Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has introduced a bill that would repair the looming revenue hole in the Highway Trust Fund. Baucus's bill, introduced July 20, would provide a total of $26.8 billion in new revenue for the trust fund, with $22 billion designed for the fund's highway account and $4.8 billion for its transit account. Photo: Senate Finance Committee Finance Committee Chairman Baucus (L) hopes to avert shortfall in trust fund. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said that the highway account will require a $20- billion infusion over the next 18 months, or DOT would have to
Demand for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants for high-speed rail far outstrips the $8 billion available. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration reported on July 16 that it had received 278 "pre-applications" for the rail grants, with applicants requesting a total of $102 billion. The department expects to award the first batch of economic-stimulus rail grants in the fall. In another sign of the red-hot interest in the fast trains, the House Appropriations Committee on July 17 included $4 billion for high-speed rail in its fiscal 2010 transportation spending bill. That quadruples the amount President Obama requested.
The Senate commerce committee has scheduled a vote July 21 on a two-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which includes an increase in airport construction grants, but makes no changes in the current aviation user-fee system. Photo: Office of Sen. Jay Rockefeller Chairman Rockefeller says bill would keep aviation user fees at current levels Related Links: House Passes Three-Year FAA Bill With Hike for Construction Funds The measure, introduced July 14 by Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), would authorize a total of $34.5 billion over the fiscal 2010-2011 period. Of that, FAA's Airport Improvement Program construction grants would receive $8.1
The contractor for the $453-million steel-superstructure portion of the widening of the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans is working out the last details of an erection sequence that is faster, safer and interferes less with motor and marine traffic than the stick-build sequence the owner originally proposed. Photo: HNTB Piers have been enlarged and new bracing added to prepare for widened spans. Photo: Angelle Bergeron / ENR Related Links: Span Readied To Receive Steel: A Bridge Grows in New Orelans MTI, a joint venture of Massman Construction Co., Kansas City; Traylor Bros. Inc., Evansville, Ind.; and IHI Inc.,
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved a bill that would extend the federal-aid highway program for 18 months, authorizing $61.5 billion over that period. The panel cleared the measure on July 15 by an 18-1 vote. Only Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) voted against it. Photo: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Majority Boxer kept bill "clean" of policy-related provisions The extension would begin on Sept. 30, when the current multi-year surface transportation bill--the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)--will lapse. It would keep authorizations at the fiscal 2009 levels, providing $41
Engineers and up to 2,000 workers in London have been stitching together and modernizing sections of three 19th-century urban railroads—two defunct and one live—to close a gap of under 3 km in the northeast corner of the city’s emerging orbital route. Slide Show Photo: Peter Reina / ENR A refurbished arch viaduct. Related Links: New Urban Rail Link: Threading an Historic Cityscape Over $1 billion is the expected end cost for the three-year project extending and improving this short stretch of Victorian-era infrastructure in the crowded metropolis. “It is a very complex project because here you are dealing with old
A new team is taking over at the Federal Highway Administration, as debate heats up about the Highway Trust Fund’s problems and legislation to reauthorize surface transportation programs. The Senate on July 10 confirmed former Arizona Dept. of Transportation Director Victor M. Mendez as FHWA administrator. Mendez served as ADOT’s director from 2001 until February 2009.
A construction team led by Spanish contractor Sacyr Vallehermoso SA has won the mammoth Panama Canal expansion’s largest contract to date: the design-build job to build a third set of locks on the waterway’s Atlantic and Pacific openings. The locks contract is the heart of the $5.2-billion effort begun in September 2007 to expand the historic waterway. The winning team, which includes two U.S. engineering firms, proposes to construct the locks for $3.12 billion. The job had been estimated by owner Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to cost $3.48 billion, the quasi-government agency revealed on July 8. Photo: C.J. Schexnayder/ENR Firms
As its investigation continues into the deadly June 22 crash of two Metrorail cars in suburban Maryland near Washington, D.C., the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is urging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to incorporate enhanced safety redundancy into its train control system as quickly as possible. The agency also called on the Federal Transit Administration to advise other transit agencies using similar automated controls to evaluate their systems for adequate safety redundancy. Metrorail's control system, which automatically regulates train speed and location, has come under scrutiny after a train traveling at high speed rear-ended a stopped train,
Next year’s World Cup soccer competition is providing powerful motivation on a major transportation project. Gautrain is an 80-kilometer rail line linking Johannesburg with Pretoria, with a spur leading to OR Tambo International Airport, which serves both cities. The route will tunnel underground for 15 km, cross 55 bridges and travel on viaducts for 10.5 km. It involves 6.7 million cubic meters of earthmoving, with a peak work force of 6,000. Phase one, the 20-km airport connector, is currently on target for its May 2010 deadline. It is structured as a public- private partnership, awarded to the Bombela Consortium, made