Volume 10, Issue 47- Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Looking for engineering and construction opportunities? Look no further than ports! 

Investment in America's ports is accelerating significantly and port spending will increase again in 2019. Because of the neo-Panamax megaships, ports throughout the country are expanding shipping channels and harbors. They are also expanding rail lines and constructing new facilities or significantly expanding older ones. No port in America wants to be left out as shipping activity is increasing rapidly. 

The neo-Panamax ships are longer, wider and deeper and they carry much more cargo. Manufacturing companies are now able to transport up to 10,000 containers on megaships that existing port structures were not designed to handle in the past. 

Deepening shipping channels, upgrading crane systems and extending rail lines have become the norm as ports across the nation rush to make sure the megaships can be accommodated. U.S. ports and their private-industry partners plan to invest $155 billion into port infrastructure during the next five years. The growth will create jobs related to ports and in the private sector as well. Regional economies will benefit greatly. 

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) projects that $20 billion will be needed for multimodal port and rail access projects during the next 10 years. And, in a recent survey, more than 30 percent of major U.S. ports reported that they have identified critical $50-million-plus rail projects.

These projects include on-dock, near-dock or other rail access projects. Rail provides an expedited method of moving cargo out of congested areas to distribution centers and upgraded rail systems are coveted because of their significant value to port operations. 

The Port of Morgan City plans to use $4.7 million from the state and another $1.1 million of the port's own funds for work on the port's railroad spur and dock. Plans include enclosing a drainage ditch and installing a culvert to provide access to a railroad spur. The improvements will allow workers to unload rail cars at that location and the funding will upgrade the railroad spur. These projects should be underway by spring 2019.

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Pennsylvania- The Pennsylvania Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board approved a proposal to reconstruct 15 bridges and two interstates in Luzerne County. The bridges are located along a 25-mile section of Interstate 81 and a 10-mile section of Interstate 80. The proposal is part of an adjusted bid, design-build that will allow the designer and contractor to work in close collaboration. The method also allows the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to put greater weight on a contractor's qualifications in addition to cost factors. 

The bridges are fully funded through the current Transportation Improvement Plan. Design will begin in 2019 and construction will be completed by 2023. The P3 Board and PennDOT's P3 Office were established after the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act was signed into law in September 2012 and authorized P3 projects in Pennsylvania.
Missouri- Union R-XI School District officials announced that a bid for a new elementary school will go out later this month. In April, voters approved a $27 million bond for improvements in the district, including a new elementary school. The school's current estimated cost is over $21.5 million, and the district board approved a pitched roof design for the building. The design process for the new building is coming to a close and the building will be located near East Central College. 

The deadline to submit a proposal is Jan. 22 and the board will hold a meeting on Jan. 30 to decide who will receive the contract for the work.
Minnesota- The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) has approved $74.1 million for Metro Transit's Orange Line, a 17-mile bus rapid transit route that will connect Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington and Burnsville along Interstate 35W. This is the region's busiest express bus corridor that now sees more than 200,000 cars and trucks daily. The FTA's Capital Investment Grant (CIG) contribution will be added to the total cost of the $150 million project. The FTA decision was expected after the agency issued a "letter of no prejudice" last year indicating it would likely fund half of the project. The remaining cost is being covered via state bonding and money from Hennepin and Dakota counties. 

With the final funding in place, planners can move ahead with the southern portion of the project. The Metro Council will advertise next year for new bids on a major underpass at Interstate 494 in Bloomington, and in 2020 will seek bids for a package of station projects. The line is scheduled to begin service in 2021. The FTA has advanced funding for 17 new CIG projects throughout the nation under this administration since Jan. 20, 2017, totaling approximately $4.8 billion in funding commitments.
Louisiana- If voters approve MovEBR at the polls on Dec. 8, it will be a few months before construction begins on the nearly $1 billion worth of roadway improvements on the 30-year, half-cent tax proposal. MoveEBR is an initiative to get people moving again in East Baton Rouge Parish by building new roads, sidewalks and managing traffic in the parish. The city-parish director of streets and drainage is preparing an advertisement seeking requests for qualifications for a program manager to oversee the more than 70 projects on the MovEBR list. Decisions are also being made on the chronological order of which projects will be bid out. Among the top three projects likely to be addressed first is the widening of Hooper Road, the widening of Old Hammond Highway and the construction of the Picardy-Perkins connector. 

