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Items filtered by date: November 2016

FERC issues draft environmental statement on Dominion's Atlantic Coast Pipeline

January 6, 2017

Robert Zullo

(The Roanoke Times) A draft environmental impact statement issued Friday for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Dominion's proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have "some adverse and significant environmental impacts," most of which would be reduced to "less-than-significant levels" with mitigating measures proposed by the partners building the pipeline and by the commission's staff.

The statement's executive summary, which covers alternative routes, endangered species, wetlands, groundwater, the nearly 2,000 surface water bodies the pipeline will cross, potential effects on public and recreational lands and other factors, acknowledges potential hazards that include sinkhole-prone karst terrain and a route that includes more than 100 miles where slopes greater than 20 percent pose increased potential for landslides...

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Read More At The Roanoke Times: http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/ferc-issues-draft-environmental-statement-on-dominion-s-atlantic-coast/article_ad608a1a-5a50-5a31-a5b9-c94c5d5b181c.html

 

 

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Port Infrastructure and the Role of government

January 6, 2017

Lauren Brand

(Marine Link) We are in the midst of a revolution over port infrastructure. This revolution is not about the role of ports as silent engines for our economy and the need for better intermodal infrastructure. Rather, it is about why governments – local, state and federal – believe ports exist, and whether or not public and private entities, other than those directly responsible for ports, should help build or improve port infrastructure and their intermodal connectors.

Ports are rightfully linked to a maritime industry that is steeped in tradition. Their definition, which predates the age of pirates by over 450 years, reflects this fact. Per Merriam Webster's Dictionary, ports have had the same two definitions since before the 12th Century: 'a place where ships may ride secure from storms'; and 'a harbor town or city where ships may take on or discharge cargo'. The next logical question to ask is: should the 21st Century definition of a port remain the same as it has been since Latin was a common language? Are maritime ports primarily a safe haven for ships? Or are they the ultimate intermodal hub, where trucks and trains come alongside ships and barges to exchange freight?...

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Read More At Marine Link: http://www.marinelink.com/news/infrastructure-government420145

 

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Hyperloop is a technology to watch in 2017

January 6, 2017

(L.A. Biz) The year 2016 may go down as the one in which Elon Musk's vision for a high-speed tubular transportation system started to take shape. It also exposed a tumultuous start for the nascent hyperloop industry.

With $80 million in new funding and a name change to differentiate it from the competition, Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) passed the technology's first big test in May, demonstrating its propulsion system on a half-mile track in the desert north of Las Vegas. The downtown Los Angeles startup propelled a 10-foot sled on a two-second trip at speeds of about 116 miles per hour into a pile of sand because brakes haven't been developed yet....

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Read More At L.A. Biz: http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2016/12/29/hyperloop-is-a-technology-to-watch-in-2017.html

 

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China Builds out the air as frustrations mount below

December 30, 2016

Emily Feng

(The New York Times)  An angry mob ransacks a terminal. A frustrated passenger tries to leave the plane while it taxis. A pilot, who has had it up to here, advises fliers to leave the plane and mill about the tarmac — and they do. Welcome to China's unfriendly skies. The world's second-largest economy boasts some of the world's worst flight delays and missed connections. Angry passengers have become such a fixture of flying in China that the government has developed a blacklist for the dangerously unruly.

Chinese leaders are aware of the problem. Spurred by the strain on the air traffic system as well as a slowing economy, China has begun a huge airport building project that could give the country 60 more airports beyond the current total of about 200 by 2020. It committed to spending $12 billion on airport construction and revamping this year alone...

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Read More At The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/business/china-airport-flight-delays.html

 

 

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kkr seeks buyer for water ventures, testing appetite for trump-style infrastructure deals

December 30, 2016

Ryan Dezember & Heather Gillers 

(The Wall Street Journal)  KKR & Co. is shopping its stake in ventures that provide water services to two U.S. cities, a test of whether Wall Street has found a way to profitably invest in public works at a time when President-elect Donald Trump has promised to steer private money to aging infrastructure.

KKR and partner Suez SA, the French company formed to build the Egyptian canal of the same name, in recent years struck deals to pay off public debt and assume responsibility for operating and repairing municipal water systems in Bayonne, N.J., and Middletown, Pa. In exchange, they are due decades of payments from billing the systems' customers.....

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Read More At The Wall Street Journal:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/kkr-seeks-buyer-for-water-ventures-testing-appetite-for-trump-style-infrastructure-deals-1482408005

 

 

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Los Angeles drivers on the 405 ask: was $1.6 Billion Worth it?

