Pedestrians in the spotlight

A Transportation For America report calls on Congress to include a plan for safer street designs in the next federal transportation bill — including expanding the Safe Routes to School Program and allocating 11.8% of Highway Safety Improvement Program funds to pedestrian projects. The report suggests that roads on which pedestrian accidents occur were engineered for speeding cars, without sufficient consideration for pedestrian access. Visit t4america.org.

Bridge woes

Every 10 days a bridge fails somewhere in the United States, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. Ninety percent of fatigue cracks are missed during the most common inspection method, visual inspection, and more than 80% of cracks identified later prove to be false positives.

WWEMA chairman announced

Ernest Childs, president emeritus of ArchaeaSolutions Inc., was named chairman of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) during the organization's 101st annual meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Elected by WWEMA's board of directors, Childs will lead the association during 2010 as chair of the Executive Committee.

‘Genius Grantee' recognized

HNTB Corp. Vice President and Bridge Technical Director Theodore Zoli earned the American Institute of Steel Construction's 2010 Special Achievement Award for his design concept on the 3,000-foot-long Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that spans the Missouri River connecting Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb. Zoli is also the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the T. MacArthur Foundation (commonly known as a “Genius Grant”) for his work on bridge design and security reinforcement.

Composting conference almost here

The U.S. Composting Council's Annual Conference & Exhibition takes place Jan. 24 – 27 in Orlando, with 10 workshops and 26 live equipment demonstrations. For more industry events, see page 31.

More hope for jobs bill

States may return to the $42 billion level originally provided in SAFETEA-LU through the end of fiscal year 2010 if the Senate approves the “Jobs for Main Street” bill in the next two months. It would return states' authorization levels to $42 billion annually.

Tampa's water contaminated

Tampa, Fla.'s water supply has low levels of antibiotics, nicotine byproducts, and a chemical used for firefighting foams, according to the Tampa Tribune. The contaminants were found in samples of treated drinking water taken from the city's treatment plant. State and federal environmental regulators say the health effects are unknown, but the city says the water is still safe to drink.

The next big thing?

Find out how nanotechnology applies to cement-based materials such as pavement and liquid-storage tanks with a CD-ROM (order code SP267CD.PR) from the American Concrete Institute. Based on nine papers presented at the organization's annual meeting, topics include characterization, synthesis, design, and modeling. Go to www.concrete.org and click on Bookstore.

Pa. governor says increase taxes; create federal capital budget

Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D) says four steps can improve infrastructure policies: lift highway tolling restrictions; provide incentives for private-sector investment in infrastructure; remove limitations from programs such as Private Activity Bonds; and create a federal capital budget to separate investments from operating expenses. He also says citizens are willing to pay more in income taxes to fund infrastructure investment.