Video: House Votes on Another Short-term Highway Fund Fix

House Republicans vote to add $8 billion to Highway Trust Fund to cover spending through December; plus more construction industry news on the July 23, 2015 edition of Construction News Tracker

Focus on short-term highway funding...

San Franciscans get a new parkway...

And Las Vegas thirst for water solved...

That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by

$8 billion dollars would be added to the nation's Highway Trust Fund to cover the next five months of spending through December. That's the result of a vote of 312-119 by the House of Representatives and is the 34th such extension granted by lawmakers since 2005. Faced with a July 31st deadline for the nation's coffers to go broke, the House again delayed any talk of a long-term funding proposal sought by the construction industry.

Senate Achieves "Breakthough" on Tentative Six-year Highway Bill

The Highway Trust Fund has been repeatedly short some $15 billion annually as gas tax revenue continues to fall short and efforts to raise the tax have fallen on deaf ears.The dilemma remains as the U.S. Senate has yet to agree on a funding plan and may just end up adopting the House passed versions.

Facing years of drought Las Vegas began a project in 2009 to reach deeper into Lake Mead as a means of ensuring continued supply. With the lake itself reaching dangerous levels, the Southern Nevada Water Authority spent $817 million to construct the so called "long straw". The city gets 90% of its water from the lake behind Hoover Dam.

The new intake reaches 100 feet into the lake bottom and has a dome roof that will work similar to a bathtub drain.

It's taken decades to plan, but the massive Ohio River Bridges project in Louisville, Ky., is steaming along. Updating you on the $1.8 billion downtown crossing, the freestanding towers as high as 280 feet are being completed, making ready for 560 precast panels that will be joined to form the bridge this fall.

The design-build project will have 60 new overpasses and untangle the so-called spaghetti junction of interstate highways 64-65 and 71 when completed. It will mark the creation of a 2,100-foot-long three tower cable stayed structure and bring a new six lane highway.

San Franciscans have a recently completed parkway that takes them into a merger of two of California's iconic highways — 1 and the 101 — then delivers them onto the Golden Gate Bridge. The new Presidio Parkway consists of 1.6 miles and two new tunnels. It replaces Doyle Drive at a cost of $1.1 billion and 15 years of planning and studies to become a reality as well as a smoother ride.

Traveling across the U.S. you may encounter some infrastructure that dates back 95 years. Embedded in the ground at various points between New York and Los Angeles is a series of 70-foot-long arrows used to point aviators carrying mail. The directional guides preceded radio waves, and one of them still exists atop a bluff near St. George, Utah. 

Built of concrete, the arrows were constructed near lighthouses and painted a bright yellow so pilots could spot them from 10 miles high. As radio navigation came into vogue, the arrow project was stopped before completion and left to the elements.

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