infrastructure

Elevated Highways
1:11 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Survey Says: What's Your Springfield Commute?

Memorial Bridge in Springfield provides local access to I-91.
Heather Brandon WNPR

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is asking the public for input on daily routes, parking locations, and commute timing in anticipation of the reconstruction of an elevated highway through Springfield.

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WAMC News
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

MassDOT Surveys Commuters In Planning I-91 Project

The elevated highway in Springfield, MA known as the I-91 viaduct will be rebuilt beginning in November. The project is expected to take 3 years to finish

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:52 pm

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation as part of the planning for a major highway project in western Massachusetts is surveying commuters.

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Infrastructure
10:49 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Malloy Announces Major Connecticut Transportation Projects

The William H. Putnam Memorial Bridge over the Connecticut River.
Denimadept Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Tuesday several major transportation projects across the state that are set to begin this spring.

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Connecticut First
5:26 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Highway Improvement; Curbing Teen Violence; Examining Police Taser Use

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Transportation
2:04 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Dutch Test Glow-In-The-Dark Road Of The Future

Glowing Lines are tested earlier this month on a highway near Oss in the Netherlands. The road markings absorb light during the day and emit the green glow at night.
Remko De Waal EPA/Landov

There's a half-kilometer stretch of road in the Netherlands that looks a bit like something out of the movie Tron, thanks to new luminescent markings that glow green in the dark.

The photoluminescent paint, a sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches, charges up during daylight hours and then emits the green hue at night along the short test patch of N329 highway in Oss, according to Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, a road construction firm.

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Where We Live
8:52 am
Mon April 14, 2014

The Success and Failure of Design; a Conversation with Medea Benjamin

According to design writer Alice Rawsthorn, design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives.
Credit bradhoc / Creative Commons

This hour, we take a look at design and the impact it has on our lives. Longtime design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn joins us along with Dr. Henry Petroski of Duke University to talk about the good design that helps us, and bad design that hinders us in our daily routines.

Later, we talk to CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin about her work as a political activist and author. Her latest book is called Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

GUESTS:

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Where We Live
8:40 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Big Ideas (That Didn't Work)

Fire Island Inlet Bridge (part of the Robert Moses Causeway).
Credit tsaiproject / Creative Commons

If you watch "House of Cards," you might have noticed a main storyline about a bridge from Long Island to Connecticut. Sounds crazy, right? Well, here's the thing: it was a real idea!

From bridges, to highways, to malls, Where We Live takes a look at some outlandish project ideas that -- for some reason or another -- just never worked. Why isn’t there a bridge connecting Connecticut and Long Island? And why wasn't the New Haven Galleria mall ever built?

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Is Another Water Revolution on the Horizon?

Virginia de Lima, Chief of USGS New England Water Center's Connecticut Office
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each time you go to turn on the faucet, flush the toilet, or water the lawn, you’re connecting yourself to a complex water system with nearly two and a half thousand years of history. The structure of our modern network of reservoirs, pipes, and drains owes much of its influence to designs dating back to ancient Rome. 

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Bioscience
4:50 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Pfizer to Host Bioscience Incubator

CURE's Susan Froshauer gives Gov. Dannel Malloy a tour of the unused labs.
Harriet Jones WNPR

A new bioscience incubator will be created in an empty building on the Groton campus of drug giant Pfizer. The state will also move its data center to the site.

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Downtown Hartford
4:17 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Plan to Move Downtown Hartford Street Faces Opposition

Gold and Main Streets as seen from the Wadsworth Atheneum.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Figuring out ways to bring more people to the city of Hartford has been a long-time work in progress. One plan to do that is called iQuilt, and one of its goals is to make the city more walkable. One aspect of it is facing opposition.

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Tremors
3:07 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

It's Hard Being Live On Air During an Earthquake

KTLA anchors Megan Henderson and Chris Schauble react to an earthquake Monday morning while on air.
Credit YouTube.com

An earthquake in Southern California Monday morning rattled the usual calm demeanor of the live, on-air anchors at KTLA-TV. Fortunately, it doesn't look as though there's been much damage, and the anchors knew what to do: get under the desk. 

