Infrastructure in the News: June 13, 2012
Bloomberg Businessweek: Civil Engineers Likely to Grade U.S. Infrastructure `D'
U.S. infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and airports will probably keep their near- failing “D” grade when the American Society of Civil Engineers issues its next report on public facilities in 2013, according to the group’s president-elect and municipal-bond analysts. Governments will need to spend an extra $2.2 trillion on capital projects nationwide, up from $1.6 trillion in 2005, the Reston, Virginia-based engineering group said in its 2009 edition of “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.”
Environmental Leader: Water Utilities See Threat in Aging Infrastructure
Aging infrastructure is the most pressing concern for the water utility industry, according to research by engineering and consulting company Black & Veatch. In Strategic Directions in the US Water Utility Industry, the firm asked industry members including municipal departments, special districts, municipalities and counties to rank the most pressing concerns facing their industry. On a scale of one to five – with one indicating “very unimportant” and five indicating “very important” – aging water and sewer infrastructure received a score of 4.59.
DC Streetsblog: Under Economic Impact Analysis, Highway Expansion Loses Appeal
More often than not, they’re content to sink money into freeways despite a wealth of research that shows that transit, bikeways, and sidewalks deliver a much bigger economic bang for the taxpayer’s buck. There is evidence, however, that this may be changing. In a new paper, “Better Use of Public Dollars: Economic Impact Analysis in Transportation Decision Making,” [PDF] author Nicolas Norboge examined how economic analysis can help states make smarter transportation decisions.
Environmental Leader: What Is ‘Alternative Transportation’ the Alternative To?
In the dictionary definitions an alternative (always between two exclusive possibilities or among many possibilities – take your pick) is about choice. In my experience of transport planning, an alternative is not about the choice itself but instead about the availability of a different option (a bus, a train, a bike, etc.) In most instances the fact that public transport that approximately connects a location of desired activity (work, shopping, recreation, etc.) and a residence exists, is considered an alternative to driving a car. This is very different from choosing not to drive a car.
The Olympian: GOP selfish in stalling transportation bill
Another showdown is coming in Washington, D.C., that could ultimately affect us here in Olympia. The battle this time is not over the debt ceiling – although that fight is looming again – the Affordable Health Care Act, a bank bailout or tax breaks for the wealthy. The issue is transportation. Democrats and Republicans reached bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate on a transportation spending bill that would send $44 million next year to Washington state for construction on roads, bridges, rail and public transit, creating an estimated 30,000 jobs.
Post and Courier: Teamwork delivers infrastructure and jobs to Berkeley County
Good news for Berkeley County: Three recently approved infrastructure projects could produce more than 18,000 jobs. With our county’s unemployment rate almost twice what it was five years ago, this is very good news indeed. The infrastructure improvements all support an important goal set by Berkeley County Council and County Supervisor Dan Davis to establish a manufacturing and distribution hub along I-26 in the Jedburg/Sheep Island area.
“Water and roads add to the quality of life…..anyone stuck in traffic at rush hour in our cities can speak to that. It also plays a major role in our continued economic development. Whenever we're recruiting a business seeking to relocate or expand, a chief concern of theirs is ensuring there are adequate water, power and transportation systems for their needs.”