A $1.2 billion loan for private companies involved in building private toll lanes on Interstate 66 in Virginia has been approved by the federal government. The final design will be the focal point of public hearings next month, and construction could begin by year's end.
Five firms are under consideration for a $30 billion contract to operate the first section of high-speed rail in California, and the state's High-Speed Rail Authority was expected to choose DB Engineering & Consulting USA on Thursday because of its "experience and technical acumen." However, the authority made no award after Spanish rail operator Renfe raised objections, saying it had a lower bid and scored the best on the technical section of the RFP.
Baltimore promised the US Environmental Protection Agency in a 2002 consent decree that it would reduce sewage discharge in the Chesapeake Bay and the Inner Harbor, but it never completed the work. A federal judge has signed off on a new decree that requires the city to invest $1.6 billion to improve sewerage facilities at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant by 2021 to reduce the discharge.
The Colorado Transportation Commission has unanimously approved the allocation of $250 million to widen Interstate 25 and add toll lanes in each direction -- if the federal government comes up with the $100 million more the project will cost.
Kiewit says much more excavation work and concrete will be needed than originally estimated to rebuild the spillway at the Oroville Dam in California, and the state has altered plans and now requires twice as much concrete, all of which is driving up the project's cost from $275 million to over $500 million, excluding initial emergency response work. The collapse of the spillway nearly caused the dam to fail, and the state hopes the federal government will pick up the bulk of bill for the repairs.
R. Richard Geddes, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, believes public officials in the US need to better understand how public-private partnerships work so they can discover the benefits of the infrastructure projects. He contends that private companies in a P3 usually assume cost overrun risks, which gives them an incentive to keep things under control.
Scientists used an imaging technique and studied geodetic data to learn more details about the seismic plates causing earthquakes on New Zealand's North and South islands. A method known as magnetotellurics, which measures the electrical conductivity of rocks beneath the surface of the Earth, helped create an image displaying the electrical resistivity linked to seismic activity.
Being an executive is more than just a title; it's also having executive presence, or an outward appearance that's based on behaviors developed within, writes Mary Jo Asmus. She describes the importance of being purposeful in your words and how to practice displaying executive presence.
"I have talked with almost 100 civil engineering leaders ... so I've been able to verify that this strategy works" for boosting your career, writes career adviser Anthony Fasano in a new Ask Anthony post to ASCE News. And that is? Take a leadership role in a professional association. Read Fasano's advice.
For 23 years, ASCE has honored outstanding news coverage that enhanced public understanding of civil engineering and related issues through the Excellence in Journalism Award. If you've read or seen a story in anything from newspapers to TV to online that is deserving, nominate it for the 2018 award. Today is the last day to enter online. The winner receives the award in person at ASCE's spring 2018 OPAL Gala.