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Infrastructure

It’s an ongoing, multitrillion-dollar challenge to build new and maintain existing infrastructure. This section will explore forward-looking approaches to funding, building and maintaining roads, highways, rail and broadband, as well as water and other utilities.

Two of the best alternatives for user-paid infrastructure are toll roads and variable-fee express lanes. States with fast-growing populations are embracing toll projects because they can't wait for federal funding, and private capital is eager to invest.
Many cities view rail transit as an enticing boost to civic fortunes. But there’s a better, cheaper way to accomplish the same thing.
A state House committee voted 8-3 to pass a cluster of bills that would devote billions over 10 years to Michigan’s economic development and transit. But Democrats will need at least one Republican to vote to pass the package.
A new commission appointed by Maine Gov. Janet Mills will explore ways to make state infrastructure more resilient to climate change.
Climate and weather disasters are more frequent and more costly. What can be done to keep insurers viable and property owners protected?
A pilot program will develop generative artificial intelligence tools to investigate near misses of injuries and deaths on California roads to locate hazardous areas and reduce traffic.
Federal mandates that steer contracts to unionized companies exacerbate the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage. Taxpayers lose when responsible contractors that do a quality job at the best price are frozen out.
A new order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeks to prod longer-term planning to address growing power demands and the transition to renewables.
The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to have the Port of Baltimore’s main channel fully open by June 10. To meet the deadline, large pieces of the Key Bridge’s steel truss must be removed from the waterway to ensure boat safety.
Private and government organizations are looking for ways to use technology, including networks of satellites, to improve anticipation and prevention of wildfire activity.
A new report tracked pedestrian fatality rates in the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Almost all of them are becoming more dangerous.
There are powerful arguments against cities spending lots of money on professional sports. On the other hand, the prestige of having home teams carries some tangible benefits.
The electricity company National Grid will invest billions over the next five years in an effort to achieve the state’s climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.
The 3,150 square-foot home recently hit the market in Burton, Texas, for $760,000. The printing company, Hive3D, is working on other 3D-printed housing options, including short-term rental “casitas” in Round Top.
Some interest groups don’t like project labor agreements, but new research shows that they benefit taxpayers and the construction industry while strengthening our skilled trade workforce.
The Louisiana Department of Health found that 81 percent of the state’s population were serviced with A or B grade water systems. But 115 of the state’s systems, mostly in rural areas, were ranked with a D or F.
The state’s TEXpress lanes aim to keep traffic moving at least 50 miles per hour using the tollway’s managed lanes’ dynamic pricing. Fees will change frequently depending on the amount of congestion in the free lanes.
Tampa Electric has called for a new rate structure that would shift the economic onus from the utility’s largest customers to residences and smaller businesses, resulting in a potential rate increase of $200 monthly.
Electricity demand in Northwest states is expected to grow more than 30 percent in the next decade, partly due to the rapid expansion of data centers across the region.
Wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph contributed to multiple power outages across the Colorado Springs area that left thousands without power and resulted in multiple school closures on Monday.
The Panoche Water District allegedly stole 130,000 acre feet of water and redistributed it to farmland across Fresno and Merced counties. Now the feds want retribution but not everyone in the region agrees.
By 2030, data centers will need 35 gigawatts of electricity, which is enough to power more than 26 million average homes. Some states are concerned that more data centers will risk the reliability and affordability of local electric grids.
Bringing fiber infrastructure to rural areas is expensive and time consuming. Wise County, Texas, found a way to deliver high-speed Internet access without wires.
Indiana is finishing its portion of Interstate 69, a highway planned to run from Canada to Mexico. It’s been in the works for decades.
The Nova Power Bank in Menifee, Calif., will host roughly 2,000 batteries over 43 acres and store enough electricity to power 680,000 homes for up to four hours. The facility is expected to be completed next year.
Four Los Angeles city-based Metro board members urged the transit agency to adopt an aggressive conversion plan to meet the original goal of 100 percent zero-emission buses by 2030. But the five-year delay will likely stand.
Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell wants voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund transit-service improvements and upgrades to the city’s sidewalks and roads.
ERCOT, the power grid operator for Texas, has warned of flaws in some solar, wind and battery storage resources that could disconnect the grid if there are frequency disturbances such as lightning strikes or equipment failures.
Organic waste in landfills is a major source of methane emissions. Orange County, Calif., is making progress in diverting it.
Future in Context
Reducing traffic deaths is a compelling proposition, but it gets complicated when trying to make it so.
Permitting obstacles too often slow deployment of federal infrastructure dollars.