Extra Extra : Infrastructure

Functional and financial concerns for proposed radio communications network in Monroe County

It's a firefighter's worst nightmare: Trapped inside a smoke-filled basement, he radios for help. But he can't get a signal. He speaks, but his colleagues and dispatchers hear nothing.

Monroe County leaders and fire district officials agree that no firefighter should ever wind up in such a desperate position. But they are still working out how to ensure that the county's new multimillion-dollar digital radio system can prevent it from happening.

Under Christie, business booms for Port Authority's chief

It pays to be friends with Chris Christie, WNYC reported last month.

“The governorship of Chris Christie has been very good for David Samson, a close associate he installed as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - and who has emerged as a central figure in the scandals swirling around the New Jersey governor. Records show that his law firm's lobbying revenues have skyrocketed during Christie's tenure, and its business as a bond counsel has quadrupled.

The story continued Tuesday as WNYC detailed Samson’s many opportunities to advance his own interests as Port ...

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Inside New York City’s Water Tanks, Layers of Neglect

With their quaint barrel-like contours and weathered cedar-plank sides, rooftop water towers are a constant on the New York City skyline. And though they may look like relics of a past age, millions of residents get their drinking water from the tanks every day.

But inside these rustic-looking vessels, there are often thick layers of muddy sediment. Many have not been cleaned or inspected in years. And regulations governing water tanks are rarely enforced, an examination by The New York Times shows.

Christie stuck in a jam over GWB lane closings

"A cache of private messages linking Governor Christie’s office to vindictive lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in September plunged the administration into a deep crisis on Wednesday, threatening Christie’s national profile as a straight-talker and feeding criticism that his administration has used its power to bully political enemies," northjersey.com reports. Read/watch the full story here.  

Florida's chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes

The Orlando Sentinel completed its three-part series “Blood In the Streets” this week, examining Central Florida’s chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes, the worst in the country. Using state and federal data, reporters Scott Powers and Arelis Hernandez reviewed thousands of pedestrian crashes to target scores of interviews. Their findings: The problems are rooted in many decades of sprawling development and road planning and a careless culture. Drivers who kill pedestrians face life-changing grief and guilt. Victims and families find little support and no closure from the justice system. And no transportation plans address the ultimate problem: high speed.

New $34 million military headquarters in Afghanistan will sit unused

The U.S. military has erected a 64,000-square-foot headquarters in Afghanistan at a cost of $34 million, but has no plans to use it. Senior military officials told The Washington Post that they insisted they did not need the facility and see no point to moving into it as they withdraw forces from the area. Military officials told the Post the headquarters is representative of Pentagon mismanagement, which has resulted in costly projects finishing up throughought the region with no troops to use them.

Corrosion plagues new Bay Bridge span

The Bee compared that Caltrans study against about 115,000 pages of construction and inspection records and found the conclusions were based on wrong information. The records show that the agency misstated in its report the extent of water contamination and its own inspection efforts. Conclusions that corrosion caused no harm were based partly on underestimates about how long tendons were left exposed and vulnerable, and on suspect testing methods.”

The Hell of American Day Care

"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do—and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five—spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent." Read the full invesitgation from the New Republic here.

Leaking gas pipelines across Michigan create an underground danger

"Crisscrossing Michigan are more than 3,100 miles of old wrought- and cast-iron natural-gas pipelines -- the type federal regulators consider the most at risk of corrosion, cracking and catastrophic rupturing. The state's two largest utilities have replaced less than 15% of these pipelines -- 542 miles -- in the past decade," according to an investigation by the Detroit Free Press.