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March 14, 2013
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News for and about the civil engineering community

  Top Story 
  • North Central Texas' $103.5B Mobility 2035 plan discussed
    The North Central Texas Council of Governments has finished three days of meetings, discussing high-speed rail, toll lanes and widened roadways to improve transportation in the region. Because of funding issues, the group has packaged some projects together to make them more appealing to private investment. All told, Mobility 2035, the COG's long-term plan, identifies approximately $103.5 billion in transportation improvements between now and 2035. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure Watch 
  • Senate amendment would restore billions for MAP-21 funding
    A continuing resolution passed by the House last week would cut promised transportation funding. However, the Senate's continuing resolution would restore that funding to a full $109 billion over two years. The move has gained praise from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. "The Senate's continuing resolution recognizes that the nation's economic recovery remains dependent on the funding levels envisioned in MAP-21 and now is not the time to deviate from those levels," Executive Director Bud Wright said. Transport Topics (3/13), StreetsBlog.org/Washington, D.C. (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ill. Tollway to spend $922M for 2013 capital upgrades
    The Illinois Tollway will invest $922 million for capital improvements in 2013, with construction expected to start this spring. Among the planned projects are new ramps at the interchange of Interstates 294 and 57; the $2.2 billion reconstruction and widening of Interstate 90; and the $3.4 billion Elgin O'Hare Western Access Project. Rockford Register Star (Ill.) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • Rotating surfaces offer multiple uses for sports venues
    Using underground prismatic machinery that rotates panels, the 4D Sportsground under development in the Netherlands can present three different surfaces for various uses, including artificial turf; plastic for court sports; and billboard-style advertising or solar panels to generate revenue or energy. Developers Sublean and InnosportNL say the technology also can be used in a number of other ways to get more use out of such structures as buildings, homes, fences and billboards. Gizmag (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Many uses seen for colorful, light-emitting concrete wall
    A wall in Germany, designed by the concrete manufacturer LUCEM, contains 136 concrete panels that contain optical fiber and color-changing technology. The result is a stunning display of color. The light-emitting concrete can be controlled remotely, and the technology "means any internal or external wall could be transformed into a display piece, creating opportunities for advertising and communication without adding flat screen televisions or sky-blocking billboards," writes Beth Buczynski. EarthTechling.com (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sustainable Development 
  • Light Park: Floating tower propelled by solar energy
    Architects Ting Xu and Yiming Chen of China have developed a concept called Light Park, a skyscraper that uses a helium-filled balloon to enable it to float above ground and solar-powered propellers to help it take off. The idea is to create a "utopian city" free of pollution. The mushroom-shaped skyscraper offers "infrastructure, housing, and commercial and recreational spaces" and "takes the future of urban development to the sky, offering Beijing’s residents a chance to escape the crowded city," writes Lidija Grozdanic. Inhabitat (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Advancing the Profession 
  News from ASCE 
  • Modeling, mitigating, and adapting to climate change
      
    Get the latest thinking on the environmental mechanisms that contribute to climate change, and steps to reduce buildup of greenhouse gases, in ASCE's new book, Climate Change Modeling, Mitigation, and Adaptation. Written by leading global experts, the book offers comprehensive data on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Chapters examine the issues from three standpoints: basic science and vulnerability assessment; modeling and prediction; and reducing or adapting to the negative impacts on humankind and the ecosystem. Sponsored by the Environmental Council of ASCE's Environmental and Water Resources Institute, the book is available now. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Civil Engineering online exclusive: Bridge to Carry Pedestrians, Bicyclists -- and Equestrians
    ASCE Civil Engineering magazine online  

    A new bridge over the Los Angeles River will improve access between two city parks for people on foot, bicycle, and even horse. Check out the design concept, then explore more fascinating articles at www.asce.org/cemagazine/.

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--Bill Gates,
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