New London — The school district has dropped one of the four planned magnet school pathways in the latest iteration of a programming plan being designed in advance of the start of a $150 million school construction project.
The leadership pathway, once called the public service and leadership pathway when it was first conceived in 2014, is no longer part of the operations plan expected to be presented to the state Department of Education next week.
The implications on magnet school funding for the district and on the availability of magnet school options for all New London students is unclear, since school district administrators remain tight-lipped about the ongoing plans.
The latest change is just one in a series of alterations of both the programming and physical layout of a project that has experienced several delays over the past few years. Work on the $98 million high school project is expected to start later this summer with a track rehabilitation project. The nearly $50 million worth of work at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School will be the second phase of the project.
The changes, most recently the result of state directives, have led to some confusion over exactly what is being built and where certain programs will be housed. There also appears to be a lack of communication between the city and school officials.
An example of that is the fact that the school construction project manager, Diana McNeil of the Capitol Region Education Council, as of this week was unaware that the state had shifted the course of the project. It was McNeil who was thrust into the hot seat to answer questions and sustain criticisms from the City Council at a Feb. 20 council meeting.
Unbeknownst to McNeil, district administrators had met in Hartford that very day to discuss alterations to the project. As a result, some of the information she provided to the council was outdated.
A statement recently released to The Day from the state Department of Education, responding to questions about the status of the project, indicates the current plan is to have “one overarching 6-12 magnet school with options for students to select a focus in STEM, Arts and Global Studies.”
The statement goes on to say that it makes sense to consolidate schools “into one 6-12 International Baccalaureate program requiring less staff, facilities maintenance, etc.”
The state Department of Education's statement about the IB program has led to some confusion within the school district, which is in the candidacy phase of an IB World School program at C.B. Jennings Dual Language and International Elementary School. IB programs include a rigorous course curriculum similar to advanced placement courses.
Interim Superintendent Stephen Tracy and Kate McCoy, the district's executive director for strategic planning, government and media relations, did not return calls or emails seeking comment for an explanation. Both attended the Feb. 20 meeting in Hartford.
Instead of answering questions, the school district on Wednesday released a joint statement signed by Mayor Michael Passero, City Council President Anthony Nolan, Board of Education President Mirna Martinez and state Rep. Chris Soto, D-New London.
It offers a somewhat different explanation of changes to the magnet school plans and notably neglects any mention of the International Baccalaureate program.
The physical location of the magnet pathways, according to the statement, has changed from a grades six through 12 model to one closer to a typical middle school and high school, in contrast to what has been planned for the past several years.
“Under the state’s plan, 6-12 students would select from among three pathways: Science/Technology/Engineering & Mathematics (STEM); Arts; and International Studies. Students in grades 6-8 would continue to attend the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School campus, except that all students in the Arts pathway (6-12) would be located at the New London High School campus. These anticipated improvements to New London’s magnet school plan will ensure our continued progress and success," the statement reads.
Recognizing there has been a rift between city officials and school district administrators, Soto has been acting as something of a mediator, traveling to Hartford separately with city and school district officials for a series of ongoing meetings. He was with school administrators at the Feb. 20 meeting with state education officials in Hartford. He attended a March 2 meeting with Passero and commissioners from both the Department of Education and Department of Administrative Services.
Soto said he believes the school district administrators were hesitant to go public with information from their meeting until they have some sort of written confirmation from the state that plans will not change again.
The most recent meeting was a good sign, Soto said, that the two different state departments are working together and showing support for the district’s conversion into the state’s first all-magnet school district. Officials the state Department of Education must approve the programming plans for the school, while the state Department of Administrative Services must sign off on the school building plan.
Konstantinos Diamantis, director of DAS’s Office of School Construction Grants and Review, said his office cannot approve a school design without clear direction and blueprint of the academic programming approved by the state Department of Education.
“The reason is we do not want the community spending time and money developing something that isn’t going to be approved at the end of the day,” he said.
The current delays in the school construction project, which ultimately lead to cost increases, is in part due to the loss of a $31 million project to include classrooms and theater space at the Garde Arts Center as part of the district’s arts magnet school.
Diamantis said the Garde was not prepared to cede control of the project and the academic programming to the Board of Education, part of the reason the project never materialized.