If voters approve MovEBR, the bond that will pay for the first $111 million worth of projects, won't be issued until April. Then, once the money is available, the city will have to go through the procurement process, get approval from the Metro Council for the various contracts and run it all through the parish purchasing department, which takes several months.
Washington, D.C.- The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is expected to issue a request for proposals (RFP) this month seeking conceptual designs for coal-based power plants and an option to conduct a preliminary front-end engineering design. The proposal comes as part of the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) Initiative started by the department to fund competitive research and development of future coal generation technologies. The DOE plans to issue three competitively-funded research and development efforts in fiscal year 2019. These efforts may ultimately culminate in the design, construction and operation of a coal-based pilot-scale power plant. 

In the second quarter of FY 2019, the DOE expects to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for cost-shared research and development projects that focus on steam turbines that could be integrated into a 50- to 350-megawatt advanced coal plant design. In the third quarter of FY 2019, the DOE expects to issue an FOA for cost-shared research and development projects focused on critical components and advanced approaches needed to support a future coal plant. The FOA is expected to have two closings.
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New Mexico- Santa Fe Public Schools, the city and county are discussing the possibility of creating a joint request for proposals (RFP) format in hopes of enticing private developers to build affordable housing projects on land each entity owns. The county is considering adding 6 acres to the project that is adjacent to the 68-unit low-income Camino de Jacobo Housing Neighborhood near Cerrillos and Airport roads. The county also has old public works property on Galisteo Street that could be provided for the housing. The school district has numerous undeveloped lots that could be considered but has not yet approved the land for usage. 

The city plans on taking the lead in drafting a request for developer qualifications and an RFP. The combined package on requests for qualifications (RFQ) and proposals would help developers get preapproved before submitting proposals. The key component of the request for proposals would be an agreement that the land be awarded at no cost to the developer if suitable projects were proposed. A date for the release of the RFQ and RFP has not been set.
Florida- The Miami International Airport (MIA) currently has a 270-room hotel at Concourse E in the pre-security area at the airport. The airport's master plan calls for the construction of a 400-room hotel, which will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners in early 2019. The nearly 100-foot-tall hotel has three potential locations: at the entrance; at the center of the airport; or near the South Terminal. 

Funding options would include either issuing bonds or negotiating a development deal with a national hotel chain to build the facility. The chain would pay rent for the land and provide a percentage of gross revenues for 15 to 20 years. After that time, ownership of the hotel would be turned over to airport officials. The airport, which is on 3,200 acres, is the country's third-busiest airport for international passengers, and the top U.S. airport for international freight.
North Carolina- The city of Wilmington wants to further its rail realignment project and needs a qualified manager. The new, full-time position would exist within the city's planning, development and transportation department and would aid in its plan to create a more efficient freight route to the Port of Wilmington and to repurpose the existing city railways. The rail realignment project would provide a more direct rail line between the Davis Rail Yard and the Port of Wilmington without having to cross 32 streets in the city. 

The position will assist with acquiring funding through state and federal agencies as well as a public-private partnership. The city has applied for a $2 million grant through the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The FRA is slated to announce the grantees sometime in early 2019. The city's current goal is to complete a more detailed engineering assessment and cost estimates for the project and to complete an environmental evaluation of the project.
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Washington State- The city of Kennewick is mulling a $357 million spending plan for 2019 and beyond that includes some infrastructural improvements. The proposed budget would place a $24 million overpass on Highway 395. The new corridor will relieve congestion on Hildebrand by providing a safe connection between the highway and Ridgeline. The 10-million-gallon concrete reservoir that serves the Creekstone neighborhood and other areas of west Kennewick is more than 75 percent through its useful life. The city will launch a $10.5 million replacement project in the coming biennium. 

Kennewick's existing city hall was built in 1964. It faces costly upgrades to the roof and mechanical systems. The city wants to replace it with a 40,000-square-foot building at a cost of $20 million. The city is adding a dozen positions in the fire department to support the future Station 6 in the Southridge area. Station 6 will cost $9 million and won't be built until 2022. A $27 million "street fund" allocates $2 million annually for pavement improvements, which includes overlaying existing roadways and adding striping signs on city streets.
Hawaii- The University of Hawaii issued a request for proposals for a public-private partnership (P3) with a developer to build family-oriented rental housing for graduate students and faculty. New housing would be located on a 2.21-acre parcel that is adjacent to the university's Manoa campus. The land was acquired by the university from the federal government three years ago after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agencies moved to a new facility on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. 

