Austin Voters Approve Tax Measure to Help Fund $7.1B Project Connect Plan

On November 3rd, Austin voters approved a property tax increase to help fund the $7.1 billion Project Connect mass transit project. The initial investment, which is a portion of the “Project Connect System Plan,” includes 27 miles of rail service, 31 stations and a transit tunnel. Specific elements of the plan include:

  • Blue Line: An approximately 15-mile light rail line running from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), connecting through the downtown station and running north to Lamar Boulevard at Highway 183
  • Orange Line: A 21-mile light rail line running from North ...
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Tags: Texas
CEQA Amended to Expedite Transit and Sustainable Transportation Projects

Governor Newsom recently signed into law Senate Bill 288 (the “Sustainable Transportation COVID-19 Recovery Act”), which will temporarily add new exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) statute. The purpose of SB 288 is to fast track transit and sustainable transportation projects, provide a boost to public transit agencies affected by COVID-19, aid economic recovery by producing jobs, and reduce driving and GHG emissions. 

These statutory exemptions may help expedite environmental review of transportation projects that are specifically ...

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Governor Newsom Signs Major Housing and Transit CEQA Streamlining Bill

On August 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 2731, which is intended to support the potential redevelopment of the 70-acre Navy Old Town Campus in downtown San Diego. The site would include a LEED Gold certified transit hub, a public transit connection to the San Diego International Airport and adjacent transit-oriented development, including up to 10,000 new residential units. The bill was authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. It authorizes the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to acquire a ...

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COVID-19 Puts Universities’ Use of P3s to the Test

Universities have utilized public-private partnerships (P3s) in recent years to facilitate various types of campus construction projects, including campus housing, specialized facilities, utility systems and even overall campus expansions. Utilizing P3s for campus improvements has allowed universities to deliver important projects and leverage private industry expertise while shifting capital cost investments to the private sector.

Despite the growing trend of using P3s to deliver projects, the COVID-19 pandemic may impact universities’ interest in utilizing P3 ...

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Pursuant to Senate Bill 743 (passed in 2013), the metric for analyzing transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) officially changed over on July 1, 2020 from level of service to vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Now, VMT is the standard for such analyses in nearly all CEQA documents, requiring agencies to implement sweeping changes in their approach to analyzing transportation impacts from major infrastructure and development projects. The following video excerpt from a recent Nossaman webinar on this topic provides a brief overview of these new CEQA guidelines relating to VMT.

For further details on this topic ...

Posted in Financing

On September 3, 2020, San Luis Obispo Regional Transportation Authority (SLO RTA) closed the first TIFIA loan under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (Department’s) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Rural Project Initiative (RPI).  The SLO RTA manages several local and express fixed-route transit lines, as well as several paratransit and dial-a-ride services throughout San Luis Obispo County located in the Central Coast region of California.  The SLO RTA’s current administration, operations, and bus maintenance facility has ...

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FCC’s 5G Fast Plan Gains Momentum

5G provides reliable communications, enables near real-time interactions and has much faster data speed. 5G also provides the platform for the Internet of Things which can be utilized in improving public safety, autonomous driving, healthcare, education, smart cities, smart farming, home automation and many more.

On August 12, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld most of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s initiatives to expedite 5G deployments on existing local infrastructure. Specifically, the court upheld the following orders issued ...

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COVID-19 and the Future of Transportation in California

On July 23, 2020, the California Transportation Foundation convened a panel of transportation professionals for the webinar “Transportation Outlook: Moving Beyond COVID-19.”  The panelists discussed the impacts of the coronavirus and what the future holds for California’s transportation sector in the wake of the pandemic.

Below are key takeaways from the panel:

Adjusting to a “New Normal”

  • COVID-19 has significantly altered the way some Californians commute to work; remote work could become a permanent feature of the post-pandemic economy.
  • Transit agencies are ...
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FY21 Appropriations Bill Calls for Billions in Transportation Funding

The full House will consider the FY21 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill that the House Appropriations Committee approved with a final vote of 30-22 on July 14, 2020.  For FY2021, the THUD bill provides a total of $107.2 billion in total budgetary resources for the U.S. Department of Transportation, including:

  • $1 billion for National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER/BUILD);
  • $3 million to support the Highly Automated Systems Safety Center for Excellence;
  • $10 million for competitive Transportation Planning Grants to assist areas of persistent poverty; ...
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Posted in Water
Water Storage and Dam Management Strategies in Light of Climate Change Impacts

There can be little argument that many of the more than 90,000 dams in this country are in need of immediate attention. The catastrophic failure of two dams in Michigan last month following an extraordinary amount of rain in a relatively short period, highlights a number of issues:

  • More than 60% of dams in the United States are more than 60 years old. That means they were largely constructed using construction standards and techniques that are no longer consistent with modern requirements and standards, exposing these dams to  the potential for failure.
  • While many dams have been ...
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Nossaman LLP’s 30-plus infrastructure attorneys offer clients, colleagues, strategic partners, and industry media a wealth of practical experience, insider insight, and thoughtful analysis here on Infra Insight. We blog about what we know best, from industry-leading procurements to local and national policy developments that affect the market and our clients.

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