Weekly Poll (51)


The Florida Department of Transportation recently released information on an $802M infrastructure plan slated to take place in Miami over the next four years. The project involves a new six-arch bridge and rehabilitation to three major highways, all slated to be constructed at the same time. With holidays, weather, special events and unforeseen circumstances all taken into account, do you think the project will be successfully completed by fall 2023?


Recently, Louisiana’s Sunshine Bridge was struck a second time since its last incident in October. According to reports, Dank Silver (the tanker ship involved) damaged the fender system that serves to protect the bridge. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett noted that the structures themselves are designed to handle this kind of damage, however, with reoccurring instances and increased water traffic, do you think fenders are the best option for bridge protection?


In Michigan, Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, suggested selling several state-owned transportation assets to raise money to rehabilitate various roads and highways versus raising the state’s fuel tax. Do you think this is a good idea?


Last month a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rolled back an injunction that halted construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. According to the panel, the lawsuit was dismissed due to a new presidential permit. Do you expect we will see more exercises of presidential authority for pushes of this kind of infrastructure in the future?


Recently in South Carolina, the Ben Sawyer Bridge had to close due to heat, which ultimately caused the bridge to become stuck partially open. Do you expect we will see more of these instances throughout the summer?


Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened what is being touted as the world’s widest suspension bridge in the world. With six lanes of traffic running in each direction, the Rod al-Farag Axis Bridge is intended to shift traffic, ultimately decreasing travel time around Cairo and on various highways. Do you believe other major cities could benefit from this type of massive infrastructure?


In a recent report conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, just over 47,000 bridges in the United States are classified as structurally deficient or in poor condition. However, the rate at which these bridges are improved is at its lowest point since the Association began monitoring the data. Why do you believe this might be?


At the end of April, President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders announced the agreement of a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. However, no agreements were made on how the plan would be paid for. In anticipation of what ideas will be brought to the table in the next bipartisan meeting, how do you think Congress will decide to fund this proposal?


Late last month, North Dakota-based contractor claimed that his company could build 234 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border wall for $1.4 billion, a fraction of the funding requested by the president. Do you think that we will see other companies speaking up to compete for a cheaper solution?


Last month, Elon Musk and The Boring Company announced its plans for an underground express tunnel in Las Vegas. With various tunnels already completed and others still in the making, none are officially up and running. How soon do you think passengers will be able to experience this hyperloop travel?


Researchers from Michigan State University plan to add more data-tracking sensors to the Mackinac Bridge. With progression of the prototypes since 2016, do you think this kind of technology will make its way to assist the preservation/management of other bridge structures?


Aldermen in Evanston, Illinois, recently declined to paint a rail bridge that reportedly does not belong to the city; the bridge belongs to the Union Pacific railroad company. Do you think the company should be held accountable for the bridge's appearance?


The Lake Shore Bridge, located in Chicago, recently underwent permanent repairs due to corrosion that was likely exacerbated by extreme weather. Do you think this will become more of a problem with infrastructure?


Aldermen in Evanston, Illinois, recently declined to paint a rail bridge that reportedly does not belong to the city; the bridge belongs to the Union Pacific railroad company. Do you think the company should be held accountable for the bridge's appearance?


A judge recently ordered a block on preconstruction on the Keystone XL pipeline, which may delay the project even further. Do you think plans for the project will eventually be revised?


Earlier this month, more repairs were announced for a troubled SC bridge that it has cost the state DOT $6 million in repairs so far. Do you think there is a point where repairs are outweighed by the benefits of building a new structure?


According to a recent report, the border wall prototype selected for construction was damaged with readily available tools. Do you think the long-term maintenance cost of the U.S. border wall will eventually outweigh initial investment?


As bridge design continues to improve, do you think this will have an impact on the projected lifespan of these structures?


Last week, the DOT announced $1.5 billion in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants for infrastructure projects. Do you think the funding will increase as infrastructure demands also increase?


Over the past few weeks, a number of announcements regarding multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects have been made. Do you think such large-scale projects will become the norm in the future?


Late last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave a nod of approval to a $31B, 70-mile-long coastal barrier that would help protect Texas against future storm surges. Do you think these measures will be enough?


Earlier this month, China announced the opening of the world's longest sea-crossing bridge, which connects Hong Kong, Zuhai and Macao. Do you think more countries will invest in such large-scale projects in the future?


Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that any environmental regulations regarding the construction or repair of a section of U.S.-Mexico border wall for certain areas in Texas would be waived. Do you think waiving environmental regulations in this context will have a negative impact long-term?


Earlier this month, a judge stopped the release of records related to the Florida International University bridge collapse. Do you think this was the best choice to protect the investigation?


University of Sheffield researchers recently identified new structural forms for bridges that involve a one- and three- spoke design, allowing for the construction of very long-span bridges in locations where traditional bridges aren't tenable. Do you think long-span bridges will be a crucial part of global infrastructure?


Mississippi’s governor recently closed dozens of bridges in the state because they did not meet safety standards. Should more states be taking bridge condition more seriously and shutting down unsafe spans?


A major infrastructure plan is reportedly a priority for early 2018 in Washington, D.C. Do you think an infrastructure bill will jumpstart construction this year?


A plan for a bullet train in Texas continues to move forward, while Caltrans recently released a report supporting its plans to expand rail travel in California. How great a role will rail play in the next 20 years of transit development in the U.S.?


A global group focused on infrastructure recently reported that the world will need to step up its spending in the next 20 years in order to keep up with the demand for new infrastructure and fixes to what already exists. Will world governments and private investors heed this call?


A Florida state transportation panel recently chose a contractor for an $800 million reconstruction of Interstate 395 in Miami, including the design for its “signature bridge” with no public input. Was that wise?


Business magnate Elon Musk announced a plan to construct tunnels under cities for the purpose of using high-speed electric sleds to maneuver vehicles around traffic. Is this plan feasible?


Which new technology will have the greatest impact on the bridge coating business in the next 25 years?


A recently constructed roadway in Ireland includes a “bat bridge,” to help maintain the flight path of a threatened species of native bat. What do you think of these kinds of infrastructure investments for the benefit of wildlife?


The new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur, California, will be constructed using the “roller launch” or “bridge launch” method. Are you familiar with this method of bridge construction?


A recent climate-change readiness report in Boston includes the possible construction of a seawall in Boston Harbor to guard the city from rising waters. Will new sea barriers be a more common infrastructure project worldwide in the coming decades?


Construction spending patterns vary among public and private segments. Which segment do you think will show the most promise this year?


Hyperloop One and design firm Bjarke Ingels Group recently unveiled more detailed plans for the Hyperloop, a hybrid mass-transit system that would combine high-speed transporters with smaller, autonomous vehicles, being considered in the United Arab Emirates. Is the Hyperloop the future of transit?


The 2016 Better Roads Bridge Inventory indicates that a greater percentage of American bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete than were last year. What's the best way to address this problem?


Surveys have been sharing Americans’ receptivity to other ways to help fund transportation infrastructure. Which options do you think offer the best chance of supporting necessary bridge and highway projects?


New Jersey recently called for a stop to any transportation infrastructure work that was deemed "nonessential," because the state's legislature couldn't agree on a funding mechanism. Is a summer roadwork shutdown a viable option for a government that's having trouble lining up money?


The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted Solar Roadways a total of $1.6 million to study the possibility of constructing roads with solar panels. Are solar roads an ideal way to harness energy from the sun?


Should more states consider usage fees for motorists in order to help fund transportation infrastructure?


Do you take advantage of funds made available by the federal government for surface transportation or other projects?


With the costs, time delays and structural problems involved in new rail transportation projects in Australia and California, should engineers be looking at Hyperloop-like alternatives, which can be built at a fraction of the cost, for future projects?


Engineers in England plan to build a new pedestrian- and bicycle-only bridge to serve the type of transportation Europeans embrace. Do you think infrastructure projects like this in the U.S. would encourage Americans to do more walking or biking?


The House of Representatives recently passed a six-year transportation bill, but it includes funding for only the first three years. To “unlock” the last three years of spending authorization, Congress must come up with the money first. If the bill becomes law, where do you think new funding should come from?


It seems that bridge failures have been making the headlines more frequently, and many U.S. bridges are nearing or exceeding their life expectancy. Do you think most bridges are safe?


Florida wants to again tighten the statute of limitations for suing over construction defects, even for public works construction. How long should builders, developers and contractors be on the hook for their work?


What is the best way to fund infrastructure maintenance in the U.S. going forward?


Bill Gates and other private owners of an otherwise-sound bridge are under pressure to paint it. What maintenance duties do private owners of infrastructure have?


Generally speaking, which type of infrastructure do you think poses the greatest safety concern today?


 
 
   

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