News & Press: News

January Forecast Luncheon 2019 Recap

Thursday, January 24, 2019  

 

See the presentation packet from all the speakers below.  

2019_forecast_presentation_p.pdf

 

Highlights from HCA’s 14th Annual January Forecast Luncheon

 

For over a decade, the Houston Contractors Association starts the year off with the January Forecast luncheon.  This wildly popular luncheon has various representatives from regional public entities giving their construction projections for the year.  With the 350-person capacity for the ballroom in the Houston Junior League where HCA luncheons are hosted, this event repeatedly reaches the maximum number of guests.  For 2019 the list of speakers are as follows: Frank Simoneaux, Director of Public Works, City of Baytown, Quincy Allen, District Engineer for TxDOT’s Houston District, Lloyd Smith, Assistant County Engineer, Alan Black, Director of Engineering, Harris County Flood Control, John Tyler, Deputy Director Engineering Harris County Toll Road Authority, Stacy Slawinski, Assistant County Engineer, Fort Bend County, Michael Ereti, Director of Capital Projects, City of Houston, Jason McLemore, Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Business Opportunity, Houston Airport System, Mark Gardemal, Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Pasadena, Keisha Seals, Engineering Manager, City of Sugarland, Shashi Kumar, Public Works Director, City of Missouri City, Ross Talbot, Manger Construction Project Delivery, Port of Houston Authority, and Robert Trevino, Executive Vice President, Planning Engineering &  Construction for Metropolitan Transit Authority.  To have access to the informational presentation packet that goes into much more detail than what the speakers covered at the luncheon, visit our website at houstoncontractors.org.

 

 

Presentation Highlights:

 

Quincy Allen, District Engineer for TxDOT’s Houston District

Quincy Allen opened his presentation by stating that 2019 will be a good year for the state of Texas and the City of Houston.  Houston TxDOT will have a portfolio of projects worth a little over $1 billion he stated.  These various projects will require work from all types of workers including asphalt and concrete.  He stated that these projects will be bid as smaller individual packages as opposed to an entire job so there are many opportunities to win bids.  Quincy Allen ended his presentation by stating that TxDOT will be issuing a request for qualification within the next couple of weeks. 

 

Lloyd Smith, Assistant County Engineer

Lloyd Smith stated that there is a mix of recovery type projects as well as larger building projects.  Road maintenance projects will total around $159.6 million and asphalt work will be close to $25.5 million.  He added that the number of projects for 2019 will be steady like previous years.  Lloyd highlighted that Holderrieth Road-2 has a cost estimate of $12.5 million and Holderrieth Road-3 will be around $14.2 million.  He also touched on Neuens Road has a cost estimate of $17.5 million as well as Hufsmith being around $12 million.  He stated that one of the largest projects for 2019 is the construction of a bridge over Greens Bayou estimating $16 million.  He added that for the bridge project, the City of Houston will partner with the county engineers.  This project is inside the city limits which allows the county to have led in the design on this job.  Lloyd wrapped up his presentation by thanking HCA for allowing him to speak to the group. 

 

 

 

Alan Black, Harris County Flood Control Committee

Alan Black began his presentation by mentioning his appreciation for the partnership between HCA and the Flood Control Committee.  He said through working together valuable insight is shared thus making their projects better.  He then stated that in years past on the Flood Control Committee’s Construction Advertisement Forecast listing he added the disclaimer “subject to available funding”.  He happily stated that this year’s listing would not feature the disclaimer.  The first reason for this was the passing of the bipartisan federal Budget Act of 2018.  This act distributed $89 million to various “pots of money”.  However, this funding is accompanied by several restrictions and restraints in regard to where and how the funds could be spent depending on the type of project.  The second reason he stated was that last year the voters of Harris County approved the $2.5 billion Proposition B Bond election.  Importantly, this money will allow the committee to complete projects that are not within the criteria set by the federal Budget Act.  Alan stated that there will be a lot of projects advertised in 2019.  In years past, Capital Improvement Plans have been funded at around $60 million.  From the federal and bond funding, over the next 10 years there could be about $500 million a year for projects.  He stated that $200 million will be for projects advertised in 2019 and of that $90 million will be for repairs.  Alan thanked the HCA crowd again for having him as a speaker for this informative luncheon.

