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The Infra Blog

Is this the future?

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
ITS - US GAO

It sounds a bit futuristic – transportation systems that direct people and resources based on artificial intelligence. Is that really a possibility? Actually, it’s happening now – in real time! When smart transportation technology first became part of the ever-changing transportation landscape, it was used primarily for traffic management. Now, smart transportation technology is used for much more, and when it incorporates artificial intelligence, the capabilities are astounding.

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ACEC Engineering Excellence 2017: 90-Inch Water Main Hot Tap & Line Plug in Des Plaines, IL

Monday, July 17th, 2017
2017 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards

A colossal 90-inch water transmission main was completely relocated to accommodate the rebuilding of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, while incredibly maintaining water service to 500,000 residents. The project team designed, tested, and constructed a unique thrust restraining system to absorb the massive forces generated by the risky hot tap procedure—where two pipes are connected without emptying pipe contents. The system safely absorbed the high pressure force when water was diverted into the bypass section. It allowed a critical water supply to be preserved, the construction schedule to be reduced by a year, and renovation of the Tollway to proceed.

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ACEC Engineering Excellence 2017: 130th & Torrence Grade Separation in Chicago, IL

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
Alfred Benesch & Company, 130th & Torrence Grade Seperation

One of Chicago’s most noted traffic bottlenecks has been transformed into a smooth-flowing multi-tiered interchange that is also helping spur development of the nearby Chicago Manufacturing Campus. Each day, more than 38,000 vehicles, 50 freight trains and 41 passenger trains used the intersection, creating a crowded logjam. Further complicating the project was its close proximity to an automotive assembly plant, a railroad mixing yard, a residential area, and protected marsh area. The project realigned roadways and added six new bridges, including a 4.75-million-pound steel railroad truss bridge assembled in a nearby staging area then transported in just four hours to its permanent location.

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Got climate related services or solutions? If so, state and local officials are looking for you!

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
Alternative Energy

The federal government may not like the Paris Climate Agreement, but state and local elected officials do. This past weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted a large number of mayors who reiterated their commitment to the partnership agreement. These officials visiting Florida for the U.S. Conference of Mayors represent the Climate Mayors, a bipartisan organization that was organized in 2014. The group now boasts 331 mayors representing 65 million Americans. The membership includes mayors from the 10 largest cities in the U.S., including traditional energy hubs such as Houston and Dallas.

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ACEC Engineering Excellence 2017: Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade in Brooklyn, NY

Monday, July 3rd, 2017
Michael Baker Int’l; CB&I; Gannett Fleming (Joint Venture), Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

Innovative upgrades helped double this waste water plant’s wet-weather processing capacity to 720 million gallons per day, while increasing sediment and grit removal to 92 percent and reducing odor. To reduce discharges into the East River, the project team utilized advanced 4D modeling technology to deliver four new treatment components— totaling $1.3 billion—and inspected the interiors of eight, 140-foot-high egg-shaped anaerobic digesters that sit atop the plant. They also implemented a biogas program that is expected to heat nearly 5,200 homes and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90,000 metric tons by the end of this year.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Adam Krantz, CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Thursday, June 29th, 2017
Adam Krantz on The Infra Blog

“We just held a rally here in DC with all of the organizations within the water sector to get that point to legislators, to bring it to senators and members of the House…They heard that message, it resonated, it resounded, but until it really does start to come from the people, and it becomes a citizen-based question and a ratepayer-based issue, we’re not going to see that traction develop…The question becomes: how many Sandys, Katrinas, Flints, Toledos does it take for the federal government to ultimately realize this isn’t a local issue and it’s not a one-off issue? Preserving these water and wastewater systems is a vital, national need.”

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ACEC Engineering Excellence 2017: Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant in San Bruno, CA

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Kennedy Jenks Consultants: Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant

Combining advanced civil and structural engineering innovations, the project team designed an 11-million-gallon reservoir that will help a nearby water treatment plant quickly restore operations in the wake of a major earthquake. The massive above-ground, concrete reservoir includes a “tank within a tank” design, with an outer 3-million-gallon chlorine contact raceway for water treatment surrounding

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV 1st District)

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Congresswoman Dina Titus on The Infra Blog

“These public-private partnerships that they tout really don’t work. We tried that in downtown Las Vegas to do the new Project Neon, and just couldn’t generate enough revenue from the private sector, so we know that is not the “silver bullet.” I’m opposed to privatizing government services, because then the priority shifts from service to profit, and that never works. If you talk about something like air traffic control, that’s especially egregious because we have the safest system there is; we’re going to now undermine that.”

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ACEC Engineering Excellence 2017: Sellwood Bridge Replacement in Portland, OR

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
Sellwood Bridge Replacement in Portland, OR

A picturesque, three-arch bridge replaces a deteriorating 1925-era structure that was threatened by an encroaching hillside. The project team incorporated advanced seismic resilient bridge components and innovative landslide mitigation systems to stabilize the hillside. They also trimmed a year off the construction schedule by shifting the original steel deck truss to one side using hydraulic jacks, allowing the bridge to remain in service during construction.

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Public, private stakeholder input sought on infrastructure regulatory reform

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently announced it has published a Federal Register notice seeking public input on regulatory reform regarding infrastructure projects, including the identification of hurdles that currently exist and how to alleviate them. Those interested in offering comments have until July 24 to respond.

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