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.
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- The redevelopment of the Freightway site in Scarsdale has taken a step forward as officials have outlined a two-part process to find a developer for an aging five-story parking garage and two surface lots. In February, the Freightway Steering Committee presented a study of the 2.5-acre site. The report considered eight months of public input and research. The request for expression of interest (RFEI) calls for developers’ conceptual plans and a description of how they should integrate a mixed-use facility that includes housing, retail, public space and parking. Submissions will be accepted until Oct. 15.
The ideas outlined in the committee’s report are estimated to cost between $52 million and $173 million. There are four different development suggestions from a feasibility study that was conducted earlier in 2018. The next step calls for creating a brief list of developers and a request for proposals, which will take into consideration ideas gathered from the RFEIs. The firms will then submit a proposal with development plans, which will be reviewed by village officials. It could take 9 to 12 months before a final developer is chosen for the project.
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.