Infrastructure in the News: July 20, 2012
The Hill: White House announces expedited East Coast port expansions
The White House said Thursday that it was expediting the expansion of five ports along the East Coast as a part of President Obama's “We Can’t Wait” campaign against Congress. The projects, in Jacksonville and Miami, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; New York and New Jersey, have long been sought by transportation officials in those states. Obama said Thursday that building them quickly would boost the national economy.
Engineering News-Record: Dramatic Digs Mark Panama Canal Expansion Progress
It is essentially a gigantic ditch, packed with equipment, concrete, rebar and thousands of laborers from many countries. It is a hotbed of construction challenges and a momentous sequel to one of the world's engineering epics: the original 1914 construction of the Panama Canal. The $3.1-billion third set of locks, the centerpiece of the $5-billion expansion, is taking distinct shape even as an international workforce continues to wrestle with tough materials, geology and logistical issues.
The Hill: Congress has unfinished business on the transportation front
After almost three years of delay, Congress recently passed a new surface transportation authorization bill, called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century or MAP-21. There is much to like in the new bill, both in its substantive provisions and in the process by which it was finally enacted. MAP-21 incorporates important first steps toward the implementation of key recommendations of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) on performance management, program consolidation, and expansion of TIFIA credit support.
Fast Lane: Passenger rail getting faster, creating jobs in the Midwest
When we talk about high-speed passenger rail, there's a lot of excitement about the Northeast Corridor and California. But President Obama's vision for American high-speed rail encompasses several corridors across America, and the Midwest is doing a terrific job of staking its own claim as a passenger rail market built for speed. On Tuesday, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo was in Milwaukee, and his message was clear: The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative is not something we can afford to set aside for later.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Mayors call for increased spending on infrastructure
The economies of the nation's cities are starting to bounce back from the recession and grow again, but state and federal governments must increase their spending on infrastructure to help that growth continue, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which released an economic report Thursday. The report, prepared by IHS Global Insight, forecasts that 300 of the country's 363 metropolitan areas will undergo real economic growth by the end of the year.
Coloradoan: New study digs into details of high-speed rail possibilities
Imagine boarding a bus in downtown Fort Collins, taking a short ride to a transit station and boarding a high-speed train. Imagine that train spiriting you away to Denver International Airport, Union Station or perhaps a connection with another train to Summit County ski resorts. Imagine those trains traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Transit meltdown: Port Authority cuts will hurt more than expected
The gap between the Port Authority's $60 million shortfall and the real cost of its impact on Allegheny County residents is like that. If the Port Authority goes ahead with the 35 percent service reduction necessary to balance its books, the actual cost to commuters will be $328 million to $405 million per year. Here's how the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, which advocates for more state money for transit, calculated those figures:
“[T]he United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward, and so will space.”