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Infrastructure Monthly July 10

Infrastructure Monthly July 10

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Published by The Right Hire

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Published by: The Right Hire on Jul 14, 2010
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Infrastructure Monthly
Published by: The Right HireMatt Plotkin, President310-844-7481 Mattp@therighthireinc.com www.therighthireinc.com
When The Levees Break -Destruction Occurs
By Matt PlotkinPresident, The Right Hire
All across the country, in cities like DesMoines, Nashville and New Orleans, andeven in California, citizens areexperiencing disaster in a way that couldhave easily been prevented. Our leveesare breaking like twigs, causing massivefloods on our streets, in our homes anddamaging local businesses and takinglives. Sure, water levels are rising but thatdoesn't mean that the Army Corps of Engineers has been doing all it can to fixthe problem. Or maybe it's due to a lack of funding, which in turn has cost us billionsof dollars in damages from floods.In 2005, prior to the levees breaking asecond time in 2008, it was estimated that$10 million dollars worth of improvementswere needed to fix the levee. However,the money was never allocated and in2008, the levee broke again, causingsignificant damage to the Des Moinesarea. Now, in 2010, a broken levee iscausing a fresh round of destruction inIowa, causing devastation to many homesand buildings. Imagine how much damagecould have been prevented had they usedthe $10 million to fix the levees. Instead,billions of our taxpayer dollars are goingtowards fixing what should have beenprevented in the first place, for a mere $10million.In 2004, a levee broke in the San Joaquinregion of California, causing floods andthreatening the drinking water for over 20million people in the area. FEMA steppedup after the fact to provide just over 7million dollars to prevent further damages,but why do we have to have anemergency before we fix what could havebeen preventable in the first place?Many officials have taken a see no evilhear no evil approach to the brokenlevees our country relies so heavily on.However, once the water starts to rise, thelevees become no match for the risingtides and suddenly the same officials whohave turned a blind eye to the problem arenow scurrying around trying to be heroes.But with the American Red Cross havingalready spent all the money in their disaster relief fund, and then having toborrow money to help flood victims, thequestion must be asked, why are weconstantly behind the ball when it comesto fixing our levees? How many peoplemust drown, how many homes must beruined, how much havoc must be reachedbefore we wake up and fix the problem?A spokesman for the Army Corp of Engineers claims there was no way of knowing the levees would break. Yet theykeep breaking over and over again; itsounds like the Army Corp of Engineers isplaying defense. If they can't do the job,it's time to put a top construction companyin place to solve the problem. Maybe then,we’ll get a company that’s heldaccountable when something goes wrong,one that doesn’t play defense but rather goes on the offensive to fix our brokenlevees.This is a fixable problem, but one that isn’tgoing to go away in time if nothing isdone. We need a better system to monitor and fix our broken levees, because withthe water level rising in rivers like theMississippi, we don’t have another choice.Or else it’ll be time to either learn to swimdown the boulevard or buy a raft.
But when they break, they drowncities
The Right Hire is proud to publishInfrastructure Monthly, dedicated tothe Construction and CivilEngineering industries
A breakdown of the major projectsin each region
Introducing a new section on trendsas reported by companies across theinfrastructure industry
Especially important now thathurricane season is upon us
Water heating is being revolutionizedby solar powerINFRASTRUCTURE MONTHLY
 JULY 2010
– The CaliforniaTransportation Commission (CTC) hasallocated $897 million to 170transportation projects statewide,including $157 million from Proposition1B, a transportation bond approved byvoters in 2006, and $49 million fromPresident Obama’s American Recoveryand Reinvestment Act of 2009(Recovery Act). The remaining $691million in allocations came fromassorted transportation accounts fundedby state and federal dollars.“The Recovery Act and Proposition 1Bare paying for vital transportationprojects that help relieve trafficcongestion and improve the quality of life for all Californians,” said GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger. “Investing inour infrastructure is strengthening oureconomy and creating jobs throughoutthe state at a time when we need themmost.”Since its passage, approximately $5.9billion in Proposition 1B funding hasbeen allocated. California has obligatednearly $2.5 billion from the RecoveryAct to 931 highway, local street, and jobtraining transportation projectsstatewide.Highlights of the project allocationsinclude:
Los Angeles
- $16.6 million inRecovery Act funding to help repaveand repair 112 lane miles of pavementon Interstate 5 near Castaic.
Kern County
- $20 million from theRecovery Act to help replace 42 lanesmiles of pavement on Interstate 5 nearButtonwillow.
San Mateo County
- $30 million inProposition 1B funding to provide gradeseparation of an existing at-grade railcrossing in San Bruno. This will reducethe potential for accidents and decreaseemissions from vehicles waiting fortrains to pass by.
San Bernardino County
