Survey: Mixed pandemic outlook for civil engineers | USACE steps up to meet demand for more hospitals | US can boost economy by shifting infrastructure paradigm
March 30, 2020
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Thirty-nine percent of all respondents to an ASCE survey reported "mild concerns" about their company's viability after the coronavirus pandemic, but roughly 20% of respondents with four or fewer employees are concerned about their ability to operate in a post-pandemic world. Some firms are struggling with the transition to remote work, but one association member sees a silver lining in the ability to accomplish training goals and try out new ideas.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (3/28) 
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Infrastructure Watch
The Army Corps of Engineers is checking with every state to assess pandemic needs and is working to set up dozens of field hospitals to meet a growing demand for beds. The USACE is also retrofitting dormitories and reusing furniture and HVAC systems from hotels.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (3/28) 
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Work on the US' crumbling infrastructure lags behind work elsewhere in the world, but the nation could change that by embracing centralized, data-driven decision-making, as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to improve construction technology, Shai Kivity writes. Those strategies are critical to assisting a nation with a central bank that has exhausted monetary tools, Kivity writes.
Full Story: World Economic Forum (3/27) 
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Last week, the California Transportation Commission agreed to provide $2.6 billion over the next five years for multimodal transportation upgrades under the State Transportation Improvement Program. The commission also made $2.4 billion available for new transportation projects.
Full Story: Transport Topics (3/27) 
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Trends & Technology
A time-lapse video shows construction of a 760-foot-long pedestrian bridge in Dublin, Ohio, that has opened this month. T.Y. Lin International engineered the single-span, single-tower, S-shaped suspension bridge, and Kokosing Construction served as the general contractor.
Full Story: Equipment World (3/27) 
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Bentonville, Ark., has implemented All Traffic Solutions' TraffiCloud safety and data analytics technology to improve traffic-related decision making and budgeting. Data generated by the technology is used to gauge road capacity and identify areas with speeding problems.
Full Story: Traffic Technology Today (UK) (3/27) 
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Sustainable Development
Plans are afoot to demolish four hydroelectric dams on the lower reaches of the Klamath River in California. Supporters of the nearly $450 million project say it could reopen salmon habitat, but opponents fear the effort will drive down waterfront property value.
Full Story: The Associated Press (3/29) 
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Rising waters and strengthening storms could greatly compromise San Diego's water infrastructure while destroying 90% of its beaches and most of its businesses over the next 80 years, according to a city assessment. The report does not specify a cost estimate for inaction and does not estimate property and infrastructure damage or the cost of service disruption or insurance liability.
Full Story: Voice of San Diego (3/30) 
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Advancing the Profession
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology formed concrete slabs atop steel beams and found that beams with double angle connections withstood greater forces and deformations from temperature changes than those with shear tab connections. The data NIST gleaned could help researchers develop and validate new design tools and building codes to improve fire safety.
Full Story: National Institute of Standards and Technology (3/24) 
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ASCE News Daily
Four tips for self-care while you self-quarantine
To flatten the coronavirus curve, social distancing and self-quarantine are essential, but such measures can take a toll on our mental health. To fight feeling down, self-care must be top of mind during this crisis. See these four suggestions for self-care.
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Learning to adjust to the current reality
As society grapples with an unprecedented, pandemic-imposed upheaval to routine, universities are among the hardest hit institutions. At the classroom level, how are students and professors adjusting to online instruction and to meeting learning expectations? Both sides talk with ASCE News.
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