Higher gas taxes?

That's how the American Road & Transportation Builders Association suggests the nation comes up with the $20 billion in additional annual funds necessary to maintain roads until SAFETEA-LU expires in September 2009.

Good-bye to foreign trash

Representatives unanimously approved a bill that allows states to bar or regulate municipal solid waste imported from other countries. H.R. 518 is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Michigan Congressmen Mike Rogers and John Dingell, whose state takes in nearly 4 million tons of foreign solid waste—mostly from Canada—annually.

What worries fleet managers

Results of an online survey by software company Arsenault Associates reflected the top five issues that concern fleet managers:

  • Budgeting: 47%
  • Capital expense planning: 38%
  • Driver/mechanic management: 31%
  • Tire management: 30%

A total of 200 respondents, all users of the company's Dossier fleet-maintenance software, responded to the survey.

Waste-containment resource

The second edition of Waste Containment Facilities covers the latest technical developments in test methods, specifications, and practices for engineers and managers involved in designing, building, permitting, and operating solid waste facilities. Visit www.asce.org for more information.

Improved watershed tool

The U.S. EPA has updated its Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) watershed management program to run on free, open-source geographic information system software. BASINS 4.0 includes point and non-point source data for users to assess or predict flow and water quality for selected streams and entire watersheds. Visit www.epa.gov/waterscience/basins.

Stablization Succeeds by a Landslide

A failing slope beside U.S. Highway 61 on the outskirts of Vicksburg, Miss., had caused more than its share of headaches. Innovative application of geotechnical technology has stemmed the tide of dirt, putting an end to the threat of destructive and disruptive landslides.

Contractors installed more than 250 buried anchor blocks to stabilize the slope, which spans 1300 feet along Signal Hill. Due to the size and depth of the below-surface slide plane, the $6 million project lasted 10 months. But it was worth it: The design garnered the 2007 Grand Conceptor Award from the state's chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

When the roadway was completed 30 years ago, the Mississippi DOT recognized a potential for landslide activity at the site. Crews installed a berm, and a trench drain helped remove water collecting under the roadbed, but it continued to sink incrementally over time, and more rapidly during wet weather.