One prevailing theme of the MetroLab Network 2018 Summit was that partnerships between cities, universities and technical leaders are vital to creating innovative infrastructure. "[I]f we can leverage universities, working across this country, to come up with a new envelope for a public-private partnership ... then we're creating a new model for the 21st century that will be here for the 22nd," said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
The clerk's office of Broome County, N.Y., has begun selling E-ZPass transponders for $25, which is credited to customers' accounts. New York is shifting to cashless tolling by the end of 2020, making E-ZPasses necessary.
The new State Route 99 tunnel in Seattle is poised to open in early 2019 with toll rates that vary between $1 and $2.25, depending on the time of day and the day of the week. Toll collection will likely begin several months after the tunnel opens so that Washington has time to implement the tolling system and drivers have time to adjust.
South Dakota's Yankton County is repairing the Johnson Bridge, which crosses the James River, and one county commissioner is suggesting that the bridge be tolled to fund repairs or replacement. The $70,000 in repair work is expected to be completed in November; the county commission chairman said replacing the bridge would cost $10 million.
The $599 million Northwest Corridor Express Lanes in the Atlanta area have been named the project of the year by Roads & Bridges magazine. The project consists of about 30 miles of reversible toll lanes on interstates 75 and 575 in Georgia's Cobb and Cherokee counties.
Police in India are planning to begin using cameras and an integrated traffic-management system on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway to heighten enforcement of speeding and lane-cutting violations. The system could be operational in six months, and police will assess fines at toll plazas.
A survey of 1,011 people in the US found 73% of respondents saying they were willing to pay more in tolls and taxes to improve infrastructure and reduce congestion. The survey, by HNTB, also found 82% saying they'd support higher tolls and taxes if the extra revenue were legally required to go only toward infrastructure improvements.
The Commissioners Court of Brazos County, Texas, is petitioning the Texas Transportation Commission to establish the Brazos County Regional Mobility Authority. Such a regional authority in Texas can finance, operate, maintain and expand transportation infrastructure, and a commissioner said the authority is necessary to address the county's transportation needs.
Officials in Baltimore County, Md., have voted to eliminate a tax of up to $20 per month levied on mobile-home owners in the county. Councilwoman Cathy Bevins says the tax was outdated and unfairly targeted long-term mobile-home owners, who also pay income and property taxes.