Posts in News.
Posted in News

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently penned a Dear Colleague letter regarding the Agency’s implementation of the Capital Investment Grants Program, stating that FTA will consider federal loans or financing tools in the context of all federal funding sources for a project, implying that such financing assistance will be calculated as part of a transit project’s federal share. Other modal agencies consider federal loan programs, such as TIFIA or RRIF, to be part of a project’s non-federal share.[1]

The letter has caused a significant amount of discussion in the ...

Posted in News

Sponsors of critical maritime transportation projects received welcome news this week, as the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for America’s Marine Highway Projects. This notice makes available roughly $7 million in recently-appropriated funds for the Short Sea Transportation Program (46 U.S.C. § 55601), commonly referred to as America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP).

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) is in charge of this important, but perhaps not well-known, program:  The America’s Marine Highway ...

Posted in News

Last week the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao notified Congress of DOT’s INFRA grant winners.  The Chicago CREATE program will receive over $132 million to reduce congestion where multiple railroads intersect and to eliminate automobile traffic delays by separating rail and automobile traffic.  In Ohio, the Ohio Rail Development Commission will receive over $16.2 million to improve 30 miles of rail line.

The INFRA program formerly known as the FASTLANE program focuses on highway projects, but projects that shift freight to other modes of transportation are ...

Posted in Legislation, News

A new Government Accounting Office report says the Federal Transit Administration has failed to meet three statutory requirements (two from MAP-21 and one from the FAST Act) related to the Capital Investments Grant program, the primary source of federal funding for commuter, light rail, subway, ferry and bus rapid transit projects.  FTA says it has no plans to do so.

GAO says FTA has not issued regulations for rating Core Capacity Improvement projects; established a grant program for simultaneous development of multiple transit projects; or implemented a pilot program for ...

Posted in Legislation, News

As the December 31, 2018 deadline approaches for freight, passenger, and commuter railroads to implement Positive Train Control (PTC), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is reporting on the progress of individual railroads in complying with the mandate.

In 2008, Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act and mandated that certain railroads carrying passengers or hazardous materials are required to install PTC.  The FRA describes PTC as a communication-based/processor-based train control technology designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed ...

Posted in Legislation, News

The White House released its long-awaited infrastructure proposal to Congress this morning, along with the President’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal. While elements have been hinted at and leaked before, the 55-page document released today provides significant new details. Though the Administration began to advance discrete priorities by executive action this past year, this broad proposal will require legislation. The Administration has opted to leave to Congress the drafting of the bill, just as it did with tax reform.

The White House proposal includes:

  • Creation of new ...

A government shut down arises when Congress fails to pass an appropriations act that enables federal agencies to spend. There should be separate appropriations acts for groups of agencies.  However, in recent years, Congress has not enacted these separate appropriations acts, but collected them in one enormous bill that includes virtually every agency of the federal government.  Having created these monster bills, Congress then delays passage over battles about what programs or expenditures should or should not be included.  This creates the delays that lead to government ...

Posted in News, P3s

The Canadian government is taking a new approach to P3s.  By the end of 2017, PPP Canada will have ceased operations, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (the CIB) will be launched.

Year end is nearly upon us.  What has PPP Canada accomplished, and what is expected from the new CIB?

PPP Canada’s Contributions

PPP Canada was established by the Harper government in 2008.  At that time, certain provinces were already very experienced in the delivery of large and complex public infrastructure projects using P3 delivery models (including British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario).  The specific ...

In Florida, All Aboard Florida, a private entity, is about to launch passenger rail service from Miami to West Palm Beach, with future service extending to Orlando. In California, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is currently constructing a high-speed passenger rail line with the long-term goal of connecting the metro areas of San Francisco and the Los Angeles.  These projects have a common denominator: each envisions intercity passenger rail service entirely within one state.  But when it comes to economic regulation by the federal government, these projects are treated ...

