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MDOT to gauge interest in public-private partnerships
LANSING, MICH. — Seeking innovative ways to finance, build, operate and maintain public infrastructure, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reaching out to businesses and other entities for their ideas and interest in forming public-private partnerships (P3s). Initial proposed P3 projects include two rest areas, freeway lighting, bridge work and timber management. 
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SDOT announces Seattle’s first ‘parklet’ sites
SEATTLE — The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will launch its pilot Parklet Program with the opening of three “parklets” sponsored by nearby businesses. Parklets are small-scale public spaces built adjacent to sidewalks within on-street parking spots. Available for use by all, these spaces function as an extension of the sidewalk and provide seating, landscaping and other public amenities. Parklets are intended to activate streets, increase community gathering spaces, encourage walking and biking, and support local businesses. 
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ARTBA: Pennsylvania transportation cut could jeopardize nearly 10,000 jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cutting highway and bridge work by 25 percent in any given year, and then sustaining it in the years ahead, would cost Pennsylvania $1.25 billion in lost economic activity over a five-year period and put as many as 9,600 jobs permanently at risk, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) chief economist told state lawmakers at a July 31 hearing in Harrisburg. 
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Free tool for intelligent compaction and surface pavement temperature data upgraded
AUSTIN, TEXAS — The data management tool highway officials and contractors use to optimize pavement construction has just been re-released as a faster tool with expanded capabilities. Veda 2.0 was developed by specialty pavement engineering firm The Transtec Group (Transtec), funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), and provides powerful data management and analysis for paving operations. 
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UDOT uses MSE system for interstate bridge
ECHO JUNCTION, UTAH — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is using an innovative method to replace the Interstate 84 overpass bridge near Echo Junction in northern Utah to save construction time and government money. The state is building a replacement 58-foot-wide span bridge. The bridge will be supported on a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) system utilizing geotextile reinforcement. This is the first structure of its kind to be used on an interstate highway. 
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Tunneling machine begins 14-month journey beneath Seattle
SEATTLE – On Tuesday afternoon, July 30, a tunneling machine’s five-story-tall cutterhead broke through the north wall of the 80-foot-deep launch pit in Seattle as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. It is expected to emerge in about 14 months near the intersection of Sixth Avenue North and Harrison Street. Crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will push forward slowly at first, digging about 6 feet per day. By the time the machine, named Bertha, is beneath downtown, it will dig up to 35 feet per day. 
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Pennsylvania P3 board to consider two unsolicited proposals
HARRISBURG, PA. — Pennsylvania’s Office of Public Private Partnerships (P3) announced that due to legislation signed by Governor Tom Corbett in 2012, it has received six unsolicited proposals for transportation projects, two of which will be considered by the P3 board this fall. In early May, PennDOT announced that it was accepting proposals from the private sector on innovative ways to deliver transportation projects across a variety of modes including roads, bridges, rail, aviation and ports. 
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MassDOT online transit trip planning includes all regional transit authorities
BOSTON — Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey announced that for the first time all public transportation authorities in the Commonwealth including the MBTA and all 15 Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) will have their routes and schedules fully accessible on Google Maps. The MassRIDES Statewide Travel Options Program at MassDOT led the effort, in partnership with Bridgewater State University, to provide assistance to each of the Massachusetts RTAs to compile the necessary data to provide Google Map accessibility. 
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Ohio Jobs and Transportation Plan advances
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Ohio’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) gave preliminary approval to Gov. John R. Kasich’s “Jobs and Transportation Plan” — a proposal to create as many as 60,000 new jobs and grow Ohio’s economy with a $3 billion investment that accelerates key highway projects. The TRAC voted nine to zero to advance the governor’s plan, which includes $1.5 billion generated by bonds backed by Ohio Turnpike profits. The remaining $1.5 billion will come from federal, state and local sources. 
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ODOT appoints director of operations
 OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. — Paul D. Green was named director of operations for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Green most recently served as division engineer for ODOT’s Perry-based Division 4, which encompasses nine counties in north-central Oklahoma and includes most of the Oklahoma City metro area.
 
