Infrastructure

Friday Seminar: A statistical process control framework to support health-monitoring

Overseas (Old) Highway Bridge, Missouri & Ohio  Key Channel

This week's TRANSOC Friday Seminar is all about infrastructure! Pablo L. Durango-Cohen from Northwestern University will talk about structural health-monitoring. 

In this talk, we describe development and field application of a process control framework to support structural health-monitoring and management of transportation infrastructure. The work is motivated by technological advances that allow for continuous, long-term, simultaneous collection of various response measurements, as well as the factors that contribute deterioration. The framework provides an integrated, generally-applicable (to various types of structural response data) statistical approach that links performance modeling and structural health monitoring. The framework consists of two parts: The first, estimation of statistical models to explain, predict, and control for common-cause variation, i.e., changes, including serial dependence that can be attributed to usual operating conditions. The ensuing standardized innovation series are analyzed in the second part of the framework, where we use single and multivariate control charts to detect special-cause or unusual events. We illustrate the proposed framework with analysis of strain and displacement data from the monitoring system on the Hurley Bridge (Wisconsin Structure B-26-7).

The seminar takes place Friday, November 8, 2013 in 534 Davis from 4:00-5:00 PM. Cookie Hour (of course) precedes in the library at 3:30. 

Great California Shake Out! Are you ready?

Oct. 18 1989 Cypruss Overpass Collapse

Today is the Great California Shake Out, a statewide earthquake drill.  Do you know what to do when the Big One comes? 

Ever since the 1989 earthquake and its effects on transportation infrastructure, such as the collapse of the Cypress Freeway (which of course was replaced) or the structural failure of a portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, there has been considerable research on seismic safety and stability. Are aerial BART stations safe? What are the optimal risk-based maintenance procedures to earthquake safety for bridges and highways?

Of course the Los Angeles region has its own concerns about the Big One, such as the disruption of freight logistics for the mega-region. How will the region's highways be affected? There were lots of lessons learned from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which help inform projections for future risks.

If you want more research about earthquakes and California transportation, of course turn to TRID. For today, think about what you'd do when the Big One hits and how you prepare for such an event. 

Stay safe. 

Friday Seminar: How the Eastern Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Became a Megaproject

bay bridge

Today's TRANSOC Friday Seminar features UCTC Assistant Director Karen Trapenberg Frick will presenting about the evolution of the Eastern Span San Francisco-Oakland of the Bay Bridge from an ordinary bridge into a megaproject.

The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was opened after the Labor Day weekend, is a classic instance of a megaproject, not just because of its huge complexity, protracted timeline and “mega” cost (some $6.5 billion). It is also a textbook embodiment of what I have identified as the “six C’s” of a typical megaproject: colossal, captivating, costly, controversial, complex, and subject to issues of control.

The seminar will take place a 4:00-5:00 PM September 13, 2013 in 534 Davis Hall. And of course Cookie Hour in the library at 3:30. See you there!

Goodbye old Bay Bridge, Hello new Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge Under Construction

Starting this evening, the Bay Bridge will close and reopen Tuesday September 3 at 5:00 am. Over the weekend the final touches will be put on the new Eastern Span and on Tuesday morning, you can have a new driving experience across that span. You will no longer have to contend with the S-Curve. There will be bicycle and pedestrian access! (Though only to Treasure Island... and even that isn't quite ready yet.) The old span will still be around for some time though, as it's going to take 3 years to dismantle

Of course traffic will be a mess. 511.org has been suggested to help with trip planning and BART will be running 24 hours over the weekend. Transit is usually regarded as an effective tool to mitigate the impact of these sorts of closures. Could this sort of disrpuption lead to policy and travel behavior change?

Oh and we can't forget the launch of Bay Area Bikeshare

If you were lucky enough to go on one of the bridge tours this weekend, have fun! Everybody else, hold tight. 

The London Underground Turns 150

London_Train_Delay - 16.jpg

On this date in 1863 London's Metropolitan Railway opened for business between Paddington and Farringdon stations, making it the world's first underground railway line and the most iconic. Celebrations have included 150 stories from passengers, looking back on its impact on culture, a journey along the historic Central Line, lots and lots of pictures, alternate tube maps, and the Google doodle

The Underground's impact on London and transportation in immeasurable. The growth of the city is linked to the growth of the Tube. Some consider it as a model for infrastructure management and investment. The history of the London Underground is as much a story of civil engineering as it is transportation planning and urban development. Perhaps its legacy is that it is still running and continues to evolve

Highway Grants: Roads to Prosperity?

