Volume 12, Issue 39 - Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Arizona plans $1.25B project to improve I-10 in Tucson area
Arizona – Approval of the final environmental assessment for the Interstate 10/State Route 210 Corridor Study will allow the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to advance its plans to improve two major corridors in the Tucson area and address poor operational performance, high crash rates, and future capacity needs.

ADOT plans to construct $1.25 billion in improvements to I-10 from Interstate 19 to Kolb Road and to provide an extension of State Route (SR) 210 from Golf Links Road to I-10.

A selected alternative calls for designating Alvernon Way as SR 210 from Golf Links Road to I-10, adding a new system interchange to provide access from SR 210 to I-10, building up to two lanes in each direction on I-10 from the I-10/I-19 interchange to Alvernon Way, and constructing up to four lanes in each direction on I-10 from Alvernon Way to Kolb Road.

The I-10/SR 210 project will be separated into 18 smaller projects for construction to be implemented over a 15- to 20-year period, as funding is available. The design of the I-10 traffic interchanges at Kino Parkway and Country Club Road is in the current Pima Association of Governments 2020–2024 Five-year Transportation Improvement Plan. 
New Jersey mulls monorail for Garden State Parkway
New Jersey – Transportation commissioners are considering a monorail to operate in the median of the Garden State Parkway after determining that construction of additional lanes is not feasible in the northern sections of the major thoroughfare.

The commissioner advocating for the monorail system pointed to the state’s recent NJ Transit innovation challenge as an example of incorporating new technologies into New Jersey’s transportation system. The event asked the public how they would move passengers from Metlife stadium, American Dream, and Secaucus Junction.

Elsewhere in the state, plans are in motion to replace the AirTrain monorail at the Newark Liberty International Airport. The 23-year-old people mover is nearing the end of its 25-year lifespan and is experiencing maintenance issues that are leading to temporary shutdowns.

The Port of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the airport’s operations, plans to award a design-build-operate-maintain contract in the second or third quarter of 2021 for the estimated $2 billion project. New AirTrain service would begin in early 2026, and the existing AirTrain components would be demolished in the second quarter of 2026.
San Diego exploring electric, gas distribution options
California – The city of San Diego is considering an invitation to bid (ITB) for electric and gas distribution services as the contract with its current provider is set to expire on January 17, 2021.

In a presentation to the city’s Environment Committee this summer, consultants outlined the city’s options to either form a community-owned electric or gas utility or grant franchises to provide gas and electric services.

Consultants recommended that the city issue franchises for free and open competition by bidders for a term of 20 years. The minimum bid would be $54 million for the electric franchise and $8 million for the gas franchise. Electric franchise fee would be 3 percent, and the gas franchise fee would be 3.5 percent.

A .35 percent surcharge would be eliminated, saving ratepayers about $110 million over 20 years, and the city would have the right to terminate the franchise and purchase it for municipalization.

The value of the current provider’s electric and gas distribution infrastructure is estimated at $2.78 billion for electric distribution and $1.11 billion for gas distribution.

If those proposals were not accepted, then the city could form its own gas and electric utilities.

Earlier this year, San Diego released a request for expressions of interest and received interest from the current provider and two other energy stakeholders.

The city’s outgoing mayor indicated in an August 21 email that the ITB would be issued in August or September.
Colorado DOT developing system to manage structural assets
Colorado – The state's Department of Transportation (CDOT) is seeking proposals for the development of the second phase of its asset management system for structures.

CDOT is creating a software using federal requirements as a framework so agencies can easily meet requirements and focus on analyzing their data.

The System for Inspection and Management of Structural Assets (SIMSA) will be a seamless and easy-to-use web interface and mobile app for inspectors and owners to track the scheduling of inspections and, therefore, condition of their structures so the owners can make informed decisions regarding investments into infrastructure projects.

SIMSA is composed of the “Data Kit” which is a cloud-based server with user web interface and the “Inspection App,” which is a mobile tablet application to be used for inspections of all structure classes. 

Six structure classes (bridges, culverts, high mast lights, mast arm signals, signs, and miscellaneous) were introduced through a previous contract for performing inspections in the field on a Windows mobile device.

The Inspection App seamlessly connects with the Data Kit through an application program interface (API). Two remaining structure classes (tunnels and walls) will be developed on the Inspection App and Data Kit to support scheduled and unscheduled inspections.

This scope of work will include selective enhancements and additions to existing features to build on the solid foundation of functionality already developed in addition to the required inclusion of tunnels and walls.

It will include these key features:
  • Production capable for all inspection programs and inspection types; 
  • Support a mobile tablet application and interface for inspections; 
  • Provide map interfaces; 
  • Maintain versioning; 
  • Query on multi-level planning approaches; 
  • Enable automated data exchanges (REST services); 
  • Support document retrieval through automated data exchanges; 
  • Be owned (except for any open source software) by CDOT; and, 
  • Hosted, managed, and maintained by the state of Colorado’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). 

