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September 26, 2012
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • Fed OK for $5.2B Tappan Zee Bridge means contractors can be chosen
    New York state can proceed to sign contractors for the $5.2 billion Tappan Zee Bridge now that the U.S. Transportation Department has approved the project under a fast-track review. "This [environmental review process] was the aspect of the project that had me holding my breath, and I’m going to exhale today," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Funding for most of the project will come from toll-backed bonds, Cuomo said. Bloomberg (9/25), Daily News (New York) (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 
  • Lawmakers push to upgrade Mississippi River locks and dams
    Six senators from three Midwestern states are calling on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to make necessary upgrades to the Mississippi River’s 70-year-old lock-and-dam system. The aging system is experiencing "a troubling lack of upkeep," the senators said. "Addressing the infrastructure needs of our inland waterways system is of significant national interest," they added. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Carmageddon II: Los Angeles prepares for closure of I-405
    A stretch of the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles, also called I-405 and one of California's busiest freeways, will be closed on the last weekend of September to finish demolition of the Mulholland Bridge. The event is being dubbed "Carmageddon II," a sequel to the closure in July 2011. The work to be done during the freeway's shutdown is part of a $1 billion project that will add a 10-mile car-pool lane on the I-405's northbound side. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends & Technology 
  • Spending on heavy engineering work declined in July
    Spending on heavy engineering construction dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in July, after falling 1.1% in June, according to Reed Construction Data. Lower government funding for infrastructure projects continues to be a challenge, writes Bernard Markstein, Reed's U.S. chief economist. Outlay is forecast to increase 7.5% this year and 5.3% in 2013. Reed/ACP Construction Data (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fourth bore of Caldecott Tunnel done; should open on schedule
    Caldecott Tunnel  
    Source: KGO-TV
    Crews have completed excavating the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel project in California and the tunnel is on schedule to open to traffic in late 2013. It "will have state of the art equipment for seismic monitoring, heat sensors, motion detectors, and other devices that will provide real time information for tunnel operators," said Ivy Morrison, Caltrans spokeswoman for the approximately $400 million project. KGO-TV (San Francisco) (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Advancing the Profession 
  • Good questions lead to good solutions, expert says
    When problem-solving or developing new products, most companies tend to craft their solutions before they've fully defined their needs -- which can lead to overlooked opportunities, waste, and solutions that don't actually solve things. "Well-defined problems," on the other hand, "lead to breakthrough solutions," writes management expert Dwayne Spradlin. Spradlin cites breakthrough achievements by three organizations -- the Oil Spill Recovery Institute, Prize4Life, and NASA -- to argue that the way you frame your problem heavily influences your ability to solve it. Harvard Business Review online (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 10 ways to squeeze extra time into your day
    Leaders often become so overwhelmed with everyday tasks that they forget to set aside time for managing, writes Brad Karsh, president of JB Training Solutions. To avoid this, make your staff meetings more efficient and develop strict timetables for projects. Also, designate two hours each week to managing direct reports, he writes. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  News from ASCE 
  • You’re the expert -- share your knowledge
    ASCE's Leadership and Management in Engineering is looking for your practical solutions to everyday problems and asks you to share them in the journal. Have you found a new way to add revenue for your firm? Do you have a success story to share about public-private partnership? Have you moved to more sustainable job sites while saving money from the bottom line? If so, you have solutions to problems practicing engineers are confronting today. For possible publication in a 2013 issue of LME, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to no later than Oct. 15. For more information about LME, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Civil Engineering online exclusive: Simulating Hurricanes May Revolutionize Design, Codes
    ASCE Civil Engineering magazine online  

    Two Florida universities build a tempest in a tank and a "wall of wind" to improve research into hurricane-resistant structures. Explore these two new testing facilities, then discover more fascinating, topical articles at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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Experienced Civil Engineer - AviationMead & Hunt, Inc.US - CA - Santa Rosa
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Interdisciplinary Research EngineerCold Regions Researching and Engineering LaboratoryUS - NH - Hanover
Mid Level Bridge EngineerCHA Consulting, Inc.US - NH - Keene
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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength."
--Corrie ten Boom,
Dutch writer

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