Infrastructure in the news: June 15, 2012
New York Times: Airports Focus on the Ground
At a time when federal and state public works programs are stalled, the nation’s biggest airports are in the midst of major renovations or expansions that, taken together, amount to some of the largest infrastructure projects in the country. New York’s three major airports, as well as the airports in Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago, are spending billions of dollars. Many of the airports have aging terminals, some built in the 1960s and 1970s, that are ill suited to the bigger planes, bigger security lanes and bigger crowds of modern-day air travel.
AJC: Ports to spend big for global bounty
U.S. ports, including Savannah and Brunswick, plan to spend more than $46 billion over the next five years in anticipation of fierce global competition for exports and imports, a report by the American Association of Port Authorities shows. The actual amount will be considerably higher. Only 63 of the association’s 82 members responded to the query. And federal money for port-deepening projects — Savannah alone seeks more than $400 million from Washington to carve another 5 feet from the Savannah River and harbor — wasn’t included.
The Hill: GOP conferees: Highway bill ads galvanized supporters
A pair of Republican highway conference members that have been targeted by an advertising campaign by construction groups said Thursday that the political ads have helped galvanize support in their districts for their positions in the contentious negotiations. The Washington, D.C.-based Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) said this week it was running ads arguing in favor of Congress reaching a compromise on the transportation bill targeting Reps. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio).
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Guest commentary: Road funding should be a congressional priority
Whether we're sitting on Interstate 64/U.S. Highway 40 between Route 141 and Mason Road, Interstate 270 between Ladue Road and Dougherty Ferry Road or any of the area's other traffic bottlenecks, the costs to each of us are real in terms of lost time and productivity, wasted fuel, wear and tear on our cars and threats to our health and safety. No matter where you live in this country, failing infrastructure has an impact on our checkbooks and quality of life.
Transportation Issues Daily: Estimating Economic Impact of Transportation Investments – June 29 Webinar
Given shrinking transportation funding and increased pressure to focus and justify spending, public agencies’ projects and programs must make economic sense. However, practice in assessing economic impact is inconsistent. New software makes assessment more convenient, but it often leaves out important economic outcomes, such as property value change or economic transfer within a state or metro are.
Roads and Bridges: Iowa commission approves 5-year $2.6B highway plan
$1.3B is directly targeted for modernizing and maintaining the existing infrastructure The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-17 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program. The program reflects Iowa’s multimodal transportation system through inclusion of investments in aviation, transit, railroads, trails and highways. The commission and the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) remain committed to providing modern, safe and efficient transportation services to the public.
New York Times: Vast Defenses Now Shielding New Orleans
Finally, there is a wall around this city. A streamlined process for obtaining environmental permits helped speed work on the system. Nearly seven years after flood waters from Hurricane Katrina gushed over New Orleans, $14.5 billion worth of civil works designed to block such surges is now in place — a 133-mile chain of levees, flood walls, gates and pumps too vast to take in at once, except perhaps from space. Individual components of the system can be appreciated from a less celestial elevation.
In 2006, public transit around the country saved 3.4 billion gallons of oil.