Fuel for Thought is a periodic newsletter of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The newsletter’s goal is to keep Southern Nevadans informed about the progress and accomplishments from their contributions to the Fuel Revenue Indexing initiative (FRI). Proceeds from FRI are funding 220 transportation projects throughout the valley and adding approximately 9,000 jobs, supporting economic diversification and improving the quality of life for all Southern Nevadans.
It’s no secret that construction cones can be frustrating, especially when you are trying to get to work, school or home. One major project that has commuters Seeing Orange is the Clark County Water Reclamation District’s (CCWRD) Paradise Whitney Interceptor (PWI) sewer rehabilitation project.
The 13-mile project is the largest pipeline expansion project undertaken in CCWRD history. The $160 million investment will ensure that the community maintains a safe and reliable system for delivering wastewater from our homes and businesses to treatment facilities. The project is under construction from Valley View Boulevard and Serene Avenue in the southwest valley to Nellis Boulevard and Flamingo Road in the southeast valley with final completion projected for the summer of 2018. For current project information, work locations and traffic restrictions, please visit www.thelvpipeline.com
Since Seeing Orange launched in May 2015, more than 500 inquiries about various projects, including a repaving project on Pecos Road between Windmill Parkway and Robindale Road in the City of Henderson and a sewer project in the City of Las Vegas from Decatur Road to Cheyenne to Gowan Road.
For question about other construction projects, visit SeeingOrangeNV.com or call 702-928-CONE (2663).
The City of North Las Vegas recently completed three important infrastructure projects that improved streets, sidewalks, added traffic signals, enhanced flood control and increased pedestrian amenities. The projects include a new pedestrian bridge at Losee Road and Lone Mountain Road, traffic signals and repaving on Losee Road from Craig Road to the 215 Beltway, and Centennial Parkway flood control and roadway improvements.
The $16.9 million projects created more than 220 jobs for Southern Nevadans. You can watch a recap of the grand opening celebration here.
Thanks in large part to the RTC demonstrating a history of efficiently collecting and utilizing FRI funds, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Financial Services upgraded the FRI bond rating in October. The improved bond rating means that the RTC bonds will carry a lower interest rate, making them more attractive to investors as a safer and more secure investment.
Moody's upgraded from A1 to Aa3 the RTC's Highway Revenue Bonds Series 2015, funded by Fuel Revenue Indexing (FRI). Similarly, Standard & Poor's upgraded its rating for the bonds from an A+ to an AA-. The ratings apply to both the 2015 bonds issued in October and the 2014 bond series.
The upgraded bond rating means less will be spent on paying interest on the bonds. The savings, approximately $1.1 million over the life of the 20-year bond term, will make more funding available for additional roadway projects in Southern Nevada. Additional funding is critically important because Southern Nevada still has $5.6 billion in unfunded transportation infrastructure needs.
The RTC remains committed to efficiently administering the FRI program and to building on FRI's success thus far. Dozens of roadway projects are underway or completed that support the local economy by creating jobs and improving commutes throughout our growing community.
Angelie Tiongson’s journey to work on the Interstate-11 design-build project began in the Philippines where she graduated in 2008 with a degree in civil engineering from the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Asia’s oldest existing university.
Armed with five years in the classroom and determined to launch her career in a challenging field, in 2009 she joined extended family in Las Vegas, where an entrenched recession greeted her.
“I couldn’t find any job that related to civil engineering,” she recalls. “I started looking for other jobs just to have one.”
She finally took an administrative assistant’s position in a law firm that focused on personal injury, immigration and divorce.
“I was not in my element and had to learn everything new. It was overwhelming, especially as I was adapting to life here,” she says with a laugh. “It affected my self-confidence.” Meanwhile, she continued the search for civil engineering positions.
Fast-forward to early 2014. Fuel Revenue Indexing projects were just breaking ground. Construction and related fields were beginning to see more work and the need to add employees. C A Group, a Las Vegas transportation planning, engineering and construction management firm founded in 2008, was hiring for a civil engineering intern. Angelie jumped at the opportunity.
Her first assignment? “Traffic pedestrian counts at about 10 sites. It was tedious watching a lot of videos and manually counting pedestrians and bicyclists at intersections, but it was a good learning exercise.”
Angelie was one of five at C A Group to be “hand-picked” for the I-11 sign design team. She trained on Sign CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and MicroStation 3D CAD software used for the architecture, engineering and construction of roads, etc., while looking ahead to taking her exam in October to be a certified P.E. (Professional Engineer). Then it’s four years of gaining more experience before she can be a licensed P.E.
Angelie is not the only one at C A Group who is grateful for FRI projects.
“I do not know where C A Group would be without the FRI program,” said co-founder Jim Caviola, P.E., P.T.O.E. “As a Las Vegas-based business, we depend on the local market for work and FRI is a big part of that market.”
Since the FRI program started, Jim said he and partner Chad Anson, P.E., have hired a dozen new employees, many directly due to the FRI program.
Angelie is looking forward to driving the 15-mile project when it is completed in 2018. As she approaches those roadway signs, “I will probably shout, ‘I did that!’”
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s (RTC) Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST) recently completed five Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) projects throughout the valley. Funded by Fuel Revenue Indexing (FRI), these projects provide motorists with traffic information via dynamic message signs on arterials and additional camera feeds on the RTC website, helping them better plan their commutes and navigate traffic. These enhancements enable FAST to better monitor traffic, signal timing and address incidents more efficiently. Watch this video to learn about how these ITS projects help to make your commute smoother.
Cities and states across the country are facing the same challenges to find funding solutions to meet their growing transportation infrastructure needs. Like Southern Nevada, local and state governments are looking at various options to raise funds to improve their aging infrastructure, maintain their roads and provide improved transportation options to commuters.
Maine: “Question Three … asks voters if they want to approve $85-million in bonds to fix transportation infrastructure.” http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/2015/10/28/chamber-commerce-question-three-transportation/74753290/
Wisconsin: “Additional borrowing, installation of toll roads, an increase in the gas tax and additional license registration fees all have been proposed as ways to generate more funds to repair state and local roads.” http://www.wiscnews.com/news/local/article_badb91d0-423f-583d-905f-7ee702be2a2e.html
Louisiana: “The two transportation-related ballot measures … wouldn't fix all the state’s road repair projects. They wouldn’t even come close. But transportation advocates in the state hope that, if voters do approve the measures, it might help a little.” http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-louisiana-lawmakers-back-small-steps-to-boost-transportation-funds.html