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After this summer’s severe storms, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is hoping to prevent even more widespread electricity outages by forming a task force that will recommend whether the city should bury its power lines.

It wasn’t that long ago that those involved in the fiber communications realm were considered dreamers. Shortly after the fiber back-bone build-out bust of 2000-2001, fiber trunk lines were everywhere but rarely utilized. The U.S. was awash in dark fiber systems, waiting for not just business, but individuals as well, to embrace fiber to the premises – at a high cost. Most consider that cost to connect fiber to homes and business as just too high and the return too low to make a working business model. It would take decades for fiber to become in vogue enough to justify lighting up the dark fiber, justify build-out costs and truly provide fiber to the premise.

Anthony F. Caruana, supervisor, Town of Tonawanda, NY, is very proud of his community. “Our Town slogan, ‘A Great Place to Live, Work and Play’ is the guiding principle of our administration. Tonawanda is home to over 74,000 residents who take pride in our community, boast of the successes and achievements of our children, and believe we must be caretakers of our elders and stewards of our resources and environment,” he explained.

The Charter Township of Brownstown, MI, has undertaken an ambitious water-system improvement program that includes installing nearly eight miles of new water mains. Most of the project involves installation of pre-chlorinated HDPE pipe by the trenchless pipe bursting process.

Aegion Corporation announced that Thomas E. Vossman has accepted the position of Senior Vice President-International. Based out of Houston, Vossman will be responsible for the overall growth and profitability of Aegion’s Water and Wastewater platform (Insituform Technologies Inc.) in Asia, Australia and Europe, as well as the company’s Asian Commercial and Structural platform (Fyfe Asia).

WennSoft, a leading provider of operational solutions, has been named to the 2012 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club. This status was awarded to WennSoft based on its outstanding commitment to customer satisfaction.

New Jersey American Water typically spends about $150 million every year on capital projects. Approximately $40 million of that is spent updating the pipes, pumps and valves that make up its nearly 9,000 miles of underground infrastructure.

In the latest installment of the Keystone XL pipeline saga, TransCanada received a go-ahead for the Gulf Coast section of its project.

John R. Kosnak, P.E., M. SAME and Harry R. Price, P.E., F. SAME

Following catastrophic failures encountered by the original owner of the Oakland Macomb Interceptor System -- the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) -- the need for condition-based asset management was identified. At DWSD’s request, NTH Consultants, Ltd. (NTH) performed a condition assessment of the entire Oakland Macomb Interceptor System primarily through the use of closed circuit television.

C. Vipulanadan, PhD, P.E., professor and director of Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) and Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology (THC-IT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston

The Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) is currently working on projects related to composite coatings to protect reinforced concrete and repair methods for corroded steel piles. Over the years, CIGMAT researchers have developed unique testing facilities and developed test protocols approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to test grouts and coatings for infrastructure rehabilitation. A Life Cycle Cost model (CIGMAT-LCC) for wastewater systems has been developed and may be viewed on the CIGMAT website.

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