The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has announced it is making $889 million available through its latest round of Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants. In its February 17 announcement, the DOT noted that the INFRA grants “will fund transportation projects of national and regional significance that are in line with the Biden Administration’s priorities, including creating good-paying jobs, improving safety, and applying transformative technology, and explicitly addressing climate change and racial equity.”
For the selection ...
State departments of transportation across the country currently find themselves at a cross-roads where traditional sources of infrastructure funding may not generate sufficient revenues for addressing aging transportation infrastructure. States generally rely on “user fee” revenues generated from fuel taxes, vehicle sales taxes and registration fees to support transportation infrastructure spending. The user fee funding model has come under scrutiny in light of recent trends, such as urbanization, electric vehicles, micro mobility and ride-sharing services. In ...
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 ...
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 ...
Nossaman attorneys Brandon Davis, Liz Klebaner, Brad Kuhn and David Miller hosted a virtual panel discussion on June 3, 2020 covering strategies for successful infrastructure projects in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The panel covered procurement and contracting strategies; real estate and construction considerations; NEPA, CEQA and environmental compliance; and an outlook of environmental litigation under California and federal law. Below are key takeaways from the panel:
Procurement & Contracting Strategies
- Now is the ideal time for agencies to take steps ...
Like many other state agencies, Texas stay-at-home orders issued in response to COVID-19 have shuttered many TxDOT offices since mid-March. These orders have prevented TxDOT staff from attending meetings in person with colleagues, proposers and consultants, however, despite these obstacles, TxDOT has managed to advance several design-build procurements. Among other things, TxDOT has developed strategies to help the agency adapt to the current reality, including advancing processes that allow for electronic submission and evaluation of procurement documents and ...
For those of you involved in the transportation sector, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, June 3rd for a discussion on planning, procurement and financing strategies that can be implemented now to support timely project delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are planning a very interactive webinar where ample time will be set aside to answer questions received from attendees both prior to and during the event.
In his Infra Insight Blog post on April 15, Fred Kessler reported on how the budgets for state departments of transportation, which rely heavily on federal and state fuel tax revenues, are suffering due to reduced traffic volume caused by the COVID-19 “stay at home” directives issued by state and local governments. Nevertheless, with limited exceptions, transportation agencies and the construction industry are allowed to perform road work and some transportation agencies have expedited the delivery of highway projects.
Most stay-at-home directives allow for ...
Like several state and local transportation agencies around the nation, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is looking to roll out a fleet of autonomous vehicles. However, unlike other entities, the JTA is hoping to meld this new technology with an aging monorail system that needs updating.
Through its Ultimate Urban Circulator Program (U2C), the JTA is looking for a private partner to help it roll out an autonomous vehicle fleet through multiple phases. The JTA will first deploy autonomous vehicles at-grade along Bay Street in downtown Jacksonville, then convert the ...
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has authorized a three-year $27.5 million environmental and engineering study to investigate the replacement of existing High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the 405 freeway with toll lanes between the 101 and 10 freeways.
According to Metro, the 405 is one of the nation’s most traveled urban highways, with more than 400,000 people commuting through this corridor each day. The proposed toll lanes are aimed at creating a faster way for some drivers to navigate the Sepulveda Pass from the 101 freeway in the San ...
Watch out Silicon Valley, Sacramento is gearing up to launch a research center and prototype lab focused on developing electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. The California Mobility Center is largely funded by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and supported by a band of public and private partners, including the City of Sacramento, Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Los Rios Community College District, University of California Davis, California State University Sacramento, PEM Motion, and Valley Vision Inc. EnerTech of Toronto will be managing the ...
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of again attending CoMotion LA. Spearheaded by John Rossant, CoMotion LA brings together leaders and innovators of new solutions to solve the mobility issues of our modern world. One of the central themes was adopting new mobility solutions to relieve congestion, an increasingly prevalent reality as populations in cities continue to grow.
During the panel on “Financing the Future: Public-Private Partnering for New Mobility Solutions,” a panel comprised of representatives from the Canadian electric school bus manufacturer Lion Electric ...
Have you ever wished there was a comprehensive, easily accessible project cost database for major US transportation projects? It would be populated following an in depth review of information available from State DOT’s and would capture not just the capital cost of the project, but it’s operation and maintenance cost and delivery and financing approach. The information could be valuable in many ways, including assessing the project performance outcomes for P3’s and non P3’s.
As I found out a couple of weeks ago at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting, there ...
The Port of Vancouver USA and its rail partners BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad have substantially completed a $251M railroad access improvement project which significantly increases rail access in the port. The project creates a new rail entrance to the port, increases the port’s internal track miles from 16 to more than 50 (including a new loop track at the port’s Terminal 5 facilitating unit train transport) and increases rail capacity on BNSF and UPRR lines outside the port. According to port CEO Juliana Marler, the project reduces rail congestion on the mainline and ...
In an effort to promote project flexibility, funding innovation, efficiencies and timely implementation, this week the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released its final rule regarding P3s (and other private involvement) in public transportation projects.
The primary goal of FTA’s Private Investment Project Procedures (or PIPP), new 49 C.F.R. Part 650, is to identify and address FTA requirements that are impediments to the greater use of public-private partnerships and private investment in public transportation capital projects, while protecting the public ...
Much has been said already about President Trump's call to "rebuild our crumbling infrastructure," in his first State of the Union address. The President asked Congress to advance a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan that, in part, should be "leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment."
But not all "crumbling infrastructure" is state and local infrastructure. The federal government's infrastructure also needs attention (e.g., river locks, some dams and levees, federal buildings, etc.). In late ...
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 ...
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (NYMTA) board has approved a $1.8 billion expansion project for another important milestone in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s, comprehensive, interconnected plan to improve transit and transportation throughout the New York metropolitan region.
The project includes signal system and bridge state-of-good-repair elements, but the central element is the addition of a 9.8-mile third track between Floral Park and Hicksville, NY on a segment of the LIRR mainline that handles more than 250 trains per weekday.
The project also ...
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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