June 8, 2009 By Chad Vander Veen
The first week of June marked the commencement of a number of new transportation projects across the nation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is directing more than $27 billion to state and local agencies for transportation improvement projects. The type of transportation projects ARRA is funding run the gamut, from former pipedreams like high-speed rail to decidedly low-tech, but critical, ventures such as highway resurfacing.
Seen by the Obama administration as vital components of economic recovery, transportation infrastructure funds are being delivered to state and local agencies with a requirement that the money be spent within 120 days of receipt. For state and county transportation departments around the country, this taxpayer-funded windfall is breathing new life into many "shovel-ready" projects that had seemingly withered on the fiscal vine.
What follows is a partial list highlighting some recent state transportation spending activity.
Alabama: $12.2 million for runway and terminal rehabilitation at 10 state airports.
Arizona: $7.3 million for bridge rehabilitation, pavement improvement and fence replacement.
Colorado: $11.5 million to resurface 24 miles of Interstate 70.
Florida: $65.3 million has been approved for airport improvement projects; $883.5 million has been assigned to 105 bridge and highway projects.
Indiana: $22 million for 17 projects, including relocating a bridge in Harrison County and the construction of a boat dock in the city of Delphi.
Kansas: $82.3 million for interchange reconstruction; $64.2 million to expand Kansas state highway 61 to four lanes.
Nebraska: $23 million for local agencies to create or improve mass transit options.
New York: $7.7 million for a bridge replacement in Onondaga County.
Pennsylvania: $30.2 million for rural and intercity bus service; $9.3 million for the rehabilitation of the Elizabethtown Train Station; and $283,000 for bus service scheduling software in Carbon County.
South Carolina: $43.7 million to resurface 60 county roads, install thermoplastic pavement markers, and install light-emitting diode signal lights in several counties.
Wyoming: $4.3 million to replace 23 miles of snow fencing along Interstate 80.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.