The Gateway project would overhaul and expand the northeast rail corridor from New York City to Newark, N.J., and a new set of tunnels is a critical part of the project. New York and New Jersey have pledged to fund the project that could cost almost $30 billion, and this article explores many of the challenges facing the project, including a lack of federal funding.
House and Senate versions of a tax bill eliminate private activity bonds, and the American Association of Port Authorities is worried that could increase infrastructure costs for the nation's ports. "Abruptly ending this incentive for private sector financing would further constrain available funding for certain infrastructure projects," according to the organization, which offers several examples.
California recently raised the gas tax that will inject billions per year for infrastructure funding, but it won't erase the $130 billion backlog of infrastructure maintenance across the state. This editorial notes that motorists could have lower fuel costs or better roads, but not both.
A year ago, the Massachusetts Turnpike switched to open-road tolling, and the state's Department of Transportation says nearly half a billion transactions have been processed. Around 86% of travelers used an E-ZPass to pay tolls, and MassDOT says the move has reduced commute times.
A four-lane, 13-mile extension is planned for the Suncoast Parkway north of Tampa, Fla., and Lane Construction Corp. -- a subsidiary of Salini Impregilo -- won a $134.6 million contract to build one of the two sections. Construction could begin in 2018, and will include 15 bridges.
A private company built the South Bay Expressway toll road at a cost of $658 million, but later went bankrupt. The San Diego Association of Governments bought it for $351 million, and recently refinanced the debt in a move will save $147 million over 26 years.
Maryland plans to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, but officials in Montgomery County want more transit options. They say taking more vehicles off the road might be better than expanding the congested highways, and Pete Rahn, the state's transportation secretary, said that could be part of the discussion when the state hires a private company to design and build the toll lanes.
Flex Route is a new traffic management system deployed by the Michigan Department of Transportation on US 23. It uses overhead signs, electronic message boards and mounted cameras to provide lane control, especially during peak hours.
A recommendation from General Motors would give makers of self-driving vehicles safeguards from lawsuits if an owner fails to maintain a vehicle as outlined by the manufacturer. The California Department of Motor Vehicles likes the idea, but trade groups warn that manufacturers could pass the maintenance burden to consumers in order to shift liability in accidents -- exposing autonomous-car users to legal risk.
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania has issued a request for proposals for a health science education center. The mixed-use facility could be 36 stories tall, which would make it the tallest building in the city when constructed.
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