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Home Feb. 3, 2011



Senator seeks expiration for highway 'earmarks'
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sen. Bob Casey wants to put an expiration date on unspent highway "earmarks." The Pennsylvania Democrat's proposal would fix "orphan earmarks," which happen when money Congress sets aside for pet projects doesn't get spent. "Earmarks can be controversial enough without the added controversy of having money sit around so long not doing anything," Casey said. He recently introduced two bills: the Redistribution of Unspent Earmarks Act and the Use It or Lose It Act. Together, they would mandate that earmarks older than three years be returned to the states to use on any eligible highway project. More

ARTBA CEO says every industry professional has a responsibility to tell their story
Rebuilding America's Infrastructure    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Transportation design and construction industry executives must go beyond their own echo chamber to tout industry "innovation" success stories and help achieve passage of a robust, multi-year highway/transit authorization bill. In so doing, the industry can help create a new, national transportation program that is performance-based, accountable and with a transparency that fuels innovation and economic growth. Those were the words of American Road & Transportation Builders Association President and CEO Pete Ruane at a Jan. 27 panel presentation during the Transportation Research Board annual meeting held in Washington, D.C. More

Is a vehicle mileage tax coming to a state near you?
The Infrastructurist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's plenty of reasons to be excited about the sudden, meteoric rise of EVs and ultra-fuel-efficient hybrids — with gas prices showing no sign of decreasing, fuel supplies showing equally no sign of increasing, and carbon emissions showing the polar opposite of a decrease, we should be thrilled to see momentum building for a drastic change in the way we get from home to work, and everywhere in between. Still, one glaring question lives amid all the hype and celebration: If the gas tax pays for America's roads, and that gas tax already barely is covering the costs of said roads, what will happen when more and more drivers start buying less and less gas? More

$2 million gift to UTEP's College of Engineering prompts new program
Civil Engineering News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a new year and the start of a new semester under way, a generous gift is paving the way for a new program at The University of Texas at El Paso that will be a model for how engineering is taught around the country. The new Leadership Engineering Program includes a broad-based curriculum of engineering design, project management and innovation, along with an emphasis on business, communication, ethics and social science. It is expected to launch by the fall of 2012 and represents a new paradigm for engineering education. "The U.S. is at a tipping point regarding its global competitiveness in technological innovation, and to a very large extent, humanity is critically dependent on technological innovation for its own sustainability of lifestyle and, even, survival, in the current century," said Richard Schoephoerster, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. More

Greening and saving with GPS fleet tracking
Equipment Today via For Construction Pros    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Regardless of the size of your fleet or the distance you travel to get to jobsites, fuel consumption is a major line item in your operating budget, as well as a thorn in your side if your company has launched a campaign to reduce its carbon footprint. Construction contractors are addressing both problems by using GPS-based fleet tracking technology to put their equipment on a fuel diet. And it's paying off. More

Snow-melting road technology in the works
CNET    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a multi-day, multi-region storm affecting 100 million people over the next couple of days, solar roads that melt snow and ice seem less like a far-fetched pipe dream and more like an obvious investment. Engineers on opposite sides of the country are working to make that happen. Solar Roadways in Boise, Idaho, received a contract from the Federal Highway Administration to build a solar road panel prototype, which was completed early last year. The 12-by-12-square-foot road designed by engineer and CEO Scott Brusaw is made out of panels encased in strong and durable glass with the traction of asphalt and that won't cause glare. More

High-tech infrastructure: Vision versus reality
National Journal Transportation Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama views Washington policymaking from a wide lens that doesn't distinguish between individual lobbying communities or committee jurisdictions on Capitol Hill. His State of the Union call for more investment in infrastructure had a decidedly high-tech feel. He said he wants to connect the nation through high-speed rail and high-speed wireless connections. His ideas about infrastructure span the transportation and telecommunications sectors, and they touch on all of the business community in terms of job creation. More

Study puts spotlight on red-light cameras
USA Today    Share    Share on
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The national debate over red light cameras is heating up again as a new analysis from a traffic safety group argues that the controversial devices saved 159 lives in 14 cities during a five-year period. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says red-light cameras reduced the rate of fatal red-light running by 24 percent from 2004 to 2008. Had the cameras been installed in all U.S. cities with populations above 200,000, 815 deaths would have been prevented, says the Insurance Institute, a group funded by auto insurers that aims to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage caused by crashes on the nation's roads. More
ASHE Inside Lane
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