Public Projects

News & Analysis as of

High Speed Rail Moves Forward Without CEQA Review

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) issued a declaratory order in a 2-1 vote last Friday, finding that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is categorically preempted by federal law, as it relates to the...more

California High-Speed Rail: If You Build It, Will They Come?

“If your friends ask you what’s happening with that High-Speed Rail, you can tell them construction has started.” That’s what the Northern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority told us the...more

Right of Contractor to Stop Work Upheld by Board of Contract Appeals

In an extraordinary decision, the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals upheld the right of Kiewit-Turner, JV, to stop work and walk off a VA hospital project in Colorado....more

Emerging Trends in Project Delivery: Design-Build-Maintain Contracting for Surface Transportation Projects

In the modern U.S. history of public-private partnerships, the prevailing project delivery models have been the toll concession and the availability payment contract. In both cases, the private party raises equity and debt...more

Preferred Offeror Named on Marion County Consolidated Justice Center Project

City of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced today that WMB Heartland Justice Partners was selected as the Preferred Offeror to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new Marion County Consolidated Justice...more

DOT's New DBE Utilization Rules

The Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) new Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) regulations went into effect on November 3. These new rules will have a significant impact on the highway construction industry,...more

South Mountain Freeway Project Receives Five Statements of Qualifications

The Arizona Department of Transportation received on December 10 statements of qualifications from five teams vying for a design-build-maintain contract for the $1.9 billion Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway Project. ...more

Illinois Court Holds Relief Available to a Sub-Subcontractor Under an Unjust Enrichment Theory for Work Requested but Not Paid for...

C. Szabo Contracting, Inc. v. Lorig Construction Co., 2014 IL App (2d) 131328; 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 699 (Sept. 29, 2014) - In May of 2006, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (“Highway Authority”) retained...more

Can You Discriminate Against a Company's Race? Fourth Circuit Says Yes, Grants Standing to Sue for Racial Discrimination

Owners, contractors and other recipients of federal funds be aware: when construction or other federally-funded contracts sour, not only can contracting parties file lawsuits claiming breach of contract, but if the...more

Best Practices for Public Building P3 Projects: What Works and What Doesn’t?

The Performance Based Building Coalition (PBBC) and the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) together hosted the P3s for Public Buildings Summit in Miami on November 17 and 18, 2014. One of the...more

2015 California Construction Law Update

Over 2,200 bills were introduced during the second and final year of the 2013-2014 legislative session of which 931 were signed into law. For the design and construction industry, the end of the second session, like the end...more

This Proposed Rulemaking Should be Mandatory Reading for All Public Transportation Agencies

On November 24, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a proposed rule that would amend the regulations governing how Federal grant recipients acquire, manage, and dispose of real property. Thus, the...more

Condemnation and Contamination: The Spectre of Double Liability

Agencies acquiring private property for a public project conduct thorough investigations to determine whether the property has environmental contamination. If contamination is found, the question arises whether evidence of...more

Panama Canal Expansion Update: October 2014 Milestones

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and joins North and South America. It is one of the narrowest waterways in the world, yet thirteen to fourteen thousand ships brave the Panama Canal each year because...more

Maryland Jurisdictions Expanding P3 Strategies Despite Political Uncertainty

Despite perceived uncertainty as to the future of two, prominent transportation P3 projects, it appears that jurisdictions within Maryland are looking to P3 structures to solve a wider array of infrastructure issues in the...more

Arlington/Fairfax Streetcar Halted in Its Tracks

This latest move follows recent projections increasing the total cost of the project by tens of millions of dollars and, perhaps as a result, Arlington County election results expressing strong voter opposition to the...more

New False Claims Act Whistleblower Trends Revealed in Recent Verdict: What Can We Learn?

On October 20, 2014 in a case brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), a federal jury handed down a $175 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff. While the outcome was newsworthy because of its size...more

A Bridge To Somewhere: Public Private Partnerships and America's Infrastructure Dilemma

Deferring infrastructure investment is not a viable option. Studies show that deferring timely maintenance, repair, and replacement can greatly increase the total cost of infrastructure repairs by a ratio of 15:1 to more than...more

City of Needles may use Eminent Domain for I-40 Connector Project

According to Robin Richard’s article, “Needles May Exercise Eminent Domain to make way for Highway 95 Connector,” the City of Needles is considering adopting Resolutions of Necessity to acquire 14 parcels for its long-planned...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Subcontractor Should Have Proceeded Against Project Bond

Last month, a divided Supreme Court held that a subcontractor on a public works program should have timely proceeded against the project bond, and had no remedy against the Village after the general contractor went bankrupt...more

Orange County Toll Agency Successfully Refinances Over $1 Billion of Toll Revenue Debt

The San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency today successfully refinanced $1.4 billion of its $2.2 billion in outstanding debt issued to fund construction of the 73 Toll Road. “This is great news for drivers and the...more

Expo 2020 - part 4: ignorance isn’t bliss – Taking care to ensure that the contractual arrangements are properly documented

With the upcoming finalisation and the approval process of the Master Planning for Dubai Expo 2020, the early site activities are set to commence in the initial part of 2015 to ensure that the event is well on track for the...more

The Texas Department of Transportation Shortlists Three Development Teams for the Grand Parkway Segments H, I-1 and I-2 Project

On July 31, 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting qualifications from teams interested in entering into a design-build contract and a comprehensive...more

Six Teams Submit SOQs for Reissued UC Merced 2020 Project RFQ

The Regents of the University of California (the “Regents”), on behalf of the University of California, Merced (“UC Merced”), announced on October 30, 2014 that it received Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from six teams...more

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