University officials have not specified the number of units for the housing but want the project to include a child-care facility. The developer would have a long-term lease for the property and the university would retain the fee. Proposals are due by Feb. 22.
Centre County Correctional Facility
Pennsylvania- Centre County plans to solicit proposals to build a solar array that can handle the electric needs for the County Correctional Facility. The board of commissioners last week voted to authorize advertisement of a request for proposals to design and construct the 1.7-megawatt solar panel facility on the jail's grounds. 

The solar panels will be constructed on 6 acres on the east side of the jail. This allows any potential expansion at the correctional facility if necessary. When first proposed as part of the energy savings program, the solar array was projected to save $3.1 million to $3.5 million in energy costs over a 20-year time frame.
Delaware- A project is in the works to preserve Milford's historical Vinyard Shipyard as well as the Mulholland Spoon Factory. A task force has been formed to preserve and promote the shipyard area, the last of seven shipyards in Milford that has a wooden ship building facility on the Delaware Bay. With the assistance of Downtown Milford, Inc., an economic development organization, the task force has contracted with an architecture firm to begin the process of determining possible uses for the shipyard and how its assets can be integrated into the Milford Riverwalk, Bicentennial Park, Goat Island and other nearby property. 

The shipyard could become a recreation area that includes an outdoor atrium and the Mulholland Spoon factory could be re-purposed as an arts center. The group is currently seeking funding for the study which is set to begin in early 2019. The study would focus on potential ways to develop the proposed park and recreational area around the historic site but would also propose methods of how the area would be managed- potentially through a public-private partnership.
Tennessee- Columbia's growing and prosperous downtown lacks parking spots. The city plans to partner with Maury County and initiate a comprehensive study of on-street parking and designated parking lots. City and county officials anticipate having short and pragmatic recommendations that might be implemented immediately, such as better signage, lighting or partnerships with local businesses and government on using existing lots. 

The study will also provide insight on whether a parking garage is needed, the costs of one, suggestions on feasible places to build and if there are opportunities for public-private partnerships to address the parking issues. City officials  would like to address in the study the possibility of incorporating the Mule Town Trolley, which would make walks shorter for customers to their destinations. The square and two blocks in each direction will be the focus of the study, along with parts of the Arts District.
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Mobile County Government Plaza
Alabama- Mobile County commissioners agreed to send out a request for proposals (RFP) this week for food service operations in the Government Plaza. This plan would initially begin as a catering service. Food would be prepared offsite, brought in and catered between certain hours. If it's successful, then eventually food would be prepared on site with the possibility of adding a breakfast service as well. 

The RFP invites any restaurateur to make a proposal for a viable food service operation that is located east of the Government Street entrance.The county would require the business to pay "market value" for the rental of the space inside Government Plaza.
Alaska- Gov. Bill Walker has approved the release of $3.6 million to complete the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Ambler Mining District Access Project. This large-scale project was one of several halted by executive order in December 2014 so the Office of Management and Budget could review discretionary spending. The Ambler Road Project is a proposed 200-mile road that would connect the Ambler Mining District in Northwest Alaska with the Dalton Highway and Fairbanks. The decision is in response to an Aug. 24 request from the Alaska Industrial and Development Export Authority (AIDEA) to release the funds. No additional state funding is expected to be needed for completion of the EIS process. 

After a Record of Decision on the EIS, and if the Bureau of Land Management grants right-of-way and AIDEA decides to pursue a road, it is expected to be supported through a public-private partnership finance structure without additional funding from state government.
Kansas- The city of Derby will be opening its waste service contract to qualified companies next year. The city has a 10-year contract with its current contractor that is due to expire Dec. 1, 2019. The current provider offers city-wide trash service and curbside recycling. City officials plan to issue a request for proposals in the coming months so a contract can be in place by May 2019.
South Carolina- The United States Department of Energy will soon issue a request for proposals for the paramilitary security contract at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Duties of the site security contractor include responding to emergencies and protecting the site, its personnel, its national security interests, its nuclear material and sensitive information. A 10-year contract with the current SRS security contractor expires Oct. 7, 2019. A new security contract will likely be awarded late 2019, early 2020. 

The SRS is a nuclear reservation located on land in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties adjacent to the Savannah River. The site was built during the 1950s to refine nuclear materials for deployment in nuclear weapons.

