Transportation Archives - Infrastructure Digest

Mammoth Lock Takes Shape in Belgium

Ship access capacity to the Antwerp’s Waasland Canal complex in Belgium will be more than doubled by construction of the world’s largest ship lock at the Deurganck dock. With a construction cost of some $290 million, the lock on the tidal River Scheldt’s left bank—500 meters long, 68 m wide and 17.8 m deep—is due to start operations in spring 2016.

The new lock will be more than 4 m deeper than the current world-record holder, Antwerp’s 25-year-old Berendrecht Lock, which serves docks on the opposite riverbank. It is also longer and wider than the new locks under construction for the third lane of the Panama Canal, but those locks will be up to 18.3 m deep. The Deurganck Lock will be the largest in the world by volume.

Why should you read this? It’s the biggest lock news of the last year! ENR, December 2014

Obama Pitches Corporate Tax to Fix Roads and Bridges

President Obama will propose a one-time tax on foreign profits held by U.S. corporations to pay for an ambitious plan to fix roads and bridges across the country.

The plan is included in the proposed $4 trillion budget that Obama will send to the Republican-held Congress Monday. Like other parts of the budget, it is not likely to pass, but is intended more to frame the debate with Capitol Hill over how to spend taxpayer dollars.

Why should you read this? We kinda need an actual plan guys… Time, February 2015

CHP car catches fire on Bay Bridge ramp, snarling traffic

Traffic on the eastbound Bay Bridge was snarled Monday evening after a California Highway Patrol vehicle caught fire on the eastbound off-ramp to Treasure Island, injuring the officer, officials said.

Why should you read this? I just like the headline. And, good pics. SF Gate, January 2015

ATA Leaders Express Disappointment in President’s Infrastructure Message

“Just mentioning infrastructure is not a solution to our nation’s critical needs, and by simply bringing the topic up without details President Obama missed an opportunity to underscore the critical role our highway system plays in our economic well being,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Now is the time, with the Highway Trust Fund set to go bankrupt in May, to show vision and leadership and most importantly, find funding, to keep that from happening. The trucking industry calls on the President and Congress to end this unnecessary uncertainty by funding our nation’s infrastructure and passing a new highway bill.”

Why should you read this? The SOTU is a good gauge of sentiment; is it anything more? PRN, January 2014

The 10 Longest Arch Bridges in the World

Arch bridges are one of the oldest types of bridges. The oldest known bridge in the world known to still be in use is the Caravan Bridge, a stone arch bridge across the Meles River in Izmir, Turkey. It was built in 850 B.C.

Roman engineers built many arch bridges, quite a few of which are still standing. Probably the most famous is the Pont du Gard, an aqueduct bridge in southern France. Built in the first century A.D., it features three tiers of limestone arches and stands 48 meters high and 275 m long.

The Alcantara Bridge, a stone arch bridge built by the Romans in Spain in 106 A.D., has been repaired numerous times after suffering damage during various wars, but it is still serving pedestrians. It is 45 m high and 182 m long.

Why should you read this? It’s bridge Monday here at Infrastructure Digest! ENR, January 2015

BRIDGE RESCUE: S.C. acts on deficient bridge issue

“With any legislative program there are always some politics involved, and one of the things I tried to do is set up the packages starting in the northwest part of the state and I let packages going all the way down the coast,” Floyd, bridge maintenance engineer for SCDOT, told Roads & Bridges. “Now I am starting packages let in January in the upper part of the state and then I will work my way down again—that way everybody has something going on at the same time.

“Nobody can say, ‘Why are you working on the upper state and not the lower state.’”

Why should you read this? Interesting, proactive approach to an unglamorous issue. Roads & Bridges, November 2014

Sicily bridge collapses 10 days after opening

“A multi-million pound viaduct has collapsed in Sicily less than two weeks after it opened – provoking a political outcry.
The Scorciavacche viaduct is near Mezzojuso, 25 miles from Palermo on a stretch of highway that runs between the island capital and Agrigento.
It has buckled dramatically in the past few days. The construction company responsible for the project, Anas, said the collapse was due to “subsidence”.”

Why should you read this? Well, it’s the biggest infrastructure news of the day… The Telegraph, January 2015

Spacious Skies and Amber Waves of Grain … Played by Your Tires

“When driving east out of Albuquerque, NM, on good old Route 66, you come upon a blue sign that says “Reduce Speed to 45 mph” and has musical notes at the bottom. Then in your lane you see a 1-ft.-wide rumble strip that extends for 1/8 mile.”

Why should you read this? It’s cute! FCP, December 2014

Warm-mix asphalt use up 533% since 2009

“Asphalt pavement mixes have grown significantly more sustainable over the past five years thanks to the increased use of recycled materials and energy-saving warm-mix technologies.

According to the latest survey of asphalt mix producers conducted by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 106.4 million tons of warm-mix asphalt — nearly a third of all asphalt pavement mix production — was used during the 2013 construction season. This marks a greater than 533 percent increase in the use of warm mix since 2009, the first year the survey was conducted.

Warm-mix asphalt is produced with a range of technologies that reduce the production and placement temperature of asphalt pavement mixtures. A variety of environmental, worker safety, and construction benefits have been realized through the adoption of warm-mix asphalt.

“Innovation is an important principle for the asphalt pavement industry. The use of warm-mix technologies, as well as recycled materials, helps us improve both the quality and sustainability of asphalt pavements,” said Bill Ensor, NAPA 2014 Chairman and President of Maryland Paving Inc. “These latest survey results reveal just how cool and green today’s asphalt pavements are, but we continue to seek greater use and adoption of these technologies.””

Why should you read this? 553% increase? Somebody’s interested in warm-mix asphalt. Public Works, December 2014

Three Ideas That Are Likely to Change the Way DOTs Work

The key to solving the ‘Big Data’ problem is figuring out a way to take advantage of using it for work that is performed day in and day out. Data should be accessible by everyone who needs it and provide value at every stage of a project, from early stage planning, concept definition, design, construction and into operations and asset management.

Poised to change the way DOTs work with Big Data is technology that achieves spatial awareness within a 3D modeling environment, where all that robust data can be used for virtually anything and by anyone. Think about how the processes would change if a single aggregated infrastructure model was used to view, interrogate, search, analyze and extract data. It might come as a surprise to some that this technology already exists.

Why should you read this? Interesting editorial for anyone involved with roads, traffic, or design. Informed Infrastructure, November 2014

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