Hundreds of 3D-printed concrete panels are being installed in the tunnels of London's Crossrail project using a different type of mold that contributes to the panels' strength and integrity. Developed by Bechtel, the FreeFAB wax molds are highly precise, can be melted and reused, and can be shaped in numerous ways.
Construction of two 35-mile long tunnels to transport water at a cost of $16 billion in California has been OK'd by the state's Department of Water Resources. Work could begin in 2018, but lawsuits are expected, particularly given the state's rigorous California Environmental Quality Act.
A $1.5 billion public-private project that will cover 21 blocks is underway in Vancouver, Wash. The project will create offices, restaurants, retail space and residential buildings where the Boise Cascade paper mill was.
Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico and Utah are near the top of the list of states adding the most construction jobs between June 2016 and June 2017, according to the Associated General Contractors. However, some states lost jobs, and Ken Simonson, AGC's chief economist, said, "Contractors in most of the country say they have plenty of projects booked and would like to hire more workers if they could find them, so it is likely that some states with monthly employment declines have a shortage of workers available to hire rather than a slowdown in work."
The Interstate 15 Express Lanes Corridor project in California's Riverside County will receive a $152.2 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to build north- and south-bound managed lanes along the interstate. The project includes widening several bridges, adding retaining walls and installing an electronic toll collection system.
Mike Nichols, president of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, explains why the state needs to consider tolling for infrastructure work rather than rely on diminishing funds from the gas tax. He also refers to a webinar by the Reason Foundation's Bob Poole that discusses all-electronic tolling, rebates and value-added tolling.
California will likely raise its gas and diesel taxes by 12 cents and 20 cents, respectively. This new tax, which goes into effect Nov. 1, will create $5 billion in annual revenue over the next decade and will be used to fund road repairs and the state's transit programs.
The Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office at the US Department of Transportation worked with Iteris to develop the Architecture Reference for Cooperative and Intelligent Transportation, or ARC-IT, a new "framework for planning, defining, and integrating ITS and connected vehicles." The platform will likely find applications in autonomous vehicle transportation, smart city development and the internet of things.
The interchange at interstates 294, 290 and 88 on the Illinois Tollway in Chicago is a bottleneck and could be rebuilt with a simpler design to alleviate congestion. The proposal is undergoing an environmental review, and if it gets the go-ahead, construction could start in 2022.
With over $1 trillion needed to help to get US roads and transportation systems back on track, the government is turning to public-private partnerships to help fund and maintain projects. This option has proved successful with many projects, it helps alleviate some of the taxpayer burden, and it allows us to "accomplish much more than with tax dollars alone," writes John Parkinson, executive director of the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure.