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April Upfront News & Views

April Upfront News & Views

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    Has your department submitted a project for economic-stimulus funding?

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    A sound optionManufacturersThe Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission saved 43% on a 7.5-mile renovation near the Ohio border using Centria's Eco Sound Barriers. Comprised of a polymer composite core with galvanized or aluminum substrate, the panels are entirely recyclable and as effective as precast concrete. Weighing 2.25 to 4.25 pounds/square foot, the 1,800-foot-long, 15-foot-tall panels were shipped in six truckloads. Photo: Centria

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    These fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) pile jackets don't have to be sandblasted for epoxies to form an air- and watertight seal. Photo: Molded Fiber Glass Construction Products

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    Fleet department leads by exampleOperationsChicago is the first Illinois city to add a diesel hybrid utility truck to its inventory of lower-emission vehicles. Once Department of Streets and Sanitation crews reach a worksite, they'll turn off the Navistar DuraStar and use the electric power take off to lift, lower, rotate, and extend the boom at heights of up to 40 feet. “A hybrid truck used heavily for aerial bucket work versus transportation could reduce fuel usage by 50% when compared to a standard aerial bucket truck,” says Fleet Management Commissioner Howard Henneman. Photo: Navistar

Intelligent transportation system wins inaugural award

Design & construction

Gresham, Smith and Partners received the City Engineer's Award for Excellence for its work on Tennessee DOT's SmartWay Memphis project, which is designed to connect with future TDOT SmartWay projects in Nashville and Knoxville as well as intelligent transportation programs in contiguous states like Arkansas and Mississippi.

The system includes 85 miles of fiberoptic communications network, 42 dynamic message signs (DMS), 115 closed circuit television cameras (CCTV), 354 speed and volume detectors, and a highway advisory radio (HAR) system with 16 units and 42 signs, all controlled from a new, 16,000-square-foot Transportation Management Center. Live video access is provided free to 911 services, police, and the media; and camera images are fed directly to TDOT's Web site.

The firm is maintaining the system for the first three years of operation.

Gresham, Smith and Partners is leading an “Integrator Team” for the Mississippi DOT; developed an intelligent transportation master plan for Johnson City, Tenn.; was awarded a five-year on-call design contract by Georgia DOT; and is designing a 40-mile system for Pensacola, Fla.

Report: Meds don't affect health

A three-year study by the Water Research Foundation in collaboration with 17 water utilities has found that the current concentrations of pharmaceutical drugs and endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) in public drinking water are likely too low to affect human health. The findings come at a time of public concern about possible health effects from trace amounts of EDCs and drugs that are flushed into the nation's sewers or enter the water supply through human and livestock waste.

AEC firm recognized

The Green Quandrant study by an independent research firm identifies CH2M Hill as a top leader in U.S. climate change consulting, in addition to Deloitte, Environ, ERM, ICF International, McKinsey & Co., and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Visit www.verdantix.com.

Wanted: reviewers for proposed standard

The draft of updated ANSI/HI 4.1-4.6, “Sealless Rotary Pumps for Nomenclature, Definitions, Application, Operation and Test,” includes design and applications; installation, operation, and maintenance; and testing. Familiarity with ANSI/HI 3.1–3.5 “Rotary Pumps for Nomenclature, Definitions, Application and Operation” and ANSI/HI 3.6 “Rotary Pump Tests” is recommended. Contact the Hydraulic Institute's Karen Anderson at kanderson@pumps.org; 973-267-9700, ext. 23.

Report focuses on U.S. recovery plan

Due out this month, Infrastructure 2009: Pivot Point analyzes the Obama administration's focus on infrastructure spending to stimulate the nation's economy and offers insight on how to leverage investment for greater community benefit. It is co-published by The Urban Land Institute and Ernst and Young. Visit www.uli.org.

Composites help refurbish NYC fishing pier

Invasive species

Weakened by ice, chemical pollution, and tidal pumping, New York Harbor's timber pilings have been devastated by the recent return of the marine borer.

Marine borers are worm-like mollusks and microscopic crustaceans that gradually consume wooden structures such as piers and bulkheads.

The New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC) is fighting back with a waterfront rehabilitation program that includes the Staten Island Ferry terminals that connect with the southern tip of Manhattan.