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Virginia receives private-sector proposal to construct new interchange in Lynchburg
RICHMOND, VA. — The Commonwealth of Virginia received an unsolicited proposal pursuant to the Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) for the financing, design, and construction of a new interchange along U.S. 460 at Odd Fellows Road in Lynchburg. The proposed project also includes improvements to Odd Fellows Road between the new interchange and the Lynchburg Expressway and improvements to Greenview Drive.
 
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ARTBA tells Virginia Supreme Court to uphold state’s P3 enabling law
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allowing a lower court’s decision to strike down Virginia’s Public Private Transportation Act would deprive citizens of a “necessary tool to meet a pressing public need” and potentially “undermine public-private partnership statutes in other states.” That was the key message delivered last Friday by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) to the Supreme Court of Virginia. 
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I-69 becomes South Texas’ first interstate highway
AUSTIN, TEXAS — In an effort to enhance mobility and attract international commerce to the growing Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) with approval from the Texas Transportation Commission officially designated 67 miles of regional roadways as part of the new Interstate 69. The designation means drivers will now see sections of US 77 and US 281 with I-69 highway signs. Being developed on existing roadways as a critical artery for moving freight, I-69 will ultimately become a 1,600-mile-long highway stretching from Michigan to Texas. 
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Nearly $650 million to improve transportation in Prince George’s County, Md.
SUITLAND, MD. — Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced nearly $650 million in transportation investments for Prince George’s County that will create jobs, reduce traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety. The projects announced today were made possible with funding from the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, which allows Maryland to activate long-term strategies to invest in Maryland’s transportation systems. 
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WsDOT ‘Party’ for tunneling machine draws 5,000 to SR 99 site
SEATTLE — Start with some sun, soil and celebration. Then add Bertha, the massive machine that will dig the SR 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle, and 5,000 of her closest friends. The result is a party big enough for the biggest tunnel-builder the world has ever seen. 
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State DOTs take home transportation awards in mid America competition
MILWAUKEE — Transportation projects that rehabilitated hundreds of bridges, revamped a classic American street, and increased access to local businesses were among the recipients of top honors in the mid America regional America's Transportation Awards competition. 
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Iowa DOT makes its apps available at myIowaDOT
AMES, IOWA — One tool the Iowa Department of Transportation is using to fulfill its mission to be “Smarter, Simpler & Customer Driven” is a new application to organize all other Iowa DOT apps designed for smart phones and tablets. Instead of making its customers search for each individual app developed by the Iowa DOT or its business partners, the agency is providing all the apps in one “container” app called myIowaDOT, which is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. 
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CDOT, City of Grand Junction partner on state's first Diverging Diamond Interchange
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the City of Grand Junction have partnered to bring the state its first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) — an innovative interchange design that improves efficiency by eliminating some wait time for left-hand turn movements. This project represents a partnership between CDOT and the City of Grand Junction to improve safety and traffic flow on I-70 at Exit 26 (at US 6 & 50). The contractor began mobilizing equipment to the area on July 8. 
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MnDOT announces executive management changes
ST. PAUL, MINN. — Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced changes in his executive management team. Susan Mulvihill has been named deputy commissioner and chief engineer; Tracy Hatch has been named deputy commissioner, chief operating officer and chief financial officer; Eric Davis has been named the chief of staff; and Betsy Parker remains the chief counsel. 
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PennDOT receives Geographic Information Award for modernized data collection
HARRISBURG, PA. — PennDOT’s modernized field data collection process recently received an international achievement award for its innovative use of geographic information system technology. The Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award was presented at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, Calif. The award recognizes vision, leadership, hard work and innovative use of technology. 
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Former WSDOT secretary joins Parsons Brinckerhoff
SEATTLE — Paula Hammond, former Secretary of Transportation for the State of Washington, has been named Senior Vice President and National Transportation Market Leader at Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, planning, engineering, and program/construction management organization. 
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Las Vegas’ Project NEON approved as a public-private partnership
LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) announced that the seven-member State Transportation Board unanimously approved advancing Project NEON as a public-private partnership (P3) arrangement under which a private developer will be selected to design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) an improved Interstate 15 (I-15) facility for up to 35 years after completion of construction of Project NEON. Use of a P3 is historical for NDOT and the State of Nevada and will allow several phases of Project NEON to be completed safely, quickly and efficiently, with the least amount of interruption to the traveling public. 
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Virginia seeks private-sector development of air rights over transportation facilities
