Infrastructure in the News: July 30, 2012
NATIONA L NEWS
Fast Lane: Historic infrastructure assistance could leverage $50 billion for good projects, good jobs
From day one, President Obama and this Department of Transportation have been committed to creating jobs as we rebuild and repair America’s roadways, runways, and railways. Today I am proud to announce yet another great resource for state and local governments and project sponsors to tap for their transportation needs. The Obama Administration is launching the largest transportation loan program in DOT history. Through our TIFIA program, we're using $1.7 billion in capital to make available up to $17 billion in credit assistance for critical infrastructure projects across the country.
The Hill: DOT announces $17 billion expansion of transportation loan program
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday that the Obama administration will make $17 billion available for loans to construct transportation projects. The loans are part of an expansion of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program in the recently approved $105 billion transportation bill. The transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), included $1.7 billion for the TIFIA program over the next two years.
AASHTO Journal: State Transportation Departments Begin MAP-21 Implementation Process
After working for years for a transportation bill, state transportation departments now have the opportunity to implement many of the provisions of the new legislation. The passage MAP-21, a two-year, $105 billion surface transportation bill signed by President Obama on July 6, allows state DOTs to begin implementing the provisions of the bill, a welcome change from operating on a series of short-term extensions offering little certainty for projects.
AASHTO Journal: States' Financial Issues Continue to Take Toll on Transportation Infrastructure
A report released this month by the State Budget Crisis Task Force emphasizes the numerous budget problems states are facing, naming the underinvestment in transportation infrastructure as a major problematic result of these financial issues. While the report focuses on the overall budget problem that states are facing, the lack of funding resources in transportation infrastructure serves as a major cause for concern in the report. States are in a tough spot, the report says, because they don't have the money they need to revitalize their transportation systems.
California Planning & Development Report: New Light Rail Line Opens Up World of TOD Possibilities
It’s not quite the Golden Spike, but the completion of Phase I of the Los Angeles Expo Line light rail marks a momentous occasion in the history of westward rail expansion. Built on a former trolley right-of-way, the Expo Line connects downtown Los Angeles with the Westside via rail for the first time in decades. Whereas Los Angeles’ old Pacific Electric Railway had been built in virgin territory in order to spur new development, the Expo Line is but a filament, woven into built-up neighborhoods. Expo-adjacent neighborhoods are no streetcar suburbs, however.
Wall Street Journal: Denver Rethinks the Modern Commuter
As Denver moves forward with a $7.4 billion expansion of its rail system, the city is looking to rectify what some see as a flaw in the original concept. The dilemma is how to encourage the development of dense, walkable villages around stations so people don't have to drive to use the system. After the system opened in 1994, planners built parking lots and garages around many of its stations to cater to commuters. That strategy put parking on land that would have been ideal for stores, apartment buildings and squares catering to riders living adjacent to the stops.
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Tax opponents offer 'Plan B' for transportation
Two staunch opponents of a proposed 1-cent sales tax for transportation announced a "Plan B" Friday if voters defeat the tax in Tuesday's primary. The plan would include a single state motor fuel tax dedicated to transportation funding, local control over MARTA and public elections for all members of the state Department of Transportation governing board
Engineering News-Record: P3s, Maintenance In the Future for NYC Area, Transpo Leaders Say
Alternative project delivery methods, including public-private partnerships (P3s), may well play an increasing role in New York City-area megaprojects. Officials are exploring the possibility of private sector involvement in a range of upcoming ventures including the $3.6-billion LaGuardia Airport central terminal revamp, the extensions of the Hudson-Bergen and Camden light rail lines in New Jersey, and the $1-billion Goethals Bridge rehabilitation.
“This great work will immortalize the present authorities of NY, will bless their descendants with wealth and prosperity, and prove to mankind the superior wisdom of employing the resources of industry in works of improvement rather than destruction.”