Senate Endorses New Controls for Army Corps Projects

On July 19, the Senate voted 54 to 46 to place new controls on water projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The legislation was an amendment attached to a new, $11.6-billion funding measure that adds 100 new projects to the Corps’ schedule.

The legislation calls for creating independent panels to review (and offer their advice to Congress and the Corps) proposed water projects that are valued at $40 million or more, or that could be considered controversial. The panel members would be appointed by the Secretary of the Army. An additional amendment, which called for creating an interagency panel to prioritize Corps projects, did not pass.

GIS/Geospatial Market Continues to Be Strong

According to the latest research from Daratech, Inc., a leading market research firm for the information technology industries, the market for GIS and geospatial equipment, software, and services continues to increase. The company forecasts that worldwide revenue will reach $3.6 billion this year, up from $2.82 billion in 2004.

The growth is driven by sales of commercial data products and the emergence of desktop- and Internet-based systems, Daratech reports. Software developers comprise more than half of this projected revenue ($1.5 billion), with three vendors (ESRI, Bentley, and Intergraph Corp.) accounting for about half of the industry’s total software revenues.

Race is on to Replace U.S. DOT Secretary

According to a July 7 report in the Washington Post, trucking industry lobbyist Bill Graves, a former Kansas governor, is considered the front runner to replace outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

Government and industry sources also told the newspaper that Federal Aviation Administration Head Marion Blakey is another strong candidate. Blakey headed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the early 1990s.

When asked about his preference for a successor, Mineta told Traffic World magazine recently that he would prefer his former deputy Maria Cino.

A decision on the Cabinet post could come as early as this week, Bush administration officials say.

2006 'Hot Firms' Announced

Zweig White Information Services has identified the 100 fastest-growing U.S. architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms for its annual ranking, The Zweig Letter Hot Firm List. These firms have outperformed the economy and competitors to become industry leaders.

Compass Environmental, Inc., earned the number-one spot on the 2006 list. Compass and this year's other Hot Firms will be recognized at a special reception at The Zweig Letter Hot Firm Celebration & Conference, to be held Oct. 25-27, 2006, in San Francisco.

CE News, Structural Engineer, and Bridges Magazines Want to Hear From You!

We want to include your opinions in our continuing coverage of last year's devastating Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Please consider the following question and write to us with your response. We plan to use your feedback in the September issues, so please include your name, credentials (P.E., S.E., etc.), city, state, and firm/organization name along with your response.

Question: As repair and re-building continues in the Gulf Coast region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, what do you believe that state and/or federal agencies should mandate to protect structures (especially residential and commercial buildings) against future wind and/or water damage in the region?

Send your answers to us via e-mail, with "hurricanes" in the subject line.

Mineta Makes His Final Remarks as Head of DOT

On Thursday, July 6, Norman Mineta made his final speech as the U.S. secretary of transportation. In an address before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mineta reminded officials about the nation's key transportation concerns as they move forward in his absence.

He said the nation's transportation system is at a critical juncture that requires bipartisanship if we are to continue to lead by example. The secretary noted that if the United States wishes to maintain its competitive edge in transportation design and construction then we should not "make a habit out of turning our noses up at investors in our seaports, airports, and highways just because they are headquartered outside the United States."

New Simpson Strong-Tie lab a part of Cal Poly groundbreaking

New Simpson Strong-Tie lab a part of Cal Poly groundbreaking

Summer camp recruitment makes the grade’

Summer camp recruitment makes the ‘grade’

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