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February 19, 2013
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • Ore. panel endorses $3.4B Columbia River Crossing
    An Oregon legislative committee voted 14-2 to build the $3.4 billion Columbia River Crossing, which would connect Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash. The approval sends a bill to the Legislature to authorize $450 million in bonds to pay for Oregon's share. Proponents expect Washington lawmakers to match funding, allowing federal appropriations. The Oregonian (Portland) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 
  • Complaint filed over construction issues with Seattle's $4.1B bridge
    Source: KOMO-TV/KOMO-AM
    A "systemic breakdown of engineering responsibilities and management" in the Washington State Department of Transportation has led to construction setbacks on the $4.1 billion State Route 520 floating bridge project, according to a state whistleblower. The complaint, submitted to the office of State Auditor and the state's Board of Professional Engineers, asks for a formal investigation. It cites a TV station's probe into the leaks and cracks in the Seattle bridge's massive concrete pontoons and questions the "structural integrity of the pontoons." KOMO-TV/KOMO-AM (Seattle) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Trends & Technology 
  • Helicopter remote inspection robots win prize
    Small robotic helicopters whose video capabilities enable inspection of structures in hazardous places are the winning entry for a team of University of Michigan graduate students in a contest sponsored by the school and DTE Energy. SkySpecs LLC is now developing the technology, and the robots can be used to check such sites as bridges and wind turbines. The Detroit News/The Associated Press (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Construction apps advance use of BIM on job sites
    Professionals from the architecture, engineering and construction industry are using more applications custom built for the construction environment, a trend that is expected to continue. For example, Take Box is an app that, when integrated with the "GTeam cloud-based building information modeling collaboration service" of Gehry Technologies, lets users "access, manage, and share critical information like blueprints, CAD ... files, and contracts from the field, all in a secure manner." Constructech (free registration) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sustainable Development 
  • Engineers design passive cooling for a building in India
    Buro Happold, an engineering consulting firm, and architects Chadwick International have designed and completed a building in India that eliminates the need for air conditioning. The building was slightly rotated to control solar gain while maximizing the potential for natural ventilation. "No design aspect was left unturned in order to deliver" an energy-efficient building that has "high thermal mass, minimized internal loads, and cool landscaping minimizing the heat island effect." (Australia) (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Advancing the Profession 
  • ASCE recognizes young engineer of 2013
    R. Brad Hibbetts, a Huitt-Zollars employee managing the Facilities Design Group, was honored during Engineers' Week by the ASCE for his contribution to the economy and community and for advancing public understanding of the profession. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas and New Mexico and a LEED-accredited professional, with a decade of engineering design and project management experience including public works facilities. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 4 leadership lessons from George Washington
    George Washington led his troops to victory against the British redcoats at Trenton, N.J., in 1777 in part by adopting a more democratic approach to leadership, writes Signe Spencer. Rather than simply issuing commands and expecting obedience, Washington sought the advice of his subordinates and thereby hatched a battle plan that was more innovative and effective than anything a single general could have devised alone. Great Leadership (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from ASCE 
  • Submit your project for ASCE's Innovation in Sustainable Civil Engineering Award
    Submit your project for ASCE's Innovation in Recognizing the growing importance of sustainability as a critical performance factor in civil engineering projects, ASCE's Innovation in Sustainable Civil Engineering Award now welcomes nominations for the 2013 honor. Does your project apply innovative design or construction methods that enhance economic, social and environmental sustainability? Could the innovation lead to future developments in sustainability? Does it help improve public understanding of sustainability in construction? Submit it for award consideration by the deadline of June 1. Projects developed or implemented between 2006 and 2012 that have not been a candidate for ASCE's Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award are eligible for consideration. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Civil Engineering online exclusive: Kennedy Center Plans Expansion
    ASCE Civil Engineering magazine online  

    The famed arts center will add rehearsal and education space while seeking to better connect the site to the Potomac River and the nation’s capital. See renderings of what's envisioned, then explore more fascinating articles at

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Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself."
--William Blake,
British poet and painter

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