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McCarthy says Congress will pass 6-year highway bill | Cost of Canadian hydro plant increases to $5.7B | Video: Phase one expansion completed at Port of Long Beach

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September 30, 2015


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McCarthy says Congress will pass 6-year highway bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

McCarthy (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is expected to become House speaker, said he expects Congress will pass a six-year highway bill before the current funding expires Oct 29. He supports using overseas corporate profits to finance the Highway Trust Fund but rejected an increase to the gas tax. However, some say it will be impossible to accomplish this, and a short-term extension will be achieved instead. The Bond Buyer (free content) (9/29), The Hill (9/29)

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Infrastructure Watch

Cost of Canadian hydro plant increases to $5.7B
The cost to build Muskrat Falls, a massive hydroelectric project in Labrador, Canada, has increased 10%, reaching $5.7 billion. Nalcor Energy said that market pressures, design changes and additional construction management led to the cost overruns. "We have had very good concrete production through the summer season and are continuing with high levels of concrete production through the fall," said project manager Scott O' Brien. The project should be completed in 2018. (Canada) (9/29), The Chronicle-Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia)/Canadian Press (9/29)

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Video: Phase one expansion completed at Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach

(Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

The Port of Long Beach in California recently finished phase one of its nine-year, $1.31 billion expansion. The project will include a new container terminal and upgrade the on-dock rail yard, container yards, wharves and water access. The expansion should be completed in 2019. Meanwhile, concrete was recently placed at the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, a separate project at the port. The Maritime Executive online (9/29), Long Beach Post (Calif.) (9/29)

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Construction of 300-mile gas line through Arctic Circle completed
Norwegian energy company Statoil placed the final piece of the 300-mile, $875 million Polarled natural gas pipeline into place. The line travels through the Arctic Circle, 4,000 feet below the surface of the Norwegian Sea. The 36-inch-diameter pipeline was completed 32% under budget United Press International (9/29)

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Northeast Corridor requires significant improvements


(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The proposed $15 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River has garnered much of the attention on Amtrak. However, the entire rail infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor needs improvement, according to this article, which gives an overview of other bottlenecks in the system. Republican-American (Waterbury, Conn.)/The Associated Press (9/30)

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Trends & Technology

Study: Higher sea levels, stronger storms raise NYC's flood risk
Increasing sea levels and more powerful storms are placing New York City at a higher risk of flooding than it faced a century ago, researchers say. Flooding events such as Hurricane Sandy should occur only once in 3,000 years, but now are more likely to occur once every 100 years, says researcher Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/28)

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Denver utility seeks aquifer to store water

Canned water

(David McNew/Getty Images)

Denver Water has started drilling holes deep in the ground, searching for aquifers in which to store excess water. If successful, the utility would inject water into the aquifer and recover it at a later date. The option could be a cost-effective alternative to building surface storage capacity, and other cities are looking into this "aquifer storage and recovery" strategy. The Denver Post (9/29)

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Sustainable Development

Doomsday structures prepare elaborately for the worst
Some of the most impressive engineering feats have addressed some of the most depressing scenarios for humanity. Massive structures anticipating various doomsdays have been designed to protect and preserve everything from essential governing officials to seeds. Gizmodo Australia (9/29)

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Advancing the Profession

In praise of boring bosses
The best leaders aren't flashy, charismatic self-promoters -- they're stolidly reliable managers who get the job done, writes Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Such leaders may seem dull, but they're more stable and usually more ethical than their more bombastic counterparts. "They may lack charisma and have no remarkable vision for the future, yet they are probably the best people to help execute the company vision and ensure that staff stays engaged and productive," he writes. Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (9/28)

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ASCEnews Daily

Learn from design failures at ASCE's 2015 Forensic Engineering Congress
"The more we understand failure, the better we can understand design" is the key to forensic engineering -- and to ASCE's Forensic Engineering 7th Congress, coming Nov. 15-18 to Miami. Join forensic, structural and geotechnical engineers sharing similar challenges about the causes and consequences of design errors and construction defects. Review the program and register for the Congress.

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Civil Engineering online exclusive: Researchers Pinpoint How Each State Can Be Powered By Renewable Energy

ASCE CE magazine

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a set of maps detailing how each of the 50 states could meet all of its energy requirements by 2050 through renewable energy sources. Explore how it's conceivable, then delve into a host of fascinating articles at

Get an alert when ASCE uploads a new issue of Civil Engineering magazine to your smartphone or tablet -- check and update the app's notification settings.

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