 10.5 million cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Mississippi River to build 1,200 acres of marsh in Jefferson Parish below the Jean Lafitte area known as The Pen.

New sediment will form a land and marsh bridge to protect populated areas to the north from hurricane storm surges and establish fisheries and areas for wildlife.

Officials at CPRA said the Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component is the largest marsh restoration project in Louisiana’s history. It will continue the process of using restoration funding to rehabilitate wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats in the Barataria Basin, where the greatest oiling impacts from the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred.

Other TIG funds will spur the development of Louisiana oyster beds, increase oyster production, and improve the response effort for stranded dolphins and whales.
New Mexico proposition seeks $150M for higher ed capital projects
New Mexico – Various municipalities and institutions of higher education across the state are preparing for the $150 million Bond C Proposition on the November 3 ballot that would enact the 2020 Capital Projects General Obligation Bond Act.

If the bond is successful, the state would allocate $30 million to the University of New Mexico for the construction of a health building to house nursing and population health programs at its Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque and $13.2 million to establish wireless internet and other infrastructure upgrades.

New Mexico State University would receive $18 million to renovate and replace science and engineering facilities for agricultural research and $3 million for Milton Hall Data Center infrastructure upgrades at its Las Cruces campus.

Regents at the Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) showed their support for the bond measure on August 12 that would appropriate $10.3 million to the university. If the bond succeeds, ENMU would receive $7 million to plan, design, construct, renovate, and equip Roosevelt Science Hall at its Portales campus.

The university also would get $1.8 million for video surveillance and lighting at its Roswell branch, $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements at its Ruidoso branch, and $1 million for safety upgrades in Portales.

Another $13 million would go to the state’s Higher Education Department for improvements at all central New Mexico community college campuses, including demolition and remediation of the student services facility at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology would receive $10 million for the renovation of Kelly Hall in Socorro, and New Mexico Highlands University would receive $7 million to renovate Sininger Hall which houses the Department of Business Administration.

Among other higher education proposition items, the New Mexico School for the Deaf would receive $5.3 million to renovate its dining hall in Santa Fe, and San Juan College in Farmington would get $3.5 million for campuswide infrastructure improvements.

The proposition, which will not raise property taxes, also would fund construction and renovation of several senior centers and library purchasing requests around the state.
Michigan planning AV corridor to connect Ann Arbor-Detroit
Michigan – Gov. Gretchen Witmer announced plans for a connected corridor for autonomous vehicles (AV) between Ann Arbor and Detroit on August 13.

The first phase of the public-private partnership (P3) project will test AV technology and research the viability of a more than 40-mile driverless corridor between the two cities.

Planners will work to connect the route to key communities and destinations along Michigan Avenue and Interstate 94 in Wayne County and Washtenaw County with an infrastructure solution that allows for connected and autonomous vehicles, traditional transit vehicles, shared mobility, freight, and personal vehicles.

It will build on existing investments made by the state of Michigan and local communities in smart infrastructure and transit and will link key destinations including the University of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and Michigan Central Station.

During the feasibility analysis, work will focus on technology testing and roadway design, and exploring different financing models with an aim toward determining project viability from both a technology and business perspective. Subsequent construction and implementation would be part of future phases of the project, to be determined following the initial 24-month period.

The project will advance key policy goals, including improving safety, achieving neutrality among vehicle manufacturers through standards-based approaches, enhancing accessibility, affordability, and equity, and aligning with regional planning, thus encouraging innovation, research and development, economic development, open data access and shared learnings, cybersecurity, and replicability.
WsDOT to replace I-5 East Fork Lewis River Bridge
Washington – The state’s Department of Transportation (WsDOT) is collecting public input as it prepares the development of the estimated $65.2 million Interstate 5 East Fork Lewis River Bridge replacement project.

Preliminary engineering and procurement are scheduled to begin in late 2020, and construction is set to start in 2022 with WsDOT crews beginning work to remove and replace the 84-year-old steel truss bridge on northbound Interstate 5 south of Woodland in Clark County.

The bridge currently carries over 38,000 vehicles a day; nearly 18 percent of those are large commercial freight vehicles.

A request for proposals (RFP) will be issued in summer 2021, and the project will be awarded to a design builder in fall 2021.
Springfield to prepare RFQ for design-build Grant Avenue project
Missouri – The city of Springfield survey crews are collecting data as preliminary work started this week on the Grant Avenue Parkway project.

Funded primarily by a $21 million federal Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant, the Grant Avenue Parkway will provide major multi-modal transportation improvements along Grant Avenue in the heart of Springfield.

The 3-mile stretch of “parkway” will create a corridor connecting downtown Springfield to a museum and aquarium.

Various neighborhoods, parks, Ozark Greenway connections, and other amenities will line the new parkway in between.

