Engineering Inc. - September/October 2003 - (Page 6)

N E WS & N OT E S New EPA Mandate Means Historic Engineering Project to Water Security Upgrades Stop Louisiana from Sinking T T wo thousand square miles wo in three municipal water to meet Homeland Security possibility of a major economic of southern Louisiana and wastewater systems requirements. disaster. coastland vanished in the serving the 100 largest U.S. ACEC has been working with In response, Louisiana is pol- last two-thirds of the 20th metropolitan areas plan on the Department of Homeland ishing a $14 billion proposal to century the equivalent of contracting with engineering Security through The Infrastruc- present to Congress next year, a losing Delaware, Baltimore, and firms to assist in projects related ture Security Partnership TISP blueprint to halt the disappear- Washington, D.C. The land is to Homeland Security, a new to promote funding and guide- ance of the world's seventh- gone, drowned by the survey shows. lines necessary for meeting largest delta. In one of the most encroaching saltwater of the The ZweigWhite survey ana- water security needs. ambitious engineering projects Gulf of Mexico. lyzed the security needs of and The Environmental Protec- in U.S. history, a gargantuan Each year, 25 to 30 square potential market for municipal tion Agency has required every network of obstructions would miles of marsh and dry ground water supply systems, which community water system servic- keep saltwater out of the marsh- sink into the gulf in effect, a have been charged with reduc- ing more than 3,300 people to land, rebuild and reinforce bar- football field every half-hour. ing vulnerability to potential conduct a vulnerability assess- rier islands, and divert millions And according to recent projec- sabotage by terrorists. ment and prepare an emergency of tons of fresh water and sedi- tions, an additional 700 to 900 The survey shows that 65 per- response plan within six months ment from the Mississippi River square miles will be swamped by cent of the largest water and of the assessment. Most of those to marshes at risk. 2050 unless an engineering wastewater systems in the coun- assessments are due by Dec. 31, Louisiana's sinking coast has effort of epic proportions is try plan to use engineering firms 2003. endangered the single greatest undertaken to contain the loss. source of shrimp, oysters, and Twenty-five Percent of U.S. Over the past several years, as other seafood outside Alaska, satellite imagery and computer along with major supplies of oil Bridges Deficient projections have driven home and natural gas and the only the point, the state's bankers, oil deep-sea offloading terminal for M ore than a quarter of all executives, engineers, and gov- half the bridges in Massachu- supertankers in the continental U.S. highway bridges are ernor have awakened to the setts and Rhode Island. United States. considered deficient, a Failure to repair aging bridges high number but a marked can have deadly consequences. improvement after a decade In Waynesboro, Miss., three of increased government people died when a 100-year- spending, according to a new old bridge collapsed in Novem- study by the Federal Highway ber 2002. A replacement bridge Administration. was being built nearby at the Findings show that the num- time. ber of bridges in need of repair, The drop in the number of unable to adequately handle deficient bridges coincided with traffic loads, or failing to meet increased funding from the safety standards declined 18 Transportation Equity Act of percent, from 199,090 in 1992 the 21st Century TEA-21 , to 163,010. The 163,010 total which earmarked $36.5 billion represents about 28 percent of for repairs over the past all bridges in the United States. decade more than double the The number of deficient $15.3 billion allocated during bridges increased in nine states, the previous decade. Congress is plus the District of Columbia now preparing to renew the A P / WIDE WORLD PHOTOS and Puerto Rico. Sixty-eight TEA-21 legislation, which percent of the bridges in the expires Sept. 30, 2003. ACEC is working to ensure increased District of Columbia are defi- funding and timely passage of cient the highest percentage the infrastructure legislation. in the nation as are more than 6 ENGINEERING INC. S e p t e m b e r l October 2003

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Engineering Inc. - September/October 2003