Infrastructure

Industry experts and government officials fear that when President Donald Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan is finally “laid out,” water infrastructure projects could largely be “left out.”

The president has already given preliminary indications that water projects are not likely to be ranked at the top of his priority list. That is more than unfortunate. Water resources are critical aspects of sustainability for the nation.

A billionaire real estate developer advising President Trump on infrastructure issues suggested Monday that a reluctance by federal lawmakers to increase taxes was a main reason the U.S. faces difficulties building and maintaining public works. "The states have been much more courageous than the federal government in raising taxes to build infrastructure," said Richard LeFrak during a panel discussion in New York City.

What do Alaska, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Maine have in common? They're among the 17 states that saw at least a 10 percent increase in the number of state and local agency bids and requests for proposal between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017, according to a new Onvia report.

Infrastructure failures are always costly, dangerous and often disastrous. They are occurring all too often these days and are simply symptomatic of the overall state of the country’s infrastructure. 

Although the year is young, 2017 has already brought numerous major infrastructures failures in many of the states. California has been hit particularly hard by damages from winter storms, mudslides and floods. Officials estimate that repair of storm damages to the state’s roads, highways and bridges will cost $860 million.

It's crunch time in Missouri, where muni broadband supporters are seeking to defeat SB 186 - a bill that eliminates communities' rights to build public-owned broadband networks, effectively crippling jurisdictions' economies. Though the passage might be uncertain, there's a chance that incumbents and their allies may slip the bill's text in unrelated legislation.

Systems integrators and infrastructure vendors are learning that the best time to propose a smart building solution to property owners is often before the first lease is even signed. They say building owners who wire their buildings for connectivity and bandwidth will save money in the long run because their infrastructure will support the services that tenants will ultimately want.

The key is to ask, and answer, the right questions. The next 15 years are shaping up to be an exceptional period of opportunity for infrastructure finance. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the world needs to invest almost $50 trillion in infrastructure by 2030 just to keep up with economic growth.

On April 4, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao spoke to a group of business leaders at a town hall-style event with business CEOs and suggested that an infrastructure package could come as soon as May. While the administration had previously shelved infrastructure plans until tackling health care and tax reform, the announcement seems to indicate a shift in priorities.

Transportation is one of the biggest issues facing cities today, and autonomous cars offer a tantalizing solution for the future. A concept that bridges the areas of infrastructure, IoT, data, the sharing economy and even the entire model of vehicle ownership, the subject of connected, self-driving vehicles is integral to the Smart City conversation. Stay up-to-date on self-driving vehicles with these stories.

Dallas officials blame computer hacking for setting off emergency sirens throughout the city early Saturday. Rocky Vaz, director of Dallas' Office of Emergency Management, said all 156 of the city's sirens were activated more than a dozen times.

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