Report helps water utilities after disasters
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has published “Utilities Helping Utilities: An Action Plan for Mutual Aid and Assistance Networks for Water and Wastewater Utilities.” The literature is designed to help water suppliers in creating networks to foster rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support after a disaster occurs. The document originated out of a joint policy statement by the AWWA, Association of State Drinking Water Agencies, Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators, the National Rural Water Association, and the Water Environment Federation. For more information or to obtain a copy, visit www.awwa.org.Florida nets $480 million for highways
The state of Florida will receive $480 million to fund replacement of traffic signals, clearing highway debris, and repairing roads in 21 counties affected by Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina. High winds from the hurricanes caused damage to more than 2000 signals in Broward and Palm Beach Counties alone. The funds are part of an emergency highway aid package for Gulf Coast states requested by President Bush and approved by Congress at the end of 2005.Highway construction costs soar
According to analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America, the cost of highway and street construction increased considerably from 2001 to 2005; factors contributing to the surge include rising asphalt and diesel fuel costs. In addition, concrete prices have increased dramatically, surging an average of 14.5% each year, and 3.5% in the last three months alone. However, labor costs are expected to stay relatively flat, and overall road construction costs experienced a slight decline—2.2%—from October 2005 to January 2006. The chart at right indicates how highway and street construction prices changed over the course of each year. Source: AGCCall for grounds management awards
Each year, the Professional Grounds Management Society bestows its Green Star Awards upon excellently maintained grounds across the country. Entrants can choose from 15 categories, including public works sites; government buildings or complexes; parks, recreation areas, or playgrounds; and others. Only one Grand Award will be given; judges are free to grant as many Honor Awards as they see fit. Recent public works winners include the Hollywood, Fla., business district, and Chicago's central business district.
The deadline for this year's awards entries is Aug. 4. For more information or to obtain an entry form, visit www.pgms.org/greenstarawards.htm.Utah turns to prefabricated bridges
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prefabricated bridges can offer faster and safer construction, better bridge quality, and lower costs than conventionally built bridges. The Utah DOT (UDOT) is putting that to the test.
After a technology presentation at the Transportation Research Board's 2001 annual meeting, UDOT decided to use prefabricated technology of a rural section of Interstate 80 near Coalville, and on Interstate 215 in Salt Lake City. The I-80 project was a rapid deck replacement, and the I-215 project involved deck replacement on one bridge, and entire replacement of another bridge structure.
According to UDOT project development director Jim McMinimee, the I-80 deck replacement wrapped up in a week—less than 25% of the original estimate of 30 days. “The project on I-215 was also completed quicker, with improved quality and less disruption to traffic,” he said.
The FHWA offers Framework for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems Decision-Making, a guidebook designed to help transportation departments weigh the possibility of using prefabrication on their projects. For more information or to obtain a copy, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov.