In Brief

Metra Launches 2017 Construction Program

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s commuter rail agency is planning $216 million in construction projects this year.

The plan by Metra targets 29 stations, 21 bridges and 29 road crossings. Metra and its railroad partners announced it Monday. Construction is expected to continue through fall.

The program’s major endeavors include replacing aging bridges on the UP North and Milwaukee West lines and constructing new track segments along the UP West Line.

Numerous smaller projects will be distributed across Metra’s 11 lines. These include station upgrades ranging from installing air conditioning at the Lisle station to constructing a new station in Romeoville. Metra and its partners also plan to replace 57,000 railroad ties and improve the signal system.

Most of the work will be performed during off-peak hours and on weekends.

Portland commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland and Multnomah County have pledged to completely transition to renewable energy sources by 2050.

Monday’s announcement from Mayor Ted Wheeler and County Chair Deborah Kafoury places the Portland-metro region alongside 25 other cities that have committed to 100-percent renewables. Nearly 90 major U.S. companies have also committed.

Portland has been working on climate change since it became the first U.S. city to adopt a carbon reduction strategy in 1993. In addition to making its own moves to use clean energy, the city said in a statement that it plans to resist any federal policy changes that increase carbon emissions.

Kafoury described the effort as a pledge to children, allowing them to have a future with cleaner air and more economic opportunity.

2nd Solar Farm Being Built Near Peru in Northern Indiana

PERU, Ind. (AP) — A second solar farm is being built near the northern Indiana city of Peru.

The Wabash Valley Power cooperative says it expects the farm’s 2,000 panels will being producing electricity this fall when work is completed near the intersection of U.S. 31 and U.S. 24.

Wabash Valley spokeswoman Lisa Richardson tells The Kokomo Tribune that the Peru project is the first since its board decided last year to spend $6 million on solar energy production. The Indianapolis-based nonprofit services 23 electric co-ops in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, including the Miami-Cass REMC in the Peru area.

The Indiana Municipal Power Agency finished a nearly 12,000 solar panel farm in Peru in 2015.

“Hyperloop” Tube Idea Would Connect Boston to Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Commuters could rocket from Rhode Island to Boston through tubes at the speed of sound under a proposal that’s a finalist in a private company’s attempt to commercialize a new mode of transportation.

The Hyperloop Massachusetts proposal is the shortest of 11 proposed routes around the United States, selected this week by Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One.

It would connect Boston to Providence, Rhode Island. The plan also calls for a stop in Somerset, Massachusetts, a town of fewer than 20,000 people near Fall River. A proponent who submitted the route idea, Holly McNamara, is a member of the town’s board of selectmen.

The propulsion technology involves levitating pods that use electricity and magnets to move through a low-friction environment.

It was first proposed by Tesla co-founder Elon Musk in 2013.

Legionnaires’ Bacteria Found in Pennsylvania School’s Water

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — Routine testing has uncovered the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease in the hot water at a southeastern Pennsylvania high school.

Kennett High School in Chester County outside Philadelphia is closed while officials work to eliminate the legionella bacteria. The school has discontinued using the boiler room spigot where the positive sample was taken and as an additional precaution shut down all showers.

The school district says there is no cause for alarm and the Health Department says there are no confirmed reports of Legionnaires’ disease.

The district says the bacteria are not passed from person to person and people often receive low-level exposure as it exists naturally in the environment.

Plans for $130 Million Hospital Project in Rockford

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A $130 million hospital renovation and construction project in Rockford, Illinois is in the works.

SwedishAmerican — a division of UW Health — announced plans for the project that will include a new four-story building and an upgrade of an intensive care unit so that it can provide the state-of-the-art care for newborns.

Dr. Bill Gorski is the president and CEO of SwedishAmerican. He tells the (Rockford) Register Star the project could begin in September. He says it might create 600 union construction jobs and ultimately lead to the hiring of as many as 96 physicians.

The new building will include Neonatal Intensive Care Unit containing 10 beds for newborns born prematurely, or who are injured or critically ill.

More High-Speed Rail Fixes Underway in Central Illinois

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Officials say more improvements related to high-speed rail in central Illinois are underway.

Randy Lovell is a senior construction manager for Union Pacific Railroad’s consultant, STV Inc. He tells The (Bloomington) Pantagraph that temporary closures started in the region this week to finish street work related to improvement of a nearby crossing.

The projects include new curbs and sidewalks and roadway pavement work.

Lovell says other work, including fencing, remains in Bloomington.

State transportation officials and Union Pacific have monitored upgrades funded with federal high-speed rail money.

The goal is to allow passenger trains to travel up to 110 mph, shaving an hour off the run between Chicago and St. Louis. It currently takes over five hours.

The entire project is slated for completion by year’s end.

Water Level Restored at Lake in Flint After Problem With Dam

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The water level has been raised at a lake in Flint after a dam gate that was stuck led to a significant drop in water levels over the weekend.

Mark Adas, an engineer for the city of Flint, tells The Flint Journal that the water level at Kearsley Lake was being adjusted during the evening hours on Saturday, April 8, when the gate became stuck in the open position.

Employees worked Saturday for several hours to lower the gate, but it took work by a crew on Sunday to get it back in the proper position. Water levels were raised Monday, April 10.

Posted by on May 1st, 2017 and filed under Intel Brief. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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