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Home Oct. 21, 2010



Gas-tax revamp pushed to fund transportation projects
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
States are starting to lobby Congress to replace the decades-old federal tax on gasoline with a new system that would raise revenues to pay for highway and transit projects. The gas-tax proposal, being pitched by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, would have drivers at the pump pay an 8.4 percent tax on a gallon of gas instead of the current 18.4-cent tax. The tax on a gallon of diesel would be 10.6 percent instead of the current 24.4 cents. More

Hoover Dam bypass bridge, a symbol of American ingenuity
Department of Transportation Fastlane    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, U.S. Secretary of Transportation LaHood had the pleasure of dedicating the Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, part of the Hoover Dam Bypass project. LaHood said, "I've visited a lot of projects and attended a lot of ceremonies during the past 20 months, and I can safely say, This bridge is something." This majestic bridge is the longest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It rests on the tallest precast concrete columns ever constructed. And it reaffirms a powerful idea — Americans can still build great things not just in spite of enormous economic challenge, but as the means of overcoming it. More

Recharging roadway startup wins GE prize
Fast Company    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After months of anticipation, GE has announced the first results of its $200 million Ecomagination Challenge, an invitation for inventors to develop the next-generation of power grid technologies. The first winner is Solar Roadways. Their concept: a roadway that recharges electric cars as they drive. The Idaho-based startup, which will get $50,000 from GE, racked up the highest number of Challenge community votes. More

Obama to states: Invest in infrastructure while it's cheap
Governing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, the White House announced it would push Congress next month to approve $50 billion in new infrastructure investments. President Obama endorsed a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that encourages the investments to be made now, while labor is available and construction costs are relatively cheaper. But that report isn't just about federal investment. More

Seattle first in nation to provide surface-street drive times
KOMO-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you've driven on Seattle-area freeways, you've probably seen the digital signs that give you an estimate of how long it'll take you to reach major places like Bellevue, Renton and Everett. But now Seattle is the first city in the nation to provide real-time drive times on surface streets. There are five new dynamic message signs that were switched recently as part of the intelligence transportation system the Seattle Department of Transportation is designing. More

First-of-its-kind national database will facilitate transit-oriented development projects
CNT    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development recently launched a first-of-its-kind web database to provide access to comprehensive information about more than 4,000 transit zones across the United States. The web tool will help developers, investors, and city officials make planning decisions that take advantage of development opportunities around transit nodes. The TOD Database provides information on density, demographics, occupation and transportation habits of households near 4,160 existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit stations, including commuter rail, streetcars, light rail, bus rapid transit and ferries. More

High-tech sensors help spot potentially fatal problems with bridges
The Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The highway bridge over Salt Creek in Elmhurst is arguably the safest water crossing in Illinois. IDOT officials conferred with researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, who are paying attention to the area where the bridge piers are secured underwater. It is the focus of an experimental project to remotely monitor the safety and "structural health" of bridges around the clock, like constantly checking a hospital patient's vital signs. Bridge safety experts say the UIC project represents an extra safety net needed to keep tabs on the increasing inventory of deficient and functionally obsolete infrastructure in the U.S. More

Mimicking fish and tailoring radar to warn of bridge peril
Rebuilding America's Infrastructure    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Floods cut down more bridges than fire, wind, earthquakes, deterioration, overloads, and collisions combined, costing lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. The speed and turbulence of an overflowing stream scours away the river bottom that provides the support for a bridge foundation, causing more than 60 percent of bridge failures in the United States in the last 30 years. Currently, "there is no way to determine risk during these crucial events," said Xiong "Bill" Yu, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the Case School of Engineering in Cleveland, Ohio. More
ASHE Inside Lane
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