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Items filtered by date: March 2017

Pittsburgh Tries to Avoid Becoming the Next Flint

May 5, 2017

By Kris Maher

(The Wall Street Journal) As its soot-filled skies cleared, this city built on the steel industry gained a reputation as one of the nation's most livable places. But it now has another environmental issue to contend with: It is one of several major American cities with lead levels in drinking water above the federal limit.

A total of seven U.S. water systems, which each serve more than 100,000 people, had lead concentrations above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion in recent months, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. They include Portland, Ore., and Providence, R.I., which both exceeded the limit at least one other time in the past five years...

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Read More At The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/pittsburgh-tries-to-avoid-becoming-the-next-flint-1493550002

 

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Forget good debt and bad debt, it's good and bad infrastructure that matters

April 28, 2017

By: Jacob Greber

(AFR Weekend) Dividing Federal debt into "good and bad" – as the Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison did this week – doesn't absolve the government from doing the hard work of distinguishing between "good" and "bad" infrastructure. If anything, given the political temptations facing a government under mounting internal pressure to spend up big, this task of discernment is now critical.

And taxpayers wanting value for money – particularly those baying for more government investment in productive, nation-building projects – need to pay very close attention to what the Coalition is up to right now...

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Read More At AFR Weekend:  http://www.afr.com/business/infrastructure/forget-good-debt-and-bad-debt-its-good-and-bad-infrastructure-that-matters-20170427-gvu1t3

 

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Engineers call on the government to give Britain a minister for infrastructure and greater devolved powers for cities

April 28, 2017

By: Rebecca Smith

(City A.M.) The 10 measures were developed off the back of an industry survey and series of round tables last year, with 152 infrastructure industry executives. The majority felt the public does not understand the role of infrastructure in enabling growth and 72 per cent said cities should have greater fiscal control and decision-taking powers on investment priorities.

Nearly all of the infrastructure leaders also said the government should not put investment decisions on the back burner while the nation waits for greater certainty on Britain's relationship with Europe...

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Read More At City A.M.: http://www.cityam.com/263703/engineers-call-government-give-britain-minister

 

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Report: Trump's $1T infrastructure plan could create 3M jobs

April 28, 2017

By: Kim Slowey

(Construction Dive)One example of this job-creation potential is the $494 million Sanford Medical Center that Mortenson recently completed in Fargo, ND. The project took five years to build and employed 42,000 construction workers. Now that the hospital is complete, it will provide more than 3,000 staff jobs.

To assist planners in tracking infrastructure-related job creation, BCG has created the US Infrastructure Jobs Scoreboard, which provides information on job categories, employee pay and location of jobs throughout the country. The tool can held predict the effect of new infrastructure projects on indirect and direct job creation. BCG's goal is to help those in charge of deciding what the next big infrastructure initiative will be to compare projects and determine which ones will have the most impact on job creation...

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Read More At Construction Dive: http://www.constructiondive.com/news/report-trumps-1t-infrastructure-plan-could-create-3m-jobs/441537/

 

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Amtrak Plans to Close Several Penn Station Tracks for Major Repairs

April 28, 2017

By Emma Fitzsimmons and Patrick McGeehan

(The New York Times) Amtrak officials confirmed on Thursday that they were planning to close several tracks at Pennsylvania Station in New York this summer for major repairs, but the railroad's chief executive refused to say how many tracks would be closed or for how long.

The decision to close tracks during busy weekdays will disrupt the lives of thousands of commuters who rely on the station. But during an announcement about the railroad's repair plans, Amtrak's chief executive, Charles W. Moorman, repeatedly declined to provide a specific number of tracks that would be closed or to say how disruptive the work would be for commuters...

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Read More At The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/27/nyregion/amtrak-penn-station-repairs.html

 

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Oslo, London, Amsterdam lead push for greener transport: study

April 28, 2017

By Alister Doyle and Eric Auchard

(Reuters) Oslo, London and Amsterdam are leading a shift by major cities to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from transport, helped by new technologies that will help to curb climate change and reduce air pollution, a study showed on Tuesday.

