The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will begin enforcement of the crystalline silica standard on Sept. 23. The rule requires, among other things, the use of engineering controls to prevent worker exposure to silica dust from concrete, stone and other materials.
The Architecture Billings Index was 53 in May, up from 50.9 in April. "The fact that the data surrounding both new project inquiries and design contracts have remained positive every month this year, while reaching their highest scores for the year, is a good indication that both the architecture and construction sectors will remain healthy for the foreseeable future," said Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects.
The nation's inland waterways need an infusion of revenue to keep up with infrastructure maintenance, and C. Jarrett Dieterle of the nonpartisan but right-of-center R Street Institute believes it's time to implement tolls for those who use the rivers, despite the pushback from the shipping industry. He says many Americans gain no direct benefit from improvements to the nation's locks and other river infrastructure.
Researchers have developed a giant, inflatable plug designed to prevent flooding in subway tunnels. The Resilient Tunnel Plug, fashioned from a high-strength fabric, can be inflated quickly when a rail tunnel is threatened by surging waters.
Sediment is often viewed as a problem threatening the flow and life of rivers and streams. But now scientists are beginning to note that a shortage of the stuff -- much of it trapped behind dams -- in the presence of changing weather patterns and rising seas will lead to problems along the world's coastal wetlands.
Five years after the Duluth, Minn., area suffered devastating floods, recovery work is still underway, including the building of culverts and bridges better able to deal with heavier rains. Officials believe the area is better prepared for another event of the sort, but former Duluth Mayor Don Ness says that some damage will be unavoidable, since "because of the way FEMA looks at these types of projects, there was funding to replace the infrastructure, as it existed prior to the storm."
China's e-commerce website, JD.com, held an 18-day sales event celebrating the company's anniversary on June 18, and brought in $17.6 billion in sales. The company reports increasing its sales volume by 50% from last year.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation wants to replace two bridges on Interstate 24 in downtown Nashville using accelerated bridge construction. The bridges are heavily traveled, and ABC means work can "be finished in months instead of years," TDOT says.
While the Navy and the US mourn the loss of seven sailors who perished when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided over the weekend off the coast of Japan, the Navy is left to figure out how to handle the temporary loss of a critical asset in the Western Pacific theater. The Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with advanced anti-sub warfare equipment that is capable of performing Ballistic Missile Defense missions, was severely damaged.
The destroyer USS Sterett's visit to the Chinese port of Zhanjiang provides "an exciting opportunity to promote maritime cooperation and reinforce a navy-to-navy relationship with our People's Liberation Army-Navy counterparts," said the ship's commanding officer.
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