The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a $357m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the construction of four new toll lanes on State Highway (SH) 288 in Houston, Texas.The project includes the construction of more than 10 miles of tolled lanes between US 59 and the Harris County line, including direct ramps to the Texas Medical Center, a new interchange with the Sam Houston Tollway and improvements to the Loop 610 interchanges.US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The TIFIA loan program is designed to help communities like Houston begin projects like this — a project that they would have otherwise had to wait years to start.“The new tolls lanes will provide a more reliable commute in one of America’s most congested metro areas, and improve access to jobs and community services in neighborhoods there.”
Israel-based construction firm Shikun & Binui has completed the fundraising for the planning, construction and maintenance of a proposed express lane in the Houston Metropolitan area in Texas. Financial closing for most of the $1bn project and the initial drawing of funds is likely to take place during the next several weeks, subject to the fulfilment of a number of customary terms set out in the financing agreements, including the receipt of the final approval of the project's bond offerings from the Texas legislature.The project’s concessionaire, known as the Blueridge Transportation Group, has committed to build, finance, maintain and operate the portion of the road defined in the contract for 52 years, including the construction period In return, the concessionaire will be given the right to collect tolls from users of the Express Lane.Shikun & Binui’s chairman Moshe Lahmani said: "The completion of this project's financial closing is another key step in our 'go international' strategy, whose goal is to diversify and expand the geographic scope of our operations, and enter the American market."The US is a sophisticated, competitive market, and the choice of Shikun & Binui confirms the excellence of our capabilities and the high level of professional and know-how that we bring to complex infrastructure projects. We intend to further deepen our activities throughout the Americas in general, including the US, Colombia and other Latin American countries."Work on the project is expected to last for three years.
Florida’s Department of Transportation has broken ground on the second phase of the SunRail system in Florida. The $187m project is the first extension of the commuter rail system, which opened on May 1, 2014 and currently serves 12 stations between DeBary, in Volusia County, and Sand Lake Road, south of Orlando’s city. The expansion project, awarded to Middlesex-Herzog joint venture, is a 17,2-mile extension of the existing SunRail service and will include four new stations at Meadow Woods, the Tupperware Station, the Kissimmee Station adjacent to the current Amtrak station and the Poinciana station. Other features of the project include grade crossing improvements, the construction of vehicle storage and layover facilities at the Poinciana station, the installation of a second track and an upgraded signal system. The construction work is expected to be completed in about two years, opening to passengers in 2018.
Sound Transit has broken ground on the $3.7bn East Link light rail extension project that will connect Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake area and Microsoft campus.The 14-mile light rail will provide 24-minute trips from Bellevue to Westlake Station in downtown Seattle.Contractors have started site preparation just south of downtown Bellevue near East Main Street and Northeast 112th Street, where a tunnel portal will allow trains to transition from the surface to a 1/3-mile-long tunnel before re-emerging at the surface near Northeast Sixth Street.East Link's 10 stations are expected to open in 2023. By 2030, East Link is likely to carry about 50,000 people daily.
The state government of Alberta, Canada, has approved $100m of funding for the upgrade of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway interchange with Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer.The project is aimed to improve traffic flow and safety for travelers, local residents and businesses.According to advice from the former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, Alberta has undertaken a $34.8bn plan to build and upgrade critical infrastructure, including roads, schools and hospitals.As per the most recent figures, every day 42,000 vehicles travel on the QEII in both directions at the existing interchange.Alberta’s premier Rachel Notley said: "Alberta families and businesses deserve safe, modern and efficient roads, highways and bridges. In the past when oil prices fell, governments slashed funding for infrastructure."Albertans paid the price for these short-sighted cuts in longer commutes and lost opportunity. We will not repeat those mistakes."Our Alberta Jobs Plan moves Alberta forward with significant investments in critical infrastructure that will create jobs and build a more resilient economy."Construction work is scheduled to be completed in 2019, in time for Red Deer to host the Canada Winter Games.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division has broken ground on the new Consolidated Rent-A-Car (Conrac) facility at Kahului Airport, Maui.The cost of the Maui Conrac facility is approximately $340m, which is part of the $2.7bn statewide Modernization Program that is aimed at improving facilities at airports around the state of Hawaii.Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company is the lead contractor of the project and design team is being led by Demattei Wong Architects.Kahului Airport rents an average of 2,200 cars daily. The Conrac will house more than a dozen rental car companies in one location close to the main terminal. The new Conrac will be a three-level structure comprising rental car offices, customer service counters, ‘ready and return’ rental car spaces, and Quick-Turn-Around (QTA) areas with fuel and car wash facilities to service rental car fleets.There will be nearly 3,800 parking stalls for the rental car companies and another 700 dedicated to employee parking.Maui Conrac's new electric tram built on a rail system will eventually be powered by solar energy, which will help the airport reduce its overall carbon footprint. It will also minimise congestion around the airport. The facility will be accessible through a new road that will extend from the Hana Highway to the Airport Loop Road. The facility's decorative feature elements will also serve as an irrigation reservoir with non-potable water for landscaped areas. The reservoir will contain nearly 140,000 gallons of non-potable water that will be filtered to eliminate particles and will prevent clogging the system. This also means more potable water will be available for the community.Maui Conrac will be completed in approximately three and a half years. It will employ more than 200 people on the site and a total industry employment of more than 500 jobs.The project is being exclusively funded by a Customer Facility Charge, which consists of a daily charge of $4.50 to those who rent a car.
