The stars should be aligned for a big infrastructure deal. The lingering devastation from the hurricanes that crippled Houston and Florida underscored the national problems of crumbling roads and bridges, inadequate transportation systems and aging electrical grids. President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats both want Washington to spend billions on repairs and construction. The need is critical. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the country's infr
Dive Brief: Hyperloop One has selected 10 routes — including four in the U.S. — as part of its Hyperloop One Global Challenge, according to the company. It wants to have three full-scale systems operational by 2021. Officials issued an open invitation to public and private groups in May 2016 to develop a plan for a hyperloop system in their respective localities. The company will now allocate resources to each team to determine the top three commercially viable routes. The U.
President Trump’s point person in his push for deregulation has sent regulatory officers at all agencies instructions to submit a budget for fiscal 2018 that produces “a net reduction in total incremental regulatory costs.” In a Sept. 7 memo, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Neomi Rao called on agencies to plan implementation of Trump’s executive orders on easing regulatory burdens by better controlling regulatory cost allowances. The director of the
A team from Japan’s Tohoku University has found an economical way to improve the properties of “shape-memory” metals, so called for their ability to spring back after being deformed. The method could allow the mass production of such metals for applications such as earthquake-resistant construction materials.
Most metals are made of a large number of crystals but, in some cases, their properties improve when they are formed of a single crystal. However, single-crystal metal
A Chinese state-owned space and military technology group will investigate the feasibility of a magnetic levitation (maglev) rail system that would leave Elon Musk’s futuristic Hyperloop concept in the dust. China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), which develops space and missile technology, plans to research a "flying" train network that it says could eventually have a top speed of 4,000km/h.
China was a pioneer in maglev rail, completing a 30.5-km line f
Self-driving cars have been on the horizon for the past few years, as companies like Tesla and Waymo have been focused on bringing autonomous vehicles to the market. Even though self-driving tech has been improving, it seems perpetually a few years away. Now, the U.S. House just passed legislation that could accelerate the development of self-driving cars by allowing them to be driven in all 50 states. The House bill, called the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Res
DALLAS - A report released two decades ago on the Harris County reservoir system predicted with alarming accuracy the catastrophic flooding that would besiege the Houston area if changes weren't made in the face of rapid development. The report released in 1996 by engineers with the Harris County Flood Control District said the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were adequate when built in the 1940s. But it noted that as entire neighborhoods sprouted over the years around the rese
Charter Transit agencies may take actions, such as providing service for evacuations, returning evacuees from shelters to their homes, transporting utility workers, and providing service to shelter residents, as long as these actions are directly related to Hurricane Harvey, without triggering the charter rule. Transit agencies may provide such services for up to 45 days from a declaration of emergency by the President, governor or mayor. For Texas, the Presidential declarati
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) has activated two National Defense Reserve Fleet vessels for a pre-scripted Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mission to support relief efforts in Texas. The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College’s training ship, EMPIRE STATE VI, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s training ship, KENNEDY, have received orders to set sail within 10 days for the 4 to 5 day transit fr