Posted in Airports, News

President Trump kicked off infrastructure week on Monday, June 5th, by proposing to corporatize the U.S. air traffic control system, shifting about 35,000 workers, including unionized traffic controllers, technicians, and others, off of the government payroll, and removing the Federal Aviation Administration from its role operating the business that it regulates.  It’s an idea that has been in the national discourse since at least the 1980’s, and is supported by the major U.S. airlines and other key industry players, including the union representing air traffic ...

Posted in Financing, News

Among other policy initiatives, the Trump Administration has advocated for the need to improve the nation’s infrastructure in order to maintain America’s economic competitiveness. In its recently released 2018 proposed budget, the Administration included $200 billion in outlays related to its infrastructure initiatives.  The Administration’s budget also focuses on leveraging private sector involvement as part of the overall solution to reform and change how infrastructure projects are regulated, funded, delivered and maintained.

There have been reports that one ...

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Posted in Financing, News, P3s, Policy

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017 the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing titled Leveraging Federal Funding; Innovative Solutions for Infrastructure.

The stated purpose of the hearing is for Senators to examine the need for more public sector funding and private sector financing in the Federal Highway Program.  To this end, the Subcommittee has scheduled the following individuals to testify on this topic:

  • Eric Garcetti (Mayor, City of Los Angeles; Chair of U.S. Conference of Mayors Infrastructure ...
Posted in Legislation, News, Policy

It’s been a productive time for advocates of water in the U.S. with President Obama signing into law the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN).  WIIN includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA), together with provisions to authorize critical water projects  and improve drinking water infrastructure, water storage and supply, flood control and waterways across the nation.

A summary of some of WIIN’s key attributes are set out below:

  • WIIN authorizes Congress to provide $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act ...
Posted in News

Patrick Harder, Chair of Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, has been appointed to the advisory board of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP), an internationally regarded academic center dedicated to advancing infrastructure through teaching, research and outreach.

Mr. Harder, a veteran infrastructure attorney who focuses on advising public agencies in high profile, complex deals, was one of 10 new board members named at the CPIP annual fall meeting in late October. He joined a field that includes CEOs and other infrastructure leaders from companies ...

Posted in News, P3s

Voting and registration are officially open for the P3 Awards Gala hosted by InfraAmericas and The Performance Based Building Coalition (PBBC) which takes place on Monday, June 13 in New York City prior to the annual US P3 Forum held on June 15-16. The US P3 Forum is the P3 industry’s premier gathering of infrastructure professionals including infrastructure developers, investors, financiers, state and federal public officials and regional transportation authorities.

Voting

This industry awards dinner recognizes individual achievement in advancing P3 projects. The ...

Posted in Legislation, News

At the end of 2015, two modal administrations of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) have encountered changes to their Buy America programs.  Both the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have had changes imposed upon their Buy America procedures – the FTA by Congress through provisions in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (or, FAST Act) and the FHWA through a recent opinion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing ...

Posted in Legislation, News

Posted by guest blogger Billy Moore.

Billy Moore of Vianovo works with the Transportation Transformation Group, a consortia of public and private entities that looks at ways of improving the funding and financing of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which is co-chaired by Nossaman Partner Geoffrey Yarema.

The House and Senate conferees have agreed on a compromise $305 billion five-year surface transportation authorization: the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill should be headed to the White House in the next few days. It would ...

Posted in Airports, News

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) staff today briefed its Board of Airport Commissioners on its plans to deliver and finance the estimated $5 billion Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  LAMP includes several elements, including an elevated 2.25-mile automated people mover (APM), a consolidated rent-a-car facility (ConRAC), parking garages, pedestrian bridges to airport terminals and roadway improvements.  The APM will have several stops between LAX’s Central Terminal Area and the new ConRAC, including a stop at a ...

Posted in News

Last month, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) formally unveiled its Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC).  BATIC’s mission is to:

  • Expand the use of federal transportation credit programs;
  • Innovate new approaches to project development processes and funding challenges and institutionalize technology and best practice across credit programs and modal teams; and
  • Deliver streamlined technical and financial assistance to accelerate project delivery

BATIC is intended to serve as a single point of contact for project sponsors to obtain ...

