Volume 12, Issue 36 - Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Georgia bond sales to fund education, transportation construction
Georgia – The state of Georgia sold $1.133 billion in general obligation bonds to finance construction of transportation infrastructure and education facilities, purchase equipment, and make repairs and renovations to existing facilities.

The state will provide the Georgia Department of Transportation with more than $152 million for roads, bridges, and rail projects.

Over $378 million will go to local school systems’ K-12 and state schools projects, and $99 million will be allocated to various projects at the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).

Officials at TCSG requested $34.8 million for the expansion and renovation of Building 100 at the Gwinett Technical College campus. This project is in the design phase, and the college plans to procure architectural and contractor services using design-bid-build delivery.

Over $302 million will go toward board of regents projects for the University System of Georgia (USG), including $6 million that will help fund the design of a new $36.7 million convocation center at Georgia Southern University’s Statesboro campus. The board intends to request construction funds for the project in its FY 2022 capital outlay request.

On August 11, the USG board of regents approved a capital budget request that seeks $137 million for eight construction projects, including the convocation center at Georgia Southern University.

The improvements, which will be submitted to the governor’s office as a fiscal 2022 budget request, include these projects:
  • University of West Georgia-Carrollton - $26.3 million to renovate the humanities building; 
  • University of Georgia-Athens - $21.7 million for the first phase of construction of a poultry science complex; 
  • Valdosta State University - $12.4 million for a performing arts center; 
  • Fort Valley State University - $12.2 million for renovations and infrastructure upgrades; 
  • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – Tifton - $11.8 million for enhancements; 
  • Dalton State College - $8.3 million for Bandy Gym student recreation center renovations; and, 
  • Albany State University – West Campus - $7.6 million for a nursing and health science simulation lab. 

Additional capital budget requests also seek more than $12 million to design a Gateway Building at Georgia Gwinnett College and $15.1 million to purchase equipment for three projects previously funded by the state.
FAA awards $1.2B in airport improvement grants
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Aviation Administration will award more than $1.2 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Coronavirus Relief, Aid, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grants to 405 airports in 50 states.

The total includes over $1 billion from AIP and $152 million in CARES Act grants to equal a 100 percent federal share for 434 infrastructure projects.

Some of the airports that will receive grant funding are:

  • Memphis International Airport - $64.64 million to construct a de-icing pad with associated facilities and improve terminal building; 
  • Hebron Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport - $45.03 million to reconstruct a taxiway and rehabilitate a runway, taxilane, and taxiway; 
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu - $43.5 million to widen a runway; 
  • Long Beach Airport/Daugherty Field - $27.31 million to construct a taxiway and reconstruct taxiways; 
  • Louisville Muhammed Ali International Airport - $24.09 million to reconstruct a taxiway and rehabilitate a runway, taxiway, and taxiway lighting; 
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - $21.71 million to reconstruct an apron; 
  • Cedar Rapids Eastern Iowa Airport - $19.34 million to reconstruct a taxiway; 
  • Colorado Springs Municipal Airport - $19.3 million to reconstruct a runway and rehabilitate runway lighting; 
  • Philadelphia International - $18.38 million to reconstruct a taxiway and rehabilitate a runway and runway lighting; 
  • San Diego International Airport - $18.02 million for noise mitigation; and, 
  • Los Angeles International Airport - $17.5 million for noise mitigation. 

The grants will be used for a variety of critical infrastructure and safety projects. The projects include purchasing aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, constructing runways and taxiways, repairing runways and taxiways, installing aircraft lighting and signage, conducting airport master plan studies, and installing airport perimeter fencing.
LA Metro advances Crenshaw extension, Sepulveda corridor plans
California – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) board of directors advanced two major capital projects that will improve mobility options in L.A. County.

Board members selected three possible routes for the Crenshaw Northern Extension (CNE) project and approved a $50.3-million contract for environmental analysis, which is expected to begin later this year.

The three routes to be studied would follow busy travel corridors, serve major destinations and employment centers, and intersect with five of the busiest bus routes in the region. The routes would follow parts of San Vicente Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue, or La Brea Avenue.

Under the Measure M spending plan approved by voters in 2016, $2.2 billion was set aside for the Crenshaw Northern Extension project, although early cost estimates show that projected costs could be significantly more due to the expected tunneling likely to be needed.

The Crenshaw project is slated to begin construction in 2041 and begin service in 2047. Metro, in partnership with the cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles, is advancing the planning work to potentially accelerate the project.

