Industry News
Construction
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/30/2021

Roughly 20% of Iowa's bridges are in poor condition, meaning they are not necessarily dangerous but need to be repaired or replaced, according to the state Department of Transportation. The latest regular inspection of Iowa's nearly 24,000 bridges has also found more than 42% in fair condition and almost 40% in good condition.

7/30/2021

The Miami-Dade Police Department has barred structural consultant Allyn Kilsheimer from visiting the site of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla. The city's mayor says that impedes the ongoing investigation into the building's partial collapse. Meanwhile, the police have issued a request for qualifications for local structural forensic engineering services to investigate the cause of the disaster, whose death toll now stands at 98.

SmartTake: The police cite "conflicts or associations with the building or the Town of Surfside" to justify blocking Kilsheimer. However, it says it is "willing to be a liaison with NIST engineers and communicate well with MDPD homicide investigators." Kilsheimer is a world-renowned engineer, and the police's explanation for keeping him off site could be perceived as vague, creating more questions than answers. 

7/30/2021

Pay-fors in the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan include $205 billion in unspent pandemic relief funds, $87 billion from spectrum auctions for 5G services, $53 billion in unemployment insurance aid and $49 billion from delaying a Medicare rebate rule, according to a Republican summary of the plan. The plan would also reinstate a tax on chemical manufacturers and would crack down on a tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies.

Full Story:
The Associated Press
7/30/2021

Well-depleting drought has been compounded by federal refusal to release water from the Upper Klamath Lake, leaving many Oregon residents along the California border scrambling for water. More than 300 wells may have gone dry in recent weeks, and there is a long wait list for well drilling.

Full Story:
The Associated Press
7/30/2021

A university in Loughborough, England, will use a $700,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation to create a world-first slope simulator to better understand often deadly landslides and earthwork failures. The plan is to build a tilting table to hold large-scale slopes that will be successively wetted and dried to simulate slope deterioration over time.

Full Story:
The Engineer (UK)
7/30/2021

The Florida Department of Transportation is looking to save money on improvements to Interstate 4 by shifting its focus to toll or carpool lanes from elevated lanes. The department is value-engineering the project to ensure the reduced price yields similar safety and congestion relief.

7/30/2021

The estimated cost of two reactors at Georgia's Plant Vogtle has increased by $1 billion, according to Southern Co. The company says construction of the $27 billion-plus project is taking longer than expected, with Unit 3 expected to come online in the second quarter.

7/30/2021

Amtrak has a shared a 15-year plan to add service to 160 communities across 39 routes, including routes that connect Tucson, Ariz., to Phoenix and Los Angeles. The plan has garnered support from mayors in cities between Tucson and Phoenix.

7/30/2021

Planning began in 2017 and construction began last month on the RiverRenew project in Alexandria, Va., providing a brief time frame to complete work to reduce combined sewer overflow. Such projects normally take much longer, and this one, which has a deadline of July 2025, involves a 2-mile-long tunnel, two diversion facilities, several deep shafts, two pumping stations and expansion of a sewer.

7/30/2021

This week has marked the long-awaited start of construction on a $760 million levee on the western side of Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain to provide storm protection. The project dates back five decades to congressional approval in 1971, followed by extensive surveying for difficult work in virgin swampland and poor soil that has to support a 15-foot levee.