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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.

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 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.
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.
Secretary of Transportation Monica Tibbits-Nutt suggested constructing toll booths at state borders to help address the state’s tight budget. But on Monday Gov. Maura Healey said she is not proposing border tolls.
Currently, the state controls the local speed limits but a proposal folded into the state budget would change that. The current speed limit in New York City was set in 2014, the first citywide reduction in a half-century.
Recent events highlight the fact that water systems are targets for cyber attacks. There are ways of strengthening defenses at little to no cost, but more needs to be done to implement them.
Maryland legislators are taking steps to protect workers and businesses affected by the port and highway closure. There are broader, indirect effects, however, that are creating additional uncertainty.
For politicians, there are lots of incentives in favor of new construction projects but not much for maintenance. That can lead to deadly results, as the bridge collapse in Baltimore demonstrated.
The five members of Florida’s Public Service Commission have great sway over what sources energy utilities use to generate electricity and how much Floridians must pay for their power.
The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new climate action plan on Tuesday that will set updated standards for phasing out oil and gas production, construction of zero-carbon buildings and reducing driving trips.
City and state leaders in the Milwaukee area are addressing a spike in reckless driving in a variety of ways, from increasing penalties to redesigning streets. The city has a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2037.
Street safety is increasingly a source of conflict between state and local governments. Houston’s new mayor has paused a series of redesigns.
The federal Affordable Connectivity Program has helped 23 million low-income households afford Internet connections to schedule or attend health-care appointments. But the program will soon run out of funds.
Many center-city downtowns continue to struggle, but Americans, especially younger adults, still want walkability.
State Road 516 will be equipped to recharge batteries of electric cars and trucks as they drive along the toll expressway. Although it will be less than five miles long, the road will cost nearly $550 million.
The Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore has closed the port and a key access road indefinitely. But many shippers and other companies were already more attuned to supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge collision in Florida, back in 1980, changed the way bridges are built. A civil engineer explains what might change after Baltimore.
New federal regulations would force a shift to fuel-efficient hybrids and electric vehicles in the coming years. States such as New Jersey are already raising gas taxes and adopting EV fees.
The country needs a lot of new infrastructure. But we keep putting it in the wrong places.
The artificial reef aims to replenish marine life eradicated by a nuclear power plant’s water cooling system. The plant has now been shut for more than a decade, giving the aquatic ecosystems time to rebuild.
The Effingham City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to regulate cryptocurrency mines and data centers, including their noise generation and physical locations.