Sep 24 2012

A Few Good Reads (9/24/12): Condit Dam Removal Complete, Minor Flooding Again in Bangkok

This week: Condit Dam removal is complete, minor flooding in Bangkok again, the potential cause of the Lower 9th Ward flooding during Hurricane Katrina, trying to bridge the gap in awareness of infrastructure issues, and pushing for PE licensure mobility.

Condit Dam removal complete (The Columbian)

The announcement is a milestone for the removal that began with a blast of dynamite last year. It also narrowly meets a Sept. 15 deadline for in-water work to be finished. But it doesn’t lift access restrictions on the newly freed White Salmon River, according to PacifiCorp spokesman Tom Gauntt — not yet. Even though the dam itself is gone, crews are still working near the river and haven’t given the green light for recreation. The White Salmon remains open upstream of Northwestern Lake Park.

Bangkok floods? Blame City Hall, says Govt (Bangkok Post)

City Hall has come under heavy criticism from the government which accused it of being too slow to drain water from streets and roads following heavy rain on Tuesday afternoon.

Many Bangkokians were left frustrated in heavy traffic congestion following the downpour which placed several low-lying areas under water.

lower 9th flooding.jpg

Lower 9th Ward flooding during Katrina caused by construction near floodwall, engineer says (The Times-Picayune)

A flawed shipping project involving excavations at the Industrial Canal allowed Hurricane Katrina‘s surge to breach the floodwall in two places, causing massive flooding in the Lower 9th Ward and parts of St. Bernard Parish, an engineer testified Monday in an ongoing federal trial.

Without the construction, the wall would have withstood the storm and prevented the destructive flooding in nearby neighborhoods, said Robert Bea, University of California at Berkeley engineering professor.

Advocates Try To Bridge Gap in Public Awareness of Infrastructure (ENR)

Engineers, too, are concerned about sending out a balanced message—that is, while bridges do need more maintenance funding and lots of it, agencies are doing a good job with what little resources they have. "We don’t want to come out with the message that the sky is falling," says Andrew Herrmann, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Nevertheless, the nation’s roads and bridges need attention. He cites the ASCE’s 2011 "Failure To Act" study on surface transportation, which warned that, by 2020, merely retaining the current levels of funding will add up to $430 billion in added transportation costs for businesses. Further, a lack of efficient transport will cause American export values to fall by $28 billion, according to the report.

Licensure Mobility: The Next Challenge (NSPE)

Imagine the improvement this would entail for the professional engineer with a national practice. If most states were to join such a compact, that engineer would maintain his or her license in one state, obtain a Council Record, meet that state’s continuing professional competency requirements, and, with minimal online communication, have practice rights in many states without additional licensing or renewal fees.

This could never have worked before the implementation of the expedited comity program for Model Law Engineers. But it could work now. All of the engineers granted practice rights under such a compact arrangement would be professional engineers to whom the PE board would grant practice rights now within a couple of days anyway.

1 ping

  1. Restored Lower Gorge of the White Salmon River (Video) » Hydraulically Inclined

    […] talked about the Condit Dam removal on this blog before, about it’s initial removal, impact, and completion. Today, we have another excellent video about the restored Lower Gorge on the White Salmon River. […]

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