Inverse » Elon Musk is getting dug into the nitty-gritty of city politics. The Boring Company, a venture the entrepreneur started two years ago, has been aiming to convince local legislators that the answers to their traffic woes is building lots of tunnels. City officials from Sydney to New York have mixed reactions, now that an initial 1.14-mile test tunnel (cost: $10 million) has been opened for assessment.
Transport Topics » Policymakers make their way back to Capitol Hill after a weeklong spring recess to continue to stitch together the provisions for a comprehensive infrastructure bill they want to pass by August. Their ongoing debate on infrastructure policy is likely to coincide with partisan fights over transportation funding priorities, as well as floor votes on key DOT nominees.
American Journal of Transportation » A new U.S. report, using advanced analytic software, says waves and storm surges are gaining momentum from sea level rise and collectively pose a more immediate threat than was previously believed. The result could be serious damage to California coastal cities and ports by 2040. Elaine Forbes, executive director for the Port of San Francisco, said that rising sea levels are already threatening downtown San Francisco and Port property requiring the construction of a new sea wall. The projected cost: $5 billion.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette » At the annual National League of Cities’ Congressional Conference, leaders voiced concerns about the state of America’s aging roads, highways and bridges. Mayors from Arkansas and across the nation hope the White House can deliver on promises of increased transportation infrastructure funding.
Florida Watchdog » A decade-long, multi-billion dollar plan to build a toll turnpike and extend two others got a subcommittee’s unanimous approval during the first week of the legislative session, but faces scrutiny from two other Senate panels before it reaches chamber floors. SB 7068 calls for $45 million in fiscal year 2020 and $90 million in fiscal year 2021 and then $135 million annually through 2030 from the STTF, totaling more than $1.3 billion, to finance a state turnpike bond to pay for the bulk of the project.
Transport Topics » The Trump White House has learned to stop worrying and love infrastructure grants, to borrow from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. It took a name change and a couple of years for the administration to embrace Obama-era grants designed to assist states with advancing infrastructure projects of regional significance. The fiscal 2020 budget request unveiled March 11 calls for dedicating $1 billion for BUILD grants, formerly known as TIGER grants.