The Dept. of Transportation has released a blueprint aimed at developing high-speed rail in 100- to 600-mile-long corridors around the country. The plan, released April 16, does not say which projects will be funded, but it does include a map of high-speed rail corridors that could qualify for federal aid. The program could provide significant design and construction opportunities. DOT's Federal Railroad Administration will start awarding the first round of grants by late summer. Related Links: Rail Strategic Plan Map of High-Speed Rail Corridors The plan, mandated by the recently enacted economic-stimulus legislation, proposes a three-pronged approach: "Ready to go"
Anticipating billions of dollars in state and federal funds, California can now pay some 80 engineering consultants that have worked for months on its planned 800-mile, $46-billion high-speed rail line stretching between Sacramento and San Diego. The Pooled Money Investment Board approved a $29.1-million loan at its April 6 meeting after state Treasurer Bill Lockyer successfully sold $6.54 billion in bonds in March. The cash-strapped state owes $5 million for scoping and design work on the project. Engineers have worked for months for the California High-Speed Rail Authority without funding authorization. The Roseville, Calif., office of URS Corp., in a
Denmark seems to turn out another major fixed road and rail link on a regular basis. Rival design teams have just been chosen to work on bridge and sunken tube options for a 20-km crossing of the Femern Belt to northern Germany, with construction planned to start in just over two years. Two similar mega-projects had already been finished in quick succession. An early conception of the crossing that pictures cable-stayed spans. Related Links: Denmark, Germany Plan New Massive Baltic Sea Crossing In Next Decade For Contractors and Their Advisers, A Sinking Feeling Is Good in Busan The Danish government
Nevada legislators have blocked a proposal to convert existing public roads along sections of U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 15 in southern Nevada into toll lanes operated by a private company. Kelvin Atkinson, chairman of the Assembly Transportation committee, opted not to introduce the bill to create a network of toll lanes. The project required legislative approval to move forward since state law prohibits toll lanes. + Image Source: McGraw-Hill Construction Analytics. Construction Contract Value Cumulative Year-To-Date Through February 2009.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced on April 1 that the government will provide $7.2 billion for transit projects in the greater Toronto area. The bulk of the money, $5.6 billion, is earmarked for three of seven transit lines that Toronto wants to build over the next 15 years. The longest and most expensive would be the $3.7-billion, 31-kilometer-long Eglinton Crosstown, connecting with Pearson International Airport. Construction is expected to start in 2010 and be completed by 2016. Approximately 13 km would be underground. The Ontario funding is not conditional on any matching grants from the city.
A $575-million management contract on London’s $22-billion Crossrail project has gone to a team of San Francisco-based Bechtel Ltd., London, Halcrow Group, London, and Paris-based SYSTRA. The team will oversee design and construction of the system’s tunnels under the city for owner Crossrail Ltd., including a 21-km-long twin-bore tunnel under the center of London and six new stations. The award follows last month’s $146-million program management contract win by a team of AECOM, Los Angeles, CH2M Hill Cos., Englewood, Colo., and the U.K.’s Nichols Group.
Brazil’s Odebrecht has won a $2.1-billion concession for the upgrade and new construction of the Dom Pedro Highway in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The 30-year concessionaire will be responsible for the upgrade and maintenance of a total of almost 185 miles of tolled roadway traversing 17 cities between Mogi Guaçu and Jacarei the northeast of Sao Paulo’s urban center. The project is part of an ongoing effort to alleviate traffic problems in the country’s largest metro area. “We will invest ... 1.4 billion in the first six years,” says Leonardo Mala, an Odebrecht spokesman. “We will start the
Peter M. Rogoff, a veteran Senate transportation aide, is President Obama's choice to lead the Federal Transit Administration, the White House announced on April 8. Rogoff has been a staffer on the Senate Appropriations Committee for 22 years, including 14 years as the top Democratic aide on the panel's transportation subcommittee, where he worked under Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). His nomination as FTA administrator is subject to Senate confirmation. Besides working on annual spending bills for the Dept. of Transportation, Rogoff also has played a role in the last three multi-year surface transportation reauthorization measures, beginning
The $49.3 billion in federal stimulus funding set aside for transportation work generated none of the rancorous clamor raised by the banking and financial-sector bailout. Instead, politicians and officials in cash-strapped state highway departments are joining nervous contractors and engineers in nearly universal praise for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Slide Show Photo: Arizona DOT Emphasis on speed and jobs moves repaving work to the top of the list. Any criticism has been muted. The public perceived the American International Group executive bonuses as tax dollars profiting those who were culpable for financial excesses and bad
With billions of dollars of state and federal funds anticipated, California can now pay some 80 engineering consultants on its planned 800-mile, $46-billion high-speed rail line. Already $5 million in debt for scoping and design work that occurred on the north-south express connector since the financially-strapped state froze infrastructure financing in December, the Pooled Money Investment Board approved a $29.1-million loan at its April 6 meeting after State Treasurer Bill Lockyer successfully sold $6.54 billion in bonds at the end of March. Photo: CA High-Speed Rail Authority Engineers have worked on planned line without pay The High Speed Rail Authority