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April 13, 2009
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Industry News 
  • Corps plans environmental study for proposed water pipeline
    The Army Corps of Engineers will launch an environmental study of a Colorado businessman's plan to build a $3 billion, 400-mile water pipeline from Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range. Critics say the Corps of Engineers cannot properly study the plan because businessman Aaron Million has not identified the pipeline's end users. The corps will hold public meetings this month in Colorado and Wyoming to discuss parameters of its environmental study. Forbes/The Associated Press (4/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Governors: White House should lead on infrastructure plan
    Congress will soon take up a bill worth up to $450 billion for infrastructure projects over the next six years. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger want President Barack Obama to assert more leadership over plans to improve the nation's aging infrastructure, and Rendell has expressed concern that White House leadership is needed so that Congress does not include earmarks and undermine the plan's effectiveness. Los Angeles Times (4/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology and Trends 
  • Construction starts on London's Shard of Glass tower
    Construction started last month on the Shard of Glass skyscraper at London Bridge. The 80-story tower will be one of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe when it is completed in 2012. The construction process on the Shard is unusual because it will start at the ground level and go down to form a three-story basement. At the same time, workers will build the pyramidal structure upward. New Civil Engineer (4/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fabric technology could extend lifespan of bridges
    A new bridge-construction technology developed by researchers at the University of Maine has the potential to significantly cut the time and cost of bridge construction. They use a lightweight, flexible composite fabric -- often made from glass or carbon fibers -- and fill it with concrete at the construction site to create bridge arches. This eliminates much of the on-site prep work previously needed. Researchers also say the lifespan of a fabric bridge could be twice as long as that of a traditional bridge. Forbes/The Associated Press (4/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pentagon aims for alternative fuel to reduce convoys
    The U.S. military is prioritizing alternative fuel sources because of the high number of fuel convoys attacked in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The honest-to-God truth, the most compelling reason to do it is it saves lives," said Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, director of operations and logistics for the Army. The Pentagon received $7.4 billion in stimulus funds, and will spend $300 million to develop alternative fuels and save energy. The Washington Post (4/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Colorado utility to shift to alternative energy
    Colorado's second-largest utility plans to shift from coal-fired power plants to natural gas and alternative energy. Based in Westminster, Colo., Tri-State Generation and Transmission supplies power to Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico. The nonprofit utility plans to build a 30-megawatt solar power plant that will use a half-million solar panels in New Mexico. American City Business Journals/Denver (4/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Management Practices 
  • Tips for restructuring in a downturn
    The economic slump is prompting many companies to restructure, but how you do it depends on whether you are a "have" or a "have-not," says Gerry Hansell, a corporate development exec at Boston Consulting Group. "For a company where their survival's not in question, this is an outstanding time to be making longer-horizon investments." But if financial distress looms, you have to consider how to fund the restructuring, he says. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  Policy Update 
  Critical Infrastructure 
  • FHA approves new bridge stretching from Brooklyn to Queens
    The Federal Highway Administration has approved a final design of a New York City bridge to replace an aging one that connects Brooklyn's Greenpoint area to Maspeth in Queens. Construction on the nine-lane bridge, which would have two eastbound spans and one westbound span, is scheduled to start in 2013. The bridge would include a bike path and a walkway. (4/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  News from ASCE 
  • Pankow CEO looks ahead -- hear his views in "Insights" podcast
    Listen to the latest conversation in ASCE's new series of podcasts with noted civil engineering industry leaders, "Insights." This month's guest is Richard M. "Rik" Kunnath, P.E., DBIA, the chief executive officer of Pankow Operating, the holding company for the various construction businesses that constitute the Pankow group of companies. Pankow is internationally recognized for its innovative construction methods, and as one of the industry's foremost practitioners of Design-Build as a project-delivery technique. Rik joins "Insights" to talk about the need for additional creativity and innovation via economic incentives, as well as the challenges presented by existing project-delivery methods in the engineering industry. He also touches on both the opportunities and threats that commoditization and globalization present for the future of the industry. Hear the "Insights" podcast now or download it for listening at your convenience on your MP3 player. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Take the History & Heritage crossword puzzle challenge!
    How well do you know the landmark projects of civil engineering, or history's greatest civil engineers? The History & Heritage Committee challenges you to complete a special crossword puzzle filled with projects and legends. The first person to complete the puzzle correctly will receive a unique paperweight celebrating the Roeblings' Brooklyn Bridge as their prize. The second-place winner will receive an ASCE keyholder. Clues to the answers can be found in either the Landmark Projects or the Notable Civil Engineers databases of the History & Heritage of Civil Engineering area. Just print out the puzzle (PDF), complete it and then either fax it to Carol Reese, HHC staff contact at (703) 295-6128 or e-mail a scan of the completed puzzle to The dates and times on the fax or e-mail will determine the winners. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Project EngineerScientech EngineersHouston
Senior Bridge EngineerThe Benham Companies, LLCOklahoma City, OK USA
Application Development Engineer3MSt. Paul, MN

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