New York/New Jersey– The New York and New Jersey Port Authority Board of Commissioners announced that it approved a $170 million allocation to build a new, 3,000-vehicle rent-a-car facility and public parking complex at Newark Airport. This will consolidate the airport’s rent-a-car facilities into a single complex next to the airport’s soon-to-be-redesigned Terminal A. There are two versions of the consolidated rent-a-car facility (ConRAC) plan with a $40 million difference between them.
The first would involve a private developer to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a ConRAC at the airport. The Port Authority’s contribution to the project – which would include a public parking garage – would be capped at $130 million. If negotiations with developers are unsuccessful and a deal isn’t reached before December, the Port Authority will move ahead with Plan B- build its own stand-alone garage at a budgeted cost of $170 million. Construction of the proposed integrated facility – which also allows for installation of a solar roof structure and electrical vehicle charging stations – could start in mid-summer 2019 and continue through the end of 2022, with the public parking elements completed by September 2021.
New York– New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined federal, state and local officials to unveil Freight NYC, a $100 million plan designed to overhaul the city’s aging freight distribution systems. The city of New York plans to work with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to improve marine terminals and barging operations and modernize and expand rail lines and freight facilities. Projects would include reactivating underutilized rail lines by constructing new transload facilities within the existing rights of way and new passing lanes to alleviate train congestion; developing a barge terminal to serve the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center in the Bronx so produce and other food products can reach the area by water instead of by truck; and constructing a barge terminal at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park.
As part of Freight NYC, the city also plans to develop new distribution, warehousing and transload facilities through public-private partnerships. On July 20, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will release a request for proposals (RFP) for a private partner to build an urban distribution center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal totaling at least 500,000 square feet. The NYCEDC will also release an RFP for a 4-acre site near John F. Kennedy Airport to develop an air cargo and distribution facility.
Maryland– Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and the United States Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an agreement to evaluate transferring the federally owned Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Maryland control. The agreement will allow both parties to evaluate future operation and ownership alternatives for the portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway that is administered by the National Park Service. It also acknowledges that the transfer cannot take place without federal legislation. Shifting the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Maryland, widening the highway in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties and tolling it is part of Hogan’s $9 billion Traffic Relief Plan.
Hogan’s plan for Maryland 295 is going to be a public-private partnership. While a private team of builders is expected to be awarded the Interstate 495 and I-270 widening, the Maryland Transportation Authority would build, operate and maintain the new lanes and maintain existing lanes between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. The accelerated timeline for the initial Beltway and I-270 study aims to have the next rounds of technical analysis of the I-495 and I-270 toll lane alternatives done this fall. The details of the potential alternatives are scheduled to be presented at public meetings July 17-25. According to a timeline from the Maryland Department of Transportation, the state expects to issue its request for qualifications and a draft request for proposals (RFP) in 2018, and a final RFP and draft Environmental Impact Statement in 2019.
Pennsylvania– The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study approved $534 million of transportation funding as part of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Every two years, the Lehigh Valley updates its TIP, which establishes a maintenance schedule for bridges, roads and public transportation. In effect, the TIP confirms funding for existing projects and sets up money and timetables for new ones.
The plan includes $50 million to widen and improve portions of Route 22; more than $80 million in work along Route 309; and more than $30 million to widen the Lehigh River Bridge to MacArthur Road by 2020 and to design and acquire the rest of the road between 15th Street and Airport Road. The full plan includes 58 road projects, 57 bridge projects and several railroad improvements to be completed between 2019 and 2022. Overall, $244.3 million would be allocated for road projects; $144 million to repair or replace bridges; and $145.8 to fund the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority. Funding for the project is generally 80 percent federal and 20 percent state. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation oversee the projects. Most of the money comes from the federal government, with the state and local municipalities picking up the rest.