Better Roads Staff
Who’s Cleaner on the Job? It’s Hybrid vs. Diesel
Scientists at the University of California-Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology have received a $2 million contract for a first-of-its-kind study of hybrid construction vehicles.
The two-year project, which is being funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), will allow researchers to evaluate the emissions-reduction benefits of two commercially-available hybrid construction vehicles: a Caterpillar dozer and a Komatsu hydraulic excavator.
“Hybrid construction vehicles are just now becoming available,” Kent Johnson, an assistant research engineer at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology and the principal investigator on the project, says in a written statement. “We have been asked to use our emissions-testing experience to quantify what their benefit is.”
Little is known about the potential benefits of hybrid technologies for construction equipment because of their unique and diverse duty cycles. Manufacturers say the hybrid vehicles reduce fuel needs by 20 percent and cut emissions by 30 percent, according to Johnson. Vehicles behavior will be characterized on a second-by-second basis during in-use operations at construction sites using portable emission-measurement systems. Researchers will design standardized tasks, such as lifting a heavy object.
How do I Toll thee? Let me count the ways?
The Illinois Tollway, our largest open-road tolling system, has issued a request for information (RFI) to prospective vendors to learn about the latest electronic tolling technologies, products and services. The focus is on key areas of electronic tolling: vehicle classification, license plate imaging, transaction capture, account management, video tolling account management, violations management and interoperability management.
Earlier this year, the Tollway’s board of directors discussed new goals for the agency’s electronic tolling system, including:
• a strategic redefinition of the Tollway’s business rules, including policies, processes and procedures;
• enhanced transparency and accountability, including better monitoring and reporting;
• reduced system response times;
• enhanced flexibility to accommodate change; and
• enhanced competition and vendor specialization.
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of Interstate tollways in 12 counties. Approximately 84 percent of all transactions on the system are electronic, coming from more than 4.3 million active transponders and more than 3.2 million active I-PASS accounts.
The Tollway plans to have a new electronic tolling system in place before the end of 2014. RFI written responses are due to the Illinois Tollway on Nov. 23 by 10:30 a.m. Find out more at illinoistollway.com
Remember the classic Cash hit “One Piece At A Time” about an auto plant worker stealing one part at a time until he had a sort of new Cadillac? Took years. Now reports out of Pennsylvania say thieves were taking a bridge a bit at a time. Seems they cut a 50-foot-long, access-road steel bridge across an isolated creek in the woods into 3-foot-long sections. Then, unlike Cash who just drove his creation, they sold their 15 1/2 tons of steel as scrap for $5,000. Bad move. You know what happened. Someone noticed their bridge was missing. Two 20-something brothers were arrested.
MoDOT’s vehicle-exhaust-pollution-reducing Concrete
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