Infrastructure in the News: July 13, 2012
Transportation Issues Daily: New Report: Infrastructure Bank is a Mixed Bag
A new report concludes a federal infrastructure bank could depoliticize decisions, but would duplicate existing programs and fund few projects. “Infrastructure Banks and Surface Transportation” is published by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Unless government spending on surface transportation infrastructure grows dramatically in coming years, the condition of highway and transit systems will continue deteriorate.
Bloomberg: Amtrak Relying On U.S. Funding To Attract Bullet-Train Investors
Amtrak, the U.S. long-distance passenger railroad, is turning its sights from private investors toward governments to fund the beginning of a $151 billion plan for bullet trains between Northeast cities by 2040. The Washington-based, taxpayer-supported railroad will need “significant” government support to carry out its plan to boost train capacity and increase speeds to 220 miles (354 kilometers) per hour between Washington and Boston, Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman said in an interview.
The Hill: LaHood: High-speed rail 'not a pipe dream'
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday that President Obama's proposals to more build high-speed railways in the United States is "not a pipe dream." LaHood has been attending the eighth annual World Congress on High-Speed Rail in Philadelphia, which he said Thursday in a blog post on the Department of Transportation's website is being hosted in the United States for the first time.
Philadelphia Inquirer: ‘Higher-speed' trains to precede true high-speed rail in U.S.
Can you have a European- or Japanese-style high-speed rail experience, even if the train is creeping along at less than 150 miles an hour?
Yes, say international manufacturers who are touting the prospects of smooth, quiet, luxurious rides for American passengers, even though it will be many years, even decades, before 220-m.p.h. bullet trains show up in the United States.
Fast Lane: New technology promises improved safety, greater productivity on the St. Lawrence Seaway
The Draft Information System is an innovative on-board technology that provides real-time information on actual and projected distance between the lowest point of a vessel--its keel--and the Seaway bottom. The system's more precise clearance measurements and the information it provides on nearby depths will give ships transiting the Seaway a greater ability to change course or take other actions for more effective navigation. This will both reduce the potential for vessel groundings and allow ships to carry more cargo by taking better advantage of water levels, bottom depth, and other changing Seaway conditions.
Ventura County Star: Freeway 'cap' could reunite downtown with the ocean
Returning Ventura to what it was like before the highway split the town is at the center of an ambitious project to cover the freeway. Known as the "freeway capping" project, the idea is to roof over the freeway with asphalt, creating a tunnel three blocks long for highway motorists. On top of it, a conference center, a transportation hub for trains and buses, and a mix of retail and commercial uses would go up.
NBC Chicago: Midway Airport Among "Scariest:" Report
Chicago's Midway Airport is one of the ten scariest airports in the U.S., according to an airfare-finding website. Midway's short runways are the reason for the dubious distinction, according to Airfarewatchdog, which came up with the list. The runways are around 2,000 feet shorter than most, causing some pilots to have overshot them over the years, the website pointed out.
Washington Post: Isiah Leggett thinks rapid bus system in Montgomery could take 20 to 30 years
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said Thursday that building a countywide system of express bus lanes could take 20 to 30 years, rejecting a recommendation by a county task force to build it in nine years. “We’re talking about something that at its best-case scenario will take 20 to 30 years,” Leggett said at a public hearing in Rockville. ”This is a long, long process.”
Billings Gazette: Guest opinion: Montana wins with Baucus leadership on transportation
Our civilization — especially in Montana — simply cannot function without a strong transportation infrastructure. Our Sen. Max Baucus knows this. With a deadline of June 30, he was one of a handful of lawmakers given the job of coming up with a compromise before the transportation bill expired. Given all the headlines highlighting extreme partisanship in Congress, the odds seemed to be working against him and the highway bill conference committee.
Dayton News: Nationwide study shows Texas is #1 in infrastructure and transportation
CNBC’s 2012 Top States for Business study results are out and Texas is on top. In addition to its overall No. 1 ranking, Texas maintained the top spot in the infrastructure and transportation category for the second year in a row and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) couldn’t be more proud.
“You can go a day without a phone or TV. You can’t go a day without water.”