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New York City
8:22 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Death Toll From NYC Explosion Stands At 8, May Go Higher

Two buildings collapsed in Harlem on Wednesday after an explosion and fire. Authorities say there were reports of a gas leak shortly before the blast.
Jeremy Sailing AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:23 pm

This post was updated at 7:22 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers in New York pulled an eighth body out the smoldering rubble of two Harlem buildings that collapsed because of a gas explosion that also injured more than 70 people.

Unfortunately, according to NBC New York, not everyone has been accounted for: Crews are still looking for three people who remain missing.

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New York City
7:52 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Two Apartment Buildings Collapse in New York City; Metro-North Restores All Service

Paramedics respond to a double building collapse in Manhattan.
Credit Stephen Nessen / WNYC

Metro-North restored all train service into and out of Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday after service had been suspended for several hours. Two apartment buildings collapsed after an explosion at Park Avenue and 116th Street adjacent to the Metro-North commuter tracks. 

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New York City
11:12 am
Wed March 12, 2014

7 Dead, Dozens Injured As Buildings Collapse In Harlem

Firefighters try to put out a fire after a reported explosion and building collapse in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City on Wednesday.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:28 am

Update at 8:15 a.m .ET, March 13:

We've begun a new post, which at this moment is headlined "Death Toll From NYC Explosion Stands At Seven, May Go Higher."

Update at 4:25 a.m. ET, March 13:

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Cities
7:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Growing An Urban Neighborhood, One Store At A Time

Communications store owner Donny Seto (right) says other business owners shouldn't be so hesitant to set up in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Leah Binkovitz NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:30 am

Across the country, communities stranded in food and retail deserts are asking how they can enjoy the bounty afforded to other urban centers. One Washington, D.C., community thinks it might have an answer.

Just a 10-minute drive south of the U.S. Capitol, across the Anacostia River, sits Congress Heights. The Southeast D.C. neighborhood is less than 2 miles long and home to more than 8,000 people, many in single-family houses. But if you're looking for a sit-down meal, options are scarce.

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Transportation
11:03 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere

An artist's sketch of the revamped I-10/Claiborne Overpass in New Orleans.
CNU

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:00 am

When I was growing up in Memphis in the 1960s, the Feds — and state and local officials — unveiled plans to build a short stretch of Interstate 40 to connect East Memphis with downtown.

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Transportation
4:27 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Why Hartford's I-84 Viaduct Is a Futureless Freeway

I-84 Viaduct
Credit I-84 Hartford Project

Hartford's Aetna Viaduct is among the top ten urban highways that deserve to be torn down, according to a new study by Congress for the New Urbanism. The yearly report, "Freeways without Futures" lists the elevated stretch of I-84 (in no particular order of futureless-ness) with such highways as I-10 in New Orleans, I-81 in Syracuse, and I-70 in St. Louis.

The criteria for being a futureless freeway?

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Michigan
7:33 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

A map of Detroit is spread on a table; on laptops, workers see the same map, overlaid with a grid of the city and blue dots representing surveyors in the field.
Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:39 am

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

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New York Thruway
9:20 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Tappan Zee Bridge to Be Replaced Using 400-Foot Floating Crane

The current Tappan Zee Bridge from Westchester County, New York.
Credit Brett Weinstein / Creative Commons

The Tappan Zee bridge across the Hudson River is being replaced, and to get the job done, one of the world's largest floating cranes has arrived in New York.

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Game of Cones
2:15 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Brace Yourselves, Potholes Are Coming

Potholes in New York City. This winter's multiple frost/thaw cycles are expected to contribute to a high volume of potholes in the spring.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

As cold weather returns to Connecticut, a slew of potholes are expected to appear around the state. According to Jim Mahoney from the Connecticut Transportation Institute, "This is about as perfect as a setup as you can get for potholes, and unfortunately, every road is susceptible to them."

