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New IBHS report rates building codes in 18 coastal states

Austin, Texas — At the National Hurricane Conference, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) President and CEO Julie Rochman announced the release of the second edition of the Institute’s Rating the States report. The study assesses the progress of 18 hurricane-prone coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast in strengthening their residential building code systems since IBHS’ original 2012 report.

Understanding design fixation

Cambridge, U.K. — New research into the phenomenon of design fixation – allowing prior experience to blind us to new possibilities – may help in the development of new tools and strategies that help to stimulate the creative process without inadvertently limiting it.

Terracon adds two locations in upper Midwest

Olathe, Kan. — Terracon, a provider of environmental, geotechnical, materials, and facilities services, announced the ownership of two soils testing and materials laboratories in the upper Midwest. The offices, located in Vernon Hills, Ill., and Green Bay, Wis., were most recently operated by AECOM, and previously owned by STS Consultants, Ltd.

Six states receive grants for innovative infrastructure efforts

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $4.38 million in grants from the Federal Highway Administration’s Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) demonstration program to Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. The grants will be used to fund innovative road and bridge work that will lead to better, safer road infrastructure efforts nationwide.

ARTBA analysis: Over 61,000 U.S. bridges need structural repair

Washington, D.C. — An analysis of the recently released 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National Bridge Inventory database finds good news and bad news when it comes to the most heavily traveled U.S. bridges. The good news is that there are over 2,000 fewer structurally deficient structures than there were in 2013. The bad news is that it means more than 61,000 structurally deficient bridges are still in need of significant repair.

VTrans revising state roadway standards

Montpelier, Vt. — The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), in partnership with national nonprofit Smart Growth America, unveiled a work program for revising the Vermont State Standards. The report, Revising the Vermont State Standards; M2D2: Multimodal Development and Delivery, identifies specific modifications to the Vermont State Standards, recommends changes to other related VTrans guidelines and policies, and presents an implementation plan and schedule for conducting the revisions.

Zachry Group contributes $25 million to Texas A&M’s College of Engineering

College Station, Texas — Zachry Group, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, has given a lead gift of $25 million to the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. The contribution will support construction of the Engineering Education Complex (EEC), establishment of the Zachry Leadership Program and the Zachry Group Professor of Practice within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Three Thornton Tomasetti projects win AISC IDEAS2 Awards

New York — Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, announced that three of its projects — Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) in California; Florida Polytechnic University’s Innovation, Science and Technology Building in Lakeland; and Pomona College Studio Art Hall in Claremont, Calif. — have each received an American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) 2015 IDEAS2 Award for Excellence in Steel-Frame Building Design.

Clark Dietz inducted into UW-Platteville 1866 Cornerstone Society

Kenosha, Wis. — Clark Dietz, Inc. was recently inducted into the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s 1866 Cornerstone Society in recognition of stewardship to the University. Clark Dietz has provided an annual scholarship for the past 10 years to assist outstanding underrepresented students pursuing engineering degrees at the University.

MIT study shows smarter traffic signals can cut greenhouse gas emissions

Cambridge, Mass — Sitting in traffic during rush hour is not just frustrating for drivers, it also adds unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Now a study by researchers at MIT could lead to better ways of programming a city’s stoplights to reduce delays, improve efficiency, and reduce emissions.

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