New Jersey– High commuter, bus and pedestrian traffic volume sometimes makes the Walter Rand Transportation Center an extremely congested place. However, the city of Camden intends to overhaul the area for growth with a new transportation center.
An engineering firm has provided a design that would include 25 bus bays which would be located off the street and under cover for safe boarding and transfers and a walking bridge over traffic to the nearby Port Authority Transport Corporation Hi-Speedline station. Preliminary costs for the center range from $150 million to $175 million. There is also a need for street-level improvements and city officials have looked at future possibilities such as a mixed-use hub. The city is considering a public-private partnership to finance the much-needed projects.
Michigan- City of Detroit officials presented a $317-million plan to improve 300 miles of roads and thousands of damaged sidewalks. Mayor Mike Duggan plans to propose a portion of that funding come from investing $125 million in bond funds. The bonds, which would be repaid through un-budgeted increases in state transportation revenue over the next several years, will be considered by the Detroit City Council.
Of the $125 million in the proposal, about $80 million would fund major infrastructure improvements along some of the city’s commercial corridors. Improvements would include landscaping, reconfiguring traffic lanes to add bike lanes, improved street parking and wider sidewalks to allow for outdoor café seating. The remaining $45 million would add to existing road funds to improve 300 miles of city roads and replace hundreds of thousands of broken sections of sidewalk across the city. There are also plans to spend another $193 million of budgeted city, state and federal dollars to repave roads and replace sidewalks. Work on streetscape projects are expected to begin by early 2018 and continue over the next five years.
Maryland- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proposed a $9 billion public-private partnership (P3) to add four new traffic lanes to Interstate 495 and four lanes to Interstate 270. Intended to decrease congestion in the U.S. capital region, Hogan wants private developers to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the added lanes. Hogan also wants to build toll lanes on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Interior, and transfer ownership of the roadways to Maryland.
After the ownership is transferred, the Maryland Transportation Authority would be responsible for building and maintaining the roadways. Hogan’s plan was announced just a few months after signing an agreement with the U.S Department of Transportation to build a $2 billion, 16-mile light rail project in the Maryland suburbs near Washington. The Purple Line project is being constructed through a P3, and the federal government is contributing nearly $900 million.
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.