The Texas Tribune » High-speed rail developers have been eyeing a 240-mile stretch of mostly rural land sandwiched between the urban hubs of Dallas and Houston for years. Their goal: buy it up and build America’s first bullet train. But several rural landowners don’t plan on giving up their private property without a fight. And their supporters in the Legislature have filed so many bills that could disrupt Texas Central Partners LLC’s plans that there’s an entire subcommittee tackling the ongoing battle over the multibillion dollar project.
The Sacramento Bee » Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated when the California Transportation Commission voted, despite a host of warnings, to pay a contractor more than $1 billion to build two tunnels and a stretch of road outside San Francisco nine years ago. Now the project, known as the Presidio Parkway, is more than two years late and $208 million over budget. When the commission approved another $34 million in delay-related spending last month, two commissioners who originally opposed the project lamented their predictions had come true. “This has been a fiasco from the beginning,” Commissioner Bob Alvarado said at the March 14 meeting.
MIT News » Researchers at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub have proposed a new approach to long-term highway preservation that abandons rigid maintenance schedules in favor of a system that accounts for a number of factors, from the road’s design, materials, deterioration rate, and more. Their method then employs an algorithm to determine the most efficient timing and method to preserve the highway surface.
Route Fifty » More than 47,000 of America’s bridges are in urgent need of repairs, slightly fewer than last year thanks largely to the federal government’s new definition of the term “structurally deficient,” according to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. The study uses the latest data available from federal government’s National Bridge Inventory Database.