Construction Industry News: July 29, 2019

DOT Picks Winners for $856 Million in New INFRA Grants

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has selected 20 projects—for highway, bridge, port and rail improvements—to share $856 million in the latest round of its highly competitive INFRA grant program. [View DOT fact sheets on each winning project here.]


The department picked the winners for this year’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America funding from a wide field. Announcing the 2019 selections on July 25 at DOT headquarters, Secretary Elaine Chao said that almost 200 applications were submitted, seeking a total of $9.8 billion.

New AI-enabled technology quickly identifies bridge defects

The standard approach to identifying structural deficiencies in bridge decks is decidedly low tech. The time-intensive “sounding” process requires ground crews to drag a chain across the surface of the road to listen for hollow-sounding fluctuations and watch for vibrations. Often requiring road closures for days or weeks at a time, the technique creates headaches and hazards for motorists, road workers and inspectors.


Key Senators Propose $287B, 5-Year Highway Bill, Up 27% from FAST Act

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee leaders have proposed a five-year, $287-billion highway bill, an eagerly awaited initial piece of what would be a multi-part surface transportation package.

The measure, introduced on July 29, would amount to a 27% increase over current authorized funding, but because the committee’s jurisdiction doesn’t cover revenue, the bill doesn’t address where the additional money would come from.


Central Subway contractor dispute threatens to bust budget

An independent federal monitor warns in a new report that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency may soon spend its last federal dollar for the project and exhaust the “contingency” budget meant to cover cost overruns.


Governor Cuomo Announces Port Authority Solicits Input and Ideas for JFK Central Hub 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is issuing a Request for Information for the design and development of JFK Central, an approximately 14-acre, mixed-use space at the epicenter of the redeveloped John F. Kennedy International Airport. This new site offers a blank canvas to create a centrally-located commercial and recreational public space to serve today’s travelers and employees, and capitalizes on the broader transformation of JFK currently underway.