Infrastructure in the News: July 23, 2012
BAF IN THE NEWS
Governing: Obama Administration Accelerates Port Projects
Transportation stakeholders and advocates praised the administration's announcement. "We applaud the administration’s new effort because it will have a significant impact on our nation’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness," said Marcia Hale, president of Building America's Future, in a statement.
Transportation Nation: DOT Announces $787 Million for Aging Transit Upgrade and Repair
This just in from the DOT. Out of $4 billion in requests from state and local transit agencies, the federal Department of Transportation is doling out $787 million to 255 projects to fix old transit systems, upgrade or expand or build new ones. In 2010 the DOT gave out $1.8 billion. The release below lists a few of the larger recipients in this round of funding — New Jersey, Maryland, LA for buses, Michigan for rail.
Fast Lane: From coast to coast, America is becoming a high-speed rail nation
Now is a great time to talk about our investments in America's transportation network. Congress has passed--and the President has signed--a new transportation bill. We recently selected 47 good projects for our fourth round of TIGER awards. And just yesterday, as part of his We Can't Wait initiative, President Obama announced that the Administration will expedite seven projects to upgrade five key ports.
Crain’s New York Business: Robert D. Yaro: A rail network for the 21st century
Amtrak's recent proposal for a $151 billion project to modernize the Northeast rail corridor and bring world-class high-speed trains to the region is good news for New Yorkers and all 50 million people living between Washington, D.C., and Boston. By 2025, the first phase of this project would bring two new tracks under the Hudson River into an expanded Penn-Moynihan station complex in Manhattan, doubling commuter and intercity rail capacity in the highly congested trans-Hudson corridor.
Marketwatch: The U.S. Conference of Mayors Applauds Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Focus on Innovative Infrastructure Investment
Earlier today, Chicago Mayor and The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) member Rahm Emanuel traveled to our nation's capital to discuss both the connection between job-creation and critical infrastructure investment, and innovative ways urban centers across the country can support this infrastructure investment in times of decreasing public spending and economic hardship. The Mayor specifically highlighted the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, the first public-private financing model for infrastructure investments in the country.
DC Streetsblog: Transportation Investments and America’s Quality-of-Life Gap
For a while it didn’t seem certain, but after a critical vote earlier this month, it looks like California’s on track to build high-speed rail. And, I’ll be the first to admit, California — with two large, global metros just a few hundred miles apart — is a great place for it. Despite some reservations about the costs and feasibility of the plan, people all over the country who care about sustainable transportation were generally happy to see America moving forward.
The State: Graham: Nation starting to move to common vision for ports
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says the nation is beginning to move toward a national vision for its ports that will have to handle a generation of larger containerships that will soon dominate world trade. Graham says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent a wakeup call to Congress last month with a report outlining the nation's coastal and inland port needs. The administration in recent days designated seven projects at five ports as significant and promised to streamline federal studies so the work is done sooner.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed defends MARTA, fires back at T-SPLOST critics as transportation vote nears
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed continued his push in support of a region-wide transportation tax vote on Sunday, telling a national transit group gathered at a downtown hotel that Atlanta risks being left behind unless it unclogs its congestion. Reed said the $600 million that would flow to MARTA for capital projects under the $6.14 billion regional project list would help sustain Atlanta's huge tourism industry.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Should Atlanta follow Portland with T-SPLOST?
Architects of the Atlanta Beltline, a $602 million chunk of the July 31 regional transportation referendum, hail it as just such a cityscape-altering project. They even hired the man who wrote the Portland streetcar's plan to write a plan for the Beltline. "Portland, Oregon, is the model in the U.S.," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in 2010, upon winning a grant to build a streetcar line that he called the "spine" of the Beltline. "We have strong evidence that infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates economic investment."
Boston Globe: Springfield's Union Station to receive $17 million
Springfield's Union Station will be receiving more than $17 million in federal funding to assist with the renovation of the historic site. The funding will help with the redevelopment of the 86-year-old station, which officials want to turn into a technologically advanced transportation center. The project is estimated to cost $45 million.
Streetsblog Network: Developer of NJ Mega-Mall-Amusement-Park Should Pay for Transit Service
Northeast New Jersey is about to set a dubious new standard for megaprojects. “American Dream Meadowlands” is a $3.8 billion, five-story, entertainment and retail complex with 3,000,000 square feet of leasable space, an amusement park, an indoor ski slope and a “skydiving simulator.” The project — which was raised from the dead with a giant taxpayer-funded bail-out, courtesy of Governor Chris Christie – looks set to open in 2013, after a series of financial and structural setbacks. The traffic generated by this monster is expected to be torrential.
New York Times: Rail Yard Reopens as City’s Freight Trains Rumble Into Wider Use
Though freight rail remains a tiny part of the city’s overall transportation system, city, state and federal officials have spent more than $115 million to help expand infrastructure along the south Brooklyn waterfront since 2009, including laying fresh tracks and renovating a marine terminal that was once a hub for cocoa imports and manufactured goods. They spent another $80 million to restore an abandoned freight rail line on Staten Island’s west shore in 2007, and most recently, they announced last month a planned $10 million upgrade of freight rail operations at Hunts Point in the Bronx.
“There’s a way to do it better – find it.”