In today’s construction news, learn about there will be ramp closures at West Verona Avenue and County Highway PB all week long as part of the ongoing project on US Hwy. 18/151 by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Meanwhile, the Biden administration said on Monday that it will use government purchasing power to combat climate change by allocating $2 billion to 150 federal building projects spread across 39 states that utilize materials that limit carbon emissions. On the other hand, the administration of New Delhi closed elementary schools and prohibited construction and polluting vehicle use in an effort to lessen the worst haze and pollution of the season, which has covered monuments and tall buildings in and around the Indian capital and caused respiratory issues for many. Lastly, a section of U.S. Highway 20 will be under construction starting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, and will last for approximately two weeks.
Update on US 18/151 Construction
Original Source: US 18/151 construction update: Nov. 3-10
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) project on US Hwy. 18/151 will close ramps at West Verona Avenue and County Hwy. PB all week.
The WisDOT email update expects the West Verona Avenue eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramp to reopen on Friday, Nov. 10. Traffic should resume on County Hwy. PB eastbound on- and off-ramps on Monday, Nov. 13.
Weather might influence project schedule and traffic implications. Drivers should prepare ahead, reduce distractions, and choose alternative routes to avoid road work traffic disruptions.
Visit projects.511wi.gov/us18151/ for WisDOT construction information. US 18/151 project engineer Dustin Hunt can be reached at dhunt@HNTB.com with project queries.
County G to Town Hall Road
Neither lane nor ramp closures are scheduled this week in this project. Later 2023 or next spring will see cable guard adjustments and median grading.
Road from County G to Fitchrona
Final asphalt paving, gravel shoulder, beam guard, and pavement marking will continue on US 18/151 all week. Asphalt paving, pavement patching, and shoulder construction are underway at County Hwy. PB and West Verona Ave ramps.
Concrete pavement rehabilitation is underway at US 18/151 interchange. Single-lane closures between Whalen Road and County Hwy M will persist.
US 18/151 motorists should observe the following ramp closures and long-term single lane restrictions:
The West Verona Avenue EB off-ramp is closed until Friday, Nov. 10.
The West Verona Avenue WB on-ramp is closed until Friday, Nov. 10.
On- and off-ramps for County Hwy. PB EB are closed until Monday, Nov. 13.
Williamsburg Way to WB US 18/151 on-ramp closed until mid-November.
Federal Buildings Receive $2 Billion for Low-carbon Construction
The Biden administration announced Monday that it will invest $2 billion in 150 federal building projects in 39 states that use low-carbon materials, its latest climate change push through government purchases.
The General Services Administration will buy asphalt, concrete, glass, and steel with fewer greenhouse gas emissions that meet environmental standards.
“The U.S. government has a huge share of the market, particularly concrete and asphalt, and that I think helps drive the industry toward ever increasing decarbonization innovation,” John Podesta, President Joe Biden’s senior assistant, told Reuters.
Podesta manages the administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which gives the GSA over $3 billion to invest in carbon-reducing buildings.
He claimed the investments will reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors.
In Topeka, Kansas, Podesta and GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan unveiled the investments, including $25 million of the $2 billion intended to remodel a federal building and courtroom to make it more energy efficient.
The Biden administration would spend $2 billion on 150 federal building projects in 39 states to reduce carbon emissions.
Asphalt, concrete, glass, and steel are carbon-intensive construction materials. They emit roughly half of US manufacturing greenhouse gases, according to the GSA.
The administration aims to establish a net-zero federal building portfolio by 2045 and government procurement by 2050.
“This funding helps create a market for low- and zero-carbon materials, further incentivizing industrial manufacturers to take advantage of other IRA programs to reduce emissions,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated.
Boston, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco also had buildings chosen.
To Reduce Air Pollution, New Delhi Closes Schools and Limits Construction
New Delhi closed elementary schools and restricted polluting vehicles and construction activities to decrease the worst haze and fog of the season, which has covered monuments and high-rise buildings in India’s capital and caused respiratory difficulties.
Many people wore masks to avoid the haze, which authorities controlled with water sprinklers and anti-smog guns. Drivers of 10–15-year-old gasoline and diesel cars, buses, and lorries that emit smog were fined 20,000 rupees ($240) by the local government.
The state-run Central Pollution Control Board reported that the air quality index topped 400 for small particle matter, a “severe” level more than 10 times the worldwide safety threshold. Acute and chronic bronchitis and asthma can result.
Lung expert Rajneesh Kapoor advised masks and avoiding morning walks and jogging. This causes various respiratory illnesses and flu. In an interview with New Delhi Television, he warned it can induce uncontrolled blood pressure and diabetes.
Ritesh Kumar, a recent COVID-19 survivor visiting New Dehli from elsewhere in India, claimed this air was quite dangerous. I have had severe headaches since arriving in New Delhi from Maharashtra state in western India.
Which message does filthy Delhi give to the world? he wondered.
Construction and demolition in and around the city were forbidden on Thursday, except for metro rail, airport, defense, and water pipeline projects.
New Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that Diwali, the Hindu festival of light that involves firecrackers, on Nov. 12 would increase the haze.
New Delhi leads the list of Indian cities with bad air quality practically every year, especially in winter when neighboring states burn crop leftovers and cooler temperatures trap dangerous smog.
Burning crop leftovers at the start of winter wheat-sowing season causes pollution in north India. Farmers are being discouraged by authorities by offering cash incentives to buy machinery.
The highest elected official in northern Punjab state, Bhagwat Mann, said his government has reduced crop residue burning by 30%.
The state-run Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune reported that stubble burning caused 25% of New Delhi’s pollution.
According to Respirer Living Sciences, which measures air quality and other environmental factors, microscopic particles in New Delhi rose 32% between 2019 and 2020, dropped 43.7 % in 2021, then increased steadily in 2022 and 2023.
The city’s air quality dropped 4.4% last year from 109 to 113.9 micrograms per cubic meter, the association reported.
Construction is Being Done on U.S. 20 West of Idaho Falls
From Tuesday, Nov. 7, a section of U.S. Highway 20 will be under construction for two weeks.
The project will be 13 miles west of Idaho Falls. It begins at milepost 301 near Cinder Butte Road (65th West) and ends at milepost 288 approaching Arco.
The road is being repaired and ruts filled with a “cold mill and inlay process.”
Roadwork will occur from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Expect slower speeds and a pilot car to guide traffic through the workzone. Drivers should watch for workzone flaggers. Drivers should arrange their commute during construction.
Summary of today’s construction news
Simply put, there is a continuous replacement of concrete pavement through the US 18/151 interchange region. For the foreseeable future, Whalen Road and County Hwy M will remain closed to traffic. When driving on US 18/151, drivers should be aware of the following ramp closures in addition to permanent single-lane restrictions.
Meanwhile, among the building materials with the highest carbon footprints are steel, concrete, asphalt, and glass. According to the GSA, they are responsible for about half of the greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing in the US. The administration intends to achieve net-zero emissions in government procurement by 2050 and a net-zero emissions federal construction portfolio by 2045.
On the other hand, the number of airborne particulates in New Delhi increased by 32% between 2019 and 2020, decreased by 43.7% in 2021, and then increased steadily between 2022 and 2023, as reported by Respirer Living Sciences, a company that tracks environmental conditions and air quality. According to the group, the city’s air quality worsened last year, rising 4.4% from 109 micrograms per cubic meter to 113.9 instead.
Lastly, it is advisable for drivers to expect decreased speeds and traffic management utilizing a pilot car to direct traffic within the workzone. It is recommended that drivers stay alert for flaggers within the work zone. Drivers should adjust their commute plans while work continues.