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Road repair backlog threatens state transportation budgets

Washington, D.C. — As winter weather takes a brutal toll on roads across the country, drivers are not the only ones facing a bumpy ride from potholes and rough roads: State departments of transportation (DOTs) could feel a painful shock to their long-term finances unless state decision makers reexamine spending priorities. Repair Priorities 2014, a new report from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, looks at road conditions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as how state DOTs are investing in road repair versus expansion. Investing in repair, the report explains, can improve road conditions for drivers and the financial outlook of DOTs at the same time. 

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HNTB’s newest publication focuses on infrastructure delivery

Kansas City, Mo. — HNTB Corporation introduced a new publication, SOLVE, that is dedicated to thoughtfully exploring the delivery of America’s infrastructure. The first issue explores modern program management and how the transportation sector is using it to assess available funding, time and resources to successfully deliver large, highly complex programs and projects.

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Fitch: U.S. transportation trends demand new funding solutions

New York — Public transportation investment strategies will need to transform if trends toward increased multifamily housing, declines in driving, and increasing public transportation usage continue over the long run, Fitch Ratings says. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data showed a shift to more multifamily development in urban areas and that public transportation usage hit an all-time high. In Fitch’s view, the transportation needs of the next 50 years will be markedly different from those of the past 50 years. U.S. policymakers must begin adapting their current decisions to these future needs. If these trends persist and meaningful policy changes are not made, the risk to the public transportation system would have negative implications for the entire economy. 

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Expressway wins ACEC Pennsylvania Engineering Excellence Award

 Pittsburgh, Pa. — The Mon/Fayette Expressway, Turnpike 43, Uniontown to Brownsville, won the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) Grand Conceptor award in ACEC/PA's 2014 Diamond Awards for Engineering Excellence competition. The Grand Conceptor award is the top award of the competition, which recognizes outstanding achievements of Pennsylvania's engineering firms. Gannett Fleming served as design manager of the project.

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CNU Selects the Top 10 ‘Freeways Without Futures’ for 2014

 CHICAGO — The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) released its biennial Top 10 list of “Freeways Without Futures,” selecting the U.S. urban highways most in need of being removed. According to CNU, across the country, there is a growing realization that highways do not fit in an urban context, and that there are solutions like at-grade boulevards that can serve roughly the same number of cars while creating walkable, livable communities. These transformations can even save taxpayers billions of dollars in highway construction and maintenance, while simultaneously bringing economic revitalization to cities.

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