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Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
New York: ‘Signature’ City Island bridge plan’s all wet, critics say

Daily News (New York) – After several years of delays, planning and community opposition, the cost of replacing the 108-year-old City Island Bridge has risen to $120 million.

Back on Aug. 20, 2003 – when Mayor Bloomberg announced plans for a new high-tech bridge “as unique as the island itself” – the cost was estimated at $32 million.

The new bridge project has yet to get started, with the latest launch date now set for next year. [read more…]

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
Florida: Stimulus funds roll out to First Coast military projects

The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) – People who use Jacksonville Naval Hospital already expect it to look different in coming months as work continues on an expansion at the site.

But now it’s going to look even more different. Architects in Winter Park are hard at work designing a new entrance to the hospital, spiffying up the patient drop-off area and figuring out how to convert operating rooms into suites.

“Its getting off to a good start,” said Robert Yohe, an architect with Rogers, Lovelock & Fritz Inc. “It’s a fairly complex project because there’s a lot of renovation involved.”

This $557,000 project is the first local contract to be funded by federal stimulus money dispersed by the Department of Defense.

It’s part of $40.6 million — plus money to install solar systems and advanced electrical meters — that will be spent over the next four years at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Mayport Naval Station and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

Such spending will have a ripple effect throughout the economy, said Paul Mason, an economist at the University of North Florida, particularly because it’s money coming into the region from outside. [read more…]

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Rhode Island: $70 million for sewage treatment plant rehab

The Providence Journal (R.I.) – Upgrading the city’s wastewater treatment facility to comply with environmental regulations and handle the potential full build-out of East Providence’s waterfront may cost $70 million.

The total is contained in a plan drafted by experts hired by the city and approved last month by the state Department of Environmental Management. The department has been pressuring the city for years to make the improvements.

The City Council had a workshop April 14 and is expected to approve a 300-plus-page request for proposals at its Tuesday night meeting. Those proposals are to include private management of the sewer system, which would still be owned by the city.

Nonetheless, the cost has council members uneasy. [read more…]

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Kentucky: Covington leads way in fixing its levees

Kentucky Enquirer – Northern Kentucky’s largest city has been a leader in the region – and perhaps the country – in working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to correct problems with its flood levee system following Hurricane Katrina.

After Katrina waters flooded New Orleans in 2005 when levees failed, federal officials raised the priority for evaluating flood-protection nationwide, with plans to certify those they believe effectively will hold back big floods.

For areas where flood walls are not certified, building owners with properties behind inadequate levees can face significantly higher flood insurance rates. If a large flood were to occur, properties behind the weak levees would not receive federal assistance. [read more…]

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Diamond Interchange highway projects under way near Texas Stadium in Irving

Dallas Morning News – The dirt is flying around Irving’s shuttered Texas Stadium with renovations under way on that area’s four major thoroughfares.

The $518 million worth of highway projects are aimed at transforming how motorists maneuver through state highways 114 and 183, Loop 12 and Spur 482.

State transportation and Irving city officials say the dramatic transformations will also forever change how drivers travel throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The projects will add direct highway connections, flyover bridges and extra highway lanes to an area famous for problematic entrances, exits and switchovers. [read more…]

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
South Carolina: Substandard bridges span Anderson County

Independent Mail (Anderson, S.C.) – Officials have reported that there are 110 substandard bridges in Anderson County, and that ranks fourth most among the counties in South Carolina. [read more…]

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Indiana bill would define clean coal and nuclear energy as ‘renewable’

Grist – The Indiana lawmakers are considering legislation that would define “clean coal” and nuclear-generated electricity as renewable energy. [read more…]

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Lousiana: Gov. Bobby Jindal seeks lawmakers support to use surplus for roads

The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) – Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday he is recommending that legislators approve almost $246 million of last year’s state surplus for highway and bridge construction and repairs when the lawmaking session opens April 27.

Jindal said the $245.85 million of the surplus can leverage another $252 million in federal money that can be used on big-ticket items such as construction of segments of Interstate 49 in north and south Louisiana, and local roads in rural and urban areas. [read more…]

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Wind turbine imports increase; can U.S. factories catch up?

The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)/McClatchy Newspapers – Manufacturing of wind turbine parts in the United States grew last year as the market for wind energy boomed, but trade figures show that imports continued at a high rate after years of big growth.

Wind turbine imports from Europe and Asia rose from $60 million in 2004 to $2.5 billion in 2008, according to Customs data reviewed by McClatchy Newspapers. Imports of other equipment usually, but not always, used for wind power production also increased in the same period. The value of AC generators and towers, for instance, jumped from $84 million to $1.6 billion.

The numbers suggest that there’s potential for U.S. manufacturers to seize some opportunities, and some of the largest turbine makers say they’re looking for U.S. suppliers. [read more…]

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