- $45 millionfrom Proposition 1B for a rail gradeseparation project along the AlamedaCorridor East in Ontario.“From one end of the state to the other,transportation projects are providinggood paying jobs and improvingmobility for people and businesses inCalifornia,” said Caltrans DirectorCindy McKim.The CTC also approved two projects forCaltrans’ design-build demonstrationprogram: the Devore InterchangeProject in San Bernardino County andthe State Route 180 Braided RampsProject in Fresno. Design-build is aproject delivery method that combinesdesign and construction into onecontract. Faster project delivery occursbecause design and construction takeplace concurrently. Caltrans anticipatesboth projects will be completed at leasttwo years earlier using design-build.The expedited construction schedulewill bring thousand of jobs to SanBernardino County and Fresno soonerthan expected.The Devore interchange (Interstate15/215) is the second greatestbottleneck for goods movement in thecountry. The annual cost of trafficdelays at the interchange is almost $4million and is expected to increase toalmost $80 million a year by 2040. The$369 million Devore project willdramatically improve goods movementand enhance traffic safety.The Braided Ramps Project, locatedbetween State Routes 41 and 168 inFresno, will ease congestion andimprove safety for motorists byeliminating many merging andtransition conflicts along a series of interlocking freeways, making it easierfor motorists to travel throughoutFresno.
Welcome to the latest issue of Infrastructure Monthly, provided andcreated by The Right Hire. Each month,you can expect a mix of Civil Engineeringand Construction articles, along withbusiness tips and ideas, industry trends,and the latest alternative energy news. Inevery issue, this newsletter will aim toinform and educate its readers on thelatest infrastructure news.The Right Hire is a recruiting firm focusedin the infrastructure fields of Constructionand Civil Engineering. We have workedwith companies of all sizes to find the toptalent on the market today. Contact ustoday to find out how we can helpstreamline your recruiting process.
 JULY 2010
Building to Withstand Hurricanes
ScienceDaily (June 22, 2010) — Rima Taher, an expert in thedesign of low-rise buildings for extreme winds and hurricane,hopes her phone won't ring much this hurricane season. It'salready been busy with requests for information about bestbuilding design and construction practices to reduce windpressures on building surfaces.In the aftermath of the January earthquake in Haiti, Taher, a civiland structural engineer at the NJIT College of Architecture andDesign, prepared a document for Architecture for Humanityabout best building practices for hurricane and earthquake-proneareas. It's posted on the organization's Haiti Reconstructionwebsite and still circulates in Haiti. More recently, shecooperated with wind researchers at Tokyo PolytechnicUniversity, Japan, to develop and translate from French abrochure for UNESCO to help Haitians prepare for the upcominghurricane season. UNESCO will distribute the brochure in Haiti.In 2007 Taher's article about the design of low-rise buildings forextreme wind events appeared in the
 Journal of Architectural Engineering
of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Anotherarticle on improved building practices for hurricanes appeared in
Caribbean Construction Magazine
in July of 2009."Certain home shapes and roof types can make a big difference,"is a common refrain in all her work.Her recommendations include the following.Design buildings with square, hexagonal or evenoctagonal floor plans with roofs of multiple slopes suchas a four-sloped hip roof. These roofs perform betterunder wind forces than the gable roofs with two slopes.Gable roofs are common only because they are cheaperto build. Research and testing demonstrate that a 30-degree roof slope will have the best results.Wind forces on a roof tend to uplift it. "This explainswhy roofs blow off during extreme wind events," Tahersaid. To combat uplift, she advises connecting roofs towalls strongly with nails, not staples. Stapled roofs werebanned in Florida after Hurricane Andrew. The use of hurricane clips is recommended. The choice of roofing isimportant. Different roofing systems perform differentlyunder hurricane conditions. In tile roofs, loose tiles oftenbecome wind-borne debris threatening other structures.Aim for strong connections between the structure andfoundation. Structural failure-- one structural elementtriggering the collapse of another -- can be progressive.Hurricane shutters can protect glazing from wind-bornedebris. Various designs are available.Roof overhangs are subject to wind uplift forces whichcould trigger a roof failure. In the design of thehurricane-resistant home, the length of these overhangsshould be limited to about 20 inches.The design of the researched cyclonic home includessimple systems to reduce the local wind stresses at theroof's lower edges such as a notched frieze or ahorizontal grid. Install the latter at the level of the guttersalong the homes' perimeter.An elevated structure on an open foundation reduces therisk of damage from flooding and storm-driven water. Allfoundation piles must be strengthened by bracing andshould penetrate deep enough into the soil to reduce therisk of scour.
The Right Hire Introduces Market Trends as Reported by Companies Around theIndustryBy Matt PlotkinPresident, The Right Hire
I sincerely hope you've been enjoying Infrastructure Monthly. Every month we do our best to provide aninformative collection of articles to educate our audience. As a recruiter and business owner, I try tokeep my finger on the pulse of what's coming in the months ahead.Lately, I've noticed an uptick in jobs within the Construction and Civil Engineering fields. It seems aftermonths of job losses, there arguably are better times ahead. In addition to writing pulitzer prizewinning articles, in the next couple of months I'm going to start a new section about industry trends.As much as I talk to people in the industry everyday, both to companies and interviewing top talent,one man alone cannot gage the entire industry as a whole. I'm asking for your assistance in this task,and have put together a survey that will help us to better understand what's next for this industry. Afterall, knowledge is power and that’s what we strive to give to you.The first rounds of surveys have gone out, and we are analyzing them to discover the trends that havebeen occurring in the market. We appreciate all the responses we have received and will be publishingthe first round of trends starting next month. Thank you again to everyone that has been participating,and we ask everyone who receives the survey this month to take a minute and reply for the benefit of the infrastructure industry.
 JULY 2010

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