Matching Items (33)

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Arizona's Transportation Infrastructure: An Investigation into the Quality, Funding Sources, and Maintenance Processes of Roads and Bridges in the State of Arizona

Description

Arizona's transportation infrastructure is in need of an update. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) State Infrastructure 2017 Report Card scores Arizona's roads at a D+ and Arizona's bridges at a B. These grades are indicative that the serviceability

Arizona's transportation infrastructure is in need of an update. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) State Infrastructure 2017 Report Card scores Arizona's roads at a D+ and Arizona's bridges at a B. These grades are indicative that the serviceability levels of the roads and bridges are less than adequate. These grades may seem tolerable in light of a national bridge C+ grade and a national road D grade, but the real problem lies in Arizona's existing funding gap that is in danger of exponentially increasing in the future. With an influx of vehicles on Arizona's roads and bridges, the cost of building, repairing, and maintaining them will grow and cause a problematic funding shortage. This report explores the current state of Arizona's roads and bridges as well as the policy and funding sources behind them, using statistics from the ASCE infrastructure report card and the Federal Highway Administration. Additionally, it discusses how regular, preventative maintenance for transportation infrastructure is the economically responsible choice for the state because it decreases delays and fuel expenses, prevents possible catastrophes, and increases human safety. To prioritize preventative transportation infrastructure maintenance, the common mentality that allows it to be sidelined for more newsworthy projects needs to be changed. Along with gaining preventative maintenance revenues through increasing vehicular taxes and fees, encouraging transportation policymakers and politicians to make economic decisions in favor of maintenance rather than waiting until failure is a reliable way to encourage regular, preventative maintenance.

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2018-05

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THE STATE OF TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Description

America's infrastructure is in dire straits according to the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card, giving America a D+ average for all infrastructure categories. "The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 ranks the U.S. 16th in

America's infrastructure is in dire straits according to the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card, giving America a D+ average for all infrastructure categories. "The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 ranks the U.S. 16th in quality of overall infrastructure" (Peters State). This paper addresses the need for investment in transportation infrastructure starting today, with a focus on bridges. The rates at which infrastructure is being built and maintained is not sustainable. Lack of funding causes states to practice deferred maintenance of infrastructure which ultimately results in higher overall costs. Timely maintenance and investment in current infrastructure is almost always the more economical approach. Despite conditions in Arizona, the rest of America is struggling with crumbling infrastructure. This paper stems from the Tex Wash Bridge failure on the Interstate-10 between California and Arizona in July 2015. A case study of four potential causes of the Tex Wash Bridge's collapse are discussed, along with several solutions that could have lessened the likelihood of failure. The condition of bridges are cataloged in the National Bridge Inventory managed by the Federal Highway Administration. In all reality, cost is not incurred at the instance of a bridge collapse, rather it is incremental throughout the infrastructure's lifetime. The impact of infrastructure failures are economic, social, and political. In the last decade, 33 short term fixes for project funding of roadways have been passed by Congress, none lasting longer than two years. The federal budget's underinvestment in infrastructure limits state departments of transportation ability to address high risk issues. Transportation is funded via the federal gasoline tax and vehicle license tax, along with state gasoline taxes. Unfortunately, the federal gasoline tax has not been increased since 1993. The Highway Trust Fund has subsequently faced insolvency in recent years. In 2011, America only committed 2.4% of its GDP to it's over 4 million miles of roads concluding that there is no interest to make transportation infrastructure a national priority. Currently, each state needs an average of $1 billion to address deficient bridges, and America needs $3.6 trillion to raise infrastructure ratings in the next five years. These needs can only be addressed at the federal level through long-term transportation legislation. It will require gaining investor confidence in tax spending, looking towards alternate funding such county taxes or toll roads, and capitalizing on the immediate interest generated by catastrophes. Mary Peters, former United States Secretary of Transportation, emphasizes the economic impact of underinvestment to foster political will, as opposed to focusing on America's crumbling infrastructure. Public safety and the economy are tied directly to the condition of America's infrastructure. For improvement on the national level, the disconnect between public understanding, engineering judgement, and political action must be remedied. The process starts by making America's infrastructure a national priority.

