Kentucky – A state transportation cabinet unveiled a 100-bridge design-build project for the eastern part of the state on May 22 under the Bridging Kentucky Program.
According to the Bridging Kentucky website, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will release a request for qualifications (RFQ) in early June from design-build teams interested in participating in the project, which includes a list of approximately 100 bridges that will be replaced. After receiving responses, the state will issue a request for proposals (RFP) to qualified respondents to select a design-build team later this year.
“We have a large concentration of bridges that need to be replaced in eastern Kentucky. More than half of the bridges in the program are located east of Interstate 75,” Program Manager Royce Meredith said in a press release. “By combining these projects into one larger design-build project, we expect to reduce construction costs for the program. We also expect that having a single team building these bridges will improve coordination among the tightly clustered projects and lessen the impact on travelers.”
The KYTC oversees the six-year Bridging Kentucky Program that will rehabilitate, repair, or replace more than 1,000 bridges across the state in an effort to improve safety, access, and mobility. The initiative will invest $700 million to restore bridges with the highest priority needs in order to reopen many closed structures and increase their load ratings. Construction started on some projects in fall 2018, and officials said they plan to shift more than 400 bridge projects from the design and planning phase to construction this year. The program’s goal is to deliver all projects to construction by 2024.
Illinois – Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled a $41.5 billion preliminary infrastructure plan on May 17 to lawmakers at the state Capitol. The draft “Rebuild Illinois” plan addresses the “C” grade the state’s infrastructure received from the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2018.
Pritzker’s plan calls for $28.58 billion in spending on roads and bridges, mass transit, rail, aeronautics and other transportation. Education would receive $5.94 billion for state universities, community colleges and PreK-12 institutions. More than $4.4 billion would be directed to state facility infrastructure projects, and $1.01 billion would go to environmental and conservation needs. The plan also included funding for statewide broadband deployment, affordable housing, hospital and health care transformation and economic and community development.
The state would pay for these proposals by doubling its gas tax to 38 cents per gallon and increasing vehicle registration fees among other tax increases. Some of the funding would come from federal and local monies.
Maryland– The replacement of the American Legion Memorial Bridge is a top priority for the Maryland governor. The American Legion Bridge replacement is part of a $7.6 billion widening of Interstates 495 (the Capital Beltway) and 270 in Maryland. The new bridge will be built within the current span’s existing footprint but will aim to reduce traffic congestion in the area surrounding the structure. The bridge will connect to three miles of high-occupancy toll lanes that Virginia is building. In November, the Maryland Department of Transportation issued a presolicitation information memo about the anticipated first phase of the project.
The state estimated that this initial scope of work would cost between $2 billion and $5 billion and include the design, construction and financing of managed lanes from Virginia into Maryland, rehabilitation of the American Legion Bridge, followed by operations and maintenance of the new infrastructure for 50 years. The schedule for the solicitation projects that the state’s Board of Public Works would approve the project for a public-private partnership this month. The next step would be the issuance of an industry-wide request for qualifications in April.
North Carolina– Wake County voters approved more than $1.1 billion in bonds for new school construction and park projects. County officials stated that the new bonds will help the county with more economic development opportunities and make the area a greater attraction for businesses. Broken down, $548 million will be used for the Wake County school system on new construction projects, including seven new schools, 11 major renovations and upgrades to security and computers. Voters could be asked to decide on another school bond referendum as soon as 2020 since county leaders opted to go with two smaller referenda rather than one large one this year.
Another $349.1 million will be used to construct new buildings and provide repairs and accessibility upgrades for Wake Technical Community College. Some of those new buildings include a health science building, a public safety simulation building, an auto and collision repair facility and a 1,200-space parking garage for its Research Triangle Park campus. Additionally, $120 million in bond money was approved for parks, open space and recreation construction in the county. The parks bond would go toward acquiring 1,800 acres for future parks and open space, building 15 miles of greenways and renovating existing parks. Those renovations could range from small projects like adding new benches to larger projects like adding a nature or education center.