POTTERS MILLS, PA. — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law House Bill 1060, Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive piece of state transportation legislation in decades. The transportation package invests an additional $2.3 to $2.4 billion into the state’s roads and bridges by the fifth year of the plan and provides funding for transit systems across the state.
RICHMOND, VA. — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a record of decision on the 25-mile Tier 1 environmental impact statement (EIS) study of Interstate 66 from the Capital Beltway to Haymarket, Va., clearing the way for the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to select one or more of the final 10 concepts for detailed analysis.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation in Atlanta to announce a Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for $275 million to build new reversible lanes along I-75 and I-575. The 29.7-mile-long project will relieve congestion along the heavily trafficked corridor during morning and evening peak periods. The loan will go toward the $833.7 million total cost of the project.
CHICAGO — Michael Baker Jr., Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker International, LLC, was awarded a three-year, $9.8 million contract by the Illinois Department of Transportation to prepare a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the future expansion of high-speed rail service on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor between Granite City, Ill., and St. Louis. Baker will serve as the lead consultant for the project team, which includes STV Incorporated as its joint-venture partner and eight additional consultants.
OSAGE CITY, MO. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new railroad bridge that will eliminate the last chokepoint along the line between Jefferson City and St. Louis. The $28 million project received $22.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program and was the largest ARRA project in the state of Missouri.
DENVER — With this week’s opening of U.S. 34 and next week’s planned opening of State Highway 7, all highways damaged by the September flooding will reopen days ahead of the Dec. 1 goal. “The united effort of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its road repair partners has been remarkable,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “After the flooding, we faced the daunting task of restoring 485 miles of damaged or destroyed highways. CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, the National Guard and local governments have worked round the clock to reconnect Colorado communities.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Several American cities have a secret weapon to attract business travelers and lucrative meetings and conventions — a rail line to the airport terminal. According to a study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the U.S. Travel Association, hotels in cities with direct rail access from downtown to airport terminals receive nearly 11 percent more revenue per room than hotels in cities without a rail airport connection.
OAKLAND, CALIF. — The new fourth bore of the “world-class” Caldecott Tunnel on State Route 24 in the Oakland Hills opened to traffic, adding two dedicated tunnels in each direction to aid more than 160,000 commuters daily and end the 50-year-old process of manually reversing the flow of traffic twice per day along the middle bore.
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