PennDOT announces $49M for state projects

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.

Port Authority has backup plan for ConRAC

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 unveils Freight NYC plan

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.

Gov. Hogan working on state control for $9B highway plan

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.