infrastructure

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With Money Tight, More Towns Are Unpaving Their Roads

Public works spending isn't keeping up with basic maintenance costs

(Newser) - With infrastructure spending at a low point and infrastructure itself getting a D grade as judged by the American Society of Civil Engineers, paved roads that are crumbling and full of potholes are becoming more commonplace. And now, according to a new report out by the National Highway Cooperative Highway... More »

Congress Playing With Fire on Infrastructure Spending

Atlantic writer: We need a long-term fix, not 60-day stopgaps

(Newser) - One thing both parties agree on is that the way we fund projects to repair roads, rails, and bridges is a joke, writes Russell Berman at the Atlantic . Witness the House vote earlier this week to keep the Highway Trust Fund alive—for only another two months. Without the fund,... More »

China to Build a Direct Path to Indian Ocean

Chinese to announce $45B investment in Pakistani energy, infrastructure

(Newser) - China doesn't touch the Indian Ocean, but it soon intends to have access to it. Chinese president Xi Jinping is currently on a two-day trip to Pakistan to finalize a big investment in its links with its neighbor: $45 billion to be spent on energy and infrastructure projects, the... More »

One Dead in Ohio Highway Overpass Collapse

Big-rig driver cheats death by seconds

(Newser) - A construction worker was killed and a tractor-trailer driver injured when an interstate overpass undergoing demolition collapsed in Cincinnati last night, fire and emergency medical officials say. The Cincinnati Fire Department says the collapse onto southbound Interstate 75 happened near Hopple Street north of downtown at about 10:30pm. Police... More »

Investigation: There's Danger Below Our Feet

Leaks from aging gas pipes kill, injure, or destroy nearly every other day

(Newser) - Old metal gas pipes pose deadly leak dangers across the US—yet we still have tens of thousands of miles of them under our feet, USA Today reports. The threat may seem small, but in fact, blasts from leaks have hurt or killed people or damaged property approximately every two... More »

How Gas Leaks Can Blow Up Buildings

Harlem explosion is proof of wider problem, experts say

(Newser) - Gas-leak explosions are devastating enough to destroy entire buildings, as we saw this morning in Harlem —and experts tell Popular Mechanics just how it can happen. It's not uncommon for underground pipes to leak gas that gets trapped under several inches of frost in winter and moves sideways,... More »

For 1st Time, Sea Tunnel Links 2 Continents

Istanbul link was planned 150 years ago

(Newser) - An idea conceived by an Ottoman sultan 150 years ago is finally coming to life: Turkey this week opened the first sea tunnel connecting two continents. The 8.5-mile-long tunnel connects the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, with 4,593 feet of it running under the Bosporus, the strait... More »

65K US Bridges 'Structurally Deficient'

And another 20K are 'fracture critical,' which is even worse

(Newser) - Think about this the next time you drive over a bridge: An AP analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory showed that 65,605 were classified as "structurally deficient" and 20,808 as "fracture critical." A bridge is deemed fracture critical... More »

We've Got a Choice: Schools or Nursing Homes?

Robert Samuelson doesn't think our economy is strong enough to pay pensions

(Newser) - If anyone tries to tell you that Detroit's bankruptcy is an isolated incident, "don't be fooled," writes Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post . The truth is that for governments across the country, "the scramble for scarce resources is intensifying. Schools compete with nursing homes."... More »

We Cross Bridges Needing Repair 260M Times a Day

New report finds that 1 in 9 in US are 'structurally deficient'

(Newser) - If this story didn't already cause you to develop a mild case of gephyrophobia , then this one may do the trick: Some 11% of America's bridges are structurally deficient and in need of repair, according to a new report from Transportation for America . It's a stat made... More »

Exec Orders on Cybersecurity Due Tomorrow

But White House still wants Congress to act

(Newser) - President Obama's hotly rumored executive orders to beef up cybersecurity for companies operating America's critical infrastructure are coming tomorrow morning, sources tell the Hill . Obama is expected to mention cybersecurity briefly in tonight's State of the Union address, as he did in last year's; but, with... More »

US Has More Than One Deficit

Larry Summers warns against getting myopic about the national debt

(Newser) - All Washington talks about lately is how to reduce the deficit, and indeed that "should be a key priority," Larry Summers writes in the Washington Post . But it's not everything. "Budget deficit obsession in conjunction with rigid bureaucratic scoring rules may preclude high-return investment" we desperately... More »

Hundreds of US Levees Decrepit, Dangerous

Army Corps of Engineers finds trouble in survey of system

(Newser) - Apparently Hurricane Katrina wasn't enough to make America fix its levee system. Seven years after that disaster, hundreds of America's levees are poised to fail, the AP reports, based on an early look at the US Army Corps of Engineers' first ever inventory of the nationwide flood control... More »

Japan Tunnel Collapse Death Toll Hits 9

Government orders emergency inspections

(Newser) - Authorities in Japan have confirmed nine deaths so far in yesterday's terrifying collapse of a major road tunnel . The bodies were found in three vehicles that had been crushed by falling concrete panels in the 2.7-mile Sasago tunnel, the BBC reports. The search for bodies has been suspended... More »

Major Quake Looms for Ill-Prepared Oregon

'Oregon is not ready,' says an expert

(Newser) - Oregon is sitting on a ticking time bomb, and stands a 40% chance of getting hit by a major earthquake—possibly as big as the one that hit Japan last year—in the next half-century, according to an ominous new report out of Oregon State University. Adding to concern: Shaking... More »

What the Massive Blackout Says About India

Embarrassing questions raised for country with big ambitions

(Newser) - India's power outage —among the biggest in the history of the world—is over, with the situation returning to what the power minister called "normal" by last night. But the questions are just beginning, note the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times . The blackout,... More »

Afghan Police Bases US Built for $19M Sit Empty

Report: some infrastructure projects could even prove detrimental

(Newser) - When US inspectors looked at four border police bases in Afghanistan—funded by the US at a cost of almost $19 million—they found most of the facilities on three of those bases had either been abandoned or weren't being used as intended, the Wall Street Journal reports. The... More »

Heat, Drought Savaging US Infrastructure

Roads crack, nuclear plants shut down as weather grows extreme

(Newser) - Farming isn't the only thing being devastated by the country's ongoing drought—much of the US' infrastructure is getting pounded, too, as the record-setting heat takes its toll on concrete, steel, and pavement, reports the New York Times . In Washington, DC, 100-degree temperatures caused a subway to... More »

'Leviathan State' Won't Solve Your Problems

Charles Krauthammer slams Obama's love for infrastructure

(Newser) - Can we thank government for our best opportunities? President Obama seems to think so, but Charles Krauthammer isn't buying it: Yes, government builds roads and pays teachers, but "to say that all individuals are embedded in and the product of society is banal," he writes in the... More »

Woman Strangled by NY Train Station Escalator

LIRR escalator had been slated for replacement

(Newser) - An 88-year-old woman was strangled yesterday on a Long Island Rail Road escalator that commuters said was malfunctioning for months. Irene Bernatzky was killed after she fell and her clothes became entangled in the treads of the moving stairs, investigators say. Officials say the escalator passed inspection last month after... More »

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