The school district subsequently spent months trying to recoup some of the funding associated with the project, only to have a $17 million offer from the state rejected by Passero on grounds the taxpayers could not afford the city’s share and the city could not afford more delays to the project. Some district officials remain bitter about the mayor’s move.
Diamantis said his department now is focused on the high school, or north campus, project and has an obligation to the state “to ensure we build only what we need.” He said his office remains engaged with both the city and Department of Education to ensure the project moves forward.
Kathy Skrabacz, a school board candidate and parent with kids in the school system, who has closely followed the progress of the magnet school plans, said the constant changes in the plans are not a good sign.
“I still have a lot of unanswered questions. I think I would be more optimistic with a permanent superintendent on board. We always seem to lose momentum with the changing of the guard,” she said.
While her children are too old to see the new high school project completed, Skrabacz said construction there may impact her youngest. She has requested that the district provide better updates on the progress of the projects on its website.
Soto said he will continue to address concerns from people in the community about New London students being displaced from the magnet programs and in general about the future of state magnet school funding.
“I’m extremely optimistic. Some things have changed but we’re still going to build a new high school. We still have a magnet plan to provide high quality education — nothing is really changing from what we initially envisioned,” Soto said. “The state approved this years ago. They’re trying to enable us to be successful.”
The idea of magnet schools for students in grades six through 12 dates to at least 2015 but did not appear to be part of the public discussion back in 2014, when voters at referendum approved a $165 million bond ordinance for the project.
At the time, the project was designed to address overdue facilities problems at the high and middle schools. The high school was on probation at the time with the agency that accredits New England secondary schools. There were threats of accreditation being revoked.
Passero this week expressed frustration over ongoing struggles to recoup state funds from past school projects and said the city does not want to be in a position of paying more than what voters approved.
He expressed optimism, however, in a meeting held last Friday in Hartford that the latest changes are final.
“The city administration, in partnership with our project manager, CREC ... stands committed to fulfilling the dream of having our high school and middle school rebuilt,” Passero said. “We’re simply waiting for the Board of Education and state Department of Education to decide on the educational requirements they want in the schools. We are optimistic they are going to finally work that out and begin designing the first of the two new schools.”
Plug Pulled On East Hartford Outlet Shops
The developer of planned outlet shops at Rentschler Field has canceled the project, and this time the decision appears to be final.
The proposed 282,000-square-foot retail center, which local and state officials had celebrated as an economic blessing to a distressed municipality, will not happen, Horizon Group Properties CEO Gary Skoien said Monday. Citing the project’s bumpy past, Mayor Marcia Leclerc said the announcement frees the town to pursue other opportunities.
“It finally appears we can move on from this project, which has been in limbo and taken many turns over the past several years,” Leclerc said. “We will begin discussions again with (land owner Pratt & Whitney) in regards to their property and champion development opportunities supporting projects that will add to the redevelopment of the area and bring positive economic impact to our community.”
Skoien cited a “tough retail environment and dramatic declines in valuations of already depressed retail-REIT (real estate investment trust) stocks.”
“This was an extremely difficult decision for us, because we believe that the project would be a success, but unfortunately circumstances beyond our control affected our ability to move forward,” Skoien said in a prepared statement.
Covering about 40 acres, plans called for the outlet center's initial $105 million phase to include 70 shops, along with restaurants, a central courtyard with a fireplace and a children's play area. It would have been the first retail development on the 650-acre Rentschler Field property since Cabela's opened in 2007.
Horizon and United Technologies Corp., Pratt’s parent company, signed an agreement paving the way for the outlet center in August. At the groundbreaking in October, local and state leaders touted the immediate boost and long-term benefits of such a retail destination, particularly to a town with one of the highest tax rates in the state and little open land available for development.
"These outlets are going to draw people here and these outlets are going to keep people here,” state Labor Commissioner Scott Jackson said at the time.
Skoien told beaming officials that the goal was to complete the shopping center by November 2018. Leclerc had said the development was part of a revival of the Silver Lane corridor, and she was "extremely optimistic" about the future.Barely two weeks later, however, the project appeared to be dead because of the developer's 11th-hour financial problems. Horizon was short $10 million for the work, according to an email that Skoien sent to Leclerc. UTC would not work with Horizon on a solution, Skoien wrote.
