Chinese company looks to invest $83.7B in W.Va. energy industry | RFPs sought for Calif. rail extension | Trucking group supports gas-tax increase to improve infrastructure
November 10, 2017
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Chinese company looks to invest $83.7B in W.Va. energy industry
China Energy Investment Corp. intends to invest $83.7 billion in West Virginia to develop chemical manufacturing and shale gas projects. Its memorandum of understanding is not binding, but coal and energy groups welcomed the announcement.
Bloomberg (free registration) (11/9),  Reuters (11/9) 
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Infrastructure Watch
RFPs sought for Calif. rail extension
The 12.3-mile second phase of the Foothill extension to the Southern California Metro Gold Line light rail is gearing up, with the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority seeking proposals from design-build groups for the $1.5 billion project. This phase of the extension would add six rail stations, run from Glendora to Montclair and could be finished by 2026.
Engineering News-Record (11/9) 
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Trucking group supports gas-tax increase to improve infrastructure
Trucking group supports gas-tax increase to improve infrastructure
A report by the American Transportation Research Institute called A Framework for Infrastructure Funding concludes that increasing the gas tax is the best option to improve the nation's infrastructure. The group is a think tank for the trucking industry, and its report concludes that mileage-based fees and tolls would not generate the necessary revenue.
Traffic Technology Today (U.K.) (11/9) 
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Tenn. plans $70M fix to interchange
The interchange at interstate highways 24 and 75 in Chattanooga, Tenn., is one of the state's worst, and officials have proposed a $70 million plan to upgrade it. The project is possible in part due to a 6-cent increase in the gas tax over three years.
Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tenn.) (tiered subscription model) (11/9) 
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Trends & Technology
Carbon fiber used to reinforce concrete column
A high-strength carbon fiber fabric was used to reinforce a concrete column on a ramp on Interstate 385 in South Carolina to provide extra support. The epoxy-resin-coated fabric works similarly to reinforcing steel bars but is noncorrosive.
Roads & Bridges online (11/9) 
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Fla. college builds $100 million driverless-vehicle test site
Cities in Florida are rapidly developing infrastructure that will help self-driving vehicles navigate safely and effectively. A $100 million test site is underway near Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, and another is planned at Kennedy Space Center.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/9) 
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Advancing the Profession
Commentary: More stringent requirements needed for future engineers
The requirements to become an engineer have not changed in decades, and while civil engineering programs are rigorous, additional requirements are needed to prepare students for their professional engineering exams and the complexities of the real world, Jonathan Patterson argues. The American Society of Civil Engineers' "Raise the Bar" initiative calls for additional education requirements, and a report notes that the "exploding body of science and engineering knowledge cannot be accommodated within the context of the traditional four-year baccalaureate degree."
The Johns Hopkins News-Letter (Baltimore) (11/9) 
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Creativity can be born out of discomfort
Creativity can be born out of discomfort
When we are in a familiar and comfortable place, we tend to think the same way, but a new situation forces us to think more creatively and try to connect our old and new realities, writes Sandy Speicher of IDEO. Rather than try to give all the answers, "acknowledge how hard this particular part of the work really is, ask them great questions, and show them my confidence that they will find their way through," Speicher writes.
Quartz (11/6) 
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ASCE News Daily
Voters around the US say yes to infrastructure ballot measures
Voters around the US say yes to infrastructure ballot measures
In Maine, Kansas, Denver, Grand Rapids, Mich., and elsewhere, voters backed bond measures and sales tax extensions that will fund a wide range of infrastructure needs. The initiatives help finance overdue road maintenance, mass transit, stormwater facilities, and airport modernization, among other upgrades. Learn about the infrastructure victories.
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12-member ASCE team to study Mexico earthquake damage and recovery
12-member ASCE team to study Mexico earthquake damage and recovery
In the aftermath of two major September earthquakes, an ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division team is bound for Mexico City to study the performance and recovery of lifeline systems, aiming to gather data that will help engineers make infrastructure more resilient. In regular updates to ASCE News, the team plans to report on what they find. Meet the Mexico earthquake team.
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