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Transport & Infrastructure News and Discussions

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#561
Sciencerocks

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$15 trillion Global Infrastructure spending gap over the next 22 years
brian wang | July 27, 2017 |

 

Nearly a fifth of the $94 trillion in global infrastructure investment needed by 2040 risks being unfunded if current spending trends continue according to the G20-backed Global Infrastructure Hub. To close the spending gap, annual infrastructure spending needs to rise to 3.5 percent from 3 percent of global gross domestic product.

The GIH, set up by the G20 in 2014, aims to help to increase opportunities for public and private investment in infrastructure around the world. It is funded by governments including Britain, Australia, China, Korea and Singapore.

 

https://www.nextbigf...t-22-years.html


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#562
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Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge in construction milestone

Construction of the world's longest steel sea bridge has taken another step forward, as the surfacing of the main section is completed.

The bridge is due to open by the end of 2017, over a year later than planned.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ction-milestone


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#563
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Prospects for the U.S. Hyperloop

 

https://grist.org/ar...loop-elon-musk/

 

Introduction:

 

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk set the internets aflame last week with a vague boast that he had received “verbal government approval” (whatever that means) to build the nation’s first intercity hyperloop. The 700 mph compressed-air transit system would be constructed in an underground tunnel (which hasn’t been dug yet) between New York City and Washington, D.C.

 

As with so many things Musk, the tweet was both widely reported and met with a fair bit of skepticism from, well, pretty much everybody.

 

Musk, who is trying to simultaneously make things better here on Earth and send folks to Mars, is brand-new to the tunnel-digging business. His latest venture, The Boring Company, so far consists of not much more than a second-hand tunnel-boring machine and a website.

 

As Musk himself said in January: “We have no idea what we’re doing — I want to be clear about that.”

 

This isn’t the first time Musk has spread hyperloop mania — or overestimated its feasibility. Initial plans for above-ground hyperloop systems in the Bay Area are already running about five to 10 times more pricey, per mile, than Musk’s initial estimates back in 2013, when he first proposed the idea.

 

 

“We have no idea what we’re doing — I want to be clear about that.”   That belongs in my Land of the Wurfs thread.

 

 

elonmuskhyperloop.jpg?w=1024&h=576&crop=

Shutterstock / Grist


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#564
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Tesla Solar Roof is priced at $21.85 per square foot, which is nearly 20 percent less than the cost of a traditional roof — even without factoring in the energy savings

Just under six months after announcing its Solar Roof, Tesla has finally put a price tag on those eco-friendly solar tiles that look like the real thing — and they're actually really affordable.
Orders are now being taken for the Tesla Solar Roof at a price of $21.85 per square foot, which is nearly 20 percent less than the cost of a normal roof — even without factoring in the energy savings.
Back in November, Consumer Reports projected that the Tesla solar tiles would need to come in at $24.50 per square foot in order to compete with traditional roofing materials, something Tesla CEO Elon Musk was able to handily deliver — and then some.

Tesla's Solar Roof tiles are made of glass over a photovoltaic substrate as a replacement for traditional roofing materials — not an aftermarket add-on to the roof line, so they actually look like the 'real thing" from the ground, allaying previous aesthetic hurdles to solar panel adoption (much like Tesla already has already done for the electric car).


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#565
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#566
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India pulling it together on infrastructure is entering a China scale buildout
brian wang | August 5, 2017 |

On a purchasing power parity basis India is about 10 to 15 years behind China’s Economy.

In 2017 China is at $23.1 trillion in PPP GDP
India is at $9.49 trillion PPP GDP
China was $9 trillion PPP GDP in 2007.

India is projected to reach $15.4 trillion in PPP GDP in 2022
China was at $15.2 trillion PPP GDP in 2012

A long term projection to 2030 has
China at $47 trillion PPP GDP
India at $21 trillion PPP GDP.

 

https://www.nextbigf...e-buildout.html


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#567
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London Garden Bridge project scrapped

14 August 2017

 

fe3ead1bc56228c341498da3914df5d43fa6da46

 

The Garden Bridge project in London has announced it is "winding up" due to lack of funds.

Organisers said in a statement that they had "no choice" but to kill off the initiative because of London mayor Sadiq Khan's "lack of support".

