January 15, 2021
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Moving Smarter
Work is nearing an end on a 44-mile reconstruction of US 290 in Houston. The $1.3 billion project involves extensive widening, 86 ramps and 88 bridges under 13 contracts.
Full Story: Construction Equipment Guide (1/13) 
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Tolling Today
A number of improvements are planned for a toll road connecting San Jose, Costa Rica, with nearby Cartago. Costs of the upgrade are estimated at $500 million, with a completion time frame of 12 to 24 months.
Full Story: World Highways online (UK) (1/15) 
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Toll discounts meant to benefit frequent users of Portugal's A22 toll road began on Jan. 11. Rates were reduced between 25% and 55%, with discounts based on the time of day and type of vehicle used.
Full Story: The Portugal News (1/15) 
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The Gateway Expressway project in Florida is moving forward this weekend with the temporary closure of the Howard Frankland Bridge. The closure is part of a Pinellas County infrastructure project that will result in two new connecting toll roads.
Full Story: WTVT-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (1/14) 
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Technology
A $4 million grant from the US Department of Transportation will help fund a trial of smart traffic infrastructure on a section of highway in Dallas that is being transformed into a pedestrian-friendly street. Proposals for the project include connected-vehicle technology to improve traffic flow and prioritize emergency vehicles and smart crosswalks and bus shelters for pedestrians and transit users.
Full Story: Dallas Innovates (1/12) 
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FedEx will be the first customer for General Motors' new subsidiary, BrightDrop, which will supply electric vans and fleet-management services. FedEx has been testing the vans and will also buy electric pallets that can move packages from a truck to the front door of a delivery location.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/12),  CNN (1/12) 
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Finance and Funding
Moody's has designated an AA3 rating for the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority's remarketing of general revenue variable rate refunding bonds. The bonds are valued at approximately $105 million.
Full Story: Yahoo (1/14) 
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Policy and Legislation
Wyoming state legislators are considering a bill that combine a fuel tax increase and new road use fees. Revenues from the plan could reach more than $136 million per year and would be used for road repairs and maintenance.
Full Story: Cowboy State Daily (Wyoming) (1/13) 
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IBTTA News
The new IBTTA Engineering and Construction Task Force is looking to establish several small teams of engineers and construction professionals to address topics and programming in 2021. If you're interested in being part of building this new task force, please complete this quick survey.
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Announcements and upcoming events at IBTTA
Jan. 27 - Café IBTTA: Season 2. Be sure your link is still on your calendars for this recurring Wednesday event or register here.

Jan. 28 - The Emerging Technologies Committee briefing: 2020 white papers, 2021 initiatives and a call for volunteers.

Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. ET, Congestion Pricing: A "How To" Webinar for Sustained Traffic Reduction moderated by David Ungemah, vice president & director of transportation operations strategy for WSP. Register today.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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