“For the last 5 days we have been working on a plan to mitigate the impact of the $10M reduction of loan proceeds from our lender,” he wrote. “In all my many years, we have never had a lender do this so late in the game.
“We are also going to lose an opportunity to build a great center that I believe would have been quite successful,” he wrote. “And you are going to lose a great project for your Town and a real job producer. I am sorry for both of us.”
But then, days later in November, another reversal. The project was on again. Skoien said he had been frustrated with the sudden loss of financing, “and probably overstated where things were at."
At a meeting in Leclerc’s office, Horizon officials said “they believe there is a path forward and were suspending the construction while they could work with the retailers to extend their agreements and to secure the $10 million gap of financing needed to move forward,” the mayor said.
Skoien said at the time that Horizon was trying to recover the lost financing as quickly as possible because its lease with UTC was to expire on March 31.
“We remain enthusiastic about the Hartford market; we think this is a strong, viable area,” he said at the time, “but at the moment, the capital markets are skeptical of retail. We remain hopeful we will be able to proceed.” CLICK TITLE TO CONTNIUE
Construction Employment Rises in 35 States, D.C. From January 2017 to January 2018
Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between January 2017 and January 2018, while 32 states and D.C. added construction jobs between December and January, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released March 12. Association officials cautioned, however, that newly-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum products are likely to undermine future job growth in the sector.
"The widespread growth of these good-paying jobs is encouraging," said chief economist Ken Simonson. "But many of the jobs are at risk if unwise tariffs push up materials costs, making projects unaffordable, and if the nation continues to underfund infrastructure investment."
California added the most construction jobs (75,500 jobs, 9.8 percent) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (28,600 jobs, 5.8 percent); Texas (28,100 jobs, 4.0 percent) and Washington (16,500 jobs, 8.5 percent). West Virginia added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by California; Nevada (9.7 percent, 7,800 jobs) and New Mexico (9.7 percent, 4,300 jobs).
Fifteen states shed construction jobs between January 2017 and January 2018. North Dakota lost the highest percentage of construction jobs, by far (minus 15.8 percent, minus 4,600 jobs), followed by Iowa (minus 5.9 percent, minus 4,600 jobs) and Nebraska (minus 3.1 percent, minus 1,600 jobs). North Dakota and Iowa lost the largest number of jobs for the year, followed by Louisiana (minus 3,400 jobs, minus 2.3 percent) and Missouri (minus 3,000 jobs, minus 2.5 percent).
"It is noteworthy that the three states with the largest job gains were all recovering from natural disasters, in addition to having generally robust economies," Simonson said. "The job losses in North Dakota and other Plains states may have more to do with severe weather conditions this January than a long-term downtrend."
Thirty-one states and D.C. added construction jobs between December and January. California added the most (11,100 jobs, 1.3 percent), followed by Florida (5,100 jobs, 1.0 percent) and Washington (3,100 jobs, 1.5 percent). New Mexico added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month (3.0 percent, 1,400 jobs), followed by Alaska (2.5 percent, 400 jobs) and Nevada (2.2 percent, 1,900 jobs). CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
New Ads Urge Action on Infrastructure, Permanent Solution for Highway Trust Fund
“If we're stuck in gridlock, so is our economy. Congestion drives up the price of everything we make, buy and export. It's a $160 billion hidden tax.” That's the key message of a new ad campaign urging Congress and the Trump administration to act now to develop and pass a robust transportation infrastructure investment package and a permanent fix for the Highway Trust Fund.
The ad campaign, developed by the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition, features a 30-second television spot (“Stuck”) that began airing in Washington, D.C. Companion digital ads direct users to an opinion piece calling on policymakers to “envision and create the transportation network tomorrow demands.”
Priority 1: Provide an expanded and sustainable revenue solution to support and grow future Highway Trust Fund-supported investments as Congress and the Trump administration work to develop an infrastructure investment package. A bipartisan 253 members of the House went on record in 2017 as supporting a Highway Trust Fund fix as part of tax reform. The Transportation Construction Coalition and Americans for Transportation Mobility agree that any trust fund solution “should entail a long-term, dedicated, user-based revenue stream.”
Priority 2: Any additional funds provided in an infrastructure package this year should be invested in projects that will facilitate long-term regional and national economic growth and create new jobs. This is a chance to ensure enduring benefits to both the economy and America's infrastructure.
