President Donald Trump disbanded two business advisory councils this week after members began resigning over his comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. As a result, the president has abandoned plans to form the Advisory Council on Infrastructure to advise him on his planned $1 trillion infrastructure investment.
Public confusion over the need for 26 miles of toll lanes on Interstate 77 in North Carolina led to a lack of confidence in the public-private partnership project between the state and I-77 Mobility Partners. Mercator Advisors, hired by the state to analyze the contract and rebuild confidence, said its analysis shows that the state could take over the project and finish it, renegotiate with the company, work on other projects on the I-77 corridor or buy the company out after the project is finished; Mercator added that making the best decision would take months of discussion.
A US district court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation over "construction on the State Highway 45 southwest and MoPac intersection projects." Environmental groups had concerns about the projects and wanted them halted.
Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development is conducting design and environmental work for a new bridge to replace the Jimmie Davis Bridge between Shreveport and Bossier City, but it has yet to identify funding for construction. A spokeswoman said tolling is a possibility but that a study would need to be conducted before any decision could be made.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is to begin a rehabilitation project on Interstate 78 between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the work could cause traffic delays. The agency is looking to repair structural components of bridges and overpasses on a 6.5-mile section of the highway.
A crash on Interstate 25 forced the Colorado Department of Transportation to reroute traffic onto E-470, a toll road, and CDOT said tolls would be waived while I-25 was closed. The Transportation Commission and the E-470 Public Highway Authority have reached an agreement that will have CDOT pay only $6,503 to E-470 for handling the detour; the agreement will also have the E-470 agency waive the tolls it would have collected during that time.
Rhode Island plans to toll semitrucks as they enter the state, but the State Traffic Commission says the trucks can't be banned from secondary roads to avoid the tolls. The commission said it would reconsider the idea later, and a trucking association said it plans to sue the state over the tolls.
The road to success in transportation innovations is paved by collaboration between cities and private companies, notes David Spielfogel, co-founder of urban problem-solvers company Ekistic Ventures. "The best approach is for government leaders to see their role as setting the ground rules and allowing new solutions to flourish within them," Spielfogel writes.
Researchers at Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Southwest Research Institute are testing connected-vehicle technology that will warn drivers if they're going the wrong way on a road -- and warn other motorists of the approaching wrong-way driver. The technology ultimately could be used in autonomous cars.
The second hiring of an executive from British car-maker Aston Martin Lagonda, has sparked conjecture that home-appliances-maker Dyson is manufacturing an electric vehicle. Both companies declined to comment after Dyson hired executives Ian Minards in September and David Wyer recently.
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