Construction Industry News: July 29, 2019

DOT Picks Winners for $856 Million in New INFRA Grants

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has selected 20 projects—for highway, bridge, port and rail improvements—to share $856 million in the latest round of its highly competitive INFRA grant program. [View DOT fact sheets on each winning project here.]

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The department picked the winners for this year’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America funding from a wide field. Announcing the 2019 selections on July 25 at DOT headquarters, Secretary Elaine Chao said that almost 200 applications were submitted, seeking a total of $9.8 billion.

New AI-enabled technology quickly identifies bridge defects

The standard approach to identifying structural deficiencies in bridge decks is decidedly low tech. The time-intensive “sounding” process requires ground crews to drag a chain across the surface of the road to listen for hollow-sounding fluctuations and watch for vibrations. Often requiring road closures for days or weeks at a time, the technique creates headaches and hazards for motorists, road workers and inspectors.

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Key Senators Propose $287B, 5-Year Highway Bill, Up 27% from FAST Act

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee leaders have proposed a five-year, $287-billion highway bill, an eagerly awaited initial piece of what would be a multi-part surface transportation package.

The measure, introduced on July 29, would amount to a 27% increase over current authorized funding, but because the committee’s jurisdiction doesn’t cover revenue, the bill doesn’t address where the additional money would come from.

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Central Subway contractor dispute threatens to bust budget

An independent federal monitor warns in a new report that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency may soon spend its last federal dollar for the project and exhaust the “contingency” budget meant to cover cost overruns.

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Governor Cuomo Announces Port Authority Solicits Input and Ideas for JFK Central Hub 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is issuing a Request for Information for the design and development of JFK Central, an approximately 14-acre, mixed-use space at the epicenter of the redeveloped John F. Kennedy International Airport. This new site offers a blank canvas to create a centrally-located commercial and recreational public space to serve today’s travelers and employees, and capitalizes on the broader transformation of JFK currently underway.

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