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Archive for the ‘construction’ Category

Estimating Bicycling and Walking for Planning and Project Development: A Guidebook

August 21, 2014 Comments off

Estimating Bicycling and Walking for Planning and Project Development: A Guidebook
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 770: Estimating Bicycling and Walking for Planning and Project Development: A Guidebook contains methods and tools for practitioners to estimate bicycling and walking demand as part of regional-, corridor-, or project-level analyses.

The products of the research include a guidebook for practitioners on a range of methods for estimating bicycling and walking activity and a CD-ROM containing a GIS Walk Accessibility Model, spreadsheets, and the contractor’s final report, which documents the research and tools that operationalize the methods described in the guidebook.

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New From the GAO

July 8, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Littoral Combat Ship: Deployment of USS Freedom Revealed Risks in Implementing Operational Concepts and Uncertain Costs. GAO-14-447, July 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-447
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664669.pdf

2. Bulk Fuel Pricing: DOD Needs to Reevaluate Its Approach to Better Manage the Effect of Market Fluctuations. GAO-14-595, July 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-595
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664651.pdf

3. Electronic Health Records: Fiscal Year 2013 Expenditure Plan Lacks Key Information Needed to Inform Future Funding Decisions. GAO-14-609, July 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-609
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664646.pdf

4. Software Licenses: DOD’s Plan to Collect Inventory Data Meets Statutory Requirements. GAO-14-625, July 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-625
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664664.pdf

5. Afghanistan: Kabul Embassy Construction Costs Have Increased and Schedules Have Been Extended. GAO-14-661R, July 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-661R

Managing Transnational Infrastructure Programs in Africa—Challenges and Best Practices

May 28, 2014 Comments off

Managing Transnational Infrastructure Programs in Africa—Challenges and Best Practices
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Transnational infrastructure programs, such as cross-border railway networks and electricity distribution systems, can increase regional trade, prosperity, stability, and integration. That is part of the rationale of the Priority Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP), encompassing 51 programs and with an investment need of $68 billion up to the year 2020. Such programs face formidable challenges, however.

The challenges relate to financing, to technical and regulatory alignments (agreeing on the gauge width of a cross-border railway network, for instance, or on national axis-load regulations), and to matters of governance and even human relations. It is obviously very tricky to coordinate a program’s responsibilities and processes across several countries when there is a great diversity of languages, cultures, financial capacities, and political and regulatory environments. Matters are further compounded by national self-interest, as in staffing, and sometimes by a legacy of historical rivalry and mistrust.

The challenges can be overcome, however, through the skillful deployment of established best practices during the program’s various phases. A framework of these best practices is presented in a new World Economic Forum report on the African Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, Managing Transnational Infrastructure Programmes in Africa—Challenges and Best Practices. The report, developed together with The Boston Consulting Group, is a guide for policy makers, sponsors, and managers that aims to facilitate the delivery of transnational programs punctually and cost-effectively.

Free registration required to access report.

The Future of Transportation Infrastructure Investments: Determining Best Practices for States’ Funding and Financing Mechanisms

March 18, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Transportation Infrastructure Investments: Determining Best Practices for States’ Funding and Financing Mechanisms (PDF)
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors (by Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, College of William & Mary)
From press release:

Policymakers working to fix America’s crumbling transportation network have an important new tool. A study by researchers at the College of William & Mary’s Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy (TJPPP) released Jan. 31 examines the vast array of funding and financing mechanisms states are using to pay for roads and bridges. The report, which was sponsored by Associated Equipment Distributors, a trade association representing construction equipment dealers, includes a chart to allow quick comparison between state programs. The study comes as the federal highway program faces unprecedented challenges. The Congressional Budget Office reported in July 2013 that due to inadequate Highway Trust Fund (HTF) resources, Congress would need to reduce the authority to obligate funds in FY 2015 to zero for both highways and transit.

Fatal occupational injuries involving contractors, 2011

February 14, 2014 Comments off

Fatal occupational injuries involving contractors, 2011
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Before 2011, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries captured data only on the firm that directly employed the decedent. While this is useful information, the firm directly employing the decedent is not always the firm at which the decedent was working at the time of the incident, such as when the person killed was a contractor. This visual essay looks at new data on contractors, highlighting some interesting similarities and differences between these workers and those who are not contractors.

The Driving Force behind the Boom and Bust in Construction in Europe

August 21, 2013 Comments off

The Driving Force behind the Boom and Bust in Construction in Europe
Source: International Monetary Fund

This paper studies the factors behind pro-cyclical but widely varying construction shares (as a percent of GDP) across countries, with a strong focus on European countries. Using a dataset covering 48 countries (including advanced and emerging economies within and outside Europe) for 1990-2011, we find that country’s geography, demographics, and economic conditions are the key determinants of a norm around which actual construction shares revolve in a simple AR(1) and error-correction process. The empirical results show that in many European countries, construction shares overshoot relative to their norms before the recent global crisis, but they have fallen significantly since the crisis. Nevertheless, there is still room for further adjustment in construction shares in some countries which may weigh on economic recovery.

Housing trends and impact on wood manufacturing

August 13, 2013 Comments off

Housing trends and impact on wood manufacturing
Source: U.S. Forest Service

Demand from housing and other construction-related sectors continues to be an important issue for the secondary wood products industry. Conducted in early 2013, this fourth annual survey provides updated information on the status and actions of U.S. manufacturers affected by these industries. The study is a joint effort by Virginia Tech, the USDA Forest Service, and Wood Products.

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