$3.8B Va. bridge-tunnel project breaks ground | Comment period for Texas I-45 project extended 30 days | Mo. updating aging stretch of I-270
October 30, 2020
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Infrastructure Friday's Top Story
Shovels have hit the dirt for a $3.8 billion expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia, and work is expected to wrap up in November 2025. The project aims to ease commutes with widened segments of Interstate 64 and a pair of two-lane bored tunnels.
Full Story: Suffolk News-Herald (Va.) (10/29),  Inside NoVa (Manassas, Va.) (10/29) 
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Roads, Tunnels & Bridges
The Texas Department of Transportation is allowing a second 30-day period for public input on environmental issues associated with reconstruction of Interstate 45. The $7 billion project would add two managed lanes in each direction and would rebuild lanes and frontage roads from downtown Houston northward to Beltway 8.
Full Story: Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (10/28) 
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The Interstate 270 North Design Build Project is expected to curb a high crash rate along the stretch between James S. McDonnell Boulevard and Bellefontaine Road in St. Louis County, Mo. The section was built in the 1960s, and the $278 million project brings it up to date with bridge and pavement replacement, accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians, and improved traffic and safety features.
Full Story: Construction Equipment Guide (10/28) 
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Power Plants & Transmission Lines
New Jersey Transit has ditched a plan for a 140-megawatt natural gas power plant in favor of a microgrid incorporating wind, solar, hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. The microgrid should be more cost-efficient and let New Jersey Transit sell excess energy, New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel says.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (10/26) 
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Mass Transit, Rails & Airports
Devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy is still evident across public transit systems in the Northeast, but it is only one of a series of crises that have challenged transit systems. Billions of dollars in damage remains eight years later, partly because of a lack of federal funding and institutional and structural deficiency.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/29) 
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Passenger-rail infrastructure in nine states has received $291 million in grants from the Transportation Department. The grants are meant for 11 projects, which include replacing bridges and upgrading stations and signaling systems.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (10/28) 
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Salt Lake City International Airport has opened Concourse B, with a Southwest Airlines flight to Oakland, Calif., the maiden voyage. Opening of the 21-gate concourse, which also hosts flights from Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways, completes the first phase of a project that essentially replaces the airport.
Full Story: Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (10/27),  KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) (10/27) 
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Cost savings and increased business activity would outweigh the cost of building a 27-mile monorail along Interstate 270 from Shady Grove to Frederick, Md., according to a study. Developer Robert Eisinger is concerned about Maryland's troubled Purple Line project but says a monorail project via a public-private partnership would involve less risk because of fewer complications with rights of way and utility relocation.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/29) 
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Wastewater & Sanitation
USDA provides $891M for rural water infrastructure
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The USDA will direct $891 million toward rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects in 43 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. "Upgrading water infrastructure provides a path to economic growth and protects the health and safety of people who live and work in rural areas," said Bette Brand, the USDA's deputy undersecretary for rural development.
Full Story: Florida Daily (10/28),  WCYB-TV/WEMT-TV (Bristol, Va.) (10/28) 
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Levees, Dams & Hurricane Protection
A revised plan by the US Army Corps of Engineers for a coastal barrier in southeast Texas lowers the estimated cost from $32 billion to $26.2 billion. The plan includes 43 miles of dunes and restored beaches and huge sea gates to protect the Houston Ship Channel.
Full Story: Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (10/27) 
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Association News
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