The bridge, which was forecast to cost up to £200m, was backed by former mayor Boris Johnson in 2013, but had its future thrown into doubt by a review that recommended it was safer to scrap the scheme than risk uncertain costs.

Despite trying to find a benefactor to finance the project privately, Garden Bridge executives announced on Monday they "cannot proceed with what was always designed to be a public project... without the support of the Mayor of London".

 

http://news.sky.com/...rapped-10988171


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#568
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That sucks :(


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“If the genius of invention were to reveal to-morrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.” 

 

                                                                 Nikola Tesla - New York World, May 19th 1907 


#569
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Trump Promised Beautiful Bridges and Roads. Now He’s Putting Them in Harm’s Way.

 

http://www.motherjon...m-in-harms-way/

 

Introduction:

 

Update 4:48 p.m.: Trump signed his infrastructure executive order Tuesday afternoon at Trump Tower before making a statement and taking questions that mostly revolved around Charlottesville. “We are literally like a third world country,” he claimed in reference to the state of the nation’s infrastructure. Trump didn’t mention that the order revokes Obama’s flood-risk program.

 

In his latest executive order, President Trump is expected to tell the federal government to ignore the best science out there on sea-level rise and flooding and build infrastructure projects in risky, flood-prone areas anyway. 

 

At a signing ceremony that will take place at his New York City Trump Tower on Tuesday, Trump will reportedly reverse an Obama-era policy from 2015 that directed agencies to set stricter standards for where roads, buildings, public housing, and other infrastructure projects receiving federal funds can be built. Before the 2015 order, federal agencies usually relied on historical data for predicting vulnerability to flooding instead of on future projections of sea-level rise. The order required higher elevation standards for road, bridges, and other infrastructure projects, with even stricter requirements for critical sites such as hospitals and evacuation centers.

 

Multiple outlets are now reporting that Trump’s impending order will tell agencies to revoke these standards. States and cities would still be able to pursue the stricter flood-risk requirements. 

 

The president and his administration have designed most of their policies in spite of what federal scientists have to say about sea-level rise and climate change, but this reversal has already been characterized as especially ill-conceived. 

flooding-mississippi.jpg?w=990

Rogelio V. Solis/AP


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#570
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The Wireless Charging of Moving Electric Vehicles Just Overcame A Major Hurdle

 

In Brief In a recent study, Stanford scientists were able to transfer electricity wirelessly to a moving lightbulb. The technology they developed help overcome the limited driving range of electric cars, currently one of their biggest drawbacks.
 
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#571
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Electric planes have viable niche applications now
brian wang | August 23, 2017 |

On July 23, 2017 – Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC) announced plans for a four-place airplane, “Sun Flyer 4,” the next addition to the Sun Flyer family of aircraft. In addition, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology is the first flight school to hold a deposit for a Sun Flyer 4.

The two-seat Sun Flyer, “Sun Flyer 2,” will be the first FAA-certified all-electric trainer aircraft under FAR Part-23. The new four-seat will closely follow the certification of the two-seat version. Features of the Sun Flyer 4 include a 46-inch cabin width, 38-foot wing span, ballistic parachute recovery system and a gross weight of 2,700 lbs., with a full 800 lbs. of payload for pilot and passengers.

 

https://www.nextbigf...ations-now.html


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#572
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Hawthorne City approves two mile long Boring Company Test Tunnel

 

The Hawthorne City Council has given approval for Elon Musk’s Boring Company to construct a 2 mile long test tunnel below the South Bay city.

In a 4-1 decision Tuesday, the council voted to allow the two-mile tunneling project to go forward.

This is yuge!
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#573
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Engineer Unfazed by Reports of Subpar Steel in Bay Bridge

 

https://www.courthou...eel-bay-bridge/

 

Extract:

 

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — An engineer on Tuesday brushed off reports that substandard steel may have been used to build the $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge that carries 270,000 vehicles daily.

 

“It’s to be expected,” chief engineer Brian Maroney said of tests that found scraps of steel plates from rejected welding jobs had yield strengths lower than required by state standards.

The Federal Highway Safety Administration discovered the weaker metal when testing pieces of poorly welded steel plates intended for the bridge’s critical tower structure.

