Infrastructure in the News: January 10, 2012
BAF IN THE NEWS
Associated Press: Group tries to draw road building interest in ads
With White House candidates heading to South Carolina outside groups are vying to voters to pay attention issues too. Building America's Future said Monday it would be spend about $75,000 on television and radio ads around the state in the days leading up to South Carolina's Jan. 21 primary to talk up the need for fixing roads, bridges and ports. It's a message that's become a tough sell as federal and state governments slash budgets to deal with deficits. The group says GOP candidates support more infrastructure money if there are spending reforms, accountability and more openness.
Politico Morning Transportation: Rendell wonders why GOP candidates don't talk transport
In a recent interview, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (also Building America's Future co-chairman) told MT he's surprised more presidential hopefuls aren't talking transportation. "It is the best job creator." Rick Santorum, who has talked about rebuilding U.S. factories, could benefit from being an infrastructure booster, he said. "What better plan is there to build back American manufacturing?"
The Hill: House to vote on bill that expands drilling to pay for infrastructure
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday that the House will vote on legislation in the coming months that would use revenue generated from an expansion of domestic oil drilling to fund infrastructure projects. “In the coming weeks and months, the House will take action on the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, which will link expanded American energy production to high-priority infrastructure projects like roads and bridges in order to create more jobs,” Boehner said in a statement Monday.
Essential Public Radio: Infrastructure Investment Called for at Jobs Hearing
At the House Democratic Policy Committee’s public hearing on job creation on Monday, many speakers called on legislators to pass a bill to fund transportation infrastructure investments. Frank Snyder, the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, said that not only do roads and bridges need repair, but many other kinds of infrastructure could be improved as well. He pointed to the hundreds of dams in Pennsylvania that are structurally weak, and said that thousands of jobs could be created by strengthening such water infrastructure. Snyder said that the state’s railways are also in need of some reworking, and suggested that Pennsylvania invest in the creation of high-speed passenger rail lines.
The Oregonian: Transportation: Funding should reward forward-thinking projects
With Congress facing a March 31 deadline to reauthorize the long-term transportation bill, we have an opportunity to set transportation on the right track. Gabriel Roth's recipe for disaster would have the federal government shirk its responsibility for transportation, leaving cash-strapped states and local governments on their own to try to prevent their roads, bridges and transit systems from crumbling.
Governing: U.S. DOT Announces $1.5 Billion in Road, Bridge Funds
The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced more than $1.5 billion in awards to states and localities to help them defray the cost of repairing infrastructure damaged by natural disasters. The funding was provided in legislation passed by Congress back in November that funded DOT for the 2012 fiscal year and provided a stopgap funding for other federal agencies. Much of the money provided by the emergency relief covers damage done by Hurricane Irene, which hit the northeast last year.
National Journal: The Health Impacts of Transportation
Like a drunk uncle at a family funeral, transportation projects in major cities tend to air out a community's normally hidden dirty laundry. In the abstract, it is hard to dispute the value of an efficient intercity mass transit system. But when a light rail or subway project threatens to change the landscape of long-inhabited neighborhoods, the impacts become more mixed. Gentrification, regional job opportunities, poverty, housing, and traffic all become part of the discussion.
Atlantic Cities: The Tricky Second Wave of Urban Highway Removals
Dismantling urban freeways—replacing elevated viaducts of steel and concrete with parks and boulevards—is happening in so many places, it’s like an unspoken national urban policy. We've reached a unique point in city-building when the destruction of a public works project has all the glamour and buzz of breaking ground on a new one.
North Jersey Record: Christie has Port Authority in his sights
Governor Christie said he's out of excuses when it comes to the Port Authority, promising to "get my arms around this agency" in 2012. The authority, which spends roughly $7 billion annually, hiked tolls in 2011, outraging commuters just as examples of wasteful spending and hidden employee perks were uncovered. Christie, a Republican who took office in 2010, said that he and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, are ready to rein things in at the bi-state agency.
North Jersey Record: NJ Transit took $279M loss on rail tunnel
NJ Transit took a nearly $300 million loss last year as a result of Governor Christie’s decision to terminate a mass transit tunnel project, according to an audit of the agency’s financial statements for fiscal year 2011. The money was related to the Hudson River tunnel project known as Access to the Region’s Core, according to an audit performed by Ernst & Young LLP of Iselin.
Seattle Times: Governor to push for billions for transportation
When Gov. Chris Gregoire gives her State of the State speech Tuesday, she will argue that lawmakers and voters should support billions of dollars in improvements to roads, ferries and transit. She will emphasize road construction as a strategy to create jobs and preserve the movement of people and goods, spokesman Cory Curtis said. "Transportation will definitely be a major focus of her speech," he said.
Transport Gooru: Toll or No Toll? Battle of the Bridges Just Got Hot in Seattle – Decision-Making Tools Aim For the Hearts, Minds and $$ of Commuters
The toll company operating the tolled bridge on Highway 520 in Seattle, WA has published the below infograph, which makes a compelling case to the customers in the region against using the congested bridge on I-90, just a few miles away. Both bridges across Lake Washington connect downtown Seattle with a very large population and employment region. The overall cost savings and reduction in travel times offer a great incentive to the drivers who favor the toll road.
The News Tribune (WA): Cantwell wants to modernize freight transportation infrastructure
Washington has the potential to be the doorway to the Asian markets. But Sen. Maria Cantwell said the state could miss out if investment isn't made in infrastructure projects to move freight more efficiently. Cantwell, D-Wash., toured Lampson International and Big Pasco Industrial Center on Monday as part of a statewide tour to drum up support for modernizing the nation's freight transportation system.
Over 4,095 dams are considered "unsafe" and susceptible to failure.