Springfield recently contracted a project consultant to aid in the development of a request for qualifications (RFQ) for design-build teams, to facilitate any right-of-way acquisitions needed for the project, and to provide assistance throughout the construction phase.

A proposed timeline for the entire project expects completion by 2026.
Ogdensburg port officials race to meet project funding deadline
New York – A $20 million state grant could allow the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to meet a federal deadline for matching funds to help finance dredging and expansion plans at the Port of Ogdensburg.

The authority was awarded a $20 million Department of Transportation grant that - if agreed to by all parties - will help it meet the October 1 financing deadline set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Plans call for dredging the channel to enable ships to travel farther up the existing dock. The expansion project will increase the dock’s west side by 550 feet to increase storage space.

Authority officials said they are targeting late 2020 or early 2021 for procurements and hoping for a 2021 start to construction, which will likely take about 18 months to complete.
Clinton National Airport planning Phase 2 of terminal upgrades
Arkansas – The Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission narrowed its list of finalists to two as it prepares to select a firm for architectural services for Phase 2 of the Terminal Redevelopment Program (TRP) of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

The TRP calls for the expansion and renovation of the airport’s Terminal Complex, which will ultimately contain more than 430,000 square feet.

According to the architectural services procurement, which is set to be awarded in October, the commission is asking the winning firm to update terminal plans and design new curbside canopies and site improvements, a central utility plant and terminal hub, a utility corridor and parking improvements, and a terminal commons.

The commission anticipates awarding the architectural services contract in October.
Ohio commission to rehab Greenfield Line track in 2021
Ohio – The Ohio Rail Development Commission is proposing to rehabilitate a 30-mile section of the Greenfield Line railroad track in Highland and Clinton counties to ensure the safe and efficient operation of trains over the line.

The village of Greenfield is the owner of the track on which the Indiana and Ohio Railway operates freight service.

Approximately 20,000 railroad ties across the line will be replaced. Installation and tamping of ballast and grade crossing surface replacement also will help rehabilitate the track. The work will take place entirely with the operational right-of-way of the railroad.

The rehabilitation project is funded by a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant funding, Highland County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Revolving Loan Fund, and other sources.

Construction is expected to start in summer 2021.
Tulsa authority issues RFP for downtown transit center study
The Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (MTTA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a Downtown Tulsa Transit Center feasibility study.

MTTA operates the Denver Avenue Station transit center. The study will evaluate whether to retain the center or move to a new location.

The study should incorporate the work of the city of Tulsa’s Arena District Master Plan, Downtown Area Master Plan, Brady Arts Village Plan, PLANiTULSA, and other emerging districts and efforts with proximity to the area such as the Blue Dome, Cathedral, and Greenwood districts.

Included in the project scope are public and stakeholder outreach, a “highest and best use” analysis, conceptual design with an opinion of probable cost, and a preliminary environment review. A highest and best use analysis will help determine if other land uses can be successfully incorporated into a new downtown transit center.

Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. October 6, and the contract award is scheduled for December 8.
Washington – The Port of Tacoma welcomed Thais Howard back as director of engineering earlier this month. Howard joined the port in 2007 as project manager and was promoted to director of engineering in 2013. She left the port in September 2016 for a position as a senior electrical engineer and project manager. Before joining the port, Howard worked in various public and private positions including at the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Kentucky – The Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) presidential search committee recommended the appointment of interim president Dr. David McFaddin as president of the university. He was selected as interim president in December 2019, replacing Dr. Michael Benson. McFaddin previously served as EKU’s senior vice president of operations and strategic initiatives, executive director of government relations, and a part-time faculty member.

Oregon – The West Linn City Council named Jerry Gabrielatos as city manager, effective September 14. Gabrielatos most recently served as interim city manager and assistant city manager for the city of Albert Lea, Minnesota. Before that, he worked in various capacities, including chief of staff for members of the Chicago City Council.

Tennessee – Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon appointed Isaac Thorne as the city’s new director of transit, effective August 31. He will take over for Interim Director Melissa Roberson who filled the position after Dawn Distler left to direct a regional transit system in Akron, Ohio. Thorne is currently the chief executive officer (CEO) for Connect Transit in Normal, Illinois.

North Carolina – Gov. Roy Cooper named Thomas Parrish IV as acting secretary of the N.C. Department of Information Technology (NC DIT). Parrish will succeed Tracy Doaks who accepted a position with a nonprofit. Parrish currently serves as NC DIT’s deputy chief information officer, leading the Enterprise Infrastructure Services Division.

Mississippi – The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority selected Eric Trivett as its new director of airport facilities. Most recently, Trivett served as airport operations duty manager for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Prior to that, he was the maintenance manager for the Columbus Airport Commission.
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