Federal Legislation & Regulation Congressional panel slates hearing on California high-speed rail project
Progressive Railroading » The House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials on Thursday will hold a field hearing in Sacramento, California, to review the status of the state’s high-speed rail project. The subcommittee will also examine the most recent modifications to the project’s business plan, which were released in June.
CBS News » The average age of the 90,580 dams located across the U.S is 56 years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. ASCE says that in just 10 years, the number of at-risk dams has grown from 10 percent to 17 percent. One reason: Many are earthen dams, and the aging and crumbling structures are barely holding back nearby lakes and rivers.
Construction Dive » The rail’s biggest hurdle, however, could come in the guise of a new governor who could oppose the project and pull the plug. Some onlookers say the reason that the authority is pushing so hard to finish portions of the bullet train line is so that it will be more difficult for the incoming administration to give up on it.
Chico Enterprise-Record » An independent review board hired by the state Department of Water Resources Oroville Dam has released its first report with an eye toward improving the facility’s future operations. Among the suggestions: a second gated spillway, improved monitoring, and clear operational planning that takes into account the impact of climate change on the dam’s functions. (The webpage includes an embedded copy of the independent report.)
The Sacramento Bee » Global warming is here. Its impact won’t be receding. Ever more volatile weather systems will be sink-holing roads, undermining bridges and sluicing boulder-filled mud down onto critical rail lines and transportation links. That’s something to keep in mind as the Nov. 6 election approaches, with its partisan debate over whether to repeal California’s recent tax increases for roads and transportation.