Oklahoma– Oklahoma’s Gilcrease Expressway project began in the 1950s to create a loop around the city. But the planned loop stalled at a necessary crossing of the Arkansas River west of downtown. The route of the five-mile, four-lane tollway, which will include an adjacent multiuse trail, was approved by the state in April. The plan should be finalized by May 2018, with construction to begin late in the summer.
The estimated $290 million cost will be funded through a public-private partnership. The plan is to issue a request for information and then a request for proposals. The private partner will be responsible for about a third of the total cost, and will be repaid first out of the tolls. The other two-thirds will be funded through a partnership of six government entities – the city of Tulsa, the Indian Nations Council of Governments, Tulsa County, Oklahoma Transportation Authority, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the federal government. Appraisals are underway on 20 parcels and an offer will be made soon on right-of-way acquisitions.
California- San Mateo City Council members are reviewing funding options for flood control improvements in the North Shoreview and parts of North Central neighborhoods where property owners will be asked to form an assessment district. In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency mandated insurance for about 1,600 residents with mortgages that live in a flood zone along the San Mateo Bayfront. The project would cost $23.5 million and would include enhancing the levee and two pump stations.
The city council discussed forming the North Shoreview Flood Control Assessment District following a survey of property owners who showed a majority support for taxing themselves for the next 20 years to help cover the nearly $2.4 million cost of levee repairs. The city will mail ballots in mid-October and, if a majority of respondents agree, would form the district with levies assessed on property tax bills next fiscal year.
Connecticut- Interstate 84, west of the Connecticut River to the area of Sisson Avenue, is getting realigned and moved to the ground at a cost of $5.3 billion. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) is in the planning stages to either remove the viaduct structure that carries I-84 through Hartford or bring the highway down to ground level.
CDOT has identified the ground-level option over replacing the viaduct, which has reached its 50-year life expectancy. Portions of the highway that are placed underground would have caps placed over them to allow for streets, pedestrians and development. Shifting the highway would move the rail line between Sigourney and Walnut streets. The shift will also require the relocation of the station currently located on Union Place. The project remains on schedule for a final design to start in 2021, with construction starting sometime in 2022 or 2023.
New York/New Jersey- The planning process for a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel is moving forward in New Jersey this month. A final environmental impact statement will be issued next spring to allow for construction to get underway in 2019. The tunnel would run between North Bergen and New York’s Penn Station and is part of a regional Gateway initiative for infrastructure improvement in the region.
The project will require building a tube in each direction for rail transit and alleviate concerns over whether the existing tunnel would ever shut down due to damage suffered during hurricane Sandy. Plans for the new tunnel were released for public review, along with an environmental impact study, and Federal and state officials are collecting public comments on the tunnel through Aug. 21. Questions over funding for the $13 billion project have urged officials to explore creating a public-private partnership for the tunnel.