RFP submissions are due by 2 p.m. October 20. CDOT officials anticipate selecting a firm or firms the week of November 16.
USDOT awards $1B in transportation infrastructure grants
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released the official list of 70 projects awarded a total of $1 billion in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants.

Forty-four states will receive transportation discretionary grants for planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. USDOT awarded the grants on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact.

Among the projects to receive the maximum $25 million are:
  • Florida - Interstate 75/Big Bend Mobility and Access Project 
  • Iowa - Broadway Avenue Multimodal Improvements; 
  • Maine - Ticonic Bridge Replacement Project; 
  • Pennsylvania - Gateway 228 Capacity & Safety Improvements- Three Degree and Freedom Road Project; and, 
  • Texas – North Texas Multimodal Operations, Velocity, Efficiency, and Safety (NT MOVES) and Interstate 20 Energy Sector Safety Project. 

To better address the needs of rural America, which has historically been neglected, the Department is awarding 50 percent of BUILD grant funding to projects in rural areas that deliver positive benefits for these communities.
New York school district seeks $158M for arts, innovation facilities
New York – The Baldwin Union Free School District will seek voter approval on October 1 for $158 million in bonds to fund its Innovation 2020 project that features improvements at several campuses.

Baldwin High School would receive the bulk of upgrades with plans for a new 33,000-square-foot performing arts center with about 1,496 seats. The center also would house practice spaces and a restroom.

Technology and Innovatrium spaces would contribute to the high school’s transformation with an additional 11,175 square feet. A new 6,044-squaret-foot media center with 2,500-square-foot mezzanine also is planned.

A new security vestibule and updated finishes at the school’s entrance are among the enhancements that include a 22,075-square-foot gym addition and a 3,462-square-foot home and career building addition with a culinary kitchen.

Baldwin Middle School would undergo air conditioning improvements, brick facade repairs, electrical upgrades, and turf field installation among other projects.

Lenox, Meadow, Plaza, and Steele elementary schools would get new Innovatrium additions and air conditioning equipment upgrades as well.
Kentucky airport embarks on $42M terminal replacement project
Kentucky – The Barkley Regional Airport Authority approved the first contract for the initial phase of the airport’s $42 million terminal construction project to replace the 67-year-old building.

Bolstered by a $16.8 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant, the airport is accelerating the timeline for the project that will build a new 30,000-square-foot terminal, expand parking lots, add an entrance road, and construct a new terminal apron.

Site development for grading, drainage, and utility work will begin soon as the airport prepares to advertise bids for the terminal building in spring 2021 and start construction that summer. Work is expected to be complete by fall 2022.

Additional site development, including parking lots, terminal interior finishing, and landscaping, will be bid in fall 2021 with work starting in summer or fall 2022.

The airport will embark on the final phase in spring 2022 when it solicits bids for construction of the terminal curbside project, which is expected to be finished by summer or fall 2022.
Illinois seeks referral line, website input for veterans assistance
Illinois – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) issued a request for information (RFI) to solicit input on its ability to provide an around the clock toll-free resource and referral line and the development of a department website for the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program.

IDVA is seeking industry feedback on its plans to establish a toll-free line to connect callers to behavioral health clinicians for eligible veterans and their family members.

In addition, the department is gathering information on the development and maintenance of a website that would include a customer service-based web chat feature available 24 hours, seven days a week to communicate program benefits.

IDVA will review the responses for the purpose of identifying key concepts and industry trends.

Submissions are due by October 1 and should include a high-level description of current industry practices that relate to this RFI, which is intended to better prepare the department for possible future procurements.
Lexington planning Depot District rail, bus station
North Carolina – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded a $24.96 million grant to the city of Lexington for the construction of a new train and bus station.

Using funds from the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program and other state sources, the city will build a multimodal passenger rail and bus station in Lexington’s Depot District, replace the 7th Avenue at-grade rail crossing with a grade-separated rail crossing at 5th Avenue, and make track improvements between the two components.

The depot will link Lexington to Charlotte, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, and Raleigh.
Jacksonville issues RFQ for autonomous vehicle corridor project
Florida – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the design, build, operation, and maintenance of an autonomous vehicle project.

Phase 1 of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor would construct 3 miles of an autonomous transportation network known as the Ultimate Urban Circulator System, or U2C. The project integrates innovative and emerging technologies into public transportation while enhancing overall mobility throughout downtown Jacksonville.

Furthermore, the project will provide the backbone for future phases of the U2C System, into which it is intended to be integrated and for which it may serve as a model.

The Bay Street corridor is a major thoroughfare cutting east-west through downtown Jacksonville, connecting the historic LaVilla District with the Sports Complex.