The opinion piece concludes: “With Republicans, Democrats and President Trump all voicing support for an infrastructure bill, this is a rare chance for all parties to show how Washington can come together to accomplish big things for their constituents. This is a generational opportunity to turn blueprints and big thinking into a 21st century infrastructure network. Let's get moving.”
The ads will run over the next two months. CLICK TO VIEW ADS
U.S. DOT Announces Half-Billion Dollars in Infrastructure Investments
The U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) announced March 9, the list of 41 recipients of nearly $500 million in discretionary grant funding for road, transit, maritime and rail projects through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.
“TIGER grants are targeted investments for our local communities that will increase safety, create jobs and modernize our country's infrastructure,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
More than 64 percent of this round of TIGER funding was awarded to rural projects, a historic number that demonstrates this Administration's commitment to supporting the country's rural communities.
Tribal projects are receiving $39.18 million of this round of awards, the highest amount of funding since the first round of TIGER.
The primary selection criteria for TIGER awards include considerations for safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life and environmental sustainability for each project. Secondary criteria include innovation and partnerships. The criteria used to select projects for these grants were similar to the Administration's Infrastructure principles of supporting economic vitality and promoting innovation.
The fiscal year (FY) 2017 TIGER program gave special consideration to projects which emphasized improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness.
The projects supported by the TIGER discretionary grants are listed here:
Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit Project, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, $12,629,760 – to implement an approximately 9.4-mile bus rapid transit route connecting the Summerhill neighborhood anchored by Georgia State University to MARTA's heavy rail system and the Atlanta Streetcar network.
Chippewa Valley Regional Transit Transfer Center Revitalization Project, City of Eau Claire, Wisc., $5,000,000 – to construct a transit transfer center in downtown Eau Claire and purchase four new buses to be used by the Eau Claire Transit system.
MT Highway 64 - Rural Commuter Corridor Project, Gallatin County, Mont., $10,292,000 – to make several changes that will collectively improve the transportation network that connects northern Gallatin County to Big Sky, Mont.
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Passing Lane Project, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, $2,000,000 – to upgrades a 2.5-mile rural portion of U.S. Highway 160 by adding approximately 6,000 ft. of passing lanes in each direction, three new box culverts, signage, guardrails, widened shoulders and access improvements.
SR 189 Flyovers: Grade Separating the Trucks from the Town, Arizona Department of Transportation, $25,000,000 – to implement access management solutions on SR 189 including raised medians, pavement widening, flyover ramps and new roundabouts.
Southeast Automotive Gateway, Alabama State Port Authority, $12,700,000 – to convert an abandoned bulk handling facility at the Port of Mobile into a roll-on/roll-off mobile vehicle processing facility.
Repair of the Jaype to Lewiston Rail Line, Clearwater County, Idaho, $3,240,960 – to repair three bridges along the rail line from Jaype to Lewiston, removes debris from 18 bridges, and repairs 5 washouts along the 30-mile Jaype Line.
Mid-Atlantic Multi-Modal Transportation Hub, Baltimore County, Md., $20,000,000 – to build state-of-the-art cargo-handling facilities at the Sparrows Point industrial facility in East Baltimore as part of a larger investment program to repurpose a former steel manufacturing site with marine service into a multimodal logistics hub.
Carson City Gateway: South Carson Street Complete Streets, Carson City, Nev., $7,570,202 – to construct an approximately 2.5-mile complete streets corridor, including a corridor-wide road diet, a roundabout, a multi-use path, dedicated bicycle facilities, pedestrian safety improvements, stormwater infrastructure and fiber-optic communications infrastructure to support intelligent transportation systems (ITS).
I-89 Lebanon, NH, Hartford, VT Bridge Reconstruction and Widening, State of New Hampshire, $10,000,000 – to replace the deck and superstructure of the two bridges carrying I-89 over the Connecticut River between Lebanon, NH and Hartford, VT, in addition to repairing and rehabilitating the existing substructures.
Blue Ridge Road Grade Separation and Intersection Improvements, North Carolina Department of Transportation, $19,900,000 – to eliminate an at-grade crossing by lowering the Blue Ridge Road from its existing grade to pass under the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) right-of-way.
