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President creates Build America Investment Initiative

Washington, D.C. — On July 17, President Obama announced a new executive action to create the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide initiative to increase infrastructure investment and economic growth. As part of the Initiative, the Administration is launching the Build America Transportation Investment Center – housed at the Department of Transportation – to serve as a one-stop shop for cities and states seeking to use innovative financing and partnerships with the private sector to support transportation infrastructure.

TxDOT awards Atkins right-of-way and utility coordination contract for statewide P3 projects

Tampa, Fla. — The Texas Department of Transportation selected Atkins to provide right-of-way (ROW) oversight, compliance review, and utility coordination services for transportation-related public-private partnership (P3) projects throughout Texas. The six-year, $25 million contract calls for Atkins to serve as TxDOT’s program management consultant, overseeing projects that will be developed under comprehensive development agreements, design-build contracts, and other innovative delivery methods.

Bechtel releases Sustainability Report

Reston, Va. — Bechtel published the company's first sustainability report, which showcases the positive impacts the global engineering, project management, and construction leader has on the communities and countries where it works.

Sustainability is major focus at Plastic Pipes conference

Chicago — The contribution of plastic pipe systems to sustainable development will be one of the key discussion points at the upcoming Plastic Pipes XVII Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. Evidence from environmental assessments carried out by independent technical institutes will underline the advantages of these systems. Furthermore, recent sustainable developments for mitigating flooding, seismic events, creating high-yield horticulture and transforming desert landscapes will be considered.

USGS program to help meet need for high-quality elevation data

Reston, Va. — The U.S. Geological Survey, along with other federal, state, local and private agencies, is establishing a new 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) designed to respond to the growing needs for three-dimensional mapping data of the United States. This coordinated partnership can help meet the country’s needs for high-quality, 3D elevation data.

EPA provides tool, webinar to help communities become more flood resilient

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new tool to help communities prepare for, deal with, and recover from floods. The Flood Resilience Checklist offers strategies that communities can consider, such as conserving land in flood-prone areas; directing new development to safer areas; and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater. EPA will host a webinar on lessons learned from the Vermont project on Wednesday, August 13. The webinar will feature speakers from FEMA, the state of Vermont, and the Mad River Valley Planning District.

Researchers examining which bridge designs and materials are the most eco-friendly

Coral Gables, Fla. — When envisioning a new structure, engineers often have to balance design choices against the environmental impact of materials used. It is estimated that 40 percent to 50 percent of greenhouse gases are produced by the construction industry, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Lessening the impact of construction on the environment is a work in progress.

CDOT recognized for response to historic Colorado flooding

Albuquerque, N.M. — The Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) response to the historic flooding of September 2013 has been honored by the Western Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (WASHTO) during its annual meeting in Albuquerque. Specifically, CDOT's flood response was named winner in the medium-sized projects (cost: $26-$199 million) in the Quality of Life/Community Development category.

Repairs to I-495 Bridge continue to advance

Wilmington, Del. — Construction of the 32 new underground support columns needed to repair the I-495 bridge were completed today and work to erect the jacking towers that will be used to lift the bridge deck back into alignment is ongoing.

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