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.
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.
Illinois-The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is pushing for congestion pricing to ease Chicago’s traffic troubles. Highway gridlock is costing the city $7.3 billion a year in lost productivity and fuel. IDOT is considering an express lane on the Stevenson Expressway that would allow drivers to bypass traffic by paying a toll on an adjustable scale based on current demand and overall distance traveled.
The expressway would be a public-private partnership in which a developer would build, operate and maintain the lanes in exchange for tolls. While congestion pricing is a key part of Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s “Go to 2040” long-term planning strategy, the system could debut in a pilot capacity relatively soon. IDOT is hoping to study the concept by implementing a managed lane on Interstate 55 by as early as 2019.
California– Redondo Beach is embracing the Olympic spirit and pitching a design for a new water front Olympic venue for the summer 2028 games. The city originally wanted to build a venue to host water polo, swimming or boating events but the Olympic committee already awarded that project to Long Beach. Instead the city may become the site of cultural events, festivities or a training facility.
A newly formed city subcommittee will work on a formal proposal while city officials work on a bid to acquire a 51-acre site for a public-private partnership. The city envisions a 6-mile course that would start at King Harbor, run south along the coast and loop at the Palos Verdes Peninsula, with spectators watching from the bluffs along The Esplanade