House subcommittee passes fiscal 2020 transportation funding measure | Las Vegas awards contract for underground convention center tunnel | Twin-tunnel option to reduce Vancouver congestion
May 24, 2019
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Infrastructure Friday's Top Story
House subcommittee passes fiscal 2020 transportation funding measure
Congress is working on the 2020 fiscal budget, and a House subcommittee has advanced a transportation funding bill to the Appropriations Committee. The bill would provide $1 billion for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants, $100 million more than in fiscal 2019.
Transport Topics (5/23) 
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Roads, Tunnels & Bridges
Las Vegas awards contract for underground convention center tunnel
The Boring Company has secured a roughly $48.7 million contract from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to build an underground tunnel transit system that will transport people in a "bus-looking Tesla electric car" from one end of the Las Vegas Convention center to the other.
Curbed (5/22),  KTNV-TV (Las Vegas) (5/22) 
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Twin-tunnel option to reduce Vancouver congestion
Mayors in the Vancouver, B.C., Metro area seem to have reached a consensus on a plan to minimize congestion at the George Massey Tunnel on Highway 99, and a proposal for a twin-tunnel solution merits further consideration, according to Premier John Horgan. "[N]ow that we have an opportunity to get a federal partner and we have unanimity at the Mayor's Council, I think there's every possibility that we can get started on this in a more timely way," Horgan said.
The Toronto Star/The Canadian Press (5/23) 
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Waterways, Canals & Ports
Anchorage seeks bids for work on port terminal
Anchorage, Alaska, officials want to spend $60 million they have available to finance initial construction of a new cement and petroleum terminal at the Port of Alaska, Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said. The city began soliciting bids last month to give itself enough time to pick a contractor before spending is approved or rejected.
Alaska Journal of Commerce (5/22) 
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Power Plants & Transmission Lines
Legislation could set stage for $2.5B Calif. hydropower project
NextEra Energy is pushing legislation that would allow it to repurpose an abandoned iron mine near California's Joshua Tree National Park into a $2.5 billion hydroelectric power plant, but some are concerned that the project will drain the park's groundwater. The company maintains the project and others like it will help the state meet its goals of reaching 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2045.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (5/22) 
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Mass Transit, Rails & Airports
Environmental review of new NYC bus terminal to begin
A formal environmental review of plans to build a new Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan in New York has begun, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Thursday. The port has released a 180-page scoping document outlining potential courses of action for the project.
The Associated Press (5/23),  Curbed/New York (5/23) 
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Wastewater & Sanitation
Progress made on $1.7B Houston water plant
A joint venture between Jacobs and CDM Smith as well as 10 major subcontractors are making progress on a $1.76 billion water plant in Houston, and remaining contracts on the design-build project will be awarded this summer once Houston City Council approves the final contract with the joint venture. The plant includes 215,000 cubic yards of structural concrete and more than 1 million cubic yards of earthwork.
Engineering News-Record (5/22) 
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Levees, Dams & Hurricane Protection
Senate passes disaster aid bill
The Senate passed a multibillion-dollar bill on Thursday that will assist states ravaged by natural disasters but will not provide extra border funds. The House might not have the opportunity to approve the bill until June.
Politico (5/23) 
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Study indicates benefits of a barrier on Texas coastline
Placing a barrier on Texas' coastline would significantly minimize economic losses from a 500-year storm, according to a study by Texas A&M University at Galveston and the Texas General Land Office. Without protections in place, a 500-year storm would result in an 8% drop in Gross State Product by 2066, the study found.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (5/21) 
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Association News
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SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Memorial Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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