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News & Notes

Fast 14 project an exciting demonstration of American innovation [USDOT Fast Lane Blog]

The challenge was tremendous; last summer gaping holes opened up in bridges along the crucial I-93 corridor near Boston. It was clear that the superstructure–the concrete decking and steel beams–of the aging bridges was failing and had to be replaced. Unfortunately, with conventional techniques, closing lanes to replace the 14 structurally deficient bridges on this primary commuter artery would likely tie Boston-area traffic in painful knots for four long years.

The Massachusetts DOT design-build team proposed to cut that four years down to 14 weeks by prefabricating the superstructure pieces off-site then quickly fitting them into position. Rather than close lanes for the weeks it would take to fabricate a bridge’s superstructure on-site, lane closures could be limited to weekends when the pre-fab superstructure could be lowered into place. Preparatory work, they suggested, could be done in advance without disrupting the flow of traffic.

Why isn’t everyone doing this?


Transit systems face across-the-board cuts, diminished funding stream under House bill [Transportation for America]

The House proposal contains scant information about public transportation, but by most indications, non-highway projects would have more difficulty receiving funding and prioritization compared to current law.
The outline did not explicitly call for maintaining the historic 20 percent share of Highway Trust Fund dollars for public transportation, though both Chairman Mica and Committee staff indicated verbally at a press conference that the 80/20 ratio would be preserved, albeit as part of a much smaller share of total dollars. Though even with the 20 percent share intact, the overall 35 percent cut would result in steep fare hikes, service cuts, job losses or some combination thereof.

See also: Federal transportation program slated for 35 percent spending cut in House bill [Transportation for America]


Mixed Messages: Parking Requirements at Bars [Streetsblog]

If the government catches you drinking and driving, you will be arrested, fined and possibly jailed. And rightly so. Drunk driving kills almost 11,000 people annually in the United States, more than the number of U.S. soldiers killed in our multiple wars over the past decade.

On the other hand, government agencies are rolling out the red carpet for motorists at establishments devoted to drinking, thanks to minimum parking requirements. What gives?


Amazing Historical Photos Of Washington D.C. Recreated Today [Business Insider]

Awesome and large photo gallery of historic Washington photos held infront of the modern landscape.


Creating Urban Vitality through Mixed-Use Development [The City Fix]

Mixed-use developments have been gaining ground as a successful planning design strategy to increase transportation options, revitalize local economies and enliven communities. Although MUDs may soon be universally accepted as the go-to approach for any new neighborhood, there are still obstacles and confusion about implementing them. Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) released two publications in the past couple of months to help clarify the basics of mixed-use developments.

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One Response to News & Notes

  1. Lewis Dana July 22, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Pre-fab bridge building?

    Look no further than the I-Way’s tied-arch span, built at Quonset Point, floated up the Bay and dropped precisely on its footings by Mother Nature.

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