Track for Detroit’s M-1 Rail, a new light rail line on the city’s lower Woodward Avenue, is projected to be laid before Thanksgiving of this year. The M-1 Rail will be the first streetcar line in Detroit since the last remnants of a sprawling system was torn up in the 1950’s. The cost of the project is expected to total $140 million and will stretch for 3.3 miles from downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard in New Center. Total completion of the rail is expected around the end of 2016, shortly before a massive Detroit Red Wings arena and entertainment district along its route is supposed to be finished. The new rail will service 12 stops with 20 stations via a 60-foot-long, driver-operated train.
The project is seen as a major catalyst for development along the Woodward corridor. “This is not just a transit project, it really is to drive economic development,” M-1 Rail president and CEO Matt Cullen remarked earlier this year.
According to the UK exploration company, Oil & Gas Investments, a major oil reserv has been recently discoveres very close to Gatwick Airport in West Sussex. The discovery news caused both excitement as well as some sceptisism by industry experts with regards to the exloitability of the reserve, while environmentalists express their own concerns over the impact to the local ecosystem.
A pedestrian bridge connecting the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium to the Downtown East light rail system is being discussed among the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Vikings and the Minesota Sports Facilities Authority. Total cost of the bridge is estimated at $6 million.
According to environmental activists, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued an order that will stop the building of a hydroelectric dam near the western city of Chongqing on the upper Yangtze River. The proposed dam, Xiaonanhai Dam, would have been Chongqing’s largest infrastructure project and was expected to cost billions of dollars to build and operate. The project was fiercely opposed by environmentalists for years while supported by the politician Bo Xilai, who was given prison time for corruption charges in 2013.
Construction on the massive Inga 3 dam, which is expected to produce 4,800 megawatts of power for the Democratic Republic of Congo, won’t begin until 2017 at the earliest. This is according to a Thursday statement by the World Bank and signals a fresh delay in the project.
“Work should get underway in 2017,” said the World Bank’s DR Congo manager Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye. “there are still a lot of technical questions to be resolved,”
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, is currently flushing water to keep the reactors' temperature low enough in an effort to avoid radioactive releases. Radioactivity of the used water is reduced through a special treatment procedure, however current technology cannot remove a relatively harmless radioactive isotope called tritium. Tepco now wants to evaporate huge amounts of that water, raising concerns over the particular practice.
The City of Santa Barbara is turning its sights on an old seawater desalination plant to tackle California’s worsening drought and limited water supply. According to Mayor Helene Schneider, the city is willing to spend more than $40 million to reactivate a mothballed seawater desalination plant that opened in 1992 and shut down after just three months of operation. Desalination is the “very last resort,” says Schneider. "We know it's a very big decision to take—and yet at the same time we've done everything we could with our other water supply options."