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MCEER earthquake engineer: ‘U.S. not prepared for effects of a major earthquake in a large urban area’

Buffalo, N.Y. — On July 29, Andrew Whittaker, Ph.D., S.E., director of MCEER at the University at Buffalo, will tell Congress that the United States is not prepared for effects of a major earthquake in a large urban area. He will do so during testimony before the Subcommittee on Research and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology at a hearing to review the National Earthquake Hazards reduction Program (NEHRP).

Wight & Company celebrates 75th year in business

Chicago — Wight & Company announced its 75th year in business. The architecture, engineering and construction company is celebrating this milestone with the launch of a 75th anniversary microsite that honors the firm’s legacy, highlights major company achievements, and provides perspective on the future of the company and the industry at large. The celebration of the firm’s history will continue over the next several months with content being rolled out in phases.

AIAI releases P3 Best Practices Guide

New York — The Board of Directors of the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) recently introduced the AIAI Best Practices Guide, an educational resource for public-private partnerships (P3s). This first-of-its-kind publication serves as a national source for P3 best practices.

Hatch Mott MacDonald-led team to provide engineering, design and permitting services for Northeast Energy Direct Project

Iselin, N.J. — Hatch Mott MacDonald was selected by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., to lead a regional team that will provide engineering, design and permitting services for TGP’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project. The Project includes interstate natural gas transmission pipelines, crossing parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, as well as new and upgraded compression facilities and related infrastructure.

Seminole County, Fla., approves VHB’s redevelopment plan along key transportation corridor

Orlando, Fla. — Seminole County, Fla. recently approved a Master Plan for the redevelopment of the Oxford Road area identified as a key “catalyst” site for redevelopment and reinvestment along the U.S. 17-92 corridor. It is a catalyst site because of its pivotal position on the Seminole County transportation network. The plan was prepared by VHB, a national planning, design and engineering firm with its Southeast headquarters in Orlando.

Seven East Bay communities, municipal utility district to repair sewer systems, pay civil penalties

San Francisco — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Clean Water Act settlement requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay communities to conduct extensive system repairs aimed at eliminating millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay. Under the agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500-mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period. The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion. The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law.

Scientists predict Southeast ‘Megalopolis’ in next 45 years

Raleigh, N.C. — Urban areas in the Southeastern United States will double in size by 2060 unless there are significant changes to land development, according to a new study by the Department of Interior’s Southeast Climate Science Center and North Carolina State University. The predicted growth would come at the expense of agricultural and forest lands, creating an urban “megalopolis” stretching from Raleigh to Atlanta, which also raises a number of ecological concerns.

U.S. DOT celebrates opening of Silver Line Metrorail in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. — On July 26, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and other U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials celebrated the opening of the first phase of the Silver Line — the largest expansion of Metrorail service in 20 years — connecting the nation’s capital to Tysons Corner and the Reston area of Fairfax County.

Gannett Fleming exceeds corporate sustainability goals

Harrisburg, Pa. — Gannett Fleming, Inc. has released its 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report: We See the World through a Sustainable Lens, highlighting stories and metrics on how it achieved sustainability goals one year ahead of schedule.

U.S. DOT celebrates Tucson Streetcar opening

Tucson, Ariz. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) celebrated the grand opening of the Sun Link Streetcar line. The new line will significantly improve transit options for thousands of area residents and connect major activity centers in downtown Tucson with health care facilities, the University of Arizona and other regional attractions.

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