Board members also approved a $48.3 million contract for environmental studies and advanced conceptual engineering for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project which will build a high-speed, high-capacity transit line connecting the San Fernando Valley, Westside, and Los Angeles International Airport. Metro officials anticipate starting the environmental review in 2021.

LA Metro is exploring the possibility of a public-private partnership (P3) delivery and is planning to select up to two pre-development agreement (PDA) partners to assist with project planning and design as well as propose transit solutions. PDA concepts are scheduled for revisions and evaluations during the environmental review, and Metro staff expect to present a PDA recommendation to the board in early 2021.

The project would be built in one of the most heavily traveled urban corridors in the nation, and when finished will connect existing and planned Metro bus and rail lines, including the future East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project, G Line (Orange), the future Metro D Line (Purple) Extension, and the Metro E Line (Expo).
Prince George's planning P3 for school construction, maintenance
Maryland – The Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) district is preparing a request for proposals (RFP) to build six schools by summer 2024 under a public-private partnership (P3).

The winning bidder would be responsible for performing the design-build work and also maintaining the schools for the duration of the services period of the contract.

The contract is estimated at $1 billion with the condition that a minimum of 30 percent of the contract value must be procured from minority and county-based businesses.

As presented in an August 21 meeting, the cost to the district would be limited to a maximum of $32 million for 30 years to build five middle schools – Adelphi Area, Drew-Freeman, Hyattsville, Kenmoor, and Walker Mill – and the Southern Area K-8 School.

Proposals are due from bidders on September 14. The PGCPS Board of Education will meet on October 20 to approve the successful proposer and key project terms.
Cape May County approves $890M bridge replacement plan
New Jersey – The Cape May County Board of Freeholders approved a Comprehensive Bridge Replacement and Improvement Plan on August 25 to address multiple failing bridges reaching the end of their lifespans.

Total project costs range from $603 million to $890 million to replace 23 county-owned and operated bridges, as well as five bridges owned and operated by the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

The primary emphasis on both county and commission bridges over the next 15 years is to address critical infrastructure needs by replacing the bridges that have surpassed their serviceable life while improving and maintaining the safety and integrity of the remaining bridges.

Replacement of the commission’s Middle Thorofare Bridge built in 1939 is projected at $238 million to $243 million. Complete concept development phase is scheduled for December 2020. The county plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for preliminary engineering in June 2021. Final design is set for 2022 to 2024.

While still safe for travel, a 2017 inspection report rated the bridge’s overall condition as “critical” due to the low inventory ratings. Because this bridge has been identified as the first priority for replacement, rehabilitation projects will be limited to what is necessary to maintain structural integrity and safety elements until scheduled replacement construction begins in 2023 and concludes by 2025.

The Townsends Inlet Bridge, which was built in 1939, has been rehabilitated several times in the past 10 to 15 years. Alternatives will be conceptualized and developed with costs projected at $65.75 million to $167.75 million. A concept is anticipated in 2022 with preliminary engineering scheduled for 2023 to 2024 and final design completion by 2026. Construction would begin in 2026 and conclude by 2029.

Work on the Grassy Sound Bridge is projected to cost $53.5 to $93.5 million to replace the structure once higher priority bridges are replaced. A 2017 report rated the overall condition of the structure as “serious” due to the superstructure. Concept development and preliminary design are scheduled for 2029 to 2031, and the final design is set for 2031 to 2034. Construction will commence in 2035 and conclude by 2038.

Corson’s Inlet Bridge is in need of $70.75 million to $105.75 million in work including repairs and replacement. Concept development and preliminary design are set for 2026 to 2028, and final design is scheduled for 2029 to 2031. Construction will be from 2032 to 2035.

County officials are planning to issue a RFP for the 96th Street Bridge project in spring 2021 for consulting engineering services to design the bascule span replacement. Project completion is anticipated for 2025 to 2027. Estimated replacement construction cost is $21.5 million to $23 million.

Work on Ludlam’s Thorofare is estimated to cost $12.35 million to $13.4 million to re-deck the bridge. The county expects to select a consultant in 2022 and complete the project in 2025.

The Freeholder Board will discuss and authorize allocations on a case by case basis through future resolutions.
Disaster declaration secures FEMA aid for hurricane-hit parishes
Louisiana – Seventeen parishes are waiting on approval for federal aid as they recover from Hurricane Laura, a storm that Gov. John Bel Edwards said was the most powerful to hit the state.

