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September 4, 2012
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • Ga. reactor project to cost an additional $87M, Southern says
    Southern Co. said it expects to go $87 million over its $6.1 billion budget for the construction of two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. "Our primary focus when we're building it is to build it correctly, build it safely, build it with quality. So when we go about our chores, that is focus number one," said Buzz Miller, Georgia Power's executive vice president for nuclear power development. Meanwhile, the company plans to pour the first "nuclear concrete" for the project in October, once federal regulators approve a license amendment. Houston Chronicle/The Associated Press (8/31), Bloomberg (8/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 
  • Natural gas firm to spend $1.34B on new W.Va. processing facilities
    A $1.34 billion investment by Williams Partners L.P., a natural gas company, will fund construction of natural gas processing facilities in West Virginia. The plants, together with new fractionation facilities, will create jobs for people who "will be operating and maintaining Williams' facilities and pipelines for many years to come," said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Area Development online (9/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CTA invests $1B for Red Line development program
    The Chicago Transit Authority is investing $1 billion in station and track improvements for the Red Line commuter rail network. The investment is expected to jump-start a series of multibillion-dollar upgrades in the next several years, including plans to expand service. Various funding sources -- such as provisions in the MAP-21 federal surface transportation bill -- helped make the project possible, and "without that [bill], Red Line modernization would be impossible," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. Crain's Chicago Business/Greg Hinz On Politics blog (8/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Minn. starts road work for approach to new $676M bridge
    The Minnesota Department of Transportation will begin the makeover of the approach to the new St. Croix River bridge by May 1. Preparation work prior to actual bridge construction will involve reconstruction of frontage roads along Highway 36, walking trails, storm water ponds and improving existing turn lanes. The $676 million, four-lane bridge is expected to be finished by early 2017 at the latest. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (9/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • Rubber cloak technology could hide buildings from seismic waves
    A rubber cloak technology covering the base of a building could protect the structure from the impact of an earthquake, according to this article. The "elastodynamic cloak," from William Parnell from the University of Manchester in England entails the use of a "pre-stressed" rubber material that can deflect specific seismic waves from the building. The earthquake cloak will undergo testing at Industrial Research Limited in New Zealand. Smithsonian Magazine (9/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pavement-testing research could help Texas save money
    Stefan Romanoschi, a civil engineering professor at the University of Texas, Arlington, has developed a pavement-testing machine that will use pressure and tire-rotation frequency to document 10 years of pavement deterioration in no more than four weeks. The testing is "trying to look to see how we can extend and save resources," said Darren Hazlett of the Texas Department of Transportation. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (9/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sustainable Development 
  • Buildings' energy-management systems move toward integration
    Energy systems that serve individual functions are being integrated through energy platforms as the focus shifts to the holistic performance of buildings. This could spur collaboration between building owners and managers and information technology firms and create opportunities for growth. One example is Jones Lang LaSalle, which enlisted Pacific Controls to create platform system IntelliCommand to improve efficiency and lower energy costs. Forbes (9/2) 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.
  Election 2012 
  • LaHood: $105B bill increases fed oversight of transit systems
    The recently passed $105 billion surface transportation bill gives the federal government more safety oversight of public transportation systems, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's letter addressed to 26 governors. "Under MAP-21, we're ushering in a new era for transit safety, and we are committed to working with our state leaders to strengthen and help fund robust state safety oversight agencies to carry out this vitally important mission," LaHood noted. The Hill/Transportation blog (8/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Advancing the Profession 
  • Leadership advice from the school of hard knocks
    Leaders often concentrate on data, but you shouldn't neglect how your employees feel, Jeff Haden writes. "Correcting a data mistake is easy. Overcoming damage you cause -- whether intentional or not -- to an employee's self-esteem is impossible." It's also important to be honest about the potential downsides that accompany your decisions, Haden writes. Inc. online (free registration) (8/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Structural EngineerChao ans Associates,IncUS - SC - Columbia
Tenure-Track Assistant and/or Associate ProfessorUniversity of Minnesota DuluthUS - MN - Duluth
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  SmartQuote 
The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice."
--Ernest Hemingway,
American author


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