Catastrophic Flooding Hits South Carolina

Days after heavy rains in early October produced catastrophic flooding across much of South Carolina, up to 300 roads and 160 bridges, including a 74-mile stretch of Interstate 95, remained closed as of Oct. 6. Initial reports indicate the flooding may have caused at least nine dam breaches across the state. Officials report that there have been at least 14 flood-related deaths.

President Obama’s Oct. 3 emergency declaration, providing federal flood assistance, covered all 46 South Carolina counties. Early estimates pegged the damage at more than $1 billion.

Colorado Is Set To Open Priciest US Toll Road

The Colorado Dept. of Transportation in December will open what critics are calling the most expensive toll lane per mile in the U.S. Drivers returning to Denver from the mountains on busy ski weekends could pay anywhere from $3 to $30—or as high as about $2.30 a mile—to travel in a toll lane along a 13-mile stretch of I-70. CDOT built the toll lane on the inside shoulder of the freeway to help relieve congestion along a narrow portion of I-70. Federal officials will allow its use only 72 days a year. The shoulder-lane project cost is estimated at $70 million.

New York University Trustee Donates $100M for Engineering School

One year after it restored engineering to its curriculum by incorporating Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Polytechnic University, New York University now will boost the program with a $100-million donation from trustee Chandrika Tandon and her husband, Ranjan, a hedge-fund founder. New York University announced the gift on Oct. 5.

The renamed Tandon School of Engineering has about 5,000 students.Officials said the funds will be invested in faculty and “new areas of  engineering.” NYU also has agreed to raise $50 million more for scholarships. The Tandons said in a statement that they “are great believers in STEM education.” They hope their gift “will bring many more of us together to reinvent engineering.”