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HNTB wins P3 procurement services contract in Texas

Austin, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation Strategic Projects Division selected HNTB Corporation to provide statewide procurement engineering services in the development and implementation of planned public-private partnership (P3) projects, including innovative delivery methods such as concession and design-build. The firm also will provide technical support and feasibility analysis under the contract.

EPA approves pollution budget for restoring Maryland coastal bays

Philadelphia — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the pollution budget developed by Maryland to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in Maryland’s coastal bays and tributaries to levels that meet water quality standards. The budget calls for pollution reductions in the coastal bays of up to 35 percent for nitrogen and up to 18 percent for phosphorus. Higher reductions are required in some of the bays tributaries.

Liners can protect pipelines during earthquakes

Ithaca, N.Y. — Cornell civil engineers report that retrofitting pipelines with “cured-in-place pipe” (CIPP) linings — flexible tubular membranes saturated with thermosetting resin — would prevent earthquake damage to seismically vulnerable, 50- to 100-year-old cast iron U.S. pipelines. Their findings would allow public and private utilities to take advantage of improvements in seismic resistance and to renovate aging pipelines that make up an important part of the country’s critical civil infrastructure.

AISI standards offered free at new website

Washington, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) announced that its S200-series (cold-formed steel framing), S300-series (profiled steel diaphragm), and S900-series (test) standards are now available for downloading free of charge at a new website location, www.aisistandards.org.

Parsons Brinckerhoff developing transit plan for I-75 corridor in Michigan

Flint, Mich. — The Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) in Flint, Mich., awarded a planning contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for a transit feasibility study for the I-75 corridor, from Bay City south through Flint to the state line. The study will include a component aimed at strengthening Flint’s local transportation network to support residents and businesses that depend on public transportation.

VDOT researches wildlife patterns to reduce collisions

Richmond, Va. — The Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) research division, the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR), is conducting a three-year study to identify strategic locations to reduce animal-vehicle collisions. For this study, VDOT targeted a section of Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain in Albemarle, Augusta and Nelson counties due to the high number of related crashes in those areas.

ACI Foundation’s Concrete Research Council announces new Research Network

Farmington Hills, Mich. — In its quest to align donors, researchers, and funders with concrete research projects, the ACI Foundation has united with several industry partners by formal Memoranda of Agreements to form the Concrete Research Network (CRN). The CRN is a forum for the concrete industry to engage and connect researchers, funding organizations affiliated with the concrete industry, and industry users with technical research needs, with the end goal of promoting research needs and projects that offer broad implementation across the concrete industry.

Iowa State engineers to simulate and model tornado winds and their effects on buildings

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Tornado Simulator kicked up a thick and slowly spinning funnel cloud over a model of a small town, overwhelming the miniature streets, buildings and homes. Partha Sarkar turned from the laboratory vortex and announced, “That’s an EF3.” Most tornadoes (about 90 percent of them) are EF3 or less in intensity. And so Sarkar advocates that homes and buildings within tornado alley across the middle of the U.S. be designed to withstand EF3 tornadoes and their top wind speeds of 165 mph.

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