RICHMOND, VA. — Virginia’s Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (OTP3), in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), is seeking innovative new ideas from the private sector for the potential development of air rights above I-66 at the East Falls Church Metro Station and at the Rosslyn Metro Station areas in Arlington County. The projects — being pursued in coordination with VDOT, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and Arlington County — focus on the potential development of mixed use facilities above I-66 to generate additional revenues for transportation improvements. 
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NCDOT gets new Strategic Mobility Formula
RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has a new, more efficient way of funding infrastructure investments that will better connect citizens to opportunities, increase jobs, and enhance economic development after Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the Strategic Mobility Formula, House Bill 817. The new formula allows NCDOT to more efficiently use its existing funds, which will result in more transportation projects and more jobs for North Carolina. The next steps, already underway, are to develop the 25 year plan and determine how to generate the revenue for infrastructure investment. 
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KDOT to pay $477,500 penalty to settle violations of Clean Water Act at three construction sites
LENEXA, KAN. — The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) agreed to pay a $477,500 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at three road construction sites that are located near Lawrence, Manhattan, and Pleasanton, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced. Violations included the failure to install or implement adequate stormwater control measures, including the failure to timely stabilize disturbed soils, the failure to properly maintain stormwater controls, the failure to develop an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan and update the plan as appropriate, and the failure to maintain the plan and other records on site. 
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Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx sworn in as 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was sworn in as the nation’s 17th Secretary of Transportation by Judge Nathaniel Jones in a private ceremony at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters on July 2. The ceremony was attended by Foxx’s wife, Samara, and their two children, Hillary and Zachary, and used a Bible belonging to Secretary Foxx’s great-grandparents, Peter and Ida Kelly. Secretary Foxx worked for Judge Jones as a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after law school and invited Judge Jones to administer the oath of office. 
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Nation's road conditions show slight improvement in annual report
LOS ANGELES — Americans are driving on slightly smoother roads, crossing fewer deficient bridges and spending less time stuck in traffic jams according to Reason Foundation's Annual Highway Report. The report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-owned roads in 11 categories, including pavement condition on urban and rural Interstates, urban traffic congestion, deficient bridges, unsafe narrow lanes, traffic fatalities, total spending per mile of state roads and administrative costs per mile. The study's rankings are based on data that states reported to the federal government for 2009, the most recent year with full spending statistics available. 
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ODOT performance audit identifies $23 million in savings
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Auditor of State Dave Yost made $23 million in recommendations for savings to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in a performance audit — including a series of improvements already well on the way to implementation by Director Jerry Wray and ODOT staff. The audit identifies $11.6 million in savings from operating expenses, such as adopting more cost-effective mowing schedules; $10.9 million in fleet expense, particularly the sale and avoided maintenance of excess equipment; and more than $560,000 in savings from better coordination of services between ODOT districts and the central office. 
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MDTA study confirms ICC travel time savings
BALTIMORE — Since opening between I-370 and I-95 in November 2011, Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 drivers have cut their travel times in half when compared to travel on local east-west routes, according to a study released by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and the State Highway Administration (SHA). Motorists who continue to travel local routes during peak hours also are experiencing time savings. According to the ICC Before & After Traffic Study, these motorists have experienced a 5- to 11-percent reduction in travel times, compared to before the ICC opened. Along with more consistent travel times, traffic on commuter routes like MD 650, MD 198, MD 28, MD 108 and MD 115 has decreased by 5 to 10 percent.  
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NCDOT ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ program wins Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award (with video)
RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently received the Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award for its Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day program. The Women’s Transportation Seminar North Carolina Triangle Chapter recognized NCDOT, with the distinction for demonstrated diversity and an innovative education program that encourages young women to consider engineering careers. 
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Headlines From Around The Web

N.C. DOT to cut 400 positions (Winston-Salem Journal)
Georgia DOT commissioner resigns (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Georgia DOT loses another top manager (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
New Road Signs Will Now Wait (The New York Times)
WYDOT staffer wins national post (Billings Gazette)
Schneider named acting IDOT director (The State Journal-Register)
Selection of MDOT director delayed (Hattiesburg American)




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In replacing the Willamette River Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation makes steps to ensure the structure's ecological footprint is as small as possible, leaving room for natural habitats to flourish.

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