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Host's Diary
12:16 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

"Holy [Bleep]!" Memories of the Hartford Civic Center Roof Collapse

Credit CPTV

The first time you laid eyes on it, the sheer size tended to rip your vocabulary away from you. It was so damn big -- 2.4 acres! -- and the bulk of it just sagged into the middle, right on top of the space that you knew was designed for thousands of people to sit in. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:29 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Remembering the Collapse of the Hartford Civic Center Roof

The collapse of the Hartford Civic Center roof in January 1978.
Credit CPTV

For many years, Ralph Nader has pushed the idea of an American Museum of Tort History which would be located somewhere in Connecticut, probably Winsted. The exhibits would concern tort cases from all over the U.S. but you have to think the Hartford Civic Center roof collapse would merit a special diorama.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

The Suburban Corporate Wasteland

Ken Gosselin, Hartford Courant
Credit Chion Wolf

One hundred seventy three acres of office space in Simsbury is up for sale, formerly The Hartford, but now what? It’s not a new story. Decades ago, many corporate headquarters moved from cities to the suburbs into sprawling campuses surrounded by trees. Now with downsizing and cost cutting, many of these suburban “temples” sit empty. 

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Malls Are Dying, Long Live the Mall!

Will you end up in a mall on Black Friday?
Credit jpellgen / Flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is this week and as the holiday shopping season comes upon us, we’ll look at one of the iconic American institutions: the shopping mall. We’ll talk with a writer at The Atlantic Cities who says that despite how engrained it is in our culture, the mall is preparing to retire. We'll also hear a class piece from radio producer Jonathan Mitchell. He produced a soundscape of his hometown mall called "City X."

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Power Broker
12:30 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

From New Haven Son to New York's Master Builder, Robert Moses Turns 125

Robert Moses with a model of the Battery Bridge in New York City, which was built as a tunnel instead when the public opposed the potentially blocked view.
Credit C.M. Stieglitz / Creative Commons

Wednesday marks the 125th birthday of New Haven native Robert Moses, a powerfully influential shaper of the modern city. Moses famously carried out most of his work in appointed positions in New York City, both as head of the Triborough Bridge Authority and through public housing projects. 

Moses is credited with transforming New York City -- and many cities that followed suit or took his advice, like Hartford -- into a place dominated by the automobile. He frequently recommended demolishing older, poor neighborhoods in order to carve a path for an elevated highway.

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Infrastructure
2:59 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Connecticut Businesses to State Government: "Fix Our Roads"

Aleksandra Glustsenko / iStock Thinkstock

Business leaders said in a new survey that their top priority for transportation in Connecticut is addressing overcrowded roads.

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Where We Live
11:52 am
Wed December 11, 2013

What Does It Take to "Make a Place"?

Jamil Ragland
Chion Wolf

It’s our monthly broadcast, live from our iConnect downtown storefront. Today we kicking off an evening of pop-up shopping: the Small Business Night Out featuring over 15 vendors. We also preview a community conversation looking at how we are shaped by our surroundings.

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Where We Live
8:15 am
Tue December 3, 2013

The Suburban Corporate Wasteland

The Hartford's campus in Simsbury at 200 Hopmeadow Street.
Town of Simsbury

One hundred seventy three acres of office space in Simsbury is up for sale, formerly The Hartford, but now what? It’s not a new story. Decades ago, many corporate headquarters moved from cities to the suburbs into sprawling campuses surrounded by trees. Now with downsizing and cost cutting, many of these suburban “temples” sit empty. 

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Retail
3:20 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

What Happens To Failed Shopping Malls?

Euclid Square Mall in Northeast Ohio is now the site of 24 Christian congregations. (David C. Barnett/WCPN)

Successful malls can be some of the most bustling places in America: enclosed commercial districts that are “people magnets,” with packed parking lots and a variety of popular shops, department stores and restaurants.

But over the years, online shopping and a roller coaster economy have turned many malls into ghost towns.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, David C. Barnett of WCPN examines the afterlife of some malls in Northeast Ohio.

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Retail
3:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

How Shopping Malls Are Adapting In An Online World

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:49 am

Traditional shopping malls took a big hit after the economic collapse. Problems at big retailers Sears and J.C. Penney — two of the biggest mall tenants — could signal even more troubles.

But malls are trying to adapt. As online shopping grows, things are getting more and more competitive out in the real world of brick-and-mortar retail.

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