Daily News Briefs, April 21, 2017

ERC's Owners Donate $500,000 to Boost Toll Relief for Low-Income Users of Hampton Roads Tunnels

The Virginian-Pilot reports, “About 2,400 low-income Midtown and Downtown tunnel users enrolled in a special toll relief program will pay even less for tolls. Thanks to a one-time $500,000 donation from Elizabeth River Crossings parent companies Macquarie-Skanska, relief program enrollees will get $1 off each toll, rather than the previous 75-cent discount. That makes rush hour tolls 95 cents for toll relief participants, saving them $120 a year in addition to the previous discount.”

Elizabeth River Tunnels Virginia Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

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FDOT Selects Team for $234.5 Million Design-Build of Wekiva Parkway Section

Orlando Sentinel reports that FDOT “selected a design-build team to be led by Superior Construction to build a section of the Wekiva Parkway in parts of Lake and Seminole Counties. The team’s bid of $234.5 million is to construct 6 miles of the toll road, which will be mostly elevated along the corridor of State Road 46. . . .”

Florida Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

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Atlantia SpA Looks to Raise US$8.6 Billion to Acquire Abertis and Create a "European Toll-Road Giant"

Bloomberg reports, “Atlantia SpA is seeking as much as 8 billion euros ($8.6 billion) in financing to help fund a cash-and-stock bid for Abertis Infraestructuras SA, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would create a European toll-road giant. The offer may include as much as 10 billion euros in cash, with the rest in stock, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.”

Acquisitions and Mergers

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SNC-Lavalin Group is Buying WS Atkins PLC

The Globe and Mail reports, “SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is buying British-based WS Atkins PLC in a deal worth $3.6-billion, the biggest ever takeover for the Canadian company it pushes into the top tier of engineering firms worldwide.”

Acquisitions and Mergers Canada United Kingdom

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E-470 Earns Praise as Economic Development Catalyst

Aurora Sentinel reports that the northeast section of the Colorado city has become the site of several “massive distribution centers” in recent years, and City Councilman Brad Pierce attributes the construction and employment boom to the E-470 toll highway. “I think E-470 has been the catalyst for all of the development out here,” he told the newspaper while touring the construction site of an Amazon fulfillment center that is expected to employ about a thousand workers.

Colorado E-470 Public Highway Authority

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San Clemente Residents Push TCA to Consider Additional 241 Toll Project Option

San Clemente News reports, “Dozens of residents from San Clemente and Rancho Santa Margarita attended the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) board of directors meeting on Thursday, April 13, in Irvine to oppose the 241 connection toll road proposals put forth by the entity.” According to the article, “San Clemente residents who attended were able to convince the TCA to consider the ‘Beltway’ option, something that supporters said was discussed at length about 10 years ago.” [Link inserted.]

California Transportation Corridor Agencies (CA)

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A Detailed Look at San Bernardino County's $1.4 Billion Proposal for 33 Miles of New Toll Lanes

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin focuses on the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s proposal to add 33 miles of toll lanes to I-10 (they would be the county’s first). The proposed $1.4 billion project would add two toll lanes and one general lane from the Los Angeles County line in Upland east to Redlands.” (The authority, formerly known as San Bernardino Associated Governments, or SANBAG, changed its name in January.)

California Express Lanes San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA)

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NY City's Crackdown on Police Officers Who Obscure Plates to Avoid Tolls Hasn't, Well, Worked

Streetsblog NYC reports that although New York City’s mayor and police commissioner vowed to catch and discipline police officers “who obscure their license plates to evade tolls and traffic enforcement cameras,” their efforts haven’t been entirely successful.

New York City Scofflaws

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Study of I-77 Express Contract Sparks Speculation about Partial Conversion of One Toll Lane to a Free Lane

The Charlotte Observer reports on a consultant’s study of “possible improvements to the contract” between NCDOT and I-77 Mobility Partners for construction of new express lanes. “One possibility is to turn the new express toll lane between Exit 28 and Exit 36 into a free general purpose lane. Lake Norman commuters would still have a guaranteed travel time for 18 miles of their journey, and people who don’t want to pay tolls would still get some traffic relief,” according to the article.

I-77 Express Lanes (NC) North Carolina North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

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NCDOT to Issue Plan for Removing Old I-77 Pavement Markers

WBTV reports that NCDOT says “a detailed action plan to remove old pavement markers from I-77 should be released in the next few days. The announcement comes a week after safety concerns were brought up at a meeting in Cornelius about the pavement markers popping out of the ground and lying in the roadway” in the I-77 Express Lanes construction zone.

I-77 Express Lanes (NC) North Carolina North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

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DFW's $847 Million Midtown Express Project Will Clear a Milestone This Weekend

Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that SouthGate Constructors will reach a milestone in the $847 million Midtown Express project this weekend when workers set beams for a new bridge in Euless. The project involves widening and adding toll lanes to Texas 183.

Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro Region (DFW) Texas

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Indiana Lawmakers to Vote on Funding Bill That Opens Door to More Tolling

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports, “State lawmakers will vote [today] on a compromise road funding plan that requires Hoosiers to pay higher fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees and possibly tolls in exchange for improved highways, bridges and local roads.” [Link inserted.] The bill is expected to pass both houses of the legislature and receive the governor’s approval.

Indiana

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Agreement on a $3.5 Billion Colorado Highway Funding Bill Falls Apart

The Denver Post reports, “A grand bargain at the Capitol to seek a tax hike and generate $3.5 billion to improve Colorado’s roadways appeared to collapse just days from the end of the session.” Advocates of a transportation funding increase say they will now push for a November ballot initiative.

Colorado Colorado Department of Transportation

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Local Officials Join Push for PA Turnpike's $2.1 Billion Mon-Fayette Extension

Observer-Reporter reports that Washington County commissioners have “added their voices to those supporting” the PA Turnpike Commission’s $2.1 billion Mon-Fayette extension project, even though the project is in neighboring Allegheny County.

Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

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Project to Build Additional Lanes at Three TX International Toll Bridges Approved

KRGV reports, “Several Rio Grande Valley border crossings will soon undergo construction in an effort to handle more traffic coming into the U.S. Renovations will soon start at the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge, Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville and the Anzalduas Bridge in McAllen.” The project, made possible by federal agencies, is expected to increase revenue for the Rio Grande Valley communities that operate the toll crossings.

Cameron County (Texas) City of Donna (Texas) City of McAllen (TX) Mexico Texas

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WSDOT Will Open I-405 Shoulder Lane to General Purpose Traffic on Monday

The Herald reports that beginning Monday, April 24, “[c]ommuters will be able to drive on the shoulder of northbound I-405 through Canyon Park. . . . The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to open the new ‘peak-use shoulder lane’ to general purpose traffic between Highway 527 and the I-5 interchange. . . .” The facility’s $7 million cost will be paid for with toll revenue from the I-405 Express Lanes.

Washington State Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

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