Monday, February 1, 2016

Transportation and Engineering News

Missouri Governor Proposes Funding Increase for Amtrak

The budget proposal submitted by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon included an additional $500,000 for Amtrak, for a total of $10.2 million. Amtrak claims it will need $18 million from the state to install positive train control, as mandated by Congress, on the Missouri River Runner line, with a total cost of $30 million. You can find more about this issue here.

Missouri Legislator Suggests Punt to Counties

Missouri State Representative Bryan Spencer proposed to make counties responsible for the upkeep of certain roads that are currently maintained by the state (these are generally rural, two-lane highways). This would reduce the amount of state-maintained roads by 19,000 miles. The roads in question have been state-maintained since 1952, when they were shifted away from county maintenance. To implement the proposal, the state constitution must be amended. You can find more about this proposal here and here. Most proposals to improve Missouri’s road funding problem involve raising the fuel tax.


Women Take Lead at Engineering Organization

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has nominated two women to the ballot for its president-elect.  Robin Kemper and Kristina Swallow are both professional engineers, and one will be ASCE’s president-elect and eventually president. Kemper provides expertise on construction and professional liability issues at Zurich Services Corporation. Swallow leads a team of public works engineers in Las Vegas. ASCE’s current president-elect, Norma Jean Mattei, will step up to the office of president, meaning the top two offices in the organization will be held by women for the first time in the 164 years it has existed. You can find more here.

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