Edwards was successful in gaining presidential approval for a major disaster declaration on August 30, resulting in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance (IA) for residents in six of the 23 most impacted parishes.

FEMA has approved IA for Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes. Those waiting on approval are: Acadia, Vermilion, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, Winn, Bienville, Claiborne, Red River, Caldwell, Jackson, Lincoln, Ouachita, and Union.

Federal assistance from FEMA may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property loss, and other programs to help people and businesses recover from Hurricane Laura.

Additional parishes may be added to this declaration by FEMA, as damage assessments are ongoing. Early estimates put wind and storm surge damages at $8 billion to $12 billion.
Chicago issues RFPs for mixed-use redevelopment projects
Illinois – The city of Chicago issued three requests for proposals (RFPs) to develop sites in the INVEST South/West commercial corridors of the city.

The nearly 23,000-square-foot Auburn Gresham site consists of six parcels of vacant land owned by the city. The RFP seeks their redevelopment with a high-quality, mixed-use project that includes ground-floor commercial spaces and residential uses above.

Development of the approximately 34,200 square-foot Austin site on the northwest corner of Chicago and Laramie avenues includes five vacant lots and the vacant, 14,340-square-foot Laramie State Bank building, a designated Chicago landmark. The RFP seeks the mixed-use rehabilitation of the former bank and new construction on the adjacent land.

The 4.28-acre Englewood site consists of two packages: Site B1/B2 and Site C. The sites are being offered as the second phase of the adjacent Englewood Square I project, which is a Whole Foods-anchored shopping center at Halsted and 63rd streets. The goal of the RFP is to establish a vibrant, walkable, mixed-use town center that includes residential and commercial uses.

INVEST South/West is a community improvement initiative under Mayor Lori Lightfoot to marshal the resources of multiple city departments, community organizations, and corporate and philanthropic partners toward 10 communities on Chicago’s South and West sides.

Through this collaboration that kicked off in October 2019, the city will align more than $750 million in public funding over the next three years with a focus on 12 key commercial corridors in the 10 communities.

Each project is a separate procurement. The submission deadline for all three projects is 4 p.m. November 24.
FTA awards $400M to transit infrastructure projects in 4 states
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award a total of $400 million in grant funding to four transit infrastructure projects in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, and New Jersey.

The projects are advancing toward readiness to receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) under FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. The projects must meet additional requirements in law before a grant can be awarded.

Hudson County’s Portal North Bridge Project in New Jersey will replace the existing bridge which is more than 100 years old and represents a significant operational bottleneck.

The project will feature construction of a new, two-track fixed structure railroad bridge across the Hackensack River in Hudson County along the Northeast Corridor. FTA is allocating a total of $248 million in FY 2018 and FY 2019 CIG funds to the project.

Phoenix’s Northwest Extension Phase II Project is a New Starts project in the engineering phase of the CIG program. The project is a 1.5-mile extension of the Valley Metro light rail system from the existing end of line station in Northwest Phoenix to the Metrocenter Mall. FTA is allocating $50.6 million in FY 2020 CIG funds to the project.

Gary Indiana’s Double Track Northwest Indiana Project is a New Starts project in the engineering phase of the CIG program. The project is a 26.6-mile second track on the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) South Shore commuter rail line in northern Indiana between Gary and Michigan City. FTA is allocating $50.6 million in FY 2020 CIG funds to the project.

The Kansas City Streetcar Main Street Extension project is a New Starts project that is in the engineering phase of the CIG program. The project is a 3.5-mile extension of the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar from the existing streetcar terminus at Union Station to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. FTA is allocating $50.8 million in FY 2020 CIG funds to the project.

CIG funds support major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
Learn more about countercyclical infrastructure strategies
Join the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) for a free webinar on Countercyclical Infrastructure Strategy: Best Practice on Timing the Cycle at 1 p.m. EDT September 4.

DJ Gribbin, infrastructure policy expert and author of “Bridge the Dip,” a white paper on the case for countercyclical investment and best practice procurement strategies, will lead a panel of industry professionals in a discussion on how to keep projects moving forward using alternate funding opportunities and solutions.

Panelists scheduled to appear are: Jay Brown of Alvarez & Marsal, Lisa Buglione of AIAI, Michael Morris of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and Rodney Moss of Hunt/Amber Infrastructure.

