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September 17, 2012
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • Tunnel collapses in China; 16 unaccounted for
    A tunnel under construction along China's 2,130-mile-long expressway in the southeastern part of the country has collapsed, and 16 people are missing. The Associated Press reports that infrastructure work in the country is often scheduled extremely tightly and that "poor design, stolen building materials and shoddy workmanship" have contributed to construction problems on other projects. ABC News/The Associated Press (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 
  • Halt of $5.16B Honolulu rail project only temporary, insists rail exec
    Although construction work has temporarily halted on Hawaii's $5.16 billion rail project to accommodate an archeological survey, "there has been no shutdown of the project," and engineering and design work continues, said Dan Grabauskas, executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. However, a court ruling that required the survey to be completed before construction resumes could be precedent-setting, and a mayoral election that pits a rail proponent against a rail opponent could cause other obstacles. The Bond Buyer (free content) (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nev. prepares for $1.8B, 20-year highway improvement project
    Nevada is preparing for a $1.8 billion, 20-year highway improvement project that will build more than 13 lane-miles of new bridges and a high-occupancy lane between U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 15, as well as other improvements. Project Neon aims to "untangle the Spaghetti Bowl" so that it can handle an estimated 500,000 cars a day in 2030, said Cole Mortensen, a Nevada Department of Transportation manager. Las Vegas Review-Journal (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Blasting resumes at NYC's 2nd Ave. subway construction site
    Blasting operations have resumed at the Second Avenue subway site in New York City, where an explosion sent debris flying almost one month ago, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. "We have completed our review of the incident and have implemented a number of corrective actions," said Michael Horodniceanu, MTA Capital Construction president. "From this moment forward, blasting operations will be subject to additional management scrutiny and enhanced safety procedures to ensure that the community and workers are kept safe." DNAInfo.com (9/13), RailwayAge.com (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends & Technology 
  • Social media data could help cities plan for improved infrastructure
    Analysis of social media data could help cities plan for building better transportation infrastructure, Ariel Schwartz writes. Findings from the IBM Social Sentiment Index on India's traffic, which looked at public sentiment in the country, could help city planners mitigate traffic in the future. "It potentially helps them gauge the success of already-completed transportation infrastructure projects, highlights the pain points of different cities, and indicates where better public transportation options are needed -- and at what times of day," Schwartz notes. FastCoExist (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sustainable Development 
  • More parking lots do double duty as solar energy farms
    Some parking-lot owners are converting their parking areas into solar power generators, enabling them to cut power bills and "double up on their use of underutilized land." Rutgers University in New Jersey has begun an eight-megawatt installation that will cover about 32 acres on the Livingston Campus, a project touted to be one of the biggest solar carports in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by ASCE SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Advancing the Profession 
  • Can bosses succeed without being horrible to everyone?
    It's tempting to believe that bosses have to be Donald Trump or Steve Jobs-grade jerks to succeed in the modern business world -- but the truth is that most successful CEOs are actually nice guys, writes Geoffrey Nunberg. A few grade-A jerks might manage to "percolate to the executive dining room on the strength of audacity alone," Nunberg admits. "But the majority wind up seven job changes later, still in the company cafeteria, eating lunch alone." The Washington Post (9/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Innovation lessons from the federal government
    The federal government might not seem an obvious place to look for innovators, but the Office of Personnel Management is using a cutting edge "innovation lab" to tackle some of its thorniest problems. The lab -- actually a whitewashed basement in a federal building -- encourages OPM workers to use human-centered design principles to solve challenges and shake up the status quo. "The hope is the new space and new approach to problem-solving will actually lead to a new culture -- one of innovation in government," explains Jolie Lee. FederalNewsRadio.com (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 
 

  News from ASCE 
  • Get 20/20 vision on ASCE's Vision 2025 in free eLearning webinar
      
    Learn how you can use ASCE's Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025 to steer your Section, Branch, Institute, or Institute chapter into the future, while enhancing your and your fellow members' careers, in a free, new eLearning webinar coming in September. "Build Your Future with Civil Engineering's Vision 2025" will help you and your peers rise to a new level of leadership and professionalism. Vision 2025 calls for civil engineers to be entrusted by society to achieve a sustainable world and raise the global quality of life. Webinar instructors Mark W. Woodson, P.E., L.S., F.ASCE, and Blaine D. Leonard, P.E., D.GE., Pres.10.ASCE, will show you how to achieve that level of trust. Set aside an hour on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m. ET for this highly beneficial session -- register at the course page LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Civil Engineering online exclusive: New Steel Arch, Stress Ribbon Bridge Opens
    ASCE Civil Engineering magazine online  

    A newly dedicated pedestrian bridge in Fort Worth, Texas, that combines a steel deck arch with a stress "ribbon" is the first of its kind in North America. See the unusual combination and find more fascinating, topical articles at www.asce.org/cemagazine. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story


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