Night Construction II

A new Economic Letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco focuses on new research from Sylvain Leduc and Daniel Wilson. From their forthcoming paper, "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere?:Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment", Leduc and Wilson study the macroeconomic effects of infrastructure investment. 

This research focuses on investment in roads and highways in part because it is the largest component of public infrastructure in the United States. Moreover, the procedures by which federal highway grants are distributed to states help us identify more precisely how transportation spending affects economic activity.

We find that unanticipated increases in highway spending have positive but temporary effects on GSP, both in the short and medium run. The short-run effect is consistent with a traditional Keynesian channel in which output increases because of a rise in aggregate demand, combined with slow-to-adjust prices. In contrast, the positive response of GSP over the medium run is in line with a supply-side effect due to an increase in the economy’s productive capacity.

This research is timley given the prognosis that the Highway Trust Fund will go brankrupt by 2014 all while hoping infrastrcture investment can spur the economy through job creation, as outlined in MAP-21.

A National PPP to Support Infrastructure Investment?

Construction

A new report from the Brookings Institution calls for a Federal Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for infrastructure investement by potentially streamlining the process. 

To address this problem, countries, states, and provinces around the world have created specialized institutional entities—called PPP units—to fulfill different functions such as quality control, policy formulation, and technical advice. The federal government should establish a dedicated PPP unit to tackle bottlenecks in the PPP process, protect the public interest, and provide technical assistance to states and other public entities that cannot develop the internal capacity necessary to deal with the projects themselves.

The full report can be found on their website

BART Turns 40

On this day in 1972 BART started running its first train between Fremont and Oakland. On the BART Blog today is a story of one family's account of opening day. BART is also looking for riders to share their memories of the last 40 years, so stay tuned to their Pintrest board. SF Gate also looks back at BART's triumphs of the last 40 years, inlcuding some pictures from the Nixon's tour in November 1972.

For more perspective of the planning process for the BART system, there are several resources in OskiCat, including our collection of BART planning documents and the classic collection of case studies, Great Planning Disasters. You can also find lots of research on BART in TRID.

This is also a great time to revist Jake Coolidge's representation of the BART system that never was, which was based on some of the early planning documents. 

 

Reducing Environmental Impacts in California through Highspeed Rail, Efficient Cars and Aircraft

CA High-Speed Rail Design Concept: Fresno Station Area Growth

A new paper in Environmental Research Letters by Arizona State's Mikhail Chester and UC Berkeley's Arpad Horvath assess the potential environmental impact of California Highspeed Rail, more efficient automobiles and aricraft for transportation through the California Corridor.

Sustainable mobility policy for long-distance transportation services should consider emerging automobiles and aircraft as well as infrastructure and supply chain life-cycle effects in the assessment of new high-speed rail systems. Using the California corridor, future automobiles, high-speed rail and aircraft long-distance travel are evaluated, considering emerging fuel-efficient vehicles, new train designs and the possibility that the region will meet renewable electricity goals. An attributional per passenger-kilometer-traveled life-cycle inventory is first developed including vehicle, infrastructure and energy production components. A consequential life-cycle impact assessment is then established to evaluate existing infrastructure expansion against the construction of a new high-speed rail system. The results show that when using the life-cycle assessment framework, greenhouse gas footprints increase significantly and human health and environmental damage potentials may be dominated by indirect and supply chain components. The environmental payback is most sensitive to the number of automobile trips shifted to high-speed rail, and for greenhouse gases is likely to occur in 20–30 years. A high-speed rail system that is deployed with state-of-the-art trains, electricity that has met renewable goals, and in a configuration that endorses high ridership will provide significant environmental benefits over existing modes. Opportunities exist for reducing the long-distance transportation footprint by incentivizing large automobile trip shifts, meeting clean electricity goals and reducing material production effects.

The full paper and supplemental data can be found here.

The Evolution of Major Urban Subway Networks

Hallways, London

"A long-time limit for world subway networks" recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface investigates how subway systems in major urban areas develop over time. Written by Camille Roth, Soong Moon Kang, Michael Batty and Marc Barthelemy, the article compares the subway systems of major cities.  It looks at Barcelona, Beijing, London, Moscow, New York City, Seoul, and Tokyo, to find similarities of each system's development. The article was discussed by Scientific American, Wired, and the BBC.

This question is remiscent of another article which asks "Are motorways rational from slime mould's point of view?"

Syndicate content