Surprise! Democrats don't embrace Trump's infrastructure plan | Commentary: Congress must keep private activity bonds in tax reform | States give $3.65B toward Gateway tunnel
December 15, 2017
AGC SmartBrief
News for contractors and the construction industry
Infrastructure Friday's Top Story
Surprise! Democrats don't embrace Trump's infrastructure plan
The Trump administration's infrastructure plan could be released early next year and is likely to rely heavily on private investment. Democrats and even some Republicans appear less than enthusiastic about that reliance, but the support of several Democrats will be needed, as legislation will need 60 votes to pass.
Politico (12/14) 
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Roads, Tunnels & Bridges
Commentary: Congress must keep private activity bonds in tax reform
Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, writes that Congress must preserve private activity bonds in tax reform legislation because they're an important financing tool for infrastructure. The Trump administration's infrastructure plan calls for the use of private investment, but that will be more challenging if private activity bonds can no longer be used.
The Hill (12/14) 
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States give $3.65B toward Gateway tunnel
States give $3.65B toward Gateway tunnel
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said their states will commit a combined $3.65 billion to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Dubbed the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project, the rail line is expected to cost $12.7 billion, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has already committed $1.9 billion.
Reuters (12/14) 
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Power Plants & Transmission Lines
Decision for Plant Vogtle expansion fate may be moved up
The Georgia Public Service Commission may decide by Dec. 21 rather than Feb. 28 whether Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion project will continue. The commission is considering moving up the decision to be able to use current tax laws before year-end.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free content) (12/11) 
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Mass Transit, Rails & Airports
Md. explores options for connecting Baltimore, D.C.
Maryland is considering three multibillion transportation projects to better connect Baltimore to Washington, D.C. Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail has proposed a magnetic-levitation train line, The Boring Co. has plans for a hyperloop that would carry passengers in pressurized capsules and the state is planning a $9 billion widening of Interstate 270.
CityLab (12/13) 
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Kansas City council rejects MOU to renovate airport
Kansas City council rejects MOU to renovate airport
(Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and attorneys for Kansas City, Mo., had negotiated a memorandum of understanding for a $1 billion upgrade to the Kansas City International Airport, but City Council has rejected that agreement. One of the council's members wants to end negations with Edgemoor and begin them with runner-up AECOM, but Edgemoor says "we're happy to sit down and discuss" outstanding issues with the city.
The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Wastewater & Sanitation
N.J. city pursues a less costly plan to address flooding
As in many other cities, Camden, N.J.'s combined sewer-stormwater system is no longer efficient because when it was built, the area absorbed much more rainwater. Separating the system to address periodic flooding would be too costly, so the county government is pursuing $80 million for a thorough cleanout of the system, with much of the funding directed toward deferred maintenance.
NJ Pen (Haddon Township, N.J.) (12/11) 
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Levees, Dams & Hurricane Protection
Texas levees face future breaches as storms intensify
Texas levees face future breaches as storms intensify
(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Levees designed to protect properties in Texas from floodwaters were overwhelmed by the rains of Hurricane Harvey, and engineers and officials say future storms could lead to repeated breaches of flood defenses. "Given enough time, any levee will eventually be overtopped or damaged by a flood that exceeds the levee's capacity," the American Society of Civil Engineers says.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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British Columbia will complete multibillion-dollar hydro dam project
British Columbia has spent more than $3.1 billion to build a hydroelectric dam, but the cost to finish the project has ballooned to more than $8.3 billion from the initial $6.5 billion. The government has decided to complete to project but noted that it "should never have been started."
Bloomberg (free registration) (12/11),  Reuters (12/11), (Canada)/The Canadian Press (12/11) 
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Association News
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A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
Phil Armstrong,
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