 

…Federal officials and experts have recommended using a cathodic protection system that would divert the corrosive effects of seawater from critical bridge structures to an insignificant, “sacrificial” piece of metal.

 

…The eastern span of the Bay Bridge was completed in 2013, six years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Critics say pressure to contain costs and meet deadlines led to poor management decisions, including the use of substandard Chinese steel. Other problems include cracks in the foundation and missing sections of deck drainage that allow rainwater to bleed inside the structure.

 

Maroney has defended the project in the past, acknowledging there were imperfections and misses, “like on every job,” but saying that engineers have worked diligently to investigate and address the problem

Bay-Bridge.jpg?resize=300%2C225


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#574
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China’s planned supersonic maglev transport in evacuated tubes

 

China Aerospace Science and Industrial Corporation (CASIC) has said it will build a supersonic superconducting magnetic levitation (maglev) tansportation system.

 

Construction of main system will begin in 2027. New timeline update?


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#575
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Bridge of Grand Ambitions Is Set to Open at the Tappan Zee, New York

 

https://www.nytimes....type=collection

 

Introduction:

 

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — After two decades of dithering by government officials and four years of herculean drilling, pounding, hauling and lifting by 7,000 workers, a new 3.1-mile bridge is set to open at the Tappan Zee in the early hours of Saturday, the first crossing on that scale that has been built in the New York region in more than half a century.

 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who set the $4 billion project in motion after previous administrations had hemmed and hawed about whether to pay for continued repairs on the deteriorating Tappan Zee Bridge or to undertake an expensive replacement, stood Wednesday on the helm of a tugboat packed with reporters and photographers. He looked upon the structure’s 40-story sloping concrete towers and a cat’s cradle of cables with the smile of a 10-year-old who had just finished a model airplane.

 

“We’ve been through this every day, but to see it in reality, it takes my breath away,” he said.

 

By a new state law, the replacement bridge, until recently known as the New NY Bridge, is named after the governor’s father, Mario M. Cuomo, who was governor for three terms and died on New Year’s Day in 2015. But names awarded by politicians to existing structures don’t always stick. (Ask champions of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and the Joe DiMaggio Highway.)

 

The new bridge is a sleek two-span cable-stayed design, with the cables holding up its steel decks anchored to the tops of the angled central towers rather than to the shore, and its striking look stands in contrast to the shabby erector set of the old Tappan Zee. The new bridge, like its predecessor, will stand at one of the widest points of the Hudson, its location determined by political considerations: Anything built within 25 miles of the Statue of Liberty would be controlled by the Port Authority, governed by both New York and New Jersey; the Tappan Zee, just outside the zone, is controlled completely by New York.

25BRIDGE1-superJumbo.jpg

 

 

The new bridge at the Tappan Zee, scheduled to open Saturday, is the first of such scale in the New York area since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge linked Brooklyn and Staten Island in 1964.

CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#576
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Tesla Semi could be ‘the biggest catalyst in trucking in decades’ and 70% cheaper to operate, says Morgan Stanley analyst

Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas is one of the top analyst covering Tesla and now he seems pretty excited about the imminent launch of Tesla Semi, the automaker’s upcoming all-electric truck.
 
In a new note to clients today, Jonas even suggested that the reveal of the truck could be “the biggest catalyst in trucking in decades”.


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#577
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Houston Officials Hope Harvey Convinces Congress to Fund Coastal Barrier

 

https://www.propubli...coastal-barrier

 

Introduction:

 

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge during hurricanes.

 

Though such a barrier system would not have guarded against the unrelenting and unprecedented rain Hurricane Harvey dumped on the area, Turner — one of the region’s last leaders to endorse the so-called “coastal spine” concept — said at a Tuesday news conference that he believes it is crucial. 

 

“We cannot talk about rebuilding” from Harvey “if we do not build the coastal spine,” he said.

 

With Harvey — which was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached Houston — “we again dodged the bullet.”