December 30, 2016

Adam Nagourney

(The New York Times) It is the very symbol of traffic and congestion. Interstate 405, or the 405, as it is known by the 300,000 drivers who endure it morning and night, is the busiest highway in the nation, a 72-mile swerving stretch of pavement that crosses the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles.

So it was that many Angelenos applauded when officials embarked on one of the most ambitious construction projects in modern times here: a $1 billion initiative to widen the highway. And drivers and others put up with no shortage of disruption — detours and delays, highway shutdowns, neighborhood streets clogged with cars — in the hopes of relieving one of the most notorious bottlenecks anywhere. Six years after the first bulldozer rolled in, the construction crews are gone. A new car pool lane has opened, along with a network of on- and offramps and three new earthquake-resistant bridges...

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Read More At The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/us/los-angeles-drivers-on-the-405-ask-was-1-6-billion-worth-it.html?_r=0

 

 

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Trudeau Urged to think 'National Dream' on infrastructure

December 30, 2016

David Scanlan

(Bloomberg) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the opportunity to reshape the economy for generations with a bold plan to invest in airports, railways and other infrastructure, a member of the country's economic advisory council said. "If the prime minister really takes it in his hands and runs with it, he will change the future of this country; it's of that dimension," Kenneth Courtis said Tuesday. "Business as usual won't work."

Courtis, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. vice chairman and a member of Canada's Advisory Council on Economic Growth said the government should think in terms of large scale projects -- such as the "National Dream" railway built more than a century ago or the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway -- as it plans infrastructure investments...

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Read More At Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-20/canada-needs-new-national-dream-with-bold-infrastructure-plan

 

 

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Pakistan turns to china in energy binge

December 30, 2016

Saeed Shah

(The Wall Street Journal)  When Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to office in 2013, rolling power outages across the country were plunging homes and businesses into darkness for up to 12 hours a day.Now the Pakistani leader is betting on a $21 billion Chinese-backed splurge on energy projects to boost the economy—and his re-election bid.

More than 10,000 Chinese workers are now building at least 10 partly Beijing-financed energy projects across Pakistan that are set to grow the country's energy output by 60% within two years in the first major boost to supply in two decades.Mr. Sharif's government plans to inaugurate a nuclear plant this month and a pipeline network in January that will carry large-scale gas imports upcountry. "Never in the history of Pakistan has there been such a big package of electricity plants in the pipeline," said Syed Akhtar Ali, in charge of energy at the Planning Commission, the ministry tasked with long-term development...

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Read More At The Wall Street Journal:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-turns-to-china-in-energy-binge-1482062404

 

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The Right Way to rebuild america's infrastructure

December 30, 2016

Eben Harrell

(Harvard Business Review)  Following the election of Donald Trump, spending on American infrastructure appears to be one area where Democrats and Republicans can agree—at least in principle. Trump has pledged to push for $1 trillion of new spending on roads, bridges, and more; but some Democrats (and some conservatives too) have criticized how Trump plans to find the money.

John Macomber, a senior lecturer in the finance unit at Harvard Business School, has studied infrastructure financing around the world. In a written email exchange, he shared his thoughts on the future of U.S. infrastructure spending, investment, and delivery. The interview below has been edited and condensed....

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Read More At The Harvard Business Review:  https://hbr.org/2016/12/the-right-way-to-rebuild-americas-infrastructure

 

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Germany's New Crowdfunded train sounds almost too good to be true

December 30, 2016

Feargus O'Sullivan

(City Lab)  What's more important in your travels: speed or price? A new, crowdfunded entrant in Germany's passenger rail scene is betting on the latter, offering low-price but slightly slower than average rail services across the country. Serving the 370-mile route between Berlin and Stuttgart since Wednesday, the Locomore company takes about an hour longer to complete its journey than Deutsche Bahn, the main national carrier. But Locomore is arguably as much about lifestyle choices and community as it is about transit.

A €22 ($23.50) one-way ticket is less than a quarter of DB's €115.90 ($123) standard fare. For that, Locomore passengers get to enjoy organic, free-range refreshments, zones of the train that are tailored toward people with common interests—and a journey on a recycled (dare I say vintage) train that runs entirely on sustainably sourced green electricity...

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Read More At City Lab:  http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/12/locomore-germany-crowdfunded-train/510752/

 

 

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