Minnesota– The Anoka County Board has approved the city of Anoka’s request for $38.9 million from the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) Corridors of Commerce program. The program would fund the Highway 10/169 project, which would eliminate traffic signals at the intersections of Fairoak and Thurston avenues by constructing an underpass at Fairoak and an interchange at Thurston.
According to figures provided to the county board, the project was estimated at $85.9 million in 2021. Anoka has already received three grants and $20 million in federal money from the 2017 MnDOT highway freight program. In addition, the county has committed $4 million, the city $2 million and MnDOT another $800,000. Last year, the city applied for federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery and Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grants, both for $10 million, with word expected this spring on whether one or both have been approved. The project would also involve existing service road work to improve access from Thurston to Anoka Technical College. The city has hired a design firm for the project which is targeted for construction in 2021.
Florida– Advocates for Florida A&M University gathered for ‘FAMU Day’ at the Capitol to solicit support for the 130-year-old institution of higher learning. Administrators from the university spoke about the increase in enrollment and how student housing has reached its capacity. To accommodate the growing population, the school plans to solicit for a public-private partnership (P3) to design, build and finance a 700-bed residence hall on campus in the next two years.
The addition of a new residence hall is just one of several construction projects the campus has planned. Other priorities include $7.5 million in technological improvements, $1.2 million for improvements to the Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station and $6.2 million for the College of Engineering.
Washington State– The Port of Kalama has issued a request for interest (RFI) from developers for a 5-acre parcel of land located near the old Kalama fairgrounds. The site, that is part of the Spencer Creek Business Park, could potentially feature a range of retail or commercial services, including a fuel station, hotel, restaurants and coffee shops. The parcel’s development is expected to set the tone for the business park’s remaining 65 acres. The RFI is expected to result in the selection of a development team for an exclusive negotiating period.
The port has considered developing its property east of Interstate 5 for more than a decade – slowly purchasing nearby land and conducting economic feasibility studies. The port will also seek bids in the spring for a $5 million road project that will add a new roundabout at the intersection of Kalama River Road and Highway 99. Street improvements for the area between Haydu Park and Meeker Drive are under design, as well. The port also plans to relocate and install utilities to support the site’s development. Responses for the RFI are due at the end of this month.
California– San Francisco is moving ahead with plans for a public-private partnership (P3) to build a city-wide fiber network that will encompass the almost 47-square miles of the city. The city has issued a request for information (RFI) for the project and also plans to select five proposals by April 30. The city will then issue a follow-up request by the end of the year for three proposals to enter into the design phase. Early estimates put the cost of the project around $1.9 billion.
The network would be owned by the city but built and managed as a P3 – an arrangement that allows the city to alleviate some of the costs and risks of creating a brand-new utility. The city would maintain significant control over the price consumers would pay if they sign up for the service. The new network is expected to include subsidized rates to close the digital divide for low income residents. Currently about 100,000 residents of the city don’t have internet in their home.