Data: Sparse highway money available before Dec. 11 | Work winds up a year early on Conn. exit ramp | Wash. multimodal highway plan generates criticism
October 23, 2020
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Infrastructure Watch
Nearly 20% of $13.6 billion in Highway Trust Fund money approved in a one-year extension is available to state transportation departments before a 72-day resolution to prevent a government shutdown expires Dec. 11. Data from the National Asphalt Pavement Association breaks down how much has been approved for each state and what percentage of approved funds has been released.
Full Story: Construction Dive (10/22) 
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An exit ramp has been completed a year earlier than expected for the four-year Interstate 91 Charter Oak Bridge Project in Connecticut. The ramp connects routes 5 and 15 south to I-91 south in Hartford as part of a $213 million project that adds a lane to I-91 in Hartford and expands another exit.
Full Story: WVIT-TV (Hartford, Conn.) (10/21) 
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The Washington State Department of Transportation's proposed highway plan updates reflect more of an ideological approach devoted to cyclists and pedestrians than a serious focus on the traditional objectives of maintenance, preservation and congestion, writes Mariya Frost from the Washington Policy Center. "Though there is value in a multimodal perspective, highways also have a very basic utility to the state and to commerce that should be evaluated independent of ideological principles," Frost writes.
Full Story: Washington Policy Center (10/21) 
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New Jersey's ailing water infrastructure will require $25 billion in improvements over the next two decades -- and many residents will have to pay more to help fund the work, according to experts at a recent roundtable. The upgrades will likely require a combination of funding mechanisms, including low-interest loans, utility investments and the support of state and federal governments.
Full Story: NJ Spotlight (New Jersey) (10/22) 
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Pre-construction activity has begun on an extension of Washington state Route 509 to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The project, which costs at least $1 billion, is expected to be completed in 2028.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Seattle (10/22) 
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Trends & Technology
The University of Liverpool has formed the Robotiz3d company to develop artificial technology in robots that can better detect potholes on England roadways. "The proposed system will be able to autonomously detect and characterize road defects such as cracks and potholes, assess and predict the severity of such defects and fix cracks so that they do not evolve into potholes," said Paolo Paoletti, who will be chief technology officer for Robotiz3d.
Full Story: Traffic Technology Today (UK) (10/22) 
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China has delivered an earth pressure balance tunnel boring machine to New Zealand for a rail project in Auckland. The public will have real-time access to the machine's journey once excavation begins.
Full Story: The New Zealand Herald (10/20) 
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Nuclear power reactors in South Carolina and Missouri face the greatest chance of an earthquake leading to a meltdown, with Duke Energy's H.B. Robinson NPP in South Carolina at the highest risk, according to an analysis of Nuclear Regulatory Commission data by the Union of Concerned Scientists. NRC spokesman Scott Burnell says Duke's license renewal application includes "binding commitments" to upgrade the Robinson facility and assess the earthquake risks.
Full Story: Reuters (10/22) 
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Sustainable Development
It takes more than green solutions to achieve true sustainability in bridge construction, according to engineers at Cleveland Bridge. The company examines the social, environmental and economical components of bridge-building to achieve a neutral or positive balance between supply and demand.
Full Story: Construction Europe (10/22) 
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Advancing the Profession
The jigsaw-layered armor that allows the diabolical ironclad beetle to withstand extreme forces may provide clues for stronger buildings. Research reveals that the beetle's shell is held together with unique bindings that allow it to deform gradually rather than break suddenly, suggesting an alternative to the nuts, bolts and welding that are used to hold buildings together but are susceptible to deterioration.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/21) 
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ASCE News Daily
Wisdom from ASCE's new Distinguished Members for 2020
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Eight esteemed engineers have joined the most exclusive membership status in ASCE - Distinguished Member, honoring careers of great achievement. What made them such successes? Meet each and read their insights.
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Carry the new ASCE Visa Signature card and reap the rewards
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Now ASCE members can earn up to 3 percent cash back with every purchase using the all-new ASCE Visa Signature credit card, in association with Commerce Bank. Other benefits include gift cards, travel discounts and more. Get details and enroll.
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