Infrastructure firm CG/LA Infrastructure announced the winners of its coveted Project of the Year award as voted upon by infrastructure industry insiders.
“These transformative infrastructure investments are critical to our economic security and worldwide competitiveness,” CG/LA Infrastructure President and CEO Norman F. Anderson said. “The Project of the Year awards honor the innovative construction initiatives – and the visionaries who are leading them – that will help to shape the North American economic landscape into a global powerhouse for the future.”
Project of the Year awards are given in five categories covering strategy, financing, engineering, job creation and the environment. All projects have specific business opportunities to be realized in the next three to 18 months.
The winners – announced at the 5th Annual North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum at the historic Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. – are as follows:
– The $8.2 billion East Side Access project in New York and the $1.5 billion Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal (LIGTT) tied for the Strategic Project of the Year for their potential to generate a historic leap in a country or region's productivity and/or competitiveness.
The East Side Access project will connect the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) Main and Port Washington lines in Queens to a new LIRR terminal beneath Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The new connection will increase the LIRR's capacity into Manhattan, and dramatically shorten travel time for Long Island and eastern Queens commuters traveling to the east side of Manhattan.
LIGTT is envisioned to be transshipment and logistics “hub-and-spoke” system for containerized cargo. A purpose of the hub-and-spoke system is to effectively address emerging challenges resulting from fundamental changes in the international container shipping industry. The centerpiece of the system is a deep-water cargo container transfer terminal to be located on 250 acres (101.17 hectares) of state-owned property south of River Mile 0 of the Mississippi River.
– The $1.4 billion Cotton Belt Rail Line connecting Dallas and Fort Worth is the Finance Project of the Year that establishes and/or most extends an innovative finance model, moving closer to more efficient and faster infrastructure investment.
The 62-mile commuter rail project will link the northeast Dallas suburbs to downtown Fort Worth – including a stop near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – and beyond into Tarrant County and ending in Plano.
– The $5 billion New Bridge over the St. Lawrence River in Quebec is the Engineering Project of the Year that extends or demonstrates the region's technical engineering capacity, especially including innovative design and creative problem-solving.
The Canadian government is building a new bridge corridor to replace the existing Champlain Bridge in Montreal. It will span the St. Lawrence River to connect the Island of Montreal to the South Shore. This is the busiest crossing in Canada for cars, trucks and buses, and is vital to the regional and national economies.
– The $2 Billion Detroit River International Crossing has been named the Job/Opportunity Creation Project of the Year that will create the greatest number of jobs and/or businesses over the lifetime of the project.
The Detroit River International Crossing will be a six-lane bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit that will provide new border crossing capacity to meet the increased international trade and travel demand over the long term, while simultaneously improving the regional connectivity of people and goods.
The project will be procured as a public-private partnership and will include an 850-meter main span, customs plazas on both sides of the border, and major interchanges in Michigan.
– The Rialto Water Services Infrastructure Improvement Plan is the New Infrastructure Project of the Year that makes the greatest difference in the region's green agenda, from solar, wind and geothermal to energy efficiency and technology applications.
The city of Rialto and Rialto Water Services (RWS) are using a public-private concession model — one rarely seen in the United States — to strengthen the city's financial position and improve infrastructure services. As part of that concession, RWS hired Veolia Water North America, a Veolia Water subsidiary, to manage the city's water and wastewater systems.
The financing mode is highly original, as the city of Rialto has received $35 million in an upfront cash payment and secured $41 million in funding for future water and wastewater system improvements through a concession contract signed with RWS, a special purpose company established by Table Rock Capital and an Ullico affiliate.
Project of the Year award winners were selected among the Strategic Top 100 North American Infrastructure Projects, valued at $435 billion. The 5th North American Strategic Leadership Forum is designed to double the level of infrastructure investment in North America, and dramatically improve the quality and productivity of that investment.
“These are examples of ambitious and forward-looking projects that will ensure North America is modernizing its infrastructure to position itself as a world-class system that is the envy of the world,” said Doug Eberhard, Senior Director of Infrastructure Development for Autodesk, sponsor of the 2013 North American Project of the Year awards. “They are the investments that will put hundreds of thousands of people back to work and are critical to the health and continued economic growth of this country.