Alabama- The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is moving ahead with plans to create a public-private partnership (P3) for the Mobile River Bridge project on Interstate 10. Estimates put the total price of the project in the range of $850 million to $1.5 billion. ALDOT hopes to use a design, build, finance, operate and maintain model and create a toll for the six-lane highway. The government entity would give all duties for the project to a private entity.
In exchange, the private entity is entitled to collect fees from drivers and/or payments from the government entity to recoup its investment. Control of the road is returned to the government entity after the agreed upon payback period. In the fall, ALDOT plans to issue a request for qualifications followed by a request for proposals in 2018. A rough timeline for the project sets construction to begin in 2019. The bridge is expected to be 12,000 feet long and 215 feet high to allow for ships to travel underneath.
Indiana- The Indiana State University (ISU) Board of Trustees voted to seek necessary state approval to spend up to $50 million for renovation of the Hulman Center. That includes use of a $37.5 million state appropriation initially intended for a larger project that also involved a new, adjoining convention center. The remaining $12.5 million would be funded from cash, gifts and non-state borrowing to be repaid from university funds.
In 2015, the General Assembly approved an authorization of $37.5 million to Indiana State to be used as a one-to-one match for the proposed $75 million project to create a convention and arena complex. Other partners included Terre Haute city government, Vigo County government and the Terre Haute Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The university has planned to forego its involvement in the convention center project and instead, seek necessary approvals to use its $37.5 million state appropriation for the Hulman Center renovation.
ISU’s decision to move forward with renovation doesn’t rule out the prospect of a convention center in the future. A convention center could be part of a Phase II project. As far as the Hulman Center renovation, ISU has said if required approvals are obtained, construction could begin as early as next spring.
South Carolina- The $762 million Leatherman Terminal will shift from the planning phase to construction in 2020, but the State Ports Authority has already put in an order for new ship-to-shore cranes for the North Charleston maritime hub. While plans for the terminal are already underway, contracts for the wharf, container yard and other facilities are expected to be awarded next spring. While the cranes from the terminal are built, the design plans are still being finalized and should be completed by the end of the year.
The first phase of the terminal is expected to be completed in the next three years; however, the full design will take the next decade to complete. Once completed, the terminal will include 13 dockside cranes, 202 acres of storage space and more than 3,500 feet of continuous berth. Overall the facility is expected to handle up to 1.4 million cargo boxes each year. In addition to facility construction, plans for the terminal also include building a four-lane road to connect the area to Interstate-26 and the construction of a $130 million rail yard.
Arkansas- The U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation signed an offer to sell 3.5 acres of riverfront property to the city of Fort Smith. In 2015, realizing it needed more than 3.5 acres of land to build a museum, the board opted for a larger 16-acre tract of land further north on Riverfront Drive. Plans call for the U.S. Marshals Museum to start construction in time for a September 2019 opening. The southern boundary of the museum’s 16-acre site aligns with H Street at Riverfront Drive.
The city plans to turn the newly-acquired 3.5 acres of land into a bike skill and skate park. To build their new park, the city plans to pursue a public-private partnership (P3). Fort Smith’s bike skills and Skate Park is expected to cost around $600,000 in addition to the $200,000 the city spent purchasing the land. The final approval date and timeline for the park are not yet set.