Volume 12, Issue 28 - Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Savannah Convention Center rendering
Georgia - Gov. Brian Kemp signed a $26 billion budget for the new fiscal year that includes a 10 percent spending cut but allocates more than $1.1 billion toward several major construction, expansion, and renovation projects.

The budget sets aside $70 million to put toward the $235 million expansion of the Savannah Convention Center. Plans call for doubling the size of the 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall and adding a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, an entrance, outdoor areas, 15 meeting rooms, and 900 parking spaces. Utilities are being relocated in preparation for the construction of a new hotel.

Legislators earmarked $34.8 million to expand Building 100 at Gwinnett Technical College, $20.08 million to construct a new conference center at Lake Lanier Island, and $12 million for infrastructure upgrades at Georgia World Congress Center.

Southern Crescent Technical College will receive $6.72 million from the state budget to purchase land, design, and construct the Center or Education and Entrepreneurship.

More than $4.8 million will go toward designing, constructing, and equipping a dental hygiene teaching lab at Georgia State University-Dunwoody.

Other projects receiving funding are:
  • Commercial driver's license testing center - Douglasville, $3.4 million;
  • Lanier Tech-Oakwood campus renovations - $2.3 million;
  • Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center renovations - $2.25 million;
  • Hickory Flat Library design, construction, and equipment - $2 million;
  • Kennesaw State University chemistry lab design, construction, and equipment - $2 million;
  • Fowler Road Library design, construction, and equipment - $2 million; and,
  • Clayton State University infrastructure upgrades - $1.5 million.
Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge
Maine - Voters in Maine will go to the polls on July 14 for a two-question referendum election to determine whether the state may borrow $120 million for transportation and internet connection infrastructure projects.

Question No. 2 on the ballot will ask if voters support a $105 million bond issue for transportation infrastructure improvements. If voters approve the $105 million, the state would receive a match of $275 million in federal and other funds.

Of the $105 million, $90 million would go toward road and bridge construction projects, including replacement of the Madawaska-Edmunston International Bridge, and $15 million would help fund port, rail, aviation, marine transportation and active transportation projects.

The Madawaska project would not only build a new bridge with a design life of 75 years but also add a new main administration building and support buildings with parking and processing areas.

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, the project is set to advertise in the fourth quarter of 2020, but physical construction may not begin until 2021, depending on contract, award, and mobilization timing.

Question No. 1 on the ballot will ask if voters favor a $15 million bond issue to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure for unserved and underserved areas. If successful, this measure would garner a match of up to $30 million in federal, private, local, or other funds.
Project map for proposed Prairieville High School
Louisiana - Ascension Public Schools will host a series of public meetings to provide information on its upcoming $140 million bond election on August 15.

If approved, the district would build a new $79.55 million high school in Prairieville to help it maintain optimal enrollment size for all high schools.

A $27 million makeover of East Ascension High School will feature modern facilities, classrooms with greater access to technology, and outdoor spaces for students to collaborate and learn.

Other bond projects include upgrading playing surfaces with artificial grass at all high school stadiums for $7.59 million, renovating and improving Gonzales Middle School for $5 million, building a classroom addition at St. Amant Primary School for $4.47 million, and renovating classroom buildings at St. Amant Middle School for $4 million.
 
If approved, the district would renovate classroom buildings at Dutchtown Middle School for $2.6 million and put $2.37 million toward an information technology center.
Evansville pump station and cascade rendering
Indiana - The city of Evansville Water and Sewer Utility continues to design and build multiple infrastructure improvements to fulfill a federal mandate requiring a reduction in combined sewer overflows into the Ohio River.

Years after city officials negotiated a $729 million, 24-1/2-year-plan with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016, the utility is planning more infrastructure improvements to comply with the Clean Water Act.

Construction is set for completion in 2021 on a pump station and cascade at the city's East Wastewater Treatment Plant, but many more contracts will be advertised in the coming months.

In the third quarter of 2020, Evansville is scheduled to issue solicitations for work on the Valley Downs I rehabilitation and design project, Lincoln Booster Station, and Green River Estates interceptor and sewer size correction design.

The utility is set to advertise more than $10.2 million in contracts as requests for proposals (RFPs) in the fourth quarter of 2020, including four design packages for the 2021 Lift Station at $160,000 each, the 30 million gallons per day (MGD) Wetland Pumping Station for $2 million, 59 MGD Constructed Combined Sewer Wetland design for $2.5 million, and 30 MGD Wetland Tertiary Treatment and UV Disinfection design for $2.5 million.

