Infrastructure News, August 1st

Will the FAA Shutdown Continue into September?

The Senate-House impasse that shut down most of the FAA on July 23 is costing the federal government about $25 to $30 million a day in permanently lost tax revenue, and has stopped nearly 200 airport construction projects and prevented more than 3,500 FAA employees from working and earning a paycheck.

California construction agency awards $486 million contract for light-rail project

On Wednesday, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority awarded a $486 million contract to a Kiewit/Parsons joint venture to design and construct the Metro Gold Line Foothill extension from Pasadena to Azusa, Calif.The project includes final design and construction of 11.5 miles of track, six stations, dozens of grade crossings, utilities and other systems for an extension to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Gold Line.The project is expected to create 7,000 jobs and $1 billion of economic output during the four years of construction, authority officials said in a prepared statement.

Klobuchar, Franken testify at hearing for bipartisan St. Croix Bridge legislation

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar today (Thursday, July 28) testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s National Parks Subcommittee in support of the bipartisan legislation that will move the St. Croix Bridge project forward.Klobuchar introduced the bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI), Al Franken (D-MN), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) this past May.Klobuchar was joined at the hearing by Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki who emphasized the importance of the project to the community. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) also testified at the hearing supporting the project, which both Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker support.

Future links to past, as historic train depot is restored

Workers are already laying track for the Central Corridor Light Rail line between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul. The west end of the line will stop at Target Field. The east end of the line line will be the Union Depot in St. Paul, and the renovation of that historic building has begun in earnest. Construction workers at the World War I-era Union Depot are literally redoing the iconic train station from the ground up. They’re driving piles into the ground under missing parts of the station’s foot-thick concrete train deck.

Historic Union Depot to Transform into Modern Transit Hub

The new Central Corridor Light Rail line is under construction, but there’s a big project at the end of the line that will connect St. Paul’s locomotive history with modern transit means as a multi-million dollar renovation project begins at the old Union Depot.There was once an era when the Upper Midwest set its time to the trains running through St. Paul, which was the gateway to the northwest. Now, for one-time train passenger John Diers, the depot is resetting that clock.

Rail projects differ, but political divide follows unswerving tracks

Rail transit is the issue that never dies in Wisconsin – no matter how many times it has been pronounced dead.The transportation graveyard already displays the tombstones of a Milwaukee-area light rail system (died 1997) and a Milwaukee-to-Madison high-speed rail line (died 2010).By Monday, the death toll could include a commuter rail route from Milwaukee to Racine and Kenosha.But the next day, on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council is poised to approve a downtown streetcar line.With each side seemingly entrenched in positions more rigid than steel rails, the transit debate has become a defining issue for Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, city residents and suburbanites.

Sound Transit adopts East Link route, station sites

Sound Transit’s board has selected a route and station locations for the East Link light-rail extension, which will serve East King County, Wash. The selections now will be reviewed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). After receiving a record of decision from the FTA, Sound Transit can begin construction, which is anticipated to start in 2015 or 2016, agency officials said in a prepared statement. Passenger service is slated to begin in 2022 or 2023.“We have taken a important and long-awaited step toward expanding transportation capacity and commuting options for residents of East King County and the entire region,” said Sound Transit Vice Chairman Fred Butler.

Light rail to reach South 200th St. by 2016

Sound Transit’s governing board voted Thursday to build light rail to South 200th Street in Seatac four years ahead of schedule.The 15-mile Link line currently terminates at a station at Sea-Tac International Airport.Thursday’s vote would extend light rail to South 200th Street by 2016, instead of 2020.A station at South 200th was part of the 21-mile Sound Move plan that voters approved in 1996. But it was separated from the initial Link light rail line due to skyrocketing costs in Sound Transit’s early days. Link light rail opened in 2009.

Bellevue prefers light rail tunnel to surface rail

The Sound Transit Board has just made a decision on the light rail route for the Eastside.The board promised Bellevue it will try to improve the route at 120th, and try to lower costs and make the route more business-friendly along 112th NE. But those promises were overshadowed by some big financial questions.

Will Capitol Hill get its way with light rail?\

Capitol Hill people seem to know what their neighborhood should have after a light-railstation is finished and trains start running: More of what they have now.In a few months, the neighborhood will know how much of that will come to pass.The neighborhood and city have drafted a plan for what should go into the block-and-half area around the station once it’s finished. There’s hope that a binding agreement can be made with Sound Transit to make sure that what the neighborhood wants will actually happen.

About Polly Snider

I have been a reference librarian at Dorsey for 16 years. As a part of that position I have drafted other practice group e-newsletters and have enjoyed doing so. This practice group is on an exciting initiative and I look forward to participating.
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One Response to Infrastructure News, August 1st

  1. Larry Ehl says:

    Thanks for including my story, “Will the FAA Shutdown Continue into September?”
    You might be interested in my most recent story, “How Might Transportation Funding be Impacted by Debt Deal?”

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