 

John Tyler, Deputy Director Engineering, of Harris County Toll Road Authority

John Tyler stated that HCTRA will be advertising a wide variety of projects for 2019.  The first project he highlighted was the Hardy Downtown Connector project.  This will extend Hardy Toll Road to downtown Houston and will consist of four toll lanes (two in each direction).  This project will connect the Hardy Toll Road directly into downtown Houston.  This project has a total estimated cost of $400 million. It will be completed in two phases. Phase I began with the relocation of the Houston Belt & Terminal rail line, which was completed in late 2014.  This phase will be completed when three rail crossings are eliminated with the construction of overpasses at Quitman and Collingsworth, and an underpass at Lorraine Street.  The Collingsworth overpass opened in September 2018.  The construction of the Lorraine overpass will begin in January 2019 and is expected to be complete early 2020.  Phase II will consist of the construction of the toll lanes and will follow the beginning of construction of the Quitman overpass in early 2020.  Lastly, he spoke about a project that will add four direct connectors between the Grand Parkway and Tomball Tollway.  HCTRA and TxDOT are expected to share the cost of the estimated $50 million for this project.  He stated that this project will be completed before January 2020.

 

Stacy Slawinski, Assistant County Engineer at Fort Bend County

Stacy Slawinski stated that the county is looking at bidding eleven mobility projects throughout 2019.  These projects are primarily taking a 2-lane asphalt open ditch road and converting them into a 4-lane concrete boulevard with a storm sewage system.  He added that the drainage district has a $6 million project of desilting Willow Creek that will be advertised in the next few months.  He stated that there will be improvements along SH 99’s frontage roads.  The Facilities Group has five projects with a total estimated cost of $17 million.  And finally, he stated that Fort Bend will be advertising three separate traffic signal jobs totaling $1 million.  He ended his presentation by stating that Fort Bend in 2019 will have $64 million worth of projects.

 

Michael Ereti, Director of Capital Projects

Michael Ereti opened with his excitement for the passing of Proposition A “Rebuild Houston”, which was on the ballot in 2018.  He stated that this proposition provides funding for repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.  He stated that HCA members have mostly been involved in the reconstruction portion, but there will be a concerted effort made by the City of Houston in increasing the rehabilitation portion.  He described the rehabilitation jobs as repaving roads and smaller drainage improvement projects.  He added that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s initiative and direction with Rebuild Houston is first and foremost transparency in regard to where the Prop A funding is being spent.  “In capital projects, we’ve done some changes”, said Michael.  In 2018 there was a decrease in the number of projects, however, Michael stated that the city will increase its number of projects to the high level seen in 2013 and 2014.  He stated that the construction outlook is 61 projects estimating $620 million.  Michael added that he meets monthly with HCA’s Executive Vice President, Jeffrey Nielsen.  From their numerous meetings and discussions, Michael stated that he is grateful for HCA’s feedback.  He ended by touching on the point that the city needs a new and better way of bidding construction jobs – one of the high priority items that HCA is advocating for.

 

Jason McLemore, Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Business Opportunity for the Houston Airport System

Jason stated that there are several projects for Bush Intercontinental Airport.  The first was the modernization and expansion of Terminal A.  This includes updating everything from the ticketing gate down to the baggage claim as well as adding gates to this terminal.  He estimated that this project will cost $197 million.  Also, Bush Airport will be adding a vehicle maintenance facility as well as moving the control center for the Sky Train.  These jobs will be put out to bid this year, said Jason.

 

Mark Gardemal, Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Pasadena

The City of Pasadena learned from Hurricane Harvey that its land has sunk seven to nine feet over the last seven years, Mark said.  To address this issue Mark, Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency met and discussed a plan of action.  Drainage mitigation being the culprit of the land sinkage, he and Mayor Wagner developed a program and later presented it to TDEM and FEMA.  He stated that the two government agencies agreed to grant the City of Pasadena $105 million for their proposed drainage mitigation project.  This funding will be spent on lowering twenty-five city roads, which in turn will reduce flash floods.  This project is currently in the design stage.  He stated that this project will go into construction in the fall of 2019.  Mark conveyed his hopefulness that this project will protect the homes and properties of Pasadena residents for the next 50 years.

 

Keisha Seals, Engineering Manager, City of Sugarland

Keisha Seals started her presentation by expressing her excitement for the upcoming construction of Sugar Land’s first public safety training facility.  The project will consist of several different construction components which include a heavy roadway construction package and electrical package.  She added that there is the Oyster Creek Siphon Replacement Project.  This project consists of the installation of a new 24-inch siphon to replace an abandoned 18-inch siphon that crosses Oyster Creek ay Hwy 59. This will be a single bid project and bids will open in February with an estimated cost of $1.3 million.  She stated that for all of 2019, Sugar Land will have $19 million worth of projects.  On Sugarlandtx.gov contractors can view current construction projects by clicking the Business tab and then Bid Opportunities. 

