Trump drops idea of infrastructure advisory council | Renderings: Construction kicks off at $1.6B train hall in NYC | Work continues at Plant Vogtle despite uncertainty
August 18, 2017
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Trump drops idea of infrastructure advisory council
Trump drops idea of infrastructure advisory council
Trump (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump disbanded two business advisory councils this week after members began resigning over his comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. As a result, the president has abandoned plans to form the Advisory Council on Infrastructure to advise him on his planned $1 trillion infrastructure investment.
CNN (8/17),  Bloomberg (8/17),  The Hill (8/17) 
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Infrastructure Watch
Renderings: Construction kicks off at $1.6B train hall in NYC
A ceremony was held to signal the start of construction on a $1.6 billion public-private partnership to convert the Farley Post Office next to Penn Station in New York City into a train hall for Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. Work includes building retail, office and restaurant space.
The Architect's Newspaper (8/17),  Daily News (New York) (8/17),  WCBS-TV (New York City) (8/17) 
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Work continues at Plant Vogtle despite uncertainty
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the project, work continues at the Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. Workers installed the first steam generator at Unit 3, even as the plant owners seek additional federal support and plan to decide by month's end whether to abandon the project.
World Nuclear News (8/17),  Bloomberg (8/17) 
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Houston, private company sign agreement on proposed bullet train
Houston, private company sign agreement on proposed bullet train
(Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images)
Houston and Texas Central Partners have reached an agreement on the construction of a bullet train between Houston and Dallas, a project that is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs. The agreement is not legally binding but shows that both sides are committed to the privately funded $15 billion project.
KHOU-TV (Houston) (8/17) 
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Tower near Chicago might have structural problems from drainage issues
The Chicago area's Moser Tower, which houses the Millennium Carillon, has ground-floor drainage issues and other problems, and officials are concerned about the structural integrity of the 160-foot building. A recent report found the concrete was crumbling and steel corroding, and building experts have toured the facility to offer repair suggestions.
Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)/Naperville Sun (Ill.) (8/17) 
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Trends & Technology
Report: P3s can solve some of the country's infrastructure problems
A new report by McKinsey and Co. looks at the growing influence of public-private partnerships in the US, and concludes that public officials often don't see the advantages of the agreements. P3s can deal with many of the scheduling and budget problems that come from public projects, but much of the needed oversight hasn't been established yet in the country.
McKinsey (8/2017) 
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Automation disrupting urban planning
Harriet Tregoning, former principal deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says technology like autonomous vehicles is causing disruption for urban planners, but change has always been part of managing a city. She adds that cities must be aware of the entire costs, both economic and social, of these changes.
Government Technology online (8/16) 
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Sustainable Development
Report: Miss. could be adversely affected by La. flood control projects
Louisiana plans $50 billion in flood control projects, but a report by Rand Corp. says that effort could increase the flooding risk in Mississippi. "The water's got to go somewhere," said Brian Adam, Hancock County, Miss., emergency management director.
WLOX-TV (Biloxi, Miss.) (8/15) 
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Advancing the Profession
Small talk is the key to better networking
If you want to become a better networker, you have to develop your ability to engage in small talk, writes Peter Gasca. Practice by encouraging others to talk about themselves and by engaging with others instead of getting on your phone when you're in public without anything else to do.
Inc. online (8/15) 
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ASCE News Daily
Student team's medical waste incinerator wins ASCE sustainability award
Student team's medical waste incinerator wins ASCE sustainability award
A Case Western Reserve University team's humanitarian solution to a challenge in Africa has won the 2017 ASCE Sustainable Development Award. Students at the Cleveland university devised a novel electrical incinerator for safe disposal of hazardous medical waste. Read about the project award-winner in ASCE News.
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New round of ASCE's Guided Online Courses kicks off next month
New round of ASCE's Guided Online Courses kicks off next month
ASCE's Guided Online Courses are extremely interactive six- or 12-week instructor-led learning experiences you attend online with a cohort of peers. You'll learn through video lectures, case studies, asynchronous exercises, and in discussion with classmates. Complete each weekly module at a time and pace convenient to you. The next five courses begin Sept. 25. Learn more and register.
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