Over $10.7 million in RFPs are scheduled to be advertised in the first quarter of 2021, including the $7 million design of Evansville's Water Filter Plant.
Minnesota - The design phase is nearing completion for the $54 million to $60 million project to transition a section of southbound Highway 52 to a freeway.

The project involves the reconstruction of 1.2 miles of the highway's southbound lanes beginning 2.2. miles south of Highway 19 in Cannon Falls and proceeding south to 1.2 miles north of Goodhue County Road 7.

Minnesota's Department of Transportation (MnDOT) designated the junction of Highway 57/Goodhue County Road 8 and Highway 52 in Hader for an interchange.

MnDOT also is proposing several bridge replacements, including at highways 52 and 60 in Zumbrota, and is planning multiple snow drift ditch improvements as part of the project.

A design-build request for proposals is scheduled to be issued this summer with contract letting set for winter 2021. Construction is expected to start in summer 2021 and conclude in fall 2022.
Florida - The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority was scheduled to submit the region's first development plan, Envision 2030, to the state Legislature by July 1.

The draft Envision 2030 highlights the authority's vision and strategy for the next 10 years for transit service in Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. 

Four goals of the plan are to: 
  • Lead regional transit planning efforts for the five-county area; 
  • Develop, implement, and operate a safe, sustainable, and efficient regional transit system and commuter services program; 
  • Identify and secure sustainable funding sources to support an integrated regional transit system; and, 
  • Move toward providing a seamless regional travel experience. 
Several major projects already are in development to accomplish these goals. 

The final design is complete for the Central Avenue bus rapid transit (BRT) project, and designs are underway for the Florida Avenue BRT, Regional Rapid Transit, and the TECO Streetcar Extension projects. 

The authority also has completed feasibility studies for the MacDill AFB Commuter Ferry, CSX Corridor that would connect the University of South Florida to downtown Tampa, and future intermodal centers.
Wards Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility
New York - The city of New York Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a developer to design, construct, and own solar PV systems at 50 sites throughout the five boroughs.

The project calls for the installation of up to 16 megawatts of solar energy on the rooftops of 46 New York City public schools and several New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sites, including its Wards Island Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility.

Adding solar PV systems to the school rooftops will enable the city to incorporate a new power source into the school districts' infrastructure and allow the city to purchase power generated on site.

At Wards Island, a combination of ground mounted, carport, rooftop, and elevated canopy solar PV systems will be installed throughout the eight-facility complex. Power generated will serve the loads of the plant and a potential battery energy storage system which could reduce demand charges.

As part of the overall project, more than 1 megawatt of solar arrays also will be installed at the Catskill/Delaware Ultraviolet Light Disinfection facility in Valhalla and at wastewater resource recovery facilities in Pine Hill and Margaretville.

Deadline for submissions has been extended to August 7.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Washington - The Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission took a straw poll in which more than half its members voted for the development of a new airport, possibly in the south Puget Sound area.

Fourteen out of 25 commissioners cast non-binding votes to expand or improve one or more existing airports and provide commercial and freight service to meet near-term capacity needs, while conducting the processes necessary for a large new airport.

The commission is reportedly looking at a location in the Littlerock area for a potential airport to reduce congestion and pollution at Sea-Tac.

Among the suggested alternatives, none of the commissioners voted for the option to develop one large airport the size of Sea-Tac.

The Washington Legislature founded the commission with the mandate to develop recommendations by 2022 to meet Washington state critical aviation system capacity needs. In addition to recommending a new primary commercial aviation facility, the commission will offer additional ways to accommodate capacity needs at other facilities.
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is taking applications for Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program grant funding totaling $60 million.

Up to $12 million per project is available to fund new technologies that enhance the performance of U.S. transportation systems, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the safety of the traveling public.

Grant recipients may use the funds to deploy advanced transportation and congestion management technologies, including advanced traveler information systems and management technologies.

