The Infrastructure Show - Podcasts
Summary: The Infrastructure Show consists of monthly podcasts in which some of the nation’s top infrastructure experts discuss with host Professor Joseph Schofer of Northwestern University the condition of our infrastructure today, and what can be done about it. While many subjects are addressed, including repairs, upgrades and new construction, there is an emphasis on the topics of preventive and predictive maintenance, as well as “structural health monitoring” – a special focus of the Northwestern Infrastructure Technology Institute, of which Dr. Schofer is Director.
Positive Train Control, or PTC, is a set of technologies designed to assure that our railroad system is protected from collisions and error-driven accidents. The system tracks the location of trains, compares their immediate
Spring flooding in the Mississippi Valley and elsewhere in the U.S. has been extreme in 2019, driven by the usual snow melt amplified by several months of record-breaking rainfall. This pattern seems to grow stronger, and incidents of levee failures
In 2008, Los Angeles County voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to support specific improvements to both highways and transit facilities; in 2016, voters extended and increased that tax to support continued transportation
The Soo locks bridge a 21 foot elevation difference between Lake Superior and Lake Huron and the rest of the Great Lakes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. These locks are an essential link in the U.S. steel supply chain. At the end of 2018, the U.S.
The earthquake risk in California is real, and tall buildings present a particular hazard because they concentrate people and activities, they support critical economic activities, and their scale can pose threats to nearby people and structures. In
Hundreds of large power plants and a nationwide, interconnected distribution network produce and deliver electricity to homes and businesses in the United States. While our electric system is quite reliable (though nowhere near the best compared
Damaging wildfires in the western U.S. are a growing threat. In California, wildfires destroyed tens of thousands of homes and caused the deaths of nearly 100 people in 2018. Fire also threatens public infrastructure, particularly the highway
Historically, cities grew up near water – rivers, lakes, the oceans – because of the easy mobility it provides. But water presents a barrier as well as an opportunity, motivating the organized use of ships for local transportation. No city in the
Both policy makers and investors are supporting the increased use of private funds to finance new and renewed public infrastructure. This sounds like a good idea, but is it realistic? How do these public private partnerships, called P3s, work? What
An important function of public transit is providing mobility for people with disabilities. This is particularly challenging because of the broad variety of needs and the complexity of providing appropriate facilities and services as a part of, or
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) was among the winners of the 2017 Federal Highway Administration biennial National Roadway Safety Award in the category of Infrastructure and Operational Improvements. DelDOT’s winner was
Wind has been an important, renewable source of energy for millennia. In recent decades wind power has come into its own, now producing more than 6 percent of U.S. electricity and growing rapidly. Today tens of thousands of wind turbines, many taller
Noise is an almost unavoidable result of the operation of transportation and other infrastructure systems. Trains, planes, and automobiles produce noise that can be a warning but is mainly a source of annoyance and sometimes health risk to neighbors,
The U.S. inland waterways system provides a highly efficient means for moving large quantities of bulk materials – agricultural products and natural resources – which is important both for domestic industries and the export market. But the locks
Ride matching or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft have experienced extraordinary growth in major cities around the world in the past decade. What are the impacts of these services in our cities?