• Pennsylvania's bridge structural deficiency rate is nearly double the national average

    There are 4,284 bridges in the 5-county Pittsburgh area, and 1,246 of them, or 29 percent, are rated structurally deficient; this means that at least one bridge element — its superstructure, substructure, or deck — was found by inspectors to be in poor or worse-than-poor condition; Pennsylvania’s 22 percent bridge structural deficiency rate is nearly double the national average

  • India tunnels under Himalayan peaks to keep up with China

    In the past decade, as China has furiously built up its military and civilian infrastructure on its side of the Himalayan border, but the Rohtang Pass on the Indian side has stood as silent testimony to India’s inability and unwillingness to master its far-flung and rugged outermost reaches; in June, India has began to change that by starting the ambitious project which will take five years and require boring five miles through the Pir Panjal range; several other tunnels, which would allow all-weather access to Ladakh, which abuts the Tibetan Plateau, are also in the works

  • It will cost $77 billion to shore up U.S. ground transportation infrastructure

    It would cost $77.7 billion to bring the U.S. mass transit systems, bus and rail included, into a state of good repair; most of the $77.7 billion backlog can be attributed to rail, but more than 40 percent of the U.S. buses also are in poor to marginal condition; in addition, an annual average of $14.4 billion would be required to maintain the systems

  • 150,000 U.S. bridges are rated "deficient"

    About 25 percent of the U.S. bridges remain “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete”; the deterioration of bridges in the United States is the direct result of a confluence of three developments: the system is aging; the costs of maintaining bridges is high; and traffic on these bridges is steadily increasing

  • Transportation leaders warn of U.S. infrastructure woes

    The U.S. transportation system that supports the movement of freight is facing a crisis: in ten years, an additional 1.8 million trucks will be on the road in the United States; in twenty years, one truck will be added for every two today; major highway bottlenecks already are adding to the cost of food and other goods for American consumers

  • Flipper bridge could sort out Hong Kong-China traffic switch

    In Hong Kong, people drive on the left; in mainland China, they drive on the right; a Dutch architectural firm has proposed a solution for traffic between the two places: a flipper bridge

  • 110-foot concrete bridge withstands 8.0 earthquake simulation

    University of Nevada, Reno, researchers demonstrate a 110-foot long, 200-ton concrete bridge model that can withstand a powerful jolting, three times the acceleration of the disastrous 1994 magnitude 6.9 Northridge, California earthquake, and survive in good condition

  • Oregon town plans first tsunami-resistant building on stilts

    Geological findings in recent years suggest there is a one-in-three chance that in the next half century a mega-earthquake will tear the seafloor apart off the Oregon Coast; huge waves would surge onto coastal communities in as little as fifteen minutes; an Oregon city plans tsunami-resistant buildings on stilts

  • Berkeley quake demonstration shows bridge safety ideas

    Researchers demonstrate new bridge design that can withstand powerful earthquakes; the design concept relies on building segmented bridges with seismic isolators between the segments; the design would be particularly useful for long stretches of elevated freeways and high-speed rail lines that often run on elevated tracks

  • Crack-proof concrete developed

    Researchers develop crack-proof concrete; the construction industry has spent decades looking for materials that would not crack when they are used to repair and reinforce older materials, because even hairline cracks can let in pollutants and start disintegrating the concrete; BASF engineers offer a solution

  • U.S. to expand freight congestion tracking initiative

    The worst traffic bottleneck in the United States is the I-290 interchange with I-90 and I-94 in Chicago, where the average speed at 5 p.m. drops to 15 mph; the average peak hour speed is 23 mph, and the average non-peak hour speed is only 33 mph; data gathered from trucks identifies bottlenecks, and could help steer infrastructure planning

  • Self-healing concrete developed

    University of Rhode Island researchers develop a new type of self-healing concrete that promises to be commercially viable and have added environmental benefits; a microencapsulated sodium-silicate healing agent is embedded directly into a concrete matrix; when tiny stress cracks begin to form in the concrete, the capsules rupture and release the healing agent into the adjacent areas

  • Will the World Cup change South Africa?

    Thabo Mbeki, the disgraced former South African president, grandly claimed that the 2010 World Cup would be the moment when the African continent “turned the tide on centuries of poverty and conflict”; a BBC reporter touring the country on the eve of the tournament notes the new stadiums and roads, but says the more likely aftermath is that South Africa will have spent billions of dollars on a 30-day advert for the country that quickly fades as the sporting world moves on

  • How to protect Times Square -- and other highly traveled areas

    New Yorkers were lucky that a T-shirt vendor notices the suspicious SUV left by Faisal Shazad in Times Square, but there are ways to improve on luck in trying to secure highly traveled areas; more coordinated CCTV system, blast-mitigation, and more call boxes are a few of the measures

  • Remotely controlled robot inspects dangerous structures

    A remotely controlled robot uses laser sensors to look inside damaged structures to look for survivors; when inside the structure, the robot takes multiple scans using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) unit that takes up to 500,000 point measurements per second. It also can scan through walls and windows