Other allowed uses include:
  • Infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and condition assessment;
  • Advanced public transportation systems;
  • Transportation system performance data collection, analysis, and dissemination systems;
  • Advanced safety systems, including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications;
  • Technologies associated with autonomous vehicles, and other collision avoidance technologies, including systems using cellular technology;
  • Integration of intelligent transportation systems with the Smart Grid and other energy distribution and charging systems;
  • Electronic pricing and payment systems; or,
  • Advanced mobility and access technologies, such as dynamic ridesharing and information systems to support human services for elderly and disabled individuals.
Eligible applicants are state or local governments, transit agencies, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) representing a population of more than 200,000. Other political subdivisions of a state or local government, such as publicly owned toll or port authorities, or a multijurisdictional group or consortia of research institutions or academic institutions also are eligible. 

The FHWA encourages partnership with the private sector or public agencies, including multimodal and multijurisdictional entities, research institutions, organizations representing transportation and technology leaders, or other transportation stakeholders.

In its fifth year, the program has provided more than $206 million for projects in 23 states and the District of Columbia. The closing date for applications is August 31.
Roseville tract for sale
California - After years of trying to partner on a hotel and conference center development for a vacant 11-acre site in its retail hub, the city of Roseville issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a mixed-use development.

Centrally located in Roseville's retail hub, the site is bordered by Highway 65 to the north, open space and a mall to the east, a vacant parcel and a hotel to the south, and an athletic club to the west.

The city remains open to development of a hotel conference center, as originally anticipated for the parcel, or concepts for retail, dining, office, or other employment opportunities, but any project would be privately funded.

Development entitlements and environmental clearance for a 203-room, nine-story, 146,000-square-foot hotel and a 15,500-square-foot conference facility are in place through 2024. Water, sewer, and electrical facilities on the property have been sized to accommodate this type of use.

Proposals are due by 5 p.m. local time on August 20.
Pennsylvania - The Office of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through July 31.

PennDOT postponed its unsolicited proposal period from April to July because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The submission period applies to PennDOT-owned projects and infrastructure. During this period, the private sector may submit proposals that feature project delivery innovations across multiple transportation modes including roads, bridges, rail, aviation, and ports.

Proposals also may include more efficient models to manage existing transportation-related services and programs.

The state's P3 law allows PennDOT and other transportation authorities and commissions to partner with private companies to participate in delivering, maintaining, and financing transportation-related projects.

As part of the P3 law, the seven-member Public Private Transportation Partnership Board was appointed to examine and approve potential P3 transportation projects. If the board determines a state operation would be more cost-effectively administered by a private company, the company will be authorized to submit a proposal and enter into a contract to either completely or partially take over that operation for a defined period of time.
Kansas - The state's Department of Transportation (KDOT) will invest $11.5 million in nine rail improvement projects to support shipping, agriculture, and railroad industries.

KDOT awarded $2.3 million for a rail relay, $2.3 million for a yard expansion, $2.1 million for major rehabilitation work, and $1.3 million for loop track construction, among other efforts.

Total costs for the nine projects amount to $21.8 million, and construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020.

Sixteen State Rail Service Improvement Fund grant applications were submitted by short line railroads and shippers totaling more than $38.9 million in total project costs.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE


Iowa - Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Kelly Garcia to serve as interim director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, effective July 31. She will succeed Gerd Clabaugh who is retiring. Garcia will continue to serve as the state's director of Department of Human Services. Before moving to Iowa, she served in a series of executive positions at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, including as a deputy executive commissioner.

Alabama - The Birmingham Airport Authority selected Ingrid Hairston as vice president of properties and business development on July 1. Hairston recently served as the director of business initiatives and director of business development at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.

Idaho - The Idaho Transportation Department selected Dan McElhinney as its new chief operations officer, effective August 10. McElhinney currently serves as the District 10 director for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in Stockton. Prior to that, he was the San Francisco Bay Area chief deputy district director. 

Ohio - Central State University welcomed Dr. Jack Thomas as its new president on July 1. Thomas succeeds Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond who resigned to accept a position as president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Thomas most recently served as a senior fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Prior to that, he was president of Western Illinois University.

Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto appointed Andrew Dash as director of the Department of City Planning on June 29. Dash has been serving as acting director of the department since June. Before that, he was the department's assistant director and senior planner.

Georgia - The city of Hogansville named Jonathan Lynn as city manager on June 29. He will take over for Interim City Manager Lisa Kelly. Lynn most recently served as county administrator in Surry County, Virginia. Prior to that, he was town manager for Tyrone, Georgia.
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