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March 5, 2013
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • Billions needed to upgrade N.J.'s water infrastructure
    New Jersey needs to spend about $36.6 billion over the next five years to upgrade its water infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities, according to a draft study by Facing Our Future. The state now loses as much as 22% of its treated drinking water because of aging pipes. Three water utilities have already gained approval to add surcharges to water bills to help pay for upgrades. (New Jersey) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 

  • Texas' $1.6B I-35W corridor project advances
    By the end of the year, Texas will begin rebuilding Interstate 35W, an approximately $1.6 billion project that includes two simultaneous projects: a stretch from Interstate 30 to Loop 820 costing $1.4 billion and a segment from Loop 820 to north of U.S. 287 that would cost $244 million. "The reconstruction of 35W has been on the drawing board for far too long. It's time to move dirt in the name of mobility, safety and commerce for our residents and businesses," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rep. Upton remains concerned about Keystone XL approval prospects
    TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline could still fail to secure approval from the U.S. unless Congress takes action, said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Last week, a draft State Department report found that the project would have only a minimal impact on the environment. "We fear the delays have allowed the opposition to grow so out-of-control that congressional action is still necessary to get the pipeline built," Upton said. United Press International (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • Fla. eyes "less-expensive" design for outdated I-395 bridge
    Florida is exploring a "less-expensive" design to replace an obsolete overpass on Interstate 395 in Miami. The "segmental box" could be an alternative to the suspension bridge called the Wishbone Arch that was selected by the citizens' committee last month. The alternative option could drop the cost for the new highway by about $114 million. The 300-foot-long segmental-box option would be braced by columns, unlike the Wishbone Arch. Not all are happy with the "stripped-down concrete bridge" design. The Miami Herald (free registration) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sustainable Development 
  Advancing the Profession 
  • The pluses of being a civil engineer
    Civil engineering is the "most personable of the engineering disciplines," says engineer Nigel Parker. Brian Burrell, vice president of technical programs for the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, also explains there are many options for specialization in civil engineering as well as opportunities to work internationally. In addition, demand for civil engineers is growing. "Many of the infrastructures we have today were built in the post-Second World War era and are reaching the end of their service life," says Parker. "It's an area that will require significant investment." The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) (3/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Transparency is better than cool, says Qualtrics CEO
    Transparency isn't just a cool-sounding bit of corporate jargon -- it's a way to ensure that all your workers are pulling in the same direction, Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith says. "We want to be transparent because we want to encourage our people to have all the information to keep them focused on what really matters -- our objectives and how they're going to contribute," Smith says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from ASCE 
  • ASCE set to debut 2013 Report Card, now as a convenient phone/tablet app
    On March 19, America will find out the grades civil engineers are giving our nation's infrastructure, including roads, waterworks, electric grid, transit, ports and more. ASCE will debut the new 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, issuing grades in 16 categories, plus an overall GPA. This year, the Report Card will be as convenient as your smartphone or tablet, available as an app via the iTunes and Google Play stores and at Dive into the details behind the grades, including interactive graphics and charts, specifics for every state, and new this year, more than 100 "success stories." With the most comprehensive and clear reference on America’s infrastructure available anytime, it will be easy to share the grades with friends, coworkers or professional groups, local leaders, and even your member of Congress. Sign up now for an email reminder of the Tuesday, March 19, launch, and to download the app that day, at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Civil Engineering online exclusive: Redesigned D.C. Pavilion Breaks Ground in March
    ASCE Civil Engineering magazine online  

    The Gateway Pavilion was touted as the launching pad for the reimagining of the east campus of Washington D.C.’s St. Elizabeths Hospital late last year. Now that changes suggested by various review boards have been made, it may fulfill its mission. Learn what’s now being envisioned, then explore more fascinating articles at

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Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."
--Alexander Graham Bell,
Scottish-born American inventor

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