The Texas Department of Transportation has started a $70 billion, 10-year plan to improve transportation across the state. Houston-area projects will get about $12 billion of the total.
Elon Musk has taken a step forward with his tunneling initiative after announcing the idea on Twitter last year. A tunnel-boring machine appeared at Musk's SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., with the name "The Boring Company" written on the machine's side, and the city manager confirmed Musk's plan to build a pedestrian tunnel between the SpaceX building and its parking garage across the street.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a bill that increases the gas tax by 10 cents, raises vehicle registration fees and charges a fee to owners of electric and hybrid vehicles. The law is expected to generate $5 billion over seven years for road and bridge projects, and it also allows the state to ask the federal government if it can toll existing interstates.
Center City Investment Corp. plans to invest $1 billion in a revitalization effort by 2022 in the downtown Neighborhood Improvement Zone in Allentown, Pa. The company started work in 2011 and hopes the development will bring thousands more jobs to downtown.
Associated General Contractors of America CEO Stephen Sandherr spoke in Texas about a three-year analysis by the organization that includes safety recommendations. "The bottom line is the best safety programs are grounded in hard data and good research, not bad assumptions and exaggerations designed to support a particular political or social agenda," he said, adding the importance of making safety knowledge and insights public.
The New York City Council's Committee on Housing and Buildings delayed voting on several controversial construction safety rules, but it did approve three rules for crane safety and one that increases injury reporting requirements. The committee took no action on a proposal to require workers to complete an apprenticeship or similar training before working on a construction site, something the unions want but the city opposes.
Multidisciplinary functionality is the focus of new features added to the latest iteration of Autodesk's Revit platform for building information modeling. The new capabilities serve architects, MEP engineers and structural engineers and lets nonsoftware-savvy users develop video with scripts using a visual language.
Civil engineering students have begun to compete in the regional competitions for the American Society of Civil Engineers' annual concrete canoe contests. Students at Texas Tech offer insight into how the competition works.
Borrowing from the technology used in X-rays, MRIs and similar scans, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have figured out how to detect deterioration inside infrastructure. Their system can pinpoint corrosion in the rebar inside concrete before it becomes a problem.
North Carolina Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon spoke to a regional planning organization recently and said his state will work to accelerate current road construction projects and study self-driving vehicle technology. He also noted that some data that the agency collects isn't used, and he plans to change that.
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