Mill City Downtown Restoration and Revitalization Project, Mill City, Ore., $8,082,574 – to repair and renovate the North Santiam River Bridge, a rural major collector on a designated freight route near Mill City, Ore.
Northstar Boulevard (U.S. Route 50 to Shreveport Drive), Loudon County, Va., $25,000,000 – to construct a new 1.6-mile segment of Northstar Boulevard to complete a 14-mile north-south corridor connecting to U.S. Route 50.
Penquis Region Rural Bridges Project, Maine Department of Transportation, $10,836,220 – to replace three structurally deficient or fracture-critical highway bridges in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.
Lincoln South Beltway Project, State of Nebraska, $25,000,000 – to construct a new freeway, the Lincoln South Beltway, that will serve as the primary route between U.S. Highway 77 (US-77) and existing Nebraska Highway 2 (N- 2).
Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, New York, $2,000,000 – to replace a failing lead-based paint protection system on steel girder spans of the U.S. approach of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.
Downtown Akron Promenade (Phase Two), City of Akron, Ohio, $8,000,743 – to design and reconstruct a portion of South Main Street to incorporate complete streets elements including roadway reconstruction with traffic calming and a road diet, streetscape improvements, upgraded traffic signals, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, bus shelter enhancements, lighting, wayfinding signage and improved stormwater management.
U.S. 78 Phase 2 Bridge Improvements, Dorchester County, S.C., $13,250,000 – to improve an 8.2-mile section of U.S. 78 between the cities of Summerville and St. George. Project elements include road resurfacing, shoulder construction, road widening, and intersection improvements.
BIA Highway 10 Reconstruction Project, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, $21,000,000 – to reconstruct BIA 10, which will involve asphalt resurfacing and installing new culverts, base course, rumble strips, and pavement markings.
Beartooth Highway Reconstruction Project, Wyoming Department of Transportation, $16,600,000 – to reconstruct approximately 1.6 miles of Beartooth Highway (U.S. Highway 212), completing a reconstruction of the full 67-mile length of the highway.
Securing Multimodal Freight Corridors in the Ozarks, City of Fort Smith, Ark., $8,527,892 – to repair and rehabilitate three rail bridges that cross Clear Creek and the Arkansas River.
Route 132 Gateway Express Phase 1, City of Modesto, Calif., $9,000,000 – to construct approximately four miles of new access controlled freeway beginning just west of Modesto and continuing west toward the 1-5 corridor.
Interstate 57 Safety Project, Illinois Department of Transportation, $7,600,000 – to expand approximately five miles of Interstate 57 to add an additional lane in each direction, install a median barrier, resurface the existing lanes, update pavement markings and deficient guardrails and install raised reflectors and rumble strips.
Wabash River Rail Bridge Infrastructure Revitalization, Indiana Department of Transportation, $10,000,000 – to replace two deteriorating freight rail approaches to the Wabash River Bridge, which serves as a rail link from energy and agricultural suppliers of Illinois to river ports of Mt. Vernon, Ind.
City of Burlington Downtown/Riverfront Revitalization Project, City of Burlington, Iowa, $17,000,000 – to convert parts of Main and Jefferson Streets into complete streets, constructing a linear multi-use path park, a new waterfront community gathering area and new parking lots and installing new boat ramps and docking facilities for use by river cruise lines and recreational boaters.
Reconstruction of the Chalmette Slip Project, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District, La., $13,000,000 – to rehabilitate to modern design standards the last two original wharf sections, A and F, which have been maintained but have exceeded their useful lives over the past 110 years.
Southwest Chief Route Stabilization Project, Colfax County, N.M., $16,000,000 –to replace 60-year old bolted rail, associated turnouts and crossings for a net gain of 42 miles of Class 4 rail in the La Junta subdivision between Hutchinson, Kan., and Las Animas, Colo..
High Plains Strategic Freight Rail Capacity Improvement Project, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, $9,901,793 – to implement a program of improvements to a Class III regional freight network to accommodate unit trains of loaded 286,000-lb. railcars and increase operating speeds.
Bridging the Trail Gap: Enhancing Regional Connections in Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia, $12,000,000 – to fill the gap in the Schuylkill River Trail between Center City and Southwest Philadelphia.
