infrastructure

From train derailments and massive oil spills to bankruptcies and medical errors, system failures are all too common - and they’re becoming more frequent. At first glance, these failures seem to stem from very different problems.

But in their new book, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik reveal that surprisingly these events have a shared DNA. "Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It" is a take on how complexity causes failures in all kinds of modern systems - from social media to air travel - and reveals how we can prevent meltdowns in business and our daily lives.

Clearfield is a former derivatives trader and licensed commercial pilot, and Tilcsik holds the Canada Research Chair in Strategy, Organizations, and Society at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Chris Clearfield joins us.

Senator Schumer
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Albany Monday afternoon to push for a major infrastructure proposal. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports from the Corning Preserve.

Facebook: Capital District Transportation Authority - CDTA

The CEO of the Capital District Transportation Authority is in Washington today to speak to Congress about federal funding for mass transit systems across the nation. Carm Basile is concerned that the $200 billion infrastructure funding called for by the Trump administration would be taken out of the funding now set aside for public bus and transportation providers such as the CDTA. 

Mayor McCarthy's Twitter

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy was in Washington to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week.

WAMC

    There was not much hope for bipartisan compromise on major issues going into last night’s State of The Union address by President Trump and it appears those low expectations were met. 

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Two homes in Schenectady, New York have been demolished following a landslide Sunday morning that displaced nearly two dozen residents. Elsewhere in the Capital Region, officials in Cohoes scrambled to fix another water main break.  

USDA/Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

The City of Amsterdam in New York’s Mohawk Valley is seeking emergency funding to repair a broken water line.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Most people agree the nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of rebuilding and repair, but the disagreements often begin when the questioned is raised about how to pay for all the roads, bridges, rail lines and water systems. Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is a Democrat from the 5th House District, and a member of a new and growing group in congress, The Problem Solvers Caucus.

A water main has broken in the City of Cohoes on Saratoga Street. Mayor Shawn Morse shared details about the break with WAMC's Lucas Willard on Monday morning.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

The Amtrak crash in Washington state has rail safety advocates fuming.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Infrastructure work near downtown Burlington 10-6-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont is wrapping up the first construction season under the city’s Sustainable Infrastructure Plan. In November 2016 voters approved $25.5 million in general obligation bonds to fund the five-year infrastructure project. The plan includes the repair or replacement of streets and sidewalks, aging fire trucks, the bike path, water systems and other infrastructure resources. Mayor Miro Weinberger says substantial work has been done and the city is on target to meet its goals.

Greg L. / English Wikipedia

Bennington voters have overwhelmingly approved a $9.85 million bond to help pay for upgrades to the sewer plant in the southwestern Vermont community.

Jim Henderson / Wikipedia

Talk about going out with a bang.

New York's old Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens was brought down on Sunday morning with a controlled demolition.

A Vermont city could be facing a significant state fine after an operator error led to the release of more than 1 million gallons of raw sewage into the Otter and East creeks earlier this month.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Is bipartisanship still possible in Washington?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from the fifth district, speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

The crater that remained following the water main break in Troy.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The City of Troy has completed work on a new water main to replace a 33-inch pipe that burst in January 2016, flooding parts of Lansingburgh and affecting residents of several nearby communities.

Mark Sundeen is the author of several books, including The Man Who Quit Money and the coauthor of North by Northwestern, which was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

His latest, The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America, is a work of immersive journalism that traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for - or create - a better existence.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

The Capital Region has experienced many recent water infrastructure failures.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the 20th district, speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his ongoing water tour.

Photo of Icy Road
Pixabay/Public Domain

Massachusetts State Representative Gailanne Cariddi of North Adams has  announced $1.8 million in Chapter 90 funding to help municipalities in her district fix roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has included $100 billion in his state budget proposal for infrastructure upgrades. It’s welcome news for an upstate city that has had a year marked by burst pipes and leaking sewage.

William W. Goldsmith is Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. He is coauthor of Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities.

In his new book, Saving Our Cities, William W. Goldsmith shows how cities can be places of opportunity rather than places with problems. With strongly revived cities and suburbs, working as places that serve all their residents, metropolitan areas will thrive, thus making the national economy more productive, the environment better protected, the citizenry better educated, and the society more reflective, sensitive, and humane.

Twitter

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are calling for major federal spending on roads, bridges, highways, rails, ports, and public transportation.

WAMC

        Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a $1.9 million grant award today for a western Massachusetts city to complete a highway project that will allow for an $8 million commercial development.

crews work to repair a hole in a street
WAMC

    Work started Monday at the first of nearly two-dozen locations in the city of Springfield where improvements are planned this year to an urban water and sewer infrastructure, parts of which date back to the 1800s.

Joining Saratoga County and the neighboring Town of Malta, Saratoga Springs approved a resolution Tuesday night to ask the State Department of Transportation to reconsider a proposal to close the Nelson Avenue Extension Bridge, which the agency calls costly to maintain.

The Whipple Cast and Wrought Iron Bowstring Truss Bridge. locally known as the Normanskill Farm Bridge, is located near the entrance to Stevens Farm in southwestern Albany, New York, United States. It was built in 1867.
Wikipedia

In July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the availability of $200 million in enhanced assistance for local governments over the next two years to rehabilitate and replace bridges and culverts statewide. The timing is critical.

Pixabay/Public Domain

The City of Albany has instituted mandatory water restrictions.

Workers in 2016 attend to the broken pipe, preparing to weld new pieces.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

After recent underground water and sewage breakdowns throughout the Capital Region, Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko is renewing his call for passage of the AQUA Bill. The bill would provide $21 billion over five years for local infrastructure projects.

Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara Official Website

With hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage having already spilled into the Mohawk River from the city of Amsterdam's wastewater treatment system, an area Assemblyman is calling on the state of New York for emergency funding.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

  The Northeast has America’s oldest infrastructure.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock there is some good news on the rail front. 

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