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December 2011
Historic Bridges Restored
The Lion Bridges in historic Lake Park, near Milwaukee, have been restored after years of exposure to the elements. The project required balance to correct the bridges’ deficiencies while preserving their historic integrity. 
Energy Center Proposed
A proposed data center and energy park in Colorado would combine solar energy and a natural gas power plant for a self-sufficient microgrid. 
I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes Progress
The Virginia Department of Transportation and Fluor-Transurban have agreed to the terms of a public-private partnership to build more high-occupancy vehicle/high-occupancy toll lanes along I-95 in northern Virginia. 
Rethinking the Underground
The success of New York City’s High Line project leads to a proposal to develop an underground park in an abandoned trolley car station, complete with fiber optic skylights, trees, and greenery. 
Cleveland Lakefront Planned
The City of Cleveland is working with architects and stakeholders on a 56-acre urban lakefront development plan to reconnect the downtown to Lake Erie. 
CANstructure Sets Record
Engineers and architects have designed and constructed structurally challenging sculptures from thousands of cans of food that are destined for donation to worthy causes. Several firms have won awards for their efforts. 
Ten Megaprojects to Note
The staff of develops a list of megaprojects—some already under way, others that will have to wait for centuries—worthy of humanity’s best efforts
Technology Markets Projects
Visual modeling, websites, and social media are increasingly being used to keep the public informed—and invested in—large-scale engineering projects. 
Tallest Tank Saves Energy
Texas Medical Center has prepared for a growing future by commissioning a $377-million thermal energy project, complete with the world’s tallest thermal energy storage tank. 
P3 Upgrades PR Highways
Puerto Rico has received a $1.4-billion private infrastructure investment through a public-private partnership (P3) that will upgrade two of the island’s major toll roads. 
Center Aims for Retention
This fall the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) launched its IDEA Student Center aimed at keeping members of underrepresented groups from abandoning engineering as a major. 
Green Projects Increasing
According to a new report, environmentally focused projects are increasing in market share, and are saving more energy and water and decreasing CO2 emissions in the process. Improvements are coming slowly, however. 
Brownfields Go Green
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have partnered to evaluate deficient sites for use in generating renewable energy. 
Big Tujunga Dam Upgraded
MWH Global is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to convert Big Tujunga Dam Number 1 into a thick-arch dam that can withstand strong earthquakes and heavy flooding.  
MassDOT Accelerates Work
Massachusetts used accelerated bridge construction techniques to dramatically reduce the schedule and traffic impact of an expansive Interstate bridge replacement program.
Site Eases Water Reuse
CH2M HILL’s new WaterMatch website aims to connect industrial and commercial entities that use water in their processes with utilities that have municipal effluent to spare. 
Engineers Scan Lady Liberty
High-definition, 3-D, laser-scanning technology was used to survey the Statue of Liberty’s interior conditions as part of an extensive life and safety upgrade project. 
Treatment System Saves Town
Life in Milton, North Carolina—a small town that had a huge wastewater treatment problem—is returning to normal after engineers designed an alternative sewerage system within a tight budget. 
Mayors Eye Infrastructure
Mayors throughout the nation are singling out the construction and maintenance of infrastructure as a means of creating jobs, stimulating the economy, and preparing the nation for a better future. 
Geospatial Data Available
The Federal Geographic Data Committee has launched a one-stop site for federally maintained geospatial data and services, making it possible for geographic information system maps to be accurately created and easily shared. 
Report Reveals BIM’s Future
Researchers perform an Internet content analysis to examine building information modeling and develop “10 truths” about the technology’s future.
November 2011
Panama Canal
Phase three of dry excavation is complete on the Pacific Access Channel portion of the Panama Canal Expansion, a program that will double the canal’s capacity.
Water and the Economy
Doing more with less and spotting opportunities in a difficult economy were the common topics of a series of water industry roundtables. 
Paris Metro Expands
Work has begun in the suburbs of Paris on an ambitious new metro system, slated to take 12 years to complete at a cost of more than €20 billion (U.S.$28 billion). 
Spending on Energy
A new survey reveals that a majority of Americans believe it is important for the United States government to move away from its support of fossil fuels and nuclear energy and toward support for renewable energy options. 
