April 22, 2021
SmartBrief for Civil Engineers
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Top Stories
Atria with natural light are part of two plans to build a more welcoming Penn Station in New York City. The plans, unveiled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and transit agencies, differ in that one retains two levels for boarding, while the other has an open, single-level concourse.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/21) 
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Republicans are formulating an alternative to President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan that might total $600 billion to $800 billion for a narrowly defined set of projects. Senate Democrats see the GOP proposal as unacceptable, but Biden's $2 trillion-plus plan could face a precarious path to passage.
Full Story: Politico (4/21) 
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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has signed a $680 million water infrastructure bonding bill to take advantage of low interest rates. The legislation includes $435.5 million for the $2.75 billion flood diversion project in the area of Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn.
Full Story: Grand Forks Herald (N.D.) (tiered subscription model) (4/21) 
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3 keys to health insurance for engineers
There are three major advantages engineers have over other professionals when it comes to health insurance. Make sure your firm is leveraging all of them, to get the best possible benefits for the price. Learn more.
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Project Watch
Technology
Building information modeling has yet to make the headway in transportation infrastructure design that it has achieved in other fields of construction. Yet 3D modeling is clearly the way forward, writes Stantec's John Barone, noting four distinct advantages in terms of cost predictability, error reduction, stakeholder engagement and safety.

SmartTake: While 3D modeling has benefits for a wide range of infrastructure projects, the foray into 4D and 5D through the integration of schedule and cost, respectively, could strengthen the business case for BIM in transportation.
Full Story: Mass Transit magazine online (4/21) 
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The global coronavirus pandemic was a key factor in driving adoption for internet of things technology in 65% of cities worldwide, ESI ThoughtLab found in a recent study. ESI's survey also revealed that artificial intelligence and the use of biometric data were among the main technologies cities have implemented or plan to adopt.
Full Story: RFID Journal (4/19) 
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Startup 120Water has expanded its software capabilities to help utilities identify lead service lines and report testing data. "We can estimate that based on age and some of their informal studies, there may be upward of 10 million [lines], but no one really knows until we start creating these inventories," said co-founder and CEO Megan Glover.
Full Story: Government Technology (4/20) 
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Sustainability
Retrofit solutions for the the Port of San Francisco's aging seawall will be informed by a newly completed study by Fugro that examines geotechnical factors and vulnerability, sea-level rise and earthquake-related threats. Fugro's study included a 3D ground model and dynamic soil structure analysis to more precisely assess the walls needs and avoid unnecessary retrofit costs.
Full Story: Civil + Structural Engineer (4/2021) 
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Research
Brunel University London researchers are looking to create and demonstrate a waste-based cement mix than can be 3D printed into modular components for buildings. "Our objective is to decrease the CO2 footprint of printed products against traditional virgin concrete and cementitious mortars, through the development of printable mixtures that will use up to 100% recycled aggregates," said project lead Seyed Ghaffar.
Full Story: Brunel University London (4/21) 
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A new study compares the qualities of various forms of concrete created from geopolymerization of solid industrial waste and byproducts with conventional cement-based concrete. Researchers conclude geopolymer concrete with 750 kilograms per cubic meter of fly ash as the best choice balancing engineering and environmental considerations.
Full Story: MDPI (Switzerland) (4/21) 
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Enjoy the View
Stephan's Green in Dublin
Stephan's Green in Dublin
(Wikimedia Commons)
The garden square in central Dublin covers 22 acres and dates to 1663, though much of its current design was established in the 19th century. Since 1880, it has been open to the public.
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The SBCE Team
We want to hear from YOU!
If you have feedback on today's brief or want to submit a story or picture, shoot us an email.

Evan Milberg - evan.milberg@futurenet.com
Jaan vanValkenburgh - jaan.vanvalkenburgh@futurenet.com
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Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker,
poet, writer
April 22 is Earth Day
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