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.
Michigan- Michigan has launched an $8 million grant program for ride-sharing companies, automakers, transit agencies and advocacy groups to develop new mobility options for seniors, handicapped residents and military veterans. The state has issued a request for bids that is due by July 6. The first round of winning bidders will have 60 days to launch innovative pilot programs. The funding for the pilot program comes from the supplemental spending bill Gov. Rick Snyder signed in March which includes $175 million in extra roads and transportation funding, including $15 million the state could use on next-generation connected vehicle projects, hydrogen fueling stations and ride-sharing pilot projects.
The state plans to award grants to projects of various sizes based on submissions and proposed service areas. They’ll be used to subsidize a portion of costs to plan, implement and monitor the pilot projects for three to six months. The state expects to fund projects in urban, rural and suburban communities in coordination with current services.
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.
Nebraska– A consulting group has been hired by the city of Lincoln to perform an economic development study to find the best use of the land that lies in the path of the Cornhusker Highway corridor. The project, which includes moving railroad tracks and streets, is expected to cost $70 million to $80 million and may start by 2026.
The city has formed the Northeast Lincoln Advisory Committee, to hold a series of public meetings, meet privately with business owners and community leaders and residents, and present information to community groups as it develops recommendations for the city and the Railroad Transportation Safety District (RTSD). The city is committing to pay about one-third of the $932,250 cost of the yearlong study. Last year, the RTSD picked two potential alternatives for the project. Both would displace some businesses, but no homes. The alternatives generally shift 33rd Street to the west and extend it over railroad tracks. Each includes different plans for traffic on Adams Street.