Roads and bridges across the US are aging, and tolling is often suggested as a way to fund a massive infrastructure initiative. New technology has made tolling an efficient way to collect revenue, and the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association sees tolled roads in the US increasing from 5,000 miles in 2014 to 25,000 miles by 2030.
The Ohio River bridges between Ohio and Kentucky met revenue projections for the first quarter this year and will likely meet projections for the first half of the year. The bridges have collected $8.6 million from local drivers, and $6.8 million is expected from drivers who use E-ZPass transponders but are located outside the local area.
Plans for a 7-mile-long toll road near San Antonio, Texas, from Interstate 10 to Wagon Hill Way still need to be finalized. The road would be privately financed and would be meant to relieve congestion north of San Antonio, where officials says growth is inevitable.
Atlanta is dealing with major gridlock after a section of Interstate 85 collapsed because of a fire. To help commuters find new routes and deal with the congestion, CommuteATL.com has been developed. It gives real-time traffic data based on information from Waze, a driving app, and cameras from the Georgia Department of Transportation and shows ways for commuters to better take advantage of public transportation.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is to tear down the state's last toll booths in May after the agency switched to all-electronic toll collection. The work will involve the Sumner Tunnel toll plaza in East Boston and will require overnight closures.
Moody's Investors Service says flat federal funding and states with limited budgets mean tolling will play a greater role in infrastructure funding in the US. It also notes that tolling revenue is increasing faster than the gas tax and motor vehicle registration fees.
Think tank Next 10 says the recent 12-cents-a-gallon increase in the gas tax is not enough to fix aging roads and bridges in California because more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles make the gas-tax model outdated. The group contends that tolling and a mileage-based tax are better ways to make a dent in the estimated $137 billion deferred maintenance needs for the state's roads.
3D modeling and virtual reality are being used to create the new V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, Scotland. "I have to congratulate the design team on how they've taken the design by Kengo Kuma and translated it into this -- such a slender, gymnast of a building as it curves around the site," said a Dundee City Council member.
The related goals of improved efficiency and paring construction timelines while reducing errors will contribute to substantial near-term growth in the use of building information modeling, making it a $7.64 billion industry by 2022, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets. A separate survey last year found that half of respondents are already using BIM, and 10% were planning to adopt it within a year.
Municipalities with early-warning systems for flooding could benefit from an alpha version of hydraulic and hydrologic modeling software as a service that is "a real-time flood inundation mapping application that can build on those other models that predict flows based on gauge-adjusted radar data or predicted rainfall data." Meanwhile, another piece of software is said to bring great efficiency to stormwater design.