[beta] TRN Weekly Review: Week of February 7-13, 2021

CTRMA Selected $477 Million Archer Western-Sundt Proposal

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority announced that its board unanimously approved Great Hills Constructors as the Apparent Best-Value Proposer to design and construct two express lanes in each direction and an additional general-purpose lane on a nine-mile stretch of US 183. Great Hills, one of the three teams that submitted responsive bids for the 183 North Mobility Project, is a joint venture of Archer Western Construction, LLC (a Walsh Group company), and Sundt Construction.

Community Impact Newspaper reported that the overall cost of the project will be $612 million.

FDOT Scheduled An Industry Forum On A SunPass BOS Procurement

FDOT’s Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise announced it will conduct a February 24 Industry Forum to provide an opportunity for interested firms to learn more about a project to procure an account management and financial accounting system with services to develop, integrate and transition to a new Commercial Back-Office system. FDOT anticipates that the new system will maintain customer accounts, process customer payments, generate customer billing, interface with the SunPass.com website and SunPass® mobile application, and interface with FDOT’s interoperable partners. Firms have the option of participating in-person (at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport) or virtually.

These are a few of the toll industry developments TRN covered last week. If you’re not a subscriber to Daily News Briefs, click here for a free, 14-day trial. Read the news as it happens every weekday morning.

New Hampshire DOT Scheduled Meetings On Upcoming AET Conversion Projects

Foster’s Daily Democrat reported, New Hampshire DOT will hold separate virtual public meetings next week (February 17 and 18) on its proposed AET conversions of the Dover and Rochester toll plazas. The projects, which have a combined budget of $18.75 million, involve removal of the existing cash and E-ZPass lanes at the two Spaulding Turnpike (Route 16) interchanges and installation of all-electronic, free-flow tolling equipment. NHDOT expects the conversion work (it includes noise barrier installation) to begin this summer and conclude by 2023. (The NHDOT website has meeting details, participation instructions and extensive project information.)

BATA Said Some Bay Area Bridges Will Convert To ORT By 2023

KCBS reported, “Now that all seven Bay Area [state-owned] bridges have transitioned to electronic tolling,” plans are underway to demolish tollbooths and install open-road tolling technology. Jeff Gerbracht, the Bay Area Toll Authority’s conversion project manager, tells KCBS the first of the new collection systems will be operational by 2023 and the project will be complete by 2026. Gerbracht cites pre-COVID studies that estimate ORT could save drivers three to seven minutes of travel time. (Link inserted by TRN)

CTRMA Completed A Flyover Project Ahead Of Schedule

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority announced the opening of the the third and final flyover bridge at the 290 Toll/SH 130 intersection approximately four months ahead of schedule. The opening marks the completion of the entire 290/130 Flyovers Project. A CTRMA news release stated, “The new flyovers provide drivers safe, efficient, free-flowing direct connections between the two roadways, while also freeing up capacity at the frontage road intersection to benefit drivers who prefer the non-tolled option. It is estimated that the traveling public will save $5 million a year in time as well as fuel and vehicle costs.”

DeSantis Kept M-CORES Funding In His 2022 Budget Proposal

The Center Square reported, despite failing to obtain task force endorsement or public support, the three M-CORES Program toll road projects received $90 million under the state’s current budget and “could receive up to $700 million next year.” The article notes that Governor Ron DeSantis’ FY 22 spending proposal “not only includes the $135 million [M-CORES statute] earmark, but at least $40 million in related funding and could, potentially, draw $700 million from the state’s five-year road plan next year.” Bills (SB 1030 and HB 763) to eliminate M-CORES funding have not advanced since their introduction last week, according to the article.

Sample Daily News Briefs, our weekday morning news report. A 14-day trial is free.

Florida DOT Is Adding 100 Miles Of New Toll Lanes In Metro Tampa

Tampa Bay Times reported, “Some of [Pinellas County’s] highest trafficked roads are undergoing reconstruction of a dramatic magnitude.” The work, according to the newspaper’s update on the Tampa Bay Next Program, is “all part of the state’s greater vision to add nearly 100 miles of toll lanes to the area’s interstates through the next decade and beyond. Pinellas County is the launching ground for the first wave of these projects, meant to make room for the nearly 100,000 people expected to move here in the next 25 years.”

LA Metro Unveiled Four Congestion Pricing Exploratory Concepts

LA Metro announced on Tuesday it is advancing a study of congestion pricing that could materialize in a pilot project by 2025. It revealed four early concepts it will explore “to see if a traffic reduction program pilot could be successful in our region. The concepts focus on parts of L.A. County that have long suffered from chronic traffic.” The agency added that it will hold three virtual meetings during February to give the public an opportunity to learn about and comment on the study.

Kapsch Was Chosen To Implement France’s First Multi-Lane Free-Flow Collection System

Kapsch TrafficCom announced it received a framework contract to supply, implement and manage technical operation of France’s first multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) toll system. APRR, an Eiffage Group subsidiary, selected Kapsch to deploy and operate the system for its newly won A79 highway concession, which will open to traffic in 2022. APRR chose Kapsch after conducting a pilot to compare the MLFF technologies offered by different companies. (Kapsch also announced this week that it broke new ground with the recent implementation of its “Hybrid Multi-Lane Toll System” on the Olympia Odos motorway in Greece. According to a Kapsch news release, “Greece is the first country in the European Union to operate an electronic toll system in which car drivers are only charged for actual kilometers driven on the motorway.”)

Alabama Governor Ordered A New Look Into Mobile Congestion Relief

WPMI reported, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) instructed the state DOT to study options for relieving I-10 Mobile Bayway congestion that do not include tolling of existing routes. Her action was a response to requests by two local officials who are also MPO members. They wrote to Ivey last month to express a sense of urgency about resuming discussion of a bridge replacement project that ALDOT abandoned in 2019 because of public opposition to its toll financing terms.

Save time. Stay informed. Subscribe to Daily News Briefs, TRN’s weekday morning news report. A 14-day trial is free.

Congress May Include $57 Billion For Transportation In Next COVID Relief Bill

Reuters reported on transportation funding provisions in the coronavirus relief legislation that US House Democrats have submitted for committee review. Proposed appropriations will chiefly benefit the public transit and airline sectors.

The Hill and Associated Press report on the evolving terms of the next relief bill.

Industry People Made News

LA Metro announced that Phillip Washington, its CEO since 2015, has decided not to seek a new contract or extend his current contract, which expires in May. The Metro board will conduct a national search for his replacement. Washington is widely praised for being an effective and innovative manager.

Verra Mobility Corporation announced that Steven C. Lalla will be joining the firm as Executive Vice President and leader of the Commercial Services business unit, which provides tolling, violations management, collection, and title and registration services to commercial fleet customers.

Commentary: Texas Should Rely More On Private Capital To Fund Transportation Projects

The Dallas Morning News published an appeal by members of the Invest Texas Council for wider use of the P3 model in expanding state transportation infrastructure. They argued that P3 partnerships have proven to be efficient and reliable in other sectors such as telecommunications. They also assert that private financing of infrastructure is “equitable,” in that it preserves limited state resources for expenditure on education and other critical operations.

Learn How Kapsch And New York’s Thruway Carried Out A Major AET Conversion

Kapsch TrafficCom, in cooperation with the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), will host a webinar on the statewide Thruway AET conversion on February 17 at 10:30 AM Eastern. This industry-focused event will address NYSTA’s requirements, system features, the project timeframe, and the implementation procedures that enabled Kapsch and NYSTA to meet the project deadline during the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for event information and registration.

Have Weekly Review Questions or Comments? Email Us!

For TollRoadsNews subscription information, please call 717-991-2823, email us or visit our website.