With the US midterm elections around the corner, several science policy issues -- including American infrastructure -- loom large. April Reese examines pressing needs in each state, including deteriorating bridges in Mississippi, flood management in Texas and coastal protection in Florida.
Webinar: BIM Models for Concrete Reinforcement Learn about the AEC industry shift from 2D to 3D modeling, and explore how structural engineers, rebar detailers, and project managers can integrate 3D and BIM into their existing 2D workflows and streamline the concrete reinforcement process. Watch the webinar.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has approved erosion, sediment and stormwater runoff control plans for a 300-mile section of the roughly 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Project consortium leader Dominion Energy will now look to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its approval so construction can begin.
President Donald Trump signed a memorandum directing the government to make the regulatory process faster, including accelerating environmental reviews on water projects such as the Central Valley Project in California and the Klamath Irrigation Project in Oregon and California. While the move was praised by the Family Farm Alliance, John Buse, legal director with the Center for Biological Diversity, believes it exhibits the president's lack of understanding of water issues.
Plans for a $2.5 billion mixed-use development in Chicago's North Branch Corridor gained approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, and construction of the first phase may start in 2020. The previous industrial site will be large enough for 14 mixed-use buildings that will include affordable housing, plus 13 acres of open space and a walkway along the Chicago River.
Robert Poole of Reason Foundation writes that private infrastructure investment funds have raised large sums of money and that asset recycling, which involves leases to qualified companies, could benefit states and the federal government. Australia has implemented an asset-recycling program, and long-term leases of existing toll roads and bridges in the US could generate $175 billion to $230 billion, according to a Reason Foundation study.
Virginia transportation officials expect to propose $2 billion worth of projects to reduce congestion and improve safety on Interstate 81. Tolls, retail sales tax, gas tax and use tax are suggested ways to fund the 72 projects, and the study group is likely to make its recommendation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board on Oct. 30.
SG Blocks is using prefabricated steel shipping containers to give homeowners in natural-disaster-prone areas a durable, cost-effective alternative to brick and wood shelter structures. Shipping containers have been approved as a mainstream building product since 2017, and SG Blocks says the process of retrofitting a container-based building is roughly 10% less expensive and as much as 50% faster than traditional construction methods.
Just Released—ASCE's Bridges 2019 Calendar The Bridges 2019 is the must-have wall calendar for all bridge lovers. With original photographs of bridges from the United States and around the world, each image celebrates the unique blend of technology and art that is the hallmark of great engineering. Learn more and get the calendar.
Officials in Charlotte, N.C., announced plans to invest in a facility to support sustainable startups with the goal of reducing waste as the city works to develop a circular economy. Charlotte, which currently produces approximately 400,000 tons of waste annually, aims to get "as close to zero waste as possible," says Solid Waste Services Director Victoria Johnson.
Situations can dictate how smooth or frustrating our interactions are, which makes it less likely that someone is "difficult" than it is that the right space and circumstances are needed, writes Adam Kahane of Reos Partners. For instance, "if we can suspend our judgments, we may notice recurring patterns in the situations we find annoying, frustrating, or upsetting, and it might turn out that these triggers have more to do with us than they do with the other person," he writes.
Along with making enhanced member value the Society's top priority, the ASCE Board of Direction has approved a package of new and enhanced member benefits, including additional free PDHs. Peek at what's planned in 2019.