Alaska- Gov. Bill Walker has approved the release of $3.6 million to complete the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Ambler Mining District Access Project. This large-scale project was one of several halted by executive order in December 2014 so the Office of Management and Budget could review discretionary spending. The Ambler Road Project is a proposed 200-mile road that would connect the Ambler Mining District in Northwest Alaska with the Dalton Highway and Fairbanks. The decision is in response to an Aug. 24 request from the Alaska Industrial and Development Export Authority (AIDEA) to release the funds. No additional state funding is expected to be needed for completion of the EIS process.
After a Record of Decision on the EIS, and if the Bureau of Land Management grants right-of-way and AIDEA decides to pursue a road, it is expected to be supported through a public-private partnership finance structure without additional funding from state government.
Pennsylvania- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that 42 highway, bridge, transit, port and waterway, bike and pedestrian projects will receive $49 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund. The city of McKeesport will receive more than $2.9 million for improvements to the existing Steel Valley Trail through the Regional Industrial Development Corporation Park along the Monongahela River, linking the river to the McKeesport Multimedia Center, and improvements to the city’s municipal parking garage that offers trail parking. The Exeter Township will receive more than $2.9 million to design and construct pedestrian improvements on Perkiomen Avenue, including continuous sidewalk, pedestrian lighting, pedestrian buffer, trees and defined entrances and exits for business driveways. See the full list of projects here.
Of the 42 grants that were awarded, 14 were for local bridges. On Oct. 5, PennDOT will begin accepting applications for the next round of funding for grants under the Multimodal Transportation Fund. PennDOT will evaluate the applications and make selections based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability. Applications are due by Nov. 15, 2018. PennDOT expects to announce grant recipients next year for the funding that becomes available in July 2019. For more information about the program visit here.
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.