Fixing America’s Surface Transportation: A FAST Act for the 21st Century

Cedar Street Bridge over I-95In December 2015, a new surface transportation act was signed into law—the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act– providing long-term funding for surface transportation and allowing state and local governments to address critical highway and transit improvements. The $305 billion Act reauthorizes funding for federal highway and public transportation for fiscal years 2016-2020 and stabilizes the Highway Trust Fund during that five-year period. Continue Reading…

Self-Healing Materials: Reinventing Nature

Governors Island Ventilation Building-WebBanner

“Smart concrete” is on the horizon

This past June, the Fifth International Conference on Self-Healing Materials took place in Durham, North Carolina. The conference attracts a diverse group of top scientists and engineers from around the world to discuss advances in this fascinating field that are based on the healing properties of the human body. Since its first edition in 2007, the mission of this conference has been to provide a high-level international platform for this rapidly developing field. The developments in self-healing materials are such that many are starting to take notice, due to the impact that this would have not only in the industry, but for personal items such as sports equipment, cell phones and even nail polish. Continue Reading…

OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City

DSC07801 REVLast month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, the successor to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability oversaw its development and shares responsibility with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency for ensuring its implementation. OneNYC addresses challenges such as a population of 9 million by 2040, changing climate conditions and aging infrastructure through principles of growth, sustainability, resiliency and equity. The plan builds on the four core challenges addressed in past PlaNYC reports with the addition of growing inequality, the importance of the region and New York City “voices”—a reference to the necessary input of a broad range of residents. The plan also acknowledges the growing gap between “technology haves and have-nots.” Continue Reading…

Moving Forward on Transportation Infrastructure Funding

To quote the General Contractors Association, “The Time to Think about Infrastructure is while It is Still Working.” And as a new year begins, now seems to be the time to rethink new construction and repair of infrastructure of all categories.

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St. George Ferry Terminal Ramps Rehabilitation

The nation’s highways are primarily financed by the Highway Trust Fund, which obtains most of its money from a gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. This tax is not tied to the price of gas or inflation and, as a result, has lost much of its purchasing power over the years. The Obama Administration recently held an Infrastructure Investment Summit to find solutions to the infrastructure funding crisis.

While the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a $265 billion 6-year transportation bill that reauthorizes MAP-21, it still leaves a gap of $100 million between Highway Trust Fund revenues and proposed spending levels, which impacts both our mobility and economy. Continue Reading…