Saturday, December 16, 2017

Infrastructure News


Missouri DOT Explores Solar Roads

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Maps of U.S. Infrastructure

The Washington Post has an online article that includes six informative maps about U.S. infrastructure. We encourage readers to check it out.

Missouri Gets F for Road Safety

That National Safety Council gave Missouri an F for road safety in its recent State of Safety: A State-by-State Report. Missouri’s low score is a result of the lack of laws relating to child passenger protection, texting while driving, seat belts and other transportation safety issues.

The state received and overall grade of F and was ranked lowest in the country (ranked 51st out of all states and the District of Columbia and ranked 49th for road safety) . In addition to road safety, the report considers safety issues in workplaces, homes and communities. You can find the Missouri scorecard here, as well as NSC’s scoring methodology.

Missouri Still Contender for Hyperloop

We previously noted that a Kansas City to St. Louis route was entered into a competition for Hyperloop One as it considers routes for a high-speed, tube magnetic levitation system. Apparently the 240 mile route across Missouri to connect the two Midwestern metropolises is still in the running. You can find more here.

Here is a link to another articles on a potential hyperloop in Missouri:

Missouri Transportation Improvements Stalled

The Columbia Missourian recent published an evaluation of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ campaign promise to improve state transportation infrastructure. Though the governor recommended supplemental appropriations for the transportation agency in his fiscal year 2018 budget, he has not proposed new or increased funding sources and generally has opposed increased taxes. Recent bills in the state General Assembly that would increase fuel taxes have also failed to pass.

Here are some additional articles on Missouri’s transportation funding.

Texting Lanes Coming to Miami

Apparently it is hard for some people to put down their cellular phones and pay attention to something else. The Miami Dade Express Authority has decided it is easier to change the roads than change behavior. It is planning to install to install bumpers on one lane of a highway and designate it for texting use.

Infrastructure Watch usually passes on thing like this without comment, but this seems like a bad idea. It may keep texters from wandering into other lanes, but it seem like they can still get into a lot of other troubles. In addition, it does nothing to address texting while driving in other lanes or on other roads. IW believes there is a role for technology in addressing this issue and that we have to be realistic about human behavior, but on the whole this does not seem like a very expensive way to address just a small part of the problem.

For all of you texters who won’t be driving Florida’s bumpered, baby lanes: STOP IT!

At any rate, you can read more about this here.

Incidentally, Florida got a F for road safety in the NSC State of Safety report, where it ranked 44th. It’s overall grade was a D, with a rank of 40th. You can see the Florida scorecard here.

Philadelphia Unearths Wooden Water Pipe

Recently a construction crew digging in Philadelphia came across segments of wooden water pipe that were probably installed in 1812. Fortunately, Philadelphia is not still using these pipes. When they were installed, they would have carried water from the Schuylkill River that was pumped up by steam engine.  You can read more about it here.

The Poop Engineer: Wastewater Blog

IW welcomes another engineering and environment blog to the web, The Poop Engineer. IW is not associated with The Poop Engineer, though the author worked at the same company for a while. Good luck, Andy.

Water Weirdness

Apparently some UK utilities uses dowsing rods to find water pipes.  IW does not recommend this, but it’s interesting that people cling to it. Here are links to articles on the practice.

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