The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and city of Las Vegas, has begun construction on Project NEON, a public works project that will entail an investment of about $1bn.Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. is the general contractor for the project under a $559.4m design-build contract, with Atkins North America serving as the project's lead designer.Project NEON will widen 3.7 miles of Interstate 15 between Sahara Avenue and the ‘Spaghetti Bowl’ interchange in downtown Las Vegas. At present nearly 300,000 vehicles pass through this route daily, with 25,000 lane changes per hour. Traffic through the corridor is expected to double by 2035.Project NEON will include an 81ft-tall, 2,606ft-long High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) flyover bridge that will also accommodate carpool traffic along part of the route.The project will also convert the two existing I-15 express lanes into a general purpose and HOV lane, thus creating 22 consecutive miles of carpool lanes.Other proposed upgrades include extending Grand Central Parkway over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, and connecting to Industrial Road for improved resort corridor access and mobility.When completed in mid-2019, Project NEON will reduce travel delays by 28%, creating $110m in annual savings through increased productivity. It will create 4,000 jobs in the region.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has broken ground on the $743m 183 South Expressway project.The eight-mile expressway will stretch from US 290 to State Highway71, tripling capacity on a corridor that carries more than 60,000 vehicles each day. It will have three tolled lanes in each direction in the middle of US 183, while the existing US 183 will be rebuilt with up to three non-tolled general purpose lanes in each direction.The new road will provide a non-stop, signal-free route to and from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The project will also include a $25m investment in bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The project will preserve the Montopolis Steel Truss Bridge by transforming it into a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will connect to a new trail head at the Colorado River below.Construction is expected to last about four years and take place in two phases. Phase one improvements, between US 290/290 Expressway and TechniCenter Drive, are scheduled to be completed in 2019. The second phase, stretching up to SH 71, is expected to be finished a year later.Mobility Authority chairman Ray Wilkerson said: "Beginning work on the 183 South Expressway project is a tremendous win for Central Texas as we build a stronger transportation network and enhance one of our area's key corridors, which hasn't seen an upgrade this significant since it was built more than 50 years ago."The Mobility Authority's hope for this roadway is that it will support broader efforts of making this region and city increasingly liveable and accessible for years to come."
The government of Canada has announced an investment worth over CAD170m ($131.2m) to protect and preserve Parks Canada’s five historic canals in Quebec.Parks Canada, an agency of the government of Canada that is operated by the Minister of the Environment, will use the funding for projects including reconstruction work on the walls of the Lachine Canal, on the lock of the Carillon Canal, and on the locks and bridges of the Chambly Canal.The investment will be used to upgrade and reconstruct heritage buildings such as the Chambly Canal superintendent’s house and to construct structures that preserve biodiversity, such as the Vianney-Legendre Fish Ladder on the Saint‑Ours Canal. Further, service areas and footpaths will be constructed for the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal.Minister of environment and climate change Catherine McKenna said: “Through this significant investment, our government is protecting and preserving these treasured places, while supporting local economies, contributing to growth in the tourism sector, and enhancing the charm and attractiveness of these heritage sites.“I encourage Canadians to visit and experience Parks Canada’s special places and to enjoy the outdoors, while learning about our rich history and heritage.”
The board of directors of the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) has chosen to award a $108m contract to O.C. Jones & Sons for the construction of a 9.5-mile roadway project in California.The scope of the contract will include the construction of the infrastructure and station platforms for AC Transit’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, which is being developed in three separate projects. O.C. Jones & Sons received the contract for the third project.
Granite Construction has won a $209m contract for modification of the 59/20 interchange in Alabama, US.The scope of the contract, awarded by the Alabama Department of Transportation, will include the construction of the interchange at I-59/20 and I-65 on the northwest side of the Central Business District in Birmingham.In addition, work will involve the construction of new direct connector bridges to downtown, widening of existing bridges, replacement of crossover bridges, and upgrades to main lane pavement.Construction on the project is expected to commence in early 2016, and will be completed by the end of 2018.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport general manager Miguel Southwell has unveiled details of the airport’s capital plan.Dubbed ATLNext, the 20-year capital plan will include upgrades to atrium and the exterior of the domestic terminal.
A joint venture (JV) of Granite Construction Company, Fluor, and Ames Construction has won a $917m contract from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to build the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ferrovial Agroman has won a contract from the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to design and build a 22-mile section of high-speed railway line in the Central Valley, California.
The Lane Construction Corporation has secured a $108m contract to build the final section of the I-85 widening project from north of Lane Street (Exit 63) to north of the U.S. 29/601 Connector in North Carolina.
Construction is set to start on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement project in Dare County, North Carolina.
Purple Line Transit Partners, a consortium including Meridiam, Fluor Enterprises, and Star America, has won a contract to design-build, finance, operate and maintain the $2bn Purple Line light rail transit public-private partnership project in Maryland, US.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has signed an agreement with the city’s major airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a $1.3bn infrastructure project at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.
Construction is underway on GO Transit’s new $859.2m East Rail Maintenance Facility in Whitby, Ontario.
Construction work has commenced on the $113m South Bay Rapid project in California.