Deficient Bridge Traffic
A new analysis reveals that just one-quarter of U.S. bridges, clustered in 102 metropolitan areas, carry 75 percent of all the traffic that is on deficient bridges each day. 
Dam Breach among Largest
In one of the largest scheduled dam breaches in the United States, a nearly century-old hydroelectric concrete structure in Washington State was demolished to restore fish passage on two rivers. 
Best Places to Work
The new Great Place to Work list of small and medium-sized workplaces recognizes four firms in the professions of civil and geotechnical engineering, architecture, system engineering, and construction management. 
Work Begins on Dam Replacement
Work has begun on the replacement of the historic Calaveras Dam outside of San Francisco, a $416-million project that is scheduled for completion in 2015.
Transportation Funding
A nationwide survey reveals that most Americans want local, nonpolitical solutions to prioritizing and fixing their highway condition and congestion concerns. 
Storm Water
A variety of barriers, including some related to design, are preventing the widespread use of “green” infrastructure in efforts to resolve municipal storm-water issues. 
LEED 2012
The U.S. Green Building Council works to update LEED regulations with an eye to performance and raising the bar on “green” design. 
Kansas has released a list of projects to be completed in the next two years under the T-Works program, which considers the economic development opportunities of projects in prioritizing funding. 
New Engineering Campus
New York City has received seven qualifying proposals in its quest to construct an engineering and applied sciences campus, an initiative that city officials have said will transform the city into the next Silicon Valley. 
A new report finds an increase in students and practitioners leaving the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Seismic Retrofit in Peru
A seismic retrofit of a school in the mountains of Peru highlights an inexpensive solution to a common problem in the earthquake-prone country. 
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority has begun construction of an extensive storage tunnel system designed to correct longstanding combined sewer overflow problems.
The Motor City moves to embrace bicycles as a transportation option for residents as suburbanization and population decline give the city a “blank palette” of infrastructure.
New Orleans is beginning work on the first of three extensions to its historic streetcar lines to better connect the city’s neighborhoods, business district, and entertainment venues.
A “turbine” interchange design will replace an existing “trumpet” interchange to connect Interstate 85 with Interstate 485 as Charlotte, North Carolina, completes its outer loop. 
A new academic initiative aims to strengthen undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and to promote a workforce well versed in these subjects. 
Bridge Repair
Workers add reinforcements to three bridges along the new Intercounty Connector in Maryland while engineers develop a long-term fix for hairline cracks in the concrete piers. 
October 2011
Vermont, New Jersey, and New York continue to repair infrastructure damage incurred by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. 
Bay Bridge
The seismic retrofit of the east span of the Bay Bridge, linking San Francisco and Oakland, moves closer to completion with delivery of the final four deck sections for the dramatic self-anchored suspension span. 
Seismic Design
A value-engineering process not only reduces costs but also showcases an innovative seismic-resistance system in a public utility headquarters building in San Francisco. 
Soft soils and late changes in underground structures provided challenges for the engineers who designed the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, D.C. 
The Miami Intermodal Center, a massive transit hub designed to reduce traffic congestion at Miami International Airport, moves closer to completion as the MIA Mover leaves the station for the first time. 
A volunteer-led project is testing whether man-made floating islands can restore Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and help protect the shoreline from storm surges.
Civil engineering has been ranked the 10th most underrated profession in a report by, a California-based career website. 
Following an earthquake in August, a team of engineers and architects rappelled down the Washington Monument to assess the damage, and are set to begin a similar assessment of the towers of the Washington National Cathedral.
September 2011
Two federal grants aim to boost high-speed rail capacity on Amtrak’s Northeast line, one of the busiest rail corridors in the country.
The stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair leads to a flurry of lawsuits, an investigation by Thornton Tomasetti, and a renewed look at standards for temporary structures.
The Poetry Foundation’s new home in Chicago uses an innovative zinc screen to celebrate the ephemeral beauty of poetry.
NYC Concrete
A concrete testing firm doing business in New York City is indicted, accused of falsifying thousands of tests in high-profile projects, including Yankee Stadium and the Lincoln Tunnel.
The FHWA has approved the bored tunnel option for the replacement of the seismically vulnerable double-decker Alaskan Way Viaduct.
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