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2016-05

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Performance Metrics of US Renewable Energy Initiatives

Description

This study was conducted to better understand the making and measuring of renewable energy goals by the federal government. Three different energy types are studied: wind, solar, and biofuel, for two different federal departments: the Department of Defense and the

This study was conducted to better understand the making and measuring of renewable energy goals by the federal government. Three different energy types are studied: wind, solar, and biofuel, for two different federal departments: the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. A statistical analysis and a meta-analysis of current literature will be the main pieces of information. These departments and energy types were chosen as they represent the highest potential for renewable energy production. It is important to understand any trends in goal setting by the federal government, as well as to understand what these trends represent in terms of predicting renewable energy production. The conclusion for this paper is that the federal government appears to set high goals for renewable energy initiatives. While the goals appear to be high, they are designed based on required characteristics described by the federal government. These characteristics are most often technological advancements, tax incentives, or increased production, with tax incentives having the highest priority. However, more often than not these characteristics are optimistic or simply not met. This leads to the resetting of goals before any goal can be evaluated, making it difficult to determine the goal-setting ability of the federal government.

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2015-05

Beneath the Streets: New Tools for Managing Degrading Sewer Infrastructure

Description

Infrastructure degradation is a chronic problem for fats, oils, and grease (FOG) pretreatment programs at wastewater utilities, which can lead to harmful bypass and high loss of a renewable energy feedstock. Not only does this exacerbate the potential for environmental

Infrastructure degradation is a chronic problem for fats, oils, and grease (FOG) pretreatment programs at wastewater utilities, which can lead to harmful bypass and high loss of a renewable energy feedstock. Not only does this exacerbate the potential for environmental harm, but not taking advantage of this resource leaves most FOG anaerobic digestion programs non-resilient and non-scalable. It is vital that there are strategies utilizing a sustainability perspective and integration of hard and soft infrastructure management principles to address this infrastructure degradation issue before there can be fully implemented zero-waste, FOG resource recovery initiatives. This applied project sought to answer the question, “How can municipalities sustainability manage the issue of degrading FOG pretreatment infrastructure?” with an emphasis on providing an applied example where a sustainability approach can mitigate complex, infrastructure problems. In partnership with the City of Tempe’s Environmental Services Section, this project addressed the issue of degrading infrastructure by crafting and implementing a comprehensive Infrastructure Assistance Program (IAP). Designed to assist food service establishments (FSEs) and wastewater utilities, the IAP provides pathways for preventing FOG infrastructure degradation through initiatives that bolster hard and soft infrastructure to support a more efficient means of achieving compliance and local goals for resource recovery and renewable energy.

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2018-04-27

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Albania’s Supply Chain & Economic Inefficiencies: Historical and Present-Day Implications

Description

This article serves to provide research and an analysis of the historical and present-day implications of inefficiencies within Albania’s supply chain and economic systems. Several challenges have resulted in a stagnant business environment within the nation despite ample natural resources,

This article serves to provide research and an analysis of the historical and present-day implications of inefficiencies within Albania’s supply chain and economic systems. Several challenges have resulted in a stagnant business environment within the nation despite ample natural resources, an ideal geographic location, and generally acceptable existing infrastructure. There are three major sectors in the Albanian economy that need substantial improvement, including global trade positioning, transport infrastructure, and the tourism sector. Focusing on strategic improvement within these areas will allow the nation to develop value-driving opportunities and should be investigated further to promote industrial growth and improve Albania’s global economic position.

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2021-05

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Risk-reducing Infrastructure: How Much is too Much?

Description

This paper examines infrastructure spending in a model economy. Infrastructure is subdivided into two types: one that makes future production more efficient, and another that decreases the risk of devastation to the future economy. We call the first type base

This paper examines infrastructure spending in a model economy. Infrastructure is subdivided into two types: one that makes future production more efficient, and another that decreases the risk of devastation to the future economy. We call the first type base infrastructure, and the second type risk-reducing infrastructure. Our model assumes that a single representative individual makes all the decisions within a society and optimizes their own total utility over the present and future. We then calibrate an aggregate economic, two-period model to identify the optimal allocation of today’s output into consumption, base infrastructure, and risk-reducing infrastructure. This model finds that many governments can make substantive improvements to the happiness of their citizens by investing significantly more into risk-reducing infrastructure.

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2021-05

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Assessing the Long-Term Viability of the Belt and Road Initiative: An Analysis of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Description

Over the past six years, China has embarked on an international economic initiative titled, “The Belt and Road Initiative” in which it finances and constructs multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development projects around the world. Aimed at building out energy and transportation infrastructure,

Over the past six years, China has embarked on an international economic initiative titled, “The Belt and Road Initiative” in which it finances and constructs multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development projects around the world. Aimed at building out energy and transportation infrastructure, these projects are being undertaken in approximately 68 countries. So far, China has pledged $1 trillion to the initiative, 95% of which is has come from public sources . However, it is projected that, in order to maintain its current growth, Developing Asia will require an additional $26 trillion in investment by 2030 .