 

Constructing such a system has been discussed since 2008, when Hurricane Ike shifted course at the last minute, narrowly sparing populated, low-lying coastal communities like Clear Lake and the Houston Ship Channel — home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex — from a massive storm surge. Scientists have modeled worst-case scenario storms that make clear the potential for devastation, which The Texas Tribune and ProPublica detailed extensively in a 2016 investigation. They also have urged local, state and federal elected officials to pursue infrastructure solutions.

20170912-houston-spine-3x2.jpg

A view of downtown Houston on August 29, 2017

 (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#578
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China launches world's fastest bullet trains, zipping from Shanghai to Beijing at 350 km/h
Source: Shanghaist

 

You can now travel between Beijing and Shanghai in record time as China has launched a much-anticipated fleet of the fastest bullet trains in the world.

Today, seven pairs of the country's new homemade Fuxing bullet trains went into operation on the Beijing-Shanghai HSR, traveling at speeds of up to 350 km/h. Previously, trains in China could only crawl along at a mere 300 km/h, making the 1,318-kilometer trip between Shanghai and the capital in an excruciating 4 hours and 49 minutes. Thanks to the Fuxing speed boost, you can now make that trip in 4 hours and 28 minutes.

This new generation of China-developed bullet trains was unveiled back in June. Named after one of Xi Jinping's favorite catchphrases -- "Rejuvenation" -- the Fuxing trains have a top speed of 400 km/h, plus more leg room, free wi-fi and more power outlets. In the future, China plans to mass produce these suckers to replace the outdated Hexie ("Harmony" models.

The Fuxing trains have already received rave reviews from riders who are especially impressed by how smoothly the train glides across the country. One passenger stood a variety of items on the window sill to demonstrate how they did not budge or topple over, even as the train was zooming along at 350 km/h.

 

Read more: http://shanghaiist.c...llet-trains.php


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#579
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I actually remember seeing an electric car with solar power panel collectors built into it a decade or two ago.  But the owner said that the panels barely generated enough power to run the radio.  It looks like significant advances have been made over that prototype.

 

Solar-Powered Cars to Compete in Harrowing Race Across the Australian Outback

 

https://www.livescie...-australia.html

 

Introduction:

 

 

A four-passenger, solar-powered car named "Violet" is driving thousands of miles across Australia. But that trip is just the precursor to a harrowing race that spans the punishing landscape of the country's outback and is open only to vehicles powered by the sun.

 

The car, which was designed and built by engineering students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), departed Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 20 and will travel about 2,700 miles (4,300 kilometers) to Darwin, on the continent's northern coast. This scenic route allows the team to test the car, and serves as a regional outreach tour, introducing their fellow highway drivers to the car's futuristic design.

 

Then, on Oct. 8, Violet will take part in the 30th Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, competing against 47 teams representing 21 nations. [T

 

The race will take them from Darwin in the Northern Territories to Adelaide in South Australia, covering 1,877 miles (3,021 km). Though the event is scheduled to last from Oct. 8 to Oct. 15, the winner is expected to cross the finish line in Adelaide's Victoria Square in the early hours of Oct. 12, officials with the World Solar Challenge announced in a statement.

 

Violet is the sixth iteration of a solar-powered race car produced by UNSW's Sunswift team, which formed in 1995 to compete in the World Solar Challenge. Described by UNSW representatives as "a four-seater sedan" and larger than previous generations of Sunswift's solar race cars, Violet was deliberately crafted to resemble commercially produced vehicles, in order to showcase solar technology as a potential energy source for practical, daily use in transportation, Sunswift representatives explained on the group's website.    

 

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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#580
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California mulls its own ban on internal combustion engines

26 September 2017

 

Electric vehicles are gaining ground with the average buyer, but they're nowhere near ubiquitous yet, and won't be for some time. But that's not stopping some governments, including California's, from banning older-school methods of transportation.

California Governor Jerry Brown "has expressed an interest" in eventually banning the sale of vehicles using internal-combustion engines, Bloomberg reports, citing an interview with the chairman of the California Air Resources Board.

Brown's interest in this kind of heavy-handed, anti-pollution measure is not unique to California. China plans to phase out the internal combustion engine, as have many European governments, including Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and France. Each of the countries mentioned has a rather long timeline for this, extending as far as 2040, and it's important to note that many of these bans are merely up for consideration, rather than being enacted into law.

 

https://www.cnet.com...ustion-engines/


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