European cities filled eight of the top 10 spots, along with Tokyo and Seoul, in the ranking of 35 cities by the independent London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), sponsored by smartphone chip maker Qualcomm (QCOM.O)...

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Read More At Reuters:  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-cities-idUSKBN17R0GR

 

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Siemens creating “Internet of Trains”

April 28, 2017

By: Stuart Chirls

(RT&S)Siemens' U.S. unit has launched Digital Rail Services, a new business that will use intelligent sensors and advanced software platforms to put intelligence behind billions of data points created on the country's rail systems.

The company said this insight will help railroad operators improve their operations and create an "Internet of Trains" to bring infrastructure and vehicles into the digital era. Powered by software tools, Siemens claims the Digital Service business will help reduce unplanned downtime, improve operational efficiency, enable improved business planning and performance and generate energy and cost savings...

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Read More At RT&S: http://www.rtands.com/index.php/track-maintenance/off-track-maintenance/siemens-creating-internet-of-trains%E2%80%9D.html?channel=286

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SNC-Lavalin seals $3.6-billion deal for WS Atkins with Caisse backing

April 21, 2017

By: Nicholas Van Praet

(The Globe and Mail) SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is buying British-based WS Atkins PLC in a deal worth $3.6-billion, the biggest ever takeover for the Canadian company it pushes into the top tier of engineering firms worldwide.

Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin announced Thursday after markets closed that it struck an agreement to buy Atkins, a multinational engineering and design consultancy known largely for its expertise in transportation, infrastructure and aerospace and defense, for a price of £20.80 ($35.88) cash a share. The friendly deal, which has the backing of Atkins' board, would create a global engineering powerhouse with annual revenue topping $12.1-billion and employing 53,000 people...

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read More At The Globe and Mail: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/snc-lavalin-to-buy-ws-atkins-in-36-billion-deal/article34765269/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

 

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Why Smart Cities Are Turning Themselves Into Sponges

April 28, 2017

By: T.R. Goldman

(Politico Magazine) When a hard rain falls on a city, it can turn quickly into an ecological disaster. That's because in 775 mostly older cities where sanitary and storm water sewers are combined underground, the rushing stormwater often overwhelms treatment plants, forcing a stew of oil, brake dust, heavy metals, pet and human feces into nearby waterways. The resulting pollution can shut down beaches, enter the food chain and contaminate drinking supplies.

The traditional and costly remedy for the problem of "combined sewer overflow" has been to build underground tunnels or sinks to capture the excess. In large cities, such as St. Louis, such projects can total close to $5 billion. But engineers are discovering greener and often cheaper ways to prevent water flowing into storm drains by recreating (and in some cases improving upon) the earth's natural filtering system...

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Read More At Politico Magazine:  http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/20/innovative-infrastructure-storm-water-system-215055

 

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How a Sewer Will Save St. Louis

April 28, 2017

By : Erick Trickey

(Politico Magazine)Deep down a sunlit shaft, 175 feet under the North Riverfront neighborhood on the city's far edge, Shayne Peck's crew is beginning to hack a giant tunnel out of the limestone. Three men hang in the air on lifts, cutting into the rock face at spots marked with red paint. "They're drilling holes," says Peck, whose son is one of the drillers, "so we can load 'em with explosives."

The start of the tunnel, just above the crew and the red-painted limestone, looks like the entrance to a cave in a cliff wall. Future blasts, Peck says, will deepen the tunnel—only 50 feet long now— until it stretches more than half a mile. This is not a tunnel for commuter trains or cars. It's more of a horizontal well, and when it is complete in 2020, it will capture up to 12 million gallons of sewage-contaminated storm water, keeping it out of the Mississippi River. In effect, it will be a giant septic tank. But it won't even be the biggest one in St. Louis...

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Read More At Politico Magazine:  http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/20/st-louis-infrastructure-sewer-tunnel-water-system-215056

 

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