Daimler plans to invest $589 million in a French manufacturing plant to start producing at least 10 compact electric Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The company already produces electric cars under the Smart brand at the plant.
Responses to the Infrastructure Week theme of #TimeToBuild varied, including concerns about funding shortfalls and regulations, along with the positive view that US infrastructure still has strengths. AECOM CEO Michael Burke said public-private partnerships and regional authorities could be essential to infrastructure construction in the US.
The $3.6 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel project in Virginia will add a fourth lane to the tunnel portion, potentially increasing capacity from 4,700 to 6,300 cars. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.
A poll regarding the ballot measure to increase tolls at seven state-owned bridges in the San Francisco area found that 40% support the measure but over 25% are still undecided. Supporters of the measure have been buying television advertising to draw more support for it.
The California Transportation Commission has approved $2.7 billion for 64 projects throughout the state, including the addition of tolled express lanes to Highway 101 between Interstate 380 and Highway 237 for $351 million. A new gas tax is expected to provide roughly a quarter of the funding for the projects unless it is repealed in November.
Indonesia's government has completed 47% of the toll road construction it aims to complete by 2019. Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said government infrastructure plans also include 18.6 miles of bridges.
The Uganda National Roads Authority is seeking bids from private developers to build and operate a 59-mile toll road connecting Kampala and Jinja. The $1 billion project would be built under a design, build, finance, operate and transfer model.
Alabama officials are seeking a $250 million grant from the federal government for the $2 billion Interstate 10 bridge expansion project in Mobile. Local money for the project would come from bonds, private investors, tolls and the state.
Two groups in Colorado are proposing ballot measures intended to fund state infrastructure needs, which the highway department estimates at $9 billion in the next 10 years. The group that wants to raise sales taxes by 0.62 percent has to collect signatures to get on the ballot, and the group that wants the legislature to find money through existing sources is already collecting signatures.
George Gilhooley of HNTB writes that it's a positive sign that infrastructure is part of the national dialogue even though funding is a challenge. It is encouraging that local entities and private businesses have found innovative ways to fund infrastructure projects, he writes.
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