May’s top stories: replacing Gerald Desmond Bridge, London’s underground roads

US DoT announced a $325m loan to support Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement, London Mayor revealed plans for £30bn underground ring road, while New Zealand’s first fast-charge station for EVs opened in Whangarei. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from May 2014.


Gerald Desmond Bridge

US announces $325m loan to support Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx approved a $325m loan to support the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, California.

A key link to the Port of Long Beach's commerce and trade, the bridge is highly congested and is in dire structural condition. Built in 1968, it had been deteriorating from various safety and design challenges, such as seismic deficiencies and a low vertical clearance.

The new bridge aims to enhance safety by delivering six travel lanes, new emergency lanes and shoulders, as well as a higher clearance to accommodate large cargo containers.

London Mayor plans £30bn underground ring road

London Mayor Boris Johnson appointed Transport for London to explore construction of a 22-mile underground ring road to ease traffic congestion in the capital city.

The Inner Orbital Tunnel is the brainchild of the roads task force that was created by the Mayor in 2012 and would require an estimated investment of £30bn.

It involves construction of two new crossings beneath River Thames and will connect several key overland roads, including the A40 in the west to the A12 in the east, as well as the A1 in the north and the A2 in the south.

McCain cabinets

McCain to supply new traffic controller cabinets to San Francisco

McCain was awarded a traffic controller cabinet contract by the city government of San Francisco, California, US.

With its new side-by-side front door design, McCain's MSF60 NEMA controller cabinet reduces door swing and meets all functional requirements of the National Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA) TS 2, v 02.06 cabinet specification.

Under the contract, the government will make an initial purchase of 180 new and redesigned MSF60 NEMA TS 2 Type 1 traffic controller cabinets.

New Zealand's first fast-charge station for EVs opens in Whangarei

New Zealand Environment Minister Amy Adams officially opened the country's first fast-charge station of electric vehicles (EVs) in Whangarei.

Based on Chademo standard, the new fast charger has a capacity to charge 80% of the battery within 30 minutes, whereas a standard charger needs eight hours for a full charge.

The Northpower EV charge station is also powered by Northland water, courtesy of the company's Wairua hydro-electric power station at Titoki.

North Luzon Expressway

Leighton secures North Luzon Expressway contract in Philippines

Leighton Asia, India and Offshore, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings, was awarded a $201m contract to build segment ten of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in the Philippines.

Awarded by the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), the agreement will see Leighton construct 5.6km of elevated highway on the north-west Metro Manila.

The link, which will connect the MacArthur highway in Valenzuela city and C3 road in Caloocan city near the port area, will be constructed over the land reserved for the existing Philippine National Railways (PNR) rail line.

South Korea capital Seoul introduces women-only parking spaces

South Korea's Seoul Metropolitan Government spent $100m on female-only parking spaces to improve parking experiences for women.

Dubbed as 'she-spots', the new parking spaces are 8in wider than regular spots and are outlined in pink. In addition to being better-lit and monitored by CCTV, the spaces are also closer to exits, lifts and emergency bells to promote public safety.

The government's women and family affairs assistant mayor Cho Eun-hee told the Korea Times: "As more women engage themselves in social life, their desire to improve the quality of life and demand for public support is increasing."

IRB Infra

IRB Infra secures new road project in Indian state of Haryana

India's road construction company IRB Infrastructure Developers (IRB Infra) secured a Rs23bn ($384m) road project in the state of Haryana.

Awarded by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), it involves four-laning of the section of NH-152/65 from 33,250km to 241,580km in Haryana's Kaithal-Rajasthan border .

The project will be carried out as build-operate-transfer (BOT) on design-build-finance-operate-transfer model under National Highways Development Project (NHDP)-IV.

Washington to improve real-time traffic information network

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDoT) in the US plans to bring 14 new traffic cameras and other travel information for state routes 539 and 9 online by the third quarter of 2014, as part of its aim to improve its real-time traffic information network.

Construction was scheduled to begin on 5 May and is expected to conclude in the next few months. The cameras will be available shortly afterwards.

In April 2014, WSDoT awarded a $1.9m contract to Valley Electric Company to install six miles of fibre optic cable, 12 new traffic cameras, a weather station and an electronic message board along northbound Guide Meridian between Horton Road in Bellingham and Main Street in Lynden.