Arizona is the holdout in an agreement among seven Colorado River states and the federal government to address ongoing drought and shrinking reservoirs and share the burden through 2026. A water shortage declaration could be made in 2020, and Arizona would likely be the first state in the pact to feel its effects.
Engineering associations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, are working together to provide pro-bono services for road, water and communications infrastructure in rural areas. They provide feasibility studies and help local communities get state funding for projects.
Construction on a plan to expand Colorado State Highway 470 is expected to be completed by summer 2019. A recent public meeting offered the community an update on the $276 million project, which will feature dynamic tolling and is designed to reduce travel times by 18 minutes.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wants to toll more than 100 miles of road to expand capacity on the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and the Washington Post editorial board writes that the idea is viable. "If Maryland is smart about striking a deal, it could shift much of the risk of building, operating and financing a major infrastructure project to a private firm," the board writes.
The Houston area has three of the top 10 tollways with the highest rates as ranked by MoneyWise.com. The report is based on Federal Highway Administration data and also includes highways in New York, Illinois and Virginia.
The government of New South Wales, Australia, will soon begin offering half-priced vehicle registrations for drivers who pay frequent tolls. The policy is expected to cost about $72 million the first year.
The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors approved $82.2 million worth of construction and engineering contracts in November. The largest was a $61 million construction-management contract for the $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway Project.
The National Highways Authority of India and Feig Electronic have partnered to implement open-road tolling on Indian roads. The system will use radio-frequency identification technology, and the goal is to improve traffic flow.
The head of a private equity firm has said he would help finance a proposed $1 billion bridge over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, La. Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, is not sure about the idea, but said the state is willing to consider unsolicited proposals.
The Delaware River Port Authority has decided to refrain from increasing tolls until 2021. Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he supports the move.