convened contract watchdog board has ordered the state DOT to explain the cost
efficiency of its long-running practice of hiring private engineers to inspect
state rail and highway bridges, the Stamford Advocate reports. The six-member
State Contracting Standards Board voted to require the Department of
Transportation to determine if it could complete the work more cheaply by
expanding the ranks of in-house inspectors to tackle inspections of rail and
highway bridges that private firms are usually hired for, said Gale Mattison,
the chairman of the standards board.
The Metra Board of
Directors approved the release of the Chicago-area agency's proposed 2011
Program and Budget book for public hearing and comment. Metra's proposed 2011 budget includes $634.2 million
for operations and a $407.5-million capital program. No fare increase is
planned in 2011.
selected T.J. Lambrecht Construction and Walsh Construction as the primary
civil contractor to construct its new intermodal facility southwest of Kansas
City in Edgerton, Kan.
After years of fits and
starts, the U.S. Transportation Department awarded Fort Worth, Texas, a $34
million grant Friday to upgrade the Tower 55 rail intersection near downtown,
the Star Telegram reports. Tower 55 is one of the most congested rail
intersections in the country. Fort Worth officials had been pushing for years
to secure the funding to construct a new north-south rail line there.
U.S. Senators Olympia J.
Snowe and Susan Collins and Representative Mike Michaud announced that the U.S.
Department of Transportation has awarded $10,546,436 to the Maine Department of
Transportation to repair and improve the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway
(MMA) line in Aroostook and northern Penobscot counties. The funding is being
made available through the second round of grants from the Transportation
Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood called Senators Snowe and Collins and Rep. Michaud this
morning to inform them of the DOT's decision.
U.S. Senators Charles E.
Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter announced that
$16,500,000 in federal grant funding would be coming to Niagara Falls, N.Y., to
revitalize the Niagara Falls Customhouse, which will soon be known as the
Niagara Falls International Railway Station. The funding comes from the
Department of Transportation's competitive TIGER grant program, which was
enacted as part of the stimulus bill.
A new Amtrak station is
open near Orlando for the more than 244,000 annual Amtrak Auto Train passengers.
At about 10,000 square feet, the station in Sanford seats 600 passengers and is
about four times larger than its predecessor. Thomas Carper, chairman of the
Amtrak Board of Directors, joined local, state and federal officials for the
celebration. The original depot, constructed in 1971 and renovated in 1995, was
not large enough to accommodate growing demand for the Auto Train, which just
reported a year-to-year ridership increase of nearly five percent - despite the
Norfolk Southern is to
break ground Oct. 19 for its new intermodal facility near Greencastle, Pa., the
Chambersburg Public Opinion reports. NS CEO Wick Moorman, Gov. Ed Rendell,
Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Karen Rae and U.S. Rep.
Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, are expected to take part in a ceremony at the
site of the new rail-truck yard.
A transportation project
that has been planned for more than a decade and that will ease congestion and
delays at a busy Manassas, Va., intersection is under way, the Washington Post reports.
With almost $20 million in federal stimulus funding, the Wellington Road and
Route 28 overpass project has started, city officials said at the Oct. 18
Manassas City Council meeting. The project has been in the city's capital
improvement program since 1998 but has been stalled because of a lack of
funding, City Manager Lawrence D. Hughes said.
MTA New York City Transit
is closing the No. 1 northbound platform beginning Oct. 18 and continuing
through August 2011 for the first phase of the Dyckman Street station
rehabilitation. Uptown No. 1 trains will bypass Dyckman Street.