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Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants fund billions of transit-related projects throughout the United States.  In an effort to improve the project delivery process for those projects, the FTA on September 3, 2015, announced the establishment of the Expedited Public Transportation Improvement Initiative (XPEDITE) in the Federal Register.  The FTA is soliciting participation in an online dialogue regarding XPEDITE, the goals of which are to facilitate the transit industry's implementation of the following:

  • Proven technologies to improve service delivery and ...
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Tags: FHWA, FTA, NEPA, XPEDITE
Posted in News

To help promote Infrastructure Week—which brings together thousands of stakeholders from around the country to highlight the critical importance of investing in and modernizing America’s infrastructure systems, and the essential role infrastructure plays in our economy—Nossaman is reposting this article on California’s infrastructure needs. To learn more about Infrastructure Week, which runs May 11-May 15, please visit www.infrastructureweek.org or follow Infrastructure Week on Twitter @RebuildRenew.

California is the most populous state in the Country; ...

Posted in News

As part of Infrastructure Week, 2015, several interested organizations banded together for an afternoon meeting on Monday, May 11, that focused on public-private partnerships as a way out of the infrastructure crunch.  Projects, big and small, stand to benefit from engaging the private sector to solve an array of infrastructure challenges.  The event was hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and moderated by Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone, who is also the 2nd Vice President of National League of Cities (NLC).  Art Smith, President of the National Council for Public-Private ...

Posted in News, Policy

Federal transportation officials are contemplating new contract rules that would make it easier for states and cities to hire local residents to work on transportation projects.  Federal rules currently prohibit the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from allowing contract provisions that do not directly relate to the bidder's performance of work.  Thus, local hiring provisions have not been allowed in procurements for federally funded projects.  This month, however, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, announced a ...

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Tags: FHWA, FTA
Posted in News, P3s

"Best value" procurements are sometimes criticized as involving a "black box" decision-making process.  A recent report issued by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) discusses practices to increase transparency in such procurements.  The report is NCHRP’s latest installment of its Synthesis of Highway Practice, issued on March 5, 2015.  A resource for public agencies, this synthesis addresses best practices for developing transparent best value selection procedures in public procurements.  These concepts are of particular interest to public and ...

Posted in News, Policy

The Second Annual Conference of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance (MBUFA) was held in Washington, DC on February 24, 2015.  The MBUFA is a non-profit organization that promotes awareness and education about mileage-based user fees as an alternative for the future funding of improvements to the U.S. transportation system.  Attendees included policy makers, public sector representatives and private sector stakeholders weighing in on the topic Sustainable Transportation Funding, Road User Fees: Is There Another Option for Achieving Financial Sustainability?   The concept of a ...

Posted in News

Earlier today, President Barack Obama released his approximately $4 trillion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on October 1 of this year.  While the President’s proposed budget covers everything from defense to diseases, he has included a particularly ambitious proposal for transportation.

The President’s proposed budget provides $94.7 billion in funding for the Department of Transportation (US DOT), covering infrastructure development and safety enhancement in highways and bridges, transit, railroads, and aviation.  The President is proposing a ...

Posted in News, Policy

This Friday, January 23, 2015, California will take the first step in investigating a road user charge pilot program as an alternative to the gas tax when the CTC convenes the Road User Charge Advisory Committee meeting.  The committee was created last year by SB 1077 which authorizes a pilot study.  California joins a handful of other states that are exploring road user charge pilot programs, including Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota.

The 15 member committee is made up of representatives of local and regional agencies, privacy advocates, auto groups and state officials.  According ...

Posted in News, P3s

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has announced that it will hold its annual Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference on July 15-17, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington in Washington, DC.  This year’s conference, entitled P3s in Transition: The Next Chapter, will again feature a P3 owners-only meeting and interactive sessions, including the continuation of the Great Debate series exploring whether unsolicited proposals add value to P3s.