JTA is seeking statements of qualifications (SOQs) in order to develop a shortlist of three to five respondents to invite to participate in a request for proposals, scheduled for November 18. JTA anticipates awarding a single contract in March 2021 for all services.

The authority obtained a $12.5 million federal grant and a $13 million commitment from the Florida Department of Transportation to amass $44 million in funding for the first phase.

SOQs are due by 2 p.m. October 15.
Governor's Island trust proposes climate center development
New York – The Trust for Governors Island released a request for proposals (RFP) for a concept plan and marketing materials for the creation of a center for climate solutions on the island. The RFP is a precursor to soliciting bids by the end of 2020 for project development.

The trust, a not-for-profit organization created by the city of New York, unveiled its plans on September 17 to develop a center for climate solutions to take advantage of the island’s environment and waterfront location as a living laboratory open to the public.

Designed to convene researchers, advocates, innovators, and students from around the world, the climate center will offer opportunities for public engagement, hands-on education, programming, and advocacy initiatives.

The proposal could include:
  • An academic or research anchor institution; 
  • A living laboratory and/or cultural uses;  
  • Commercial innovation for technological research;  
  • Dormitories to support an academic anchor;  
  • Convening or public meeting areas; and, 
  • Space for policy, advocacy, and programming organizations to engage with visitors to the island. 

The trust is expected to submit a rezoning proposal to the city in October for South Island development sites that would allow a year-round, 24/7 mixed-use district, anchored by an educational or research center.
Miami invites bids to integrate SCADA at power substations
Oklahoma – The city of Miami’s Special Utility Authority released an invitation to bid (ITB) for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) integration at its power substations.

City officials are planning to incorporate a SEL-based power delivery SCADA system at the utility’s operations control center, three existing substations, and one future substation.

Substations No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 have recently installed existing equipment including SEL relays, annunciator panels, load tap changers, and automatic transfer switches. The SCADA design must accommodate a future substation.

Communications from substations to the Operations Control Center will be through a fiber optic network. The city will install the cable, but the vendor will be responsible for providing and installing surface mount fiber optic interconnect centers at each location.

The contract will provide and install a master SCADA workstation and remote SCADA web-client software at the operations control center.

Deadline for submissions is 2 p.m. September 29.
Industry leaders to convene at virtual P3 Higher Education Summit
Connect with higher education business officers, developers, and industry partners for three days of project delivery and market discussion at the virtual P3 Higher Education Summit on October 28-30. 

This year’s agenda is designed to deepen understanding on the value proposition behind public-private partnerships (P3s) and alternative project delivery models, and the role they are playing in the delivery of higher education infrastructure.  

Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., will be one of more than 75 leading practitioners presenting firsthand observations of a variety of campus facility projects of all sizes from around the country. 

The P3 Higher Education Summit is one of the largest gatherings of higher education business officers, campus planners, developers, and P3 experts in the country. Attendees include senior management from firms in the construction, engineering, architecture, legal, investment and consulting industries as well as senior business and facility administrators from colleges and universities from around the country. 

Stay connected and informed in daily sessions. Discover new project opportunities. Meet with industry and learn how colleges and universities are approaching projects in the post-COVID era.  

Register by October 9 to secure the advanced registration price of $299! 
Washington – The Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) named Suraj Shetty as executive director of operations on September 11. He takes over for Interim Executive Director Paul Denison. Shetty previously worked as the vice president of a supply chain team that managed 58 factories in China, Thailand, Spain, and the U.S. Prior to that, he was the director of policy development in the aerial work platform division of a global manufacturer.

Nevada – The Nevada System of Higher Education board of regents appointed former Gov. Brian Sandoval as the 17th president of the University of Nevada, Reno. Sandoval, who is currently a distinguished fellow of law and leadership at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law among other endeavors, will begin October 5. Prior to becoming governor, he served as U.S. District Court judge for the District of Nevada, the state’s attorney general, and chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Hawaii – Gov. David Ige appointed Anne Perreira-Eustaquio as director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) on September 16. She had been serving as acting director since August. Prior to that, she was the department’s deputy director, administrator of the unemployment insurance program, and held various roles with DLIR.

Florida – The Florida Ports Council selected Manuel Almira as the council’s new chairman, effective October 1. He will succeed PortMiami CEO Juan Kuryla who finished his term. Almira currently serves as the executive director of the Port of Palm Beach.

California – The North County Transit District named Robert Cálix as the district’s new chief of planning, strategy, and innovation. Cálix’ background includes transportation planning, needs assessment, data analysis, and communication strategies that translate into superior public transportation. He has spent his career working for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as senior manager of transportation planning and communications.

Alabama – The North AlabamaWorks Regional Workforce Council named Stephanie McCulloch as executive director. McCulloch previously served as assistant director of North AlabamaWorks. Before joining AlabamaWorks, she was a city planner for the city of Birmingham.
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Devin Monk, Editor
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