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EPA, IECA host Municipal Wet Weather Stormwater Conference

Atlanta — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Region One and the IECA Southeast Chapter are hosting a two-day conference in Charlotte, N.C., on August 18 and 19, 2014. The primary focus of the event will be management of the MS4 function within the EPA southeastern region.

WSDOT installing compact roundabouts for I-5 interchanges

Bellingham, Wash. — The Whatcom County Council approved a plan for the Washington State Department of Transportation to install three compact roundabouts near the Interstate 5 interchange with Slater Road, between Bellingham and Ferndale. WSDOT recommended the compact roundabouts as a practical, low cost solution for the intersections after examining several options, including making each a four-way stop, installing traffic signals or adding full roundabouts. Four-way stops would create even bigger traffic back-ups, especially at peak hours. Signals or full roundabouts cost about $1.5 to $2.5 million each. Compact roundabouts can be built in the existing paved area for about $100,000 apiece.

Construction crews shift focus to the northbound span of I-495 Bridge

Wilmington, Del. — Now that the southbound span of the I-495 Bridge is open to traffic, construction crews have shifted their focus to the northbound span. In the past week they were able to finish underpinning the piers needing new support closest to the Christina River (pier 14) and Christiana Avenue (pier 11). These piers are now firmly encased in a new footer on top of underground support columns.

HNTB selected for primary management position on Georgia Commute Options

Atlanta — The Georgia Department of Transportation awarded HNTB Corporation the overall manager position for an innovative transportation demand management program, Georgia Commute Options. GCO was established to give commuters and employers in the state transportation choices beyond driving and to reduce air pollution, saving Georgians more than $500,000 per day on gas and vehicle maintenance expenses.

Work resumes on $250 million Staten Island Siphon

New York — New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA NY/NJ) Director of Port Commerce Rick Larrabee and New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Kyle Kimball announced that construction of the $250 million Staten Island Siphon has resumed and made significant progress after a nearly 18 month delay due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The project involves excavating a new, deeper tunnel (siphon) under New York harbor to convey drinking water from Brooklyn to Staten Island.

NIST Global City Teams Challenge to create smart cities

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several partners kicked off the year-long Global City Teams Challenge to help communities around the world work together to address issues ranging from air quality to traffic management to emergency services coordination. NIST is inviting communities and innovators to create teams that will foster the spread of “smart cities” that take advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and improve quality of life.

Caltrans: Bay Bridge is safe

Sacramento, Calif. — In continuing response to reports released Aug. 4, 2014, by the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, investigating design and construction of the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (, Caltrans issued the following statement: “Here’s what statewide elected officials, Bay Area transportation officials, world-class engineers, geotechnical and welding experts, and quality assurance and quality control expert panel members have been saying about the safety of the new Bay Bridge:”

Construction economists optimistic about 2014 commercial and industrial growth

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chief Economist Kermit Baker and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist David Crowe provided a collaborative economic forecast in an Aug. 4 webcast, combining their expert economic analysis on leading, present and lagging economic indicators.

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