Communities across the country have aging and inadequate water infrastructure. Most of our underground water infrastructure was built 50 or more years ago, in the post-World War II era. In some older urban areas, many water mains can even be a century or more old. It is estimated $2.6 billion is lost as water mains leak treated drinking water. In addition, billions of gallons of raw sewage are discharged into local surface waters from wastewater conveyance systems.
As 2014 begins to fade into history the question on everyone’s mind is “What is in store for Transportation experts in 2015?” Technological advancements will continue to be the driving force of change but integration of modes of transportation and innovation in design and contracting are sure to be popular in 2015. What is certain is that a rapidly changing landscape seems to be the norm these days—here are some emerging trends for Transportation planners and experts.
As the nation continues to move steadily forward in recovering from the economic downturn many community leaders are asking themselves “what can we learn from the past 10 years?” The short answer is: Resilience.
The triple bottom line is a framework that considers social, environmental, and economic effects together – it is used to measure the “sustainability” of an action. Wastewater treatment has an impact on all three components of the triple bottom line. Wastewater treatment has led to tremendous improvements to society as a whole by minimizing diseases and improving quality of life; it has also led to far cleaner bodies of water from small streams to oceans. Though human health and the environment have benefitted from the emergence of wastewater treatment as a standard protocol for waste disposal, the benefits have come with a high economic burden to the budgets of municipalities and industries.
With the recent focus on the dire financial state of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), added interest has been seen across the land for longer-term measures that would stabilize the HTF. In August a short-term measure bumped the HTF with $10.9 billion which will keep projects active through April 2015.
Congress is wrestling to pass legislation to restore funding to the Highway Trust Fund so numerous proposals are being pushed, lobbying is at fever peak and dire warnings are being issued across the country. The concern in the states is valid; in the Iowa Transportation Commission’s 5-year transportation plan, approved earlier this year, the DOT warned in a “Dear Iowans” letter that without funding being reauthorized, improvement projects could come to a halt. Other states are issuing similar warnings.
All construction activities have the potential to cause soil erosion and many water experts believe the greatest water pollution threat from soil-disturbing activities is the introduction of sediment from the construction site into storm drain systems or natural receiving waters.
With an increased emphasis in the US on multi-modal transportation and awareness of public health, there is more funding available for projects that include sidewalks or multi-use trails. Not surprisingly, HR Green has designed a number of projects requiring pedestrian bridges to carry sidewalks and trails over roadways and creeks. As we gain experience with these types of projects, we have learned valuable lessons and identified common misconceptions regarding pedestrian bridges.
Looking to get the word out about your construction project? Receiving too many phone calls during your construction project? Consider using a construction project website. A construction project website allows you the ability to provide vast quantities of project information to stakeholders with little effort. The project information that you can provide is only limited by your imagination.