Route 37 Corridor Safety Sweep Project, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, $20,000,000 – replace four bridges, rehabilitate two bridges, preserve nine bridges and improve multiple traffic bottleneck conditions along a 1.6-mile section of Route 37, a four-lane freeway located in Cranston and Warwick, RI. In addition, the project includes improvements to Pontiac Avenue intersections, several connecting arterials and a Route 37 westbound exit ramp to Pontiac Ave.
Houston Roadway Flood Warning System Project, City of Houston, $9,370,000 –to install approximately 40 Flood Warning System (FWS) locations. Intelligent Transportations Systems (ITS) devices will be deployed at each of these locations and include high water sensors, master stations, advance roadside yellow flashers where appropriate; approach overhead red flashers an signal mast arms over the travel lanes; and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
Nelson Island Accessibility and Transportation Infrastructure Viability Enhancement (N.A.T.I.V.E.) Project, Nunakauyarmiut Tribe, $10,176,835 – to construct approximately 21 miles of multimodal trails comprised of above ground, synthetic Geocell mats with an open configuration to protect native vegetation, including necessary fish culverts and bridges, connecting Toksook Bay to Nightmute and Umkumiut.
Georgetown East Gateway, Delaware Department of Transportation, $7,000,000 – to construct multi-modal improvements at the intersection of US 9, Airport Road and Sandhill Road including roadway realignment, additional turn lanes, signal improvements, pavement resurfacing, bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, transit stops and lighting.
Immokalee Complete Streets - Growing Connections to Create Mobility Opportunities, Collier County Board of County Commissioners, Florida, $13,132,691 – to construct complete streets improvements in Immokalee, Florida, including approximately 20 miles of new sidewalks, a bike boulevard network, a shared use path, street lighting, bus shelters, a new transit center, landscaping, drainage improvements, and intersection and traffic calming retreats.
Frankfort Second Street Corridor Project, City of Frankfort, Ky., $7,990,000 – to reconstruct the Second Street corridor, including Second Street and East Main Street, into a complete street with wider sidewalks, improved signaling and intersection improvements, ADA accessibility, streetscape enhancements, bike lanes and green infrastructure improvements.
North Holly Road Project, Road Commission for Oakland County, Mich., $3,000,000 – to resurface and implement safety improvements to approximately 4.5 miles of North Holly Road, including cutting hills to improve sight distance, raising the road in flood zones, and making improvements to high speed curves.
Hightower Road Corridor Project, Mississippi State University, $7,000,000 – to complete an approximately two-mile, multimodal north/south corridor along Hightower Road and associated collector roads including sidewalks, bike lanes, transit shelters, signal improvements and street lighting on the eastern perimeter of Mississippi State University.
Jack Rabbit Road Reconstruction Project –Phase 1, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, $6,000,000 – to reconstruct approximately five miles of Jack Rabbit Road from roughly U.S. Highway 281/BIA Road 8 to BIA Road 15/BIA Road 8 on the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Reservation.
Baker Canyon and Dog Valley Climbing Lanes Project, Utah Department of Transportation, $15,000,000 – to construct three segments of climbing lanes, improve the chain-up area at the Dog Valley Pass interchange, and extend the wildlife fences and wildlife escape ramps on 1-15 near Dog Valley Pass and Baker Canyon in Millard County, Utah.
Bridging the Valley: Barker Road Grade Separation Project, City of Spokane Valley, Wash., $9,020,149 – to replace an existing at-grade crossing at Barker Road with an overpass, close a second at-grade crossing at Flora Road, and replace the intersection of Barker Road and Trent Avenue with a roundabout.
Route 3, Ramp A and Bridge over Rail Lines, New Jersey Department of Transportation, $18,260,000 – to replace the existing, structurally deficient Route 3 bridge over two rail lines and the nearby Ramp A adjacent the North Bergen Park and Ride Facility.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 appropriated $500 million, available through September 30, 2020, for National Infrastructure Investments otherwise known as TIGER grants. As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the FY 2017 TIGER grants program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The FY 2017 Appropriations Act specifies that TIGER Discretionary Grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except that for projects located in rural areas the minimum TIGER Discretionary Grant size is $1 million.
Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.6 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over nine rounds of competitive grants. Throughout the TIGER program, these grants have supported projects that have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
For more information, please visit www.transportation.gov/TIGER.