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

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

NJ Transportation Chief: Route 3 Cracks Widened Over Months

In October, inspectors checking the bridge found two 3-inch cracks in its steal beams, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.
“The tests this week found the cracks had grown to 6 3/4 inches and 4 1/8 inches,” Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “That is what scared us.”

Why should you read this? Expect to inspect. CBS, January 2015

Contractors Get Reprieve At the Pump

As the price of crude oil bottoms out at its lowest market value in more than four years, the bottom-line fuel costs of many construction-fleet managers are lighter. But equipment managers are taking this market depreciation with a grain of salt, knowing from experience that the price will bounce back sooner rather than later.

“It’s very nice to have the dip right now,” says Arne Ruud, corporate equipment manager for Broomfield, Colo.-based Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC. “But there’s no assurance it’s going to go on for any length of time.”

Why should you read this? News you can use. ENR, January 2015

Bay Bridge’s troubles: How a landmark became a debacle

Sometime in the next few weeks, the lead contractor for the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span will finally declare that the most complex public works project in California history is done — and state and local authorities will be solely responsible for a landmark beset by problems that trace back more than 16 years, to the day a handful of experts picked a design that bordered on the experimental.

Why should you read this? Fascinating, in a sick, train wreck kind of way. San Francisco Chronicle, 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

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

The TEV Project Unveils New Road Construction Animation

“Developed by internationally renowned battery expert and innovator Will Jones, TEV is a network of specially designed highway ‘tracks’ that provide direct electric power to EVs as they travel under automated control. This means electric vehicles, robo-taxis, public transport and light freight vehicles will have the ability to travel unlimited miles while being continually powered along the track. A sophisticated computer will take over control of the vehicles as they enter the track, enabling close convoying and high speeds of travel, reducing congestion and travel times while dramatically cutting the risk of accidents.”

Why should you read this? Ooh, pretty video! TEV = Tracked Electric Vehicle. Informed Infrastructure, November 2014

Report: $120 billion needed annually to repair roads, bridges

“The report found about 64,000 structurally deficient bridges are still operating across the country. That is after that category shrank by 43% from 1994 to 2013 following a major federal infrastructure spending package and state efforts to target older bridge structures.
Highway and bridge estimates in the report are based on a rate of travel growth of 1% per year in vehicle miles of travel. In 2014, America was returning, for the first time since the recession began in 2008, to the level of 3 trillion miles of travel. That rebound in travel miles has been spurred in part by falling gasoline prices and increased employment.”

Why should you read this? Not exactly news, but it’s nice to have the latest proof that we work in a recession-proof industry. Roads & Bridges, December 2014

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