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November Upfront News & Views

November Upfront News & Views

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    Filterra Bioretention Systems combine landscape plants with an engineered filtration media to capture and remove stormwater runoff pollutants —trash and debris, oils and grease, sediments, nutrients, metals, and bacteria — prior to discharging treated runoff into local waterways.

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OperationsCredit turmoil alters procurement strategy

The Missouri DOT will manage its five-year effort to update 802 bridges differently than the design-build-finance-maintain contract that was envisioned when it launched the “Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program” in 2006.

The department decided to break off the procurement process with Missouri Bridge Partners (MBP), a consortium of firms chosen to implement “Safe & Sound,” because the financial markets made the proposal unaffordable.

Instead, 554 bridge replacements will be lumped into a single design-build package to be awarded in late spring. The remaining 248 bridges will be contracted using a modified design-bid-build approach in which projects are grouped by type, size, or location to accelerate construction.

Although the design-build-finance-maintain approach has worked for the department, it would have paid $65 million to $74 million annually under the original plan. By issuing bonds, annual payments are expected to be $50 million. With finance charges, it's estimated the new plan will save $300 million to $500 million.

ResearchTool designed to improve disaster response

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awards Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., $1.1 million to create software to help infrastructure managers better coordinate efforts.

Researchers will use computer modeling to study how city and county authorities interact with each other in emergencies. Ultimately, electricity, water, and road managers can assess how the failure of other systems impacts the resiliency of their system; and organizations that coordinate response efforts will be able to model different event scenarios based on the natural environment.

The decision-making software incorporates research conducted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which included collecting data to understand the attack's impact on infrastructure, identifying failures, modeling response strategies, and incorporating GIS data.

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