Atlantic Gateway Project worth $165 million to provide relief for commuters in Virginia
Virginia has won a $165 million grant from the US Department of Transportation in the development of the road and rail infrastructure in the Atlantic Gateway Project.
The six-year development will reduce the volume of traffic and increased congestion currently within Northern Virginia, alongside a $90 million grant to restore the Arlington Memorial Bridge between Virginia and the District of Columbia, with work set to commence in 2017.
The project will incorporate the construction and expansion of the rail services, with an extra 14 mile of track constructed in order to reduce rail congestion and provide sustainability. The bus service will be developed to ensure commuters have access to jobs and commercial outlets, alongside new commuter parking. The Interstate 95 express lanes will be extended by 17 miles, with a new southbound bridge across the Rappahannock river.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has citied it as “the largest rail investment in the history of the commonwealth”, together with Aubrey Layne, Virginia’s Transportation Secretary, who has referred to the project as “absolutely essential” to the state’s economy, where they “could not have moved forward without this important federal funding.” The development will have long-term benefits to anybody travelling through the area, by bus, car or rail, and “stimulate economic growth” within the state.
Read the July 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.