June 2012

Hall County considering fly ash for road projects

(The Independent 6-2-2012) Fly ash -- a very light, talcum-powder-like tan dust left over from burning coal in a power plant -- may be the next best thing for Hall County roads. Hall County Public Works Director Casey Sherlock and county engineer Steve Riehle are looking at ways to upgrade gravel and failing asphalt county roads with fly ash.  "When you mix it with sand, road dirt materials, ground up asphalt -- fly ash becomes a binder and you wet it down and it turns into cement," Sherlock said.

A fortune in fly ash? Neumann Systems digs for rare earths in power plant waste

 (The Gazette 6-1-2012) Outside the Ray Nixon Power Plant south of Colorado Springs sits 3.3 million tons of coal ash, the remnant of three decades of coal-fired power generation. Nationwide, 20 percent of that residue, called fly ash, is recycled into concrete, but the 80,000 to 100,000 tons of fly ash produced each year by Colorado Springs Utilities’ two coal power plants doesn’t consistently meet construction industry standards. So, it collects in a landfill that grows by hundreds of tons every day.

Federal Transportation Bill: What's the Holdup, Washington?

 (Sunshine State News 6-6-2012) Florida‘s construction industry is watching intently as the final agreement on the federal transportation bill is being reached. While Congress has set another self-imposed deadline, the debate surrounding this fiscally important legislation continues to stall. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as the June 30 funding deadline looms for much-needed infrastructure construction projects and a special surface transportation amendment that is both pro-growth and pro-environment.

Alejandro de los Rios takes a spin on a new Westbank track for motorcycles and go-carts

(Best of New Orleans 6-5-2012) It's a crisp, clear spring day and perfectly dry — ideal conditions for driving fast. Laney Chouest, owner of NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, is taking me for a few laps around the 2.75-mile, 16-turn north track in a Nissan GT-R, a 500-plus horsepower marvel of Japanese engineering. The first few laps go without incident as Chouest warms the tires and talks about the process of learning to drive at high speeds.