The hundreds of projects have been grouped into six maritime and land-based economic corridors that retrace many of the original routes of the Silk Road. Of these corridors, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has proven to be one of the most important in China’s quest for Asian economic integration. The CPEC is the BRI’s first major economic corridor and one of the largest, receiving approximately $39 billion in investments to date.

Despite the thousands of articles and research papers that have been written on the topic, there are very few resources that provide a more comprehensive view of the Belt and Road Initiative. Consistent information on BRI projects is difficult to find, as both China and its debtors have been withholding many of the details regarding construction progress and lending activity. As a result, this thesis attempts to reconcile the simultaneous surplus of research with the shortage of conclusive information by framing its analysis in the form of a question about the BRI’s likelihood of success.

This thesis explores the history of the Silk Road, the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the project’s global implications. In order to determine the BRI’s likelihood of success, this thesis identifies the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the economic corridor most likely to succeed of the six. It then analyzes the CPEC, determining that, despite the fact that it is the economic corridor most likely to succeed, it likely will not. It then builds upon this to conclude that the BRI, too, is unlikely to succeed.

In addition, this thesis critiques many of the expansionary policies, loose lending practices, and near-term decisions made by Chinese leadership by arguing that the BRI is an initiative for the benefit of China and not its debtors.

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Date Created
2019-05

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The Pitfalls and Potholes of Reconstruction: Understanding the Role of Infrastructure in Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Description

National infrastructure form the bedrock for economic growth and social security, both of which lowers conflict risks. This encourages states and international organizations to invest heavily in post-conflict infrastructure reconstruction efforts, believing that infrastructure provision will reduce future political instability.

National infrastructure form the bedrock for economic growth and social security, both of which lowers conflict risks. This encourages states and international organizations to invest heavily in post-conflict infrastructure reconstruction efforts, believing that infrastructure provision will reduce future political instability. This belief is based largely on the perceived successes of reconstruction efforts in prior eras, especially after World War II. Today, post-conflict reconstruction efforts are much less successful in this regard and, overall, are not reducing political instability---Iraq being the quintessential example of such policy failure. In the face of both ongoing conflict and persistent needs for infrastructure reconstruction after conflicts, therefore, there is a critical need to understand two questions: Why are current reconstruction efforts failing to reduce political instability or even, in some cases, increasing it? And, how can reconstruction efforts be organized to do better? To address these questions, this dissertation examines infrastructure reconstruction across a wide range of national contexts. In doing this, an updated viewpoint is provided on the role of infrastructure in conflict-prone areas to include a long-term perspective on infrastructure system's role in society, technological integration, and relationship between the state and conflicting groups. This dissertation finds that though provision of different types of infrastructure might increase conflict risks in the short term, such provision can reduce conflict in the long run depending on how and where infrastructure is provided vis-a-vis excluded populations. These results provide crucial input towards the redesign of reconstruction policies to limit future political instability risks through infrastructure.

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Date Created
2014

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The rigor of negotiation: why public private partnerships are effective

Description

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use for years in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and for a shorter time here in the United States. Typical PPP infrastructure projects include a multi-year term of operation in addition to constructing

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use for years in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and for a shorter time here in the United States. Typical PPP infrastructure projects include a multi-year term of operation in addition to constructing the structural features to be used. Early studies are proving PPP delivery methods to be effective at construction cost containment. An examination of the key elements that constitute the early stage negotiation reveal that there is room for negotiation created by the governing documentation while maintaining a competitive environment that brings the best value available to the Public entity. This paper will examine why PPP's are effective during this critical construction period of the facilities life cycle. It is the intent of this study to examine why the features and outcomes of more or less negotiation and the degree of rigor associated with it.

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2012

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Development of the project definition rating index (PDRI) for infrastructure projects

Description

Front End Planning (FEP) is a critical process for uncovering project unknowns, while developing adequate scope definition following a structured approach for the project execution process. FEP for infrastructure projects assists in identifying and mitigating issues such as right-of-way concerns,

Front End Planning (FEP) is a critical process for uncovering project unknowns, while developing adequate scope definition following a structured approach for the project execution process. FEP for infrastructure projects assists in identifying and mitigating issues such as right-of-way concerns, utility adjustments, environmental hazards, logistic problems, and permitting requirements. This thesis describes a novel and effective risk management tool that has been developed by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) called the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for infrastructure projects. Input from industry professionals from over 30 companies was used in the tool development which is specifically focused on FEP. Data from actual projects are given showing the efficacy of the tool. Critical success factors for FEP of infrastructure projects are shared. The research shows that a finite and specific list of issues related to scope definition of infrastructure projects can be developed. The thesis also concludes that the PDRI score indicates the current level of scope definition and corresponds to project performance. Infrastructure projects with low PDRI scores outperform projects with high PDRI scores.

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2010