Six wildfires in four Southern California counties have burned 141,000 acres, closed schools in at least 16 districts and caused the evacuation of thousands of people. Infrastructure has been damaged and historical landmarks threatened.
Opponents of the electronic logging devices, including truckers, are stepping up protests and calling for a delay in its implementation, though that would require the involvement of the Trump administration. Truckers don't want to be monitored by the federal government, citing privacy concerns.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 228,000 in November, above economists' average expectations, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction sector added 24,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1%. Upward revisions to the September and October reports added 3,000 jobs.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved an $8 billion budget for 2018, including more than $1 billion to renovate airports run by the agency. LaGuardia Airport's redevelopment will get $578 million for the year, while Newark Liberty International Airport's will get $167 million.
Fluor has been working to repair the electrical infrastructure in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, and the US Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the company at least $750 million in additional work. "Our job is to help repair and restore transmission, subtransmission and distribution lines, as well as substations across the island," said Fluor's Tom D'Agostino.
Catalina Nadeau-Bonilla worked with her father Robie Bonilla-Gris to develop a bridge pier scour shield that was among the winners of ASCE's 2017 Innovation Contest. Read their perspectives on innovation, and on working together, "the best partnership we could have ever hoped for," she says. Meet the father-daughter innovators.
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District in California has signed a 20-year power-purchase agreement for electricity from Canadian Solar. The transit network is looking to be fully powered by sustainable energy by 2045.
Preclinical trials are underway for a living-cell-based solution that would allow those with diabetes to avoid insulin injections. Previous trials of such implants have proved promising, but Encellin's new product takes the technology a step further by surrounding the insulin-producing cells with a porous membrane designed to prolong their life and eliminate the need for immunosuppressing drugs to prevent the patient's body from rejecting the cells.
The Trump administration wants to shift the burden of funding a massive infrastructure bill onto state and local governments, but Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center senior fellow Tracy Gordon says those entities are "already feeling beleaguered." The federal government would provide competitive financing if the local government could show methods that would raise revenue for infrastructure, but they could also still use funding from private entities.
The raising of the Bayonne Bridge is considered an engineering marvel, but the recently completed project was $350 million to $400 million over budget, bringing the project's total to $1.7 billion. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved the additional funds, which were needed due to "multiple complexities and construction challenges."
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