An unspecified number of congressional lawmakers received a spreadsheet outlining plans for $621 billion worth of projects planned by the US Department of Transportation. The biggest categories listed include $115 billion for roads and bridges and $174 billion for EV infrastructure.
Images of the Ruyi bridge in China's Zhejiang province appeared too exotic to be real, but the verification site Snopes now confirms the reality of the other-worldly, glass-bottomed pedestrian structure sitting 460 feet above the Shenxianju Valley. It opened to the public in September and was designed by a steel structure expert who also helped design Beijing's "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium.
A 3.6-mile tunnel that forms part of a new railway link between China and Laos was drilled at the entrance and exit to minimize environmental damage. The project also features two tunnels nearby to accommodate elephant traffic and an upgraded sewage sedimentation tank.
The historic but structurally ailing 90-year-old Arlington Memorial Bridge linking Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia posed a series of restoration challenges. AECOM used solutions such as a jack-up barge and cradle to carry the bridge's heavy and elaborate fascia to shore for restoration.
Some experts say many states are ill-equipped to handle extreme weather events because they rely on an outdated rainfall database to design roads, bridges, dams and stormwater systems. However, not all communities have the resources needed to update rainfall estimates.
Student support services are addressing problems that first-generation engineering students face that extend beyond high tuition costs to outside factors that may force them to drop out. Jean Thilmany looks at two success stories.
The coronavirus pandemic has catalyzed adoption of telepresence robotics. An ASME video explores five examples, including one that provides autonomous mobility and teleconferencing and a wheeled robot that establishes connections among remote workers with cameras that can zoom in or provide wide fields of view.
General Atomics will design a nuclear reactor for space missions under a nuclear thermal propulsion contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. NTP is a "leap ahead of conventional propulsion technology and will enable spacecraft to travel immense distances quickly," said Christina Back of General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems.
The recent pausing of a Houston highway project by the US Department of Transportation to investigate community impact concerns has emboldened communities nationwide to petition the agency to do the same for projects in their backyards. President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan includes $20 billion to "redress historic inequities and build the future of transportation infrastructure."
SmartTake: While we're studying the potential neighborhood impact of a larger highway, perhaps we could also discuss ways to alleviate congestion that don't require building more lanes.
The introduction of new technologies in construction is being held back by the difficulty in calculating cost savings over the useful life of a system, according to Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley. The remarks at McKinsey's Global Infrastructure Initiative event this week found wide agreement among delegates, and Bentley called for firms "to move away from thinking only about their deliverables and consider how the data generated during construction could be used to drive better decisions during the operational phase of infrastructure."
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