The federal GROW Act may be imperfect but it's an important step toward establishing composite plans designed to protect participants from outliving their assets if employers won't or can't provide, writes Elizabeth Bauer. However, a weakness is a provision to smooth the transition to composite plans that extends the period for existing plans to fill funding gaps.
Work is 38% done on the UK's massive Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant after four years of construction. The plant will require 50 million hours of work as engineers consult tablets instead of paper drawings to access 3D models of the project, which will include 208,000 tons of structural steel and require the excavation of nearly 200 million cubic feet.
David Fields, Houston's first chief transportation planner, says he's looking forward in particular to the challenge of reducing the city's high number of pedestrian-vehicle fatalities. His Vision Zero Action plan will focus on the 6% of Houston streets that account for three-fifths of fatal and serious injury accidents in the area.
Aging and deficient local infrastructure will be among the items local officials throughout Illinois can address with $250 million in new grants from the state. The funds are part of $1.5 billion scheduled to be go out to local governments over three years.
North Carolina's proposed Freeway And Street-based Transit network would complement planned bus rapid transit and commuter rail while also serving Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park, according to a study released by three North Carolina organizations. The network would also serve existing and planned highway projects, the study says.
The Passaic Valley Water Commission will replace the 135-year-old Stanley M. Levine Reservoir in Paterson, N.J., with two 2.5-million-gallon enclosed concrete water tanks. The $26 million project would protect drinking water from contaminants that plague open-air reservoirs.
Wind data from sensors across Satellite Beach in Florida during Tropical Storm Isaias will help researchers understand the reaction between hurricane winds and suburban structures and how the wind profile changes across the two environments. The set-up of the experiment is designed to overcome the limitations of wind-tunnel tests.
The partial collapse of the Salt River Union Pacific Bridge in Arizona last week highlights a void in current design guidance for bridges, according to British expert Ian Firth. "There is currently no widely accepted official guidance in the UK or anywhere else to my knowledge that outlines best practice when it comes to fire resistance," he said.
California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology has been selected by the Federal Highway Administration to study the benefits of truck platooning. The University of California, Berkeley, research and development program will partner with Volvo, the I-10 Corridor Coalition, California Highway Patrol, Cambridge Systematics and Westat on the project, which could help establish federal regulations and guidelines for autonomous trucking.
Belarus will institute electronic tolling on some roads beginning Dec. 15 after the country's Transport and Communications Ministry reached an agreement with Austrian company Kapsch TrafficCom to build and operate the digital system.