Archive for the ‘US Department of Transportation’ Category

First Day (of October), and Watching Closely

Crisp autumn day: a blue sky and calm river/© Janie Rosman

Crisp autumn day: a blue sky and calm river/© Janie Rosman

Things are moving along with the New NY Bridge project — various panels and committees convening, the transit task force nearing its year-end deadline, and preparing to make recommendations, its finance subcommittee also considering options.

New York State submitted a TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan request for the estimated $3.9 billion undertaking.

Washington intervened. The US Department of Transportation posted Government Shutdown Information on its website that details what will/not be closed.

We are monitoring the situation, and will do what we can to keep the process moving forward, a Thruway official assured; in the short term, the Federal Highway Administration doesn’t anticipate the shutdown will have an impact on the TIFIA program.

Then again, the situation might be temporary. Let’s hope so.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

Moving Ahead, One Process at a Time

Construction machinery near the westbound span of the Tappan Zee Bridge/Courtesy of Blair Johnson

Construction machinery near the westbound span of the Tappan Zee Bridge/Courtesy of Blair Johnson

Its creditworthiness review completed, the US Department of Transportation invited New York State to formally submit a TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan request for the New NY Bridge — another step forward for the estimated $3.9 billion project.

“We’re in constant contact with USDOT regarding a TIFIA loan for the New NY Bridge project,” Thruway Authority Director of Media Relations & Communications Dan Weiller said in a statement. “We’re making progress every day, and we are on track to receive significant TIFIA support.”

Project cost shares eligible for TIFIA coverage were previously limited to 33 percent, according to Federal Highway Administration spokeswoman Nancy Singer.  If the bridge replacement project is being advanced through the review process based on that percentage, then 33 percent of $3.9 billion is $1.287 billion.

For updates, please refer to the TIFIA website.

Earlier this month, the Thruway Authority borrowed $700 million to help with short-term financing for the project.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

A Plus B Might Equal C

math

Math and I get along well on an as-needed basis – balancing my checkbook, paying monthly bills within a limited budget and income, etc.  In my previous post, I said I shop with a dollar amount in mind and try to find something within that amount.  There are times, though, when I do use my credit card – for example, car repairs, or a new digital camera – and pay the balance during the ensuing months.

Let’s apply this to the bridge replacement project:  $3.9 billion minus around $1.5 billion . . . wait a minute.  My math teacher never taught “A plus almost B equals C” in class.  We learned known amounts.  New York State could, and did, apply for up to 49% of the project’s eligible costs, potentially up to $2 billion.

How much money is around $1.5 billion?  Is it that an exact amount, more or less?

The state’s TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan application is undergoing a creditworthiness review by an independent financial advisor hired by the US Department of Transportation.

Project cost shares eligible for TIFIA coverage were previously limited to 33%, according to Federal Highway Administration spokeswoman Nancy Singer.  If the bridge replacement project is being advanced through the review process based on that percentage, then 33% of $3.9 billion is $1.287 billion.

The state needs to find alternate sources of revenue (translated:  new money) to pay for this bridge.  I’ve attended the past three Mass Transit Task Force meetings (open to the public) and have heard nothing about commercial vehicles using the bridge.  Per the Thruway Fact Book:

In Westchester County, the Thruway connects the Connecticut Turnpike at the terminus of its New England Section (I-95) in Port Chester.  In Rockland County, Interstate 287 near Suffern connects with major highways in New Jersey, including the Garden State Parkway at the New Jersey-New York line in Chestnut Ridge (although no trucks are allowed on the GSP in NJ).

Thank you, Governor Andrew Cuomo, for suggesting that residents of these two counties, whether or not they commute daily, receive fare discounts.  While the 45% toll hike for trucks won’t happen on the 570-mile Thruway, I feel commercial vehicles deserve to pay more – at least on the new bridge.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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