Based on prior economic cycles, a countercyclical infrastructure investment strategy could save the taxpayer 20 percent or more on the total net present value cost of the asset.

Furthermore, the projects are ready when they are needed as the economy ramps backs up and enhance the recovery, instead of lagging the demand and often resulting in inefficient lifecycle expenditures on obsolete assets.

Burbank airport terminal replacement enters environmental phase
California – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed replacement passenger terminal project at the Bob Hope “Hollywood Burbank” Airport.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is proposing to build a new, 14-gate passenger terminal of 355,000 square feet in the northeast section of the airport. It would replace the existing, 14-gate passenger terminal in the southeast section of the airport which does not meet current FAA safety standards because of its proximity to the taxiways and runways.

The existing 232,000-square-foot passenger terminal would be demolished and parallel Taxiways A and C would be extended full length to the ends of Runways 15-33 and 8-26, respectively.

A 45,900-square-foot aircraft apron also is planned as are a public parking structure, airline cargo building, passenger terminal access road, aircraft rescue and firefighting station, central utility plant, and other infrastructure. Several structures and facilities would be removed or demolished.

In November 2019, the airport authority contracted for program management services to prepare progressive design-builder procurement documents and selection process support.

The Draft EIS public workshops will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 23. FAA representatives will present information about the proposed project and the Draft EIS. The public will be able to submit written questions, which FAA representatives will answer live following the presentation. The public hearing will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 24. The public will be able to provide comments on the proposed project live during the public hearing, on the project website, and by mail.
New York issues RFPs to spur housing assistance projects
New York – Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the release of two requests for proposals (RFPs) for programs that build and support homeless housing.

The Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) will make $158 million available for projects that will house New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and provide supportive services.

New York State’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program is providing up to $128 million in capital funding for projects that propose to build supportive housing units or to repair emergency shelters.

HHAP provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations, and municipalities to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate housing for persons who are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance. The grants are awarded through a competitive process by the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation.

In addition, ESSHI is accepting proposals for up to $30 million for the ongoing services and operation of supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and with special needs, conditions, or other life challenges.

This funding continues the work of the state’s $20 billion, five-year housing plan, which is creating or preserving 100,000 units of affordable housing and has spurred the development of more than 6,600 of supportive housing units across the state.
Idaho to distribute $50M to improve broadband infrastructure
Idaho – Nearly $50 million in federal coronavirus relief funds will support projects for improved broadband infrastructure, equipment, and services in Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Commerce awarded $48.9 million to 102 projects, 23 of which will benefit public safety and government entities.

Priority was given to projects that serve communities of fewer than 3,000 residents and communities that are unserved with 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload or less speeds.

The grant program also provides funding resources for broadband infrastructure investment and associated equipment for underserved households and medical clinics and hospital facilities.

It strives to provide resources to address needs for distance learning, telehealth, public safety, e-commerce, and overall public well-being while helping Idaho rebound with funded projects, jobs, and purposeful local outcomes.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Education has named Mia Jordan as chief information officer (CIO) of the Federal Student Aid Office. Jordan most recently served as CIO of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. Prior to that, she was director of information technology governance and chief enterprise architect for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

New York – The State University of New York (SUNY) board of trustees appointed Dr. Jim Malatras as chancellor of SUNY. In May 2019, Malatras became the fifth president of SUNY Empire State College. Prior to joining SUNY Empire, he served as president of the Rockefeller Institute of Government and as director of state operations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Illinois – The Boone County Board appointed Kevin Catlin as the new county administrator. Catlin is currently the city manager for Springfield, Michigan. Prior to that, he was assistant city manager and director of information technology for the city of Brookings, South Dakota.

Virginia – Norfolk’s city manager announced Jared Chalk has been named as the city’s Department of Economic Development director. Chalk has served as the interim director of economic development and the executive director of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority since November 2018. Prior to this role, he was the special assistant to the city manager and assistant director of development in the Department of Development.

Nevada – The Reno City Council approved a city manager employment agreement with Doug Thornley who is expected to begin his tenure as city manager on October 12. He will succeed Acting City Manager Jason Soto who filled in after Sabra Newbry retired. Thornley is the current assistant city manager for internal services for the city of Sparks, Nevada, where he began his career as a senior assistant city attorney.

Arizona – The Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) board of directors appointed Heather Dalmolin as the permanent chief executive officer and general manager of Mountain Line. Dalmolin has served in an interim capacity since March and previously served as Mountain Line’s administrative director.
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