According to an analysis of 40 years of data from the National Flood Insurance Program, flooding in western states led to nearly $51 billion in damages, more than 84% of which were caused by atmospheric rivers. In certain parts of Oregon and Northern California, these rivers accounted for almost all flood damages, the study said.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles County has hired the WSP USA engineering firm to examine the feasibility of changing the Interstate 405 carpool lane into a toll lane through the Sepulveda Pass. The three-year, $27.5 million study will determine what to charge single-occupancy motorists for using the carpool lane, and how many toll lanes would be needed in each direction.
State Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, has proposed that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation study the addition of toll roads throughout the state to generate more funding for infrastructure needs. "This isn't about tolling every road but to have MassDOT take a serious look at it both to increase revenue and create a fairer system," said Crighton.
The Florida Department of Transportation has scheduled a Dec. 19 open house in Lafayette County to discuss a proposed toll road through North Florida.
An infrastructure monitoring system that employs IBM's artificial intelligence-based Maximo software platform will be launched in Italy by the end of the year on a trial basis by Italian road operator Autostrade per l'Italia. The technology will produce a digital database with real-time information on approximately 4,300 structures in the ASPI highway network.
Developing an effective cost-benefit analysis system can assist states in improving project selection while developing support from elected officials and taxpayers, writes Baruch Feigenbaum, assistant director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. Feigenbaum commends Virginia and North Carolina for the objectivity in their selection processes.
Members of Maryland's congressional delegation told state Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn and State Highway Administrator Greg Slater that the state should provide more information related to cost, toll levels and the effect on neighborhoods of adding toll lanes to Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway. "[B]efore the Board of Public Works meets again, I hope they'll provide answers to all these questions," said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
Boston needs support from the state in its push for congestion pricing on toll roads, writes Shirley Leung. "Now is the moment in our time where we have to be taking bold steps," says Chris Osgood, Boston's chief of streets.
The Escambia County Commission in Florida unanimously approved an all-electronic payment system for the Pensacola Beach toll road. Motorists will be able to use SunPass, E-Pass or toll-by-plate for payments.
Officials in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, have implemented a number of updates to policies and procedures related to the city's financial dealings with outside contractors to reduce the risk of losses from fraud, says city manager Jeff Jorgenson. The city has recovered the money it lost to someone posing as a contractor working on a municipal project, which came to around $758K, but still has to deal with legal fees it has incurred related to the theft.