Carbon reduction, transportation equity and safer bridges and highways are among the priorities outlined by the California Department of Transportation in its new 30-year vision. The plan targets 80% transportation emission reductions by 2050 from the 1990 level and identifies eight priorities that include greater accessibility and resilient infrastructure.
SmartTake: Improving environmental stewardship and equity are ambitious goals for Caltrans, but its plan to achieve them appears comprehensive. Another overarching trend is accessibility, which includes incorporating multimodal solutions and transport that links and enables all communities.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is prioritizing a major backlog of work needed to refurbish infrastructure, rather than additional projects. " 'Fix it first,' I think, is going to be a very important mantra for us," Buttigieg says.
A new report from The Road Information Program estimates that motorists in Denver spend 62 excess hours commuting and $2,000 annually on car maintenance required due to the poor quality of roads. The report notes that 22% of Colorado's roads are in poor shape, with 25% rated mediocre, although the state's traffic fatality rate is somewhat lower than the national average.
Construction Consultants employed a patented 3D printing technology to create an undulating, insulative exterior for a portion of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union's new building. The C-Fab process printed light polymer matrix panels that then solidified to be hung in place, using 20 times less material than normally required for 3D printing.
SmartTake: During C-Fab, the 3D printer solidifies a mixture of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and carbon fiber in an open space, as opposed to typical 3D printers, where thermoplastics are heated, cooled and then layered to create a structure. What makes Branch Technology’s machine a game-changer is that it potentially eliminates shape limits.
Erosion has caused sections of California's storied Pacific Coast Highway to fall into the ocean, and the region is a "geological nightmare" that complicates development. That's the assessment of erosion expert Gary Griggs, who says rising seas and climate change mean that maintenance and repairs one day won't be enough to save the PCH.
A UK study has determined drones could provide substantial savings planning tidal energy sources by efficiently charting the movement of water and calculating its speed. However, the savings won't be enough to make such energy sources viable, with major improvements in tidal infrastructure costs and resilience a much bigger factor.
New York City Mayor de Blasio said he stressed the need for congestion pricing in a recent conversation with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The project was stalled under the Trump administration, but de Blasio expressed optimism that Buttigieg will help "speed up the process."
In April, tolls on the Canadian side of the Blue Water Bridge will increase for the first time since November 2018. The increase will help ensure that operating costs are met on the bridge, which links Point Edward and Port Huron, Mich.
Zima Cleaning owner Alan Hernandez has added electrostatic disinfectant spraying to his company's list of services, which he is offering businesses for free for the first six months. "I started getting calls like hey do you offer this, hey do you offer this, hey do you offer this, and I started realizing this technology is really the future," he says.
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