Michigan- City of Detroit officials presented a $317-million plan to improve 300 miles of roads and thousands of damaged sidewalks. Mayor Mike Duggan plans to propose a portion of that funding come from investing $125 million in bond funds. The bonds, which would be repaid through un-budgeted increases in state transportation revenue over the next several years, will be considered by the Detroit City Council.
Of the $125 million in the proposal, about $80 million would fund major infrastructure improvements along some of the city’s commercial corridors. Improvements would include landscaping, reconfiguring traffic lanes to add bike lanes, improved street parking and wider sidewalks to allow for outdoor café seating. The remaining $45 million would add to existing road funds to improve 300 miles of city roads and replace hundreds of thousands of broken sections of sidewalk across the city. There are also plans to spend another $193 million of budgeted city, state and federal dollars to repave roads and replace sidewalks. Work on streetscape projects are expected to begin by early 2018 and continue over the next five years.
Florida- The St. Johns County Ocean Pier is in danger of disappearing despite being rebuilt several times over the years. A study performed on the pier several years ago showed that the pier only had about 10 years left. However, after the recent hurricane, this prediction may need to be revisited. Currently, the pier and adjoining parking lot are owned by the county, but the city of St. Augustine Beach would like to take over the land and save the pier through a public-private partnership (P3).
The city estimates replacing the pier would cost between $10 to $14 million and has proposed using hotel and motel occupancy tax dollars for bonds. City officials have been tasked to create a report on the current state of the pier and how the city plans to approach the effort, as well as finding organizations that could give the city advice on forming a P3
Maine- Maine Medical Center in Portland has won state approval for its $512 million renovation and expansion project that will add single-patient rooms, operating rooms and a new entrance facing Congress Street. According to an August 2017 analysis by Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the hospital’s expansion project is necessary for modern hospital needs. The project is scheduled to take place from 2018-2022.
The expansion would increase the footprint of the hospital’s main campus by about 25 percent and add 19 new operating rooms and 128 single inpatient rooms. The project did undergo one significant overhaul this summer when the hospital changed its plans on parking from an adjacent site to a 10-story parking garage, a quarter mile from the hospital. The hospital’s expansion would add two floors with 30,000 square feet and 64 extra in-patient beds to the East Tower, which was built in 2009. The state granted the Certificate of Need contingent upon Maine Med submitting annual reports on how the expansion improved “quality and outcomes” at the hospital. The reports are required for three years after the project is completed.
Pennsylvania- Some major projects have the potential to improve Philadelphia’s infrastructure. Amtrak is in search of a master developer to take on a $6.5 billion project to transform both 30th Street Station and the surrounding area into an innovative transportation hub and mixed-use neighborhood. Creating more public space and addressing traffic issues will be other planned changes directly involving the 30th Street Station.
A feasibility study is underway to extend the Broad Street subway line from the final stop at the stadiums to the Navy Yard. The study results are expected to be released this year. The estimated $500 million project could turn the Navy Yard campus into a livable place with housing. Another project is the capping of Interstate 95 and Penn’s Landing.
A $225 million project will put a park over the interstate between Chestnut and Walnut streets, and slope down over Penn’s Landing, which is currently a heavy-concrete public space on the Delaware River. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is waiting for an environmental impact study on an effort to connect King of Prussia rail
(KOP) with the Norris High Speed Line. The KOP could see an operational train by 2025.