March 4-6
The P3C Public-Private Partnership (P3) Conference & Expo will be held March 4-6 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 North Olive St., Dallas, Texas. Register for the event here

Join over 1,250 senior representatives from governments, higher education institutions and leading firms in the global construction and financial markets. The conference attracts professionals from all corners of the industry and provides a valuable opportunity to facilitate new partnerships with industry peers and public sector partners. Attendees will discover new alternative project delivery methods, strategies for implementing successful P3 projects, the nuts and bolts of how deals work, and how to manage risks associated with legal and financial frameworks. 

Attendees will participate in interactive panels, workshops, and conversations specifically tailored to the needs of public agencies evaluating P3s. The conference is designed for all levels in the market including those beginning to explore P3s and seeking to better understand where alternative and accelerated project delivery methods can be applicable.

- John MacKinnon, the head of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, will lead the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. MacKinnon was the department's deputy commissioner of highways and public facilities from 2003 to 2008. He also served on the Juneau Assembly and the Juneau Planning Commission. 
- Alicia Welch has been hired as the new fire chief in Golden. Welch retired in 2017 from the Los Angeles Fire Department after 26 years and moved to Colorado. She replaces Chief John Bales, who retired after serving as chief for 17 years. Welch was sworn in Nov. 26. Golden is a mostly volunteer fire department. 
- Jim Gill, president and CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) has stepped down after less than two years. Gill plans to transition immediately to a consulting role to pursue opportunities in the public sector. The GFIA Airport Authority Board will select a national search firm to identify CEO candidates. The board expects the search process to be completed in 2019. Brian Picardat, airport vice president, and chief financial officer and treasurer of the airport authority, is serving as interim CEO. 
- Irene Spanos, Oakland County's director of economic development and community affairs, will soon be leaving for a job at Oakland University. She has served in this position since November 2011. Spanos' final day with the county will be Dec. 7. Deputy County Executive Tim Meyer, tasked with overseeing all economic development and community affairs matters, will continue to lead the department as the search for a department director gets underway.
- West Virginia's chief information security officer, Joshua Spence, has been promoted to chief technology officer, the state's top information technology role. Spence has 18 years in IT positions with the U.S. Air Force and joined West Virginia state government as its top cybersecurity official in 2015. He replaces John Dunlap, who retired in November. Spence will maintain his position as a guardsman and cyber operations officer with the West Virginia Air National Guard. 
- Tommie Reese, the director of public safety for Demopolis, has been appointed to law enforcement coordinator with the Alabama Attorney General's Office. He will begin his work in the new position in January. In 2017, Reese was appointed director of public safety, expanding his oversight to include both the Demopolis police and fire departments. Reese replaces former Attorney General law enforcement coordinator Chris Carden, who retired in September. 
- Theodore R. Delbridge has been named executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, a state agency that coordinates the emergency medical system, including ground and air transport and emergency services policies. Delbridge is an emergency physician and has been a professor and chair of emergency medicine at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine since 2006. He takes over a position, beginning in February, which had been filled temporarily with co-acting directors. 
- The College of Charleston Board of Trustees ended a year-long search for its next leader by electing University of Toledo provost Andrew Hsu as its 23rd president. The board unanimously approved Hsu, a former aerospace engineer whose work in academia has mostly focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), to lead the liberal arts college. His start date has not been determined. Since July 2016, Hsu has served as the provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at the University of Toledo in Ohio. He will succeed Glenn McConnell, who announced his retirement in January. 
- Loudoun County has promoted Alaina Ray to director of the Department of Planning and Zoning. Ray has served as the department deputy since October 2017. Prior to joining Loudoun County, Ray served as planning, zoning and building director in Longboat Key, Fla. As the director of Loudoun planning and zoning, Ray will oversee the department that works closely with the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission and the public in developing plans that guide land use in the county. 
- Kauai County Planning Department Deputy Director Kaaina Hull will take over as planning director starting this week. Hull replaced Michael Dahilig, who vacated the position Dec. 3. Hull has been with the planning department for more than a decade. He spent over seven years as a planner with the county before being appointed deputy director three years ago. Hull requested that the commission allow him to return to his position as planner with the county after his term as director ends. 
- Debra Campbell began her duties as the new Asheville city manager on Monday. Campbell comes to Asheville from Charlotte, where she has been the assistant city manager there since 2014. Campbell will replace Gary Jackson, who was let go in March. 
- Mark Rothert is the new Pekin city manager. He has been serving as the interim Pekin city manager since the departure of his predecessor, Tony Carson. Rothert, who had been Carson's assistant, was named Pekin interim city manager in August. Rothert was hired in Pekin in June 2017. Prior to that, he spent five years as Peoria County assistant administrator.
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