Daily News Briefs, November 13, 2023

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Delaware Memorial Bridge's $71 Million Deck Rehab Will Wrap Up Before Thanksgiving

WDEL reports, the Delaware River and Bay Authority’s 14-month, $71 million project to completely rehabilitate the Delaware Memorial Bridge driving surface will be finished in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. All eight lanes of the bridge’s twin spans will be open to traffic effective Tuesday, November 21, at 6:00 AM. Last Friday, officials and contractors gathered to celebrate the end of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) overlay installation. Each part of the three-phase rehabilitation was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. The article notes that the project involved the first use of UHPC on a major US bridge and, at 5,000 cubic yards, the largest ever application of the material.

A Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) news release has more information about the project and Friday’s event.

Delaware Delaware River and Bay Authority Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Maintenance New Jersey

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Two Connecticut Projects Prompt Questions About US Infrastructure Costs

CTInsider.com reports, a couple of Connecticut bridge projects that last week received a total of $2 billion in federal grants are emblematic of the astonishing rise in US infrastructure development costs. Each project presents unique design or construction challenges that are reflected in its budget, but experts tell the newspaper there are systemic reasons for construction costing so much more in the US than in Asia and Europe. Some explanations (such as materials cost inflation and environmental regulation compliance) are widely acknowledged, others (use of union labor) are rejected, but time is the factor that seems to have widest acceptance. Experts consulted for the article say it takes too long to get projects started and finished in today’s America.

Connecticut Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) Economic & Social Considerations Affecting Transportation Environmental Protection Policies Procedures And Initiatives Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Maintenance Infrastructure Workforce Issues US Gov't Transportation Funding US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives

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Final Congressional Action On Transportation Budget Could Be Postponed Until January

Roll Call reports, on Saturday afternoon, US House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA 4) submitted a draft continuing resolution to his Republican colleagues designed to avoid Friday’s looming government shutdown. Among other things, the measure would postpone the deadline for passage of four major 2024 appropriations bills — including the one covering transportation — until January 19. The House is under a 72-hour deadline to act on the proposal, but even if a majority of Republican members agree to support it, the measure is likely to face significant Senate and White House objections. The article notes, “The [proposed resolution] envisions quicker negotiations on four bills that one or the other chamber, or both, has already passed. The Military Construction-VA bill has passed in both chambers, while the Senate has also passed its Agriculture and Transportation-HUD bills as part of a package with the Military Construction-VA bill. The House has been unable to pass its Agriculture or Transportation-HUD bills, though the chamber could take another shot at the latter as early as this week if GOP leaders cut a deal on Amtrak funding with party moderates.”

Associated Press also covers this story.

US Gov't Transportation Funding US Highway Trust Fund US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives

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Pangilinan Says Fellow Billionaire Ang Could Be Elected MPIC Vice Chair

The Philippine Star reports, San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang, could possibly become vice chair of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) board, according to MPIC chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan. In answer to a question about what Ang will contribute now that he is an MPIC board member, Pangilinan told the newspaper, “I think we can elect him as vice chairman,” although he emphasized that the appointment has not yet been discussed by the MPIC board. Pangilinan and Ang, long-time infrastructure business rivals, have been contemplating alliances since they agreed over the summer to collaborate on two Luzon toll road projects. of Pangilinan told The STAR when asked if Ang, who is now part of the MPIC board after making a personal investment in the company, would be taking other roles in the conglomerate aside from being a director.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation Philippines San Miguel Corporation (South Luzon Tollway)

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These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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