 

Shashi Kumar, Public Works Director, City of Missouri City

Shashi humbly stated that Missouri City will be “lean with projects” this year because all of their big projects were started in 2018.  However, he continued to say that are several projects for 2019.  First, he described the Texas Parkway and Cartwright Road Corridor improvements project.  This consists of installing roughly 9,270 feet of sidewalk, adding landscaping along Missouri City Drive, Buffalo Run, Lexington, Grand Parkway, and Independence, as well as touching up the median landscaping on Cartwright road.  The engineering cost of the project is estimated to be $135,000 and the landscaping cost is $250,000.  Also, he stated that there will be reconstruction of Waterfall Drive for $1.4 million.  He ended with stating that this summer will have $15 million worth of projects for Missouri City.

 

Frank Simoneaux, Director of Public Works for City of Baytown

Frank Simoneaux stated that Baytown’s Public Works will be having pipe bursting projects in the next month or two.  He also stated that the transmission line and other underground projects should be advertised in late summer or early fall of 2019.  The filter air scour system project is in the design stage, he added, so bidding will start toward the end of 2019.  The chemical facility improvements, sludge room improvements, and raw water transmission lines outlined in his PowerPoint presentation will be out in the spring.  Baytown will have three separate bid packages for their street projects and they will come out in late spring of 2019. 

 

Ross Talbot, Manager Construction Project Delivery, Port of Houston Authority

Ross Talbot opened by stating that the Port of Houston is different from other government agencies.  The Port of Houston is run by six commissioners and one chairman.  He stated that projects over the price of $50,000 require the review and approval of the commissioners and chairman.  He stated that this is an example of several factors that companies have to realize when working with the Port of Houston.  He then stated that the Port started a 10-year expansion and rehabilitation plan in 2017.  This consists of projects to utilize the untouched acres and improve pre-developed land the Port owns, which will in turn create over 32,000 new jobs.  Currently, Container Yard-Seven is sixty acres and is in the construction phase.  Barbours Cut and Bayport will be needing their annual concrete and asphalt replacement, wharf crane and RTG crane painting, and fender system maintenance.  The Port has a job to develop a building program for the future Administration and Maintenance Buildings Complex at Barbours Cut Container Terminal as well as the expansion of its gate facilities.  Bayport will be needing rehabilitation of Wharf-Five in the form of dredging, remodeling of the gate services building, telecommunication infrastructure installed under Port Road, installation of security cameras, and Port Road expansion and drainage.  Wharf-Three is a big job consisting of demolishing the current dock, removing the dolphins, installing electrical infrastructure, and then dredging.  Turning Basin’s Wharf-Nine and Manchester’s Wharf-Two require concrete repair, fender replacement, and geotechnical rehabilitation.

 

 

Robert Trevino, Executive Vice President, Planning Engineering & Construction for Metropolitan Transit Authority

Robert Trevino explained METRO’s current initiative to improve Houstonian’s public transportation experience.  He stated that they are going to be updating bus stops, adjacent sidewalks, and stop shelters.  METRO will be working with several other agencies to install bike paths on University of Houston’s campus.  Robert added that in late 2019 the West Bellfort Park ‘N Ride will undergo reconfiguration and reconstruction.  This will include the addition of parking spaces, reconfiguration of the bus drop-off area, and fix spots of pavement.  Being advertised on Sunday, January 27th is the Northwest Transit Center.  He stated that this project will be raising the entire transit center, complete demolition and repour of all the pavement, installation of a new drainage system, addition of new canopies, and inclusion of bus drop-off and pick-up areas in the downtown area.  METRO will also be working on smaller safety enhancement projects.  These consist of improving cross walks, automatic pedestrian signalization, and rail fencing along length of the railroad.  He stated that in the second quarter of 2019, the projects will be focusing on addressing the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. 

 

The Houston Contractors Association was grateful to have the opportunity to host the January luncheon for its members with the presence of these amazing speakers.  To see the full informative presentation packet with the PowerPoints from our speakers, visit the News & Resources tab on the HCA web site at www.houstoncontractors.org

 

 

####