Infrastructure in the News: May 11, 2010
According to Daily Commercial News, employment rate in the U.S. construction industry kept rising and Infrastructurist showed information about the world's usage of broadband Internet. Read more in this Infrastructure in the News.
Roll Call: Democrats: Jobs Get Short Shrift
House Democrats are worried about jobs — both for the country and themselves. And they blame President Barack Obama. Congressional Democrats started the year believing that once health care reform passed, they would quickly pivot to an agenda flush with job creation bills they could tout back home in the lead-up to the midterm elections. But action on that front is being drowned out by other issues — the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the botched terrorist attack in New York City, financial reform, climate change, immigration reform — and House Democrats are accusing Obama of failing to throw his muscle behind efforts to spur significant job growth. “We were told we would focus like a laser after December. Well, we haven’t exactly been focused like a laser on jobs and I have seen no movement, particularly on the part of the Obama administration, on the transportation bill,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said.
Washington Post: Terms, mind-sets must be changed to encourage and enable more walking in cities
The time has come to acknowledge that walking will be an indispensable component of 21st-century transportation. Today's plans for urban and suburban growth envision walkways as a vital part of multi-modal transportation networks. Walking is great exercise and beneficial to health. Unlike cars, buses, trams and trains, walking consumes no fossil-fuel energy and leaves no carbon footprint. Equally important, walking can be a positive aesthetic experience.
Infrastructurist: Who Is Using All the World’s Broadband?
Last week, broadband made headlines with Ericsson’s projections for a “mobile broadband boom” over the next 5 years, with a potential 50 billion connections by 2020. But when you examine which countries are currently hogging the most broadband, it’s easy to see that use is not proportionate to population — though it is somewhat proportionate to wealth.
AFP: US transport chief test-rides Japan magnetic train
The US transport chief took a test ride Tuesday on Japan's super-fast magnetic train, a contender for President Barack Obama's multi-billion-dollar national high speed railway project. Japan is up against China, France, Germany and other bidders as it seeks to sell its "Shinkansen" bullet and magnetic train systems for the American rail plan, which is backed by 13 billion dollars in public funding. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he looked forward to "the thrill of a lifetime" as he boarded the train for a 500 kilometre (310 mile) per hour ride at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line near Mount Fuji.
Daily Commercial News: Battered U.S. construction industry continues to add jobs
Jobs in the U.S. construction industry climbed slightly for the second consecutive month in April, driven by stimulus spending, while total employment increased significantly. Total employment in the U.S. increased by 290,000 in April, the unemployment rate went up to 9.9 per cent and the labour force increased sharply, according to a report released by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
CNN Money: An EKG for cracking bridges
…Most bridge inspections in the U.S. are conducted visually, even though a 2001 study by the Federal Highway Administration -- the first and last such study -- showed that 56% of bridge condition and safety ratings gleaned from such inspections were inaccurate. Nearly a decade later, the inspection process hasn't changed much. But several calamities -- including the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapse that killed 13 people in 2007 and the San Francisco Bay Bridge's partial failure in October -- have sparked a national debate over how to maintain bridges as America's infrastructure ages. Matech wants to be part of the solution. Over the past eight years, the company has been developing a device called an Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor, or EFS, that reveals hard-to-detect flaws in metal. It works in much the same way that an electrocardiogram, or EKG, tests the human heart.
“Transportation is critical to our nation’s competitiveness. To put it simply, our transportation network is the backbone of our economy, and we must have a strong foundation to support economic growth.”