Seventeen years after groundbreaking, Switzerland completed the most ambitious tunneling project ever with the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Boring machines with 29.5-foot heads plowed through 35 miles of rock to launch a far more efficient train route through that part of Europe and win the top mention among Popular Science's 11 greatest engineering innovations of the year.
Mishawaka, Ind., has budgeted about $1.5 million to upgrade parks, with most going to Mary Gibbard Park for renovations.
High levels of lead have been found in water samples at nearly half of Chicago's parks, with lower percentages of positive tests at indoor and outdoor sinks and water fountains. More than 450 water fixtures have been shut off as city officials search for the cause.
Millennials are increasing their participation in outdoor activities, according to an Outdoor Foundation report. Total outdoor outings for the US population as a whole declined in 2015 compared with 2014.
A plan to allow homeless people to camp in local parks has been put on hold by the Seattle City Council, but debate continues to swirl around the proposed effort. City leaders say sports fields and developed areas in parks would not be under consideration for camping areas.
The Public Engagement and Noticing Manual created by San Luis Obispo, Calif., provides specific steps to create timely notices of city plans and gives best practices for informing, consulting and collaborating with residents. The city's online forum, Open City Hall, has an approval rating of more than 90%.
Cities that promote bicycling and parks have rough correlations to better health among residents, according to a report by Gallup and health plan provider Healthways.
City manager Courtney Barker of Satellite Beach, Fla., took to the city's Facebook page to help residents prepare for Hurricane Matthew, answering questions and providing weather updates for the barrier island.
Loretto, Tenn., had to close a 25-year-old pool, but through grants and collaboration with state departments and an engineering firm, the city was able to build a replacement with sustainable materials and meet federal disability-access standards. Fly-ash was used in much of the facility, and the filter system utilized recycled glass beads.
Wisconsin law enforcement officials say they get a lot of inadvertent or "pocket-dial" 9-1-1 calls, which require dispatchers to spend valuable time on call-backs or locating callers. Some jurisdictions also require police or sheriff's deputies to respond to the location to ensure there is no emergency.
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