ARTBA’s annual conference is the nation’s premier and longest-standing event for ...

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Tags: ARTBA, P3s, PPPs
Posted in News

Javier Rodriguez, P.E., Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), is ready to begin his role as president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) for 2015.  Rodriguez was elected during IBTTA’s 82nd Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Austin, which brought together nearly 1,000 transportation leaders from more than 20 countries to discuss innovative practices, policies, technologies, funding options and business models transforming mobility for drivers worldwide.

As the executive director of MDX, Rodriguez led the ...

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Tags: IBTTA

On January 6, 2015, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (the Authority) achieved a significant milestone — the groundbreaking of the only high-speed rail system in the United States.  Gathering at the site of the future train station in downtown Fresno, federal, state and local government officials, as well as hundreds of student, community, transportation, business and labor leaders celebrated the start of construction for the largest infrastructure project in the United States.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. commented on the importance of the high-speed ...

Posted in News

Guest post by Mark Romoff, President and CEO, The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships

On December 9, 2014, Ontario’s Auditor General released her 2014 Annual Report, sharply criticizing Ontario’s Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP or P3) program and suggesting a return to using the traditional method of delivering public infrastructure to achieve savings in taxpayer money.  The report expresses skepticism about the cost-saving benefits of the P3 delivery model, directly contradicting what is widely viewed by P3 players and the Canadian public ...

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Tags: Canada, Ontario, P3, PPP
Posted in News

On December 9, the DC Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) held its annual holiday party and awards ceremony at the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC.  Attending the event was U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx who received the Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award for his advocacy of the White House’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative.  In accepting the award, Secretary Foxx emphasized the importance of infrastructure to connect communities together and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Receiving the first Man of the Year Award ...

Posted in News

On November 17, 2014, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest U.S. public pension fund with approximately $300 billion in assets, conducted its annual real assets program review. CalPERS’ real assets program includes real estate, infrastructure and forestland. According to the presentation by its investment staff, real assets’ 13.4% return outperformed the policy benchmark by 160 bps in 2013-2014 fiscal year. CalPERS’ infrastructure program has focused on both public and private infrastructure primarily in transportation ...

Posted in News

As part of its continuing effort to help inform and contribute to the design-build and P3 industry in the U.S., Nossaman is launching an on-going series of blog posts on Emerging Trends in Project Delivery.

Our blog posts for the industry generally are geared toward keeping our readers up to date on current developments regarding projects, programs, laws and regulations.  The Emerging Trends series will add another dimension – a look just over the horizon at what we and our guest bloggers predict may be coming, informed by prior patterns, opinions and results.  If by doing this we can ...

Posted in News, Policy

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently released an updated version of its popular roadmap of US transportation funding options, Matrix of Illustrative Surface Transportation Revenue Options, which may be accessed here.

The tool examines the five surface transportation revenue sources currently in place and considers 33 other potential sources of revenue. Updates to the tool include a bubble display and bar chart that allow users to see how much revenue the funding sources considered might generate. The tool is intended to ...

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Tags: AASHTO
Posted in News, P3s

On October 10 through 12, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) held their 24th Annual Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference in Washington, DC.  Each year during this conference, the ARTBA P3 Division honors two individuals, one public sector and one private sector, for their exemplary contributions to the transportation industry. 

This year we are proud to announce that Nossaman's Geoff Yarema was named "P3 Private Sector Entrepreneur of the Year."  Geoff is the first two-time recipient of this award, having received the award in ...

Posted in News

Nossaman Partner Patrick D. Harder has been named Chair of the Firm's Infrastructure Practice Group. He takes the reins from Partner Geoffrey S. Yarema, who has been Chair of the group since its founding, two years of which he co-chaired with Patrick.

Patrick Harder has over 25 years of legal experience in the construction industry, with a particular focus on large scale civil works projects procured through innovative procurement processes. From managing cutting edge procurements for public agencies to prosecuting and defending construction claims, he has an in-depth knowledge ...

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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