Germany to build maglev railway

From the Beeb: Germany to build maglev railway
“The 1.85bn-euro ($2.6bn; £1.3bn) project had faced financing problems.
However, the Bavarian state government said it had signed an agreement with rail operator Deutsche Bahn and industrial consortium Transrapid that includes the developers of the train – Siemens and ThyssenKrupp.”
Well if someone had to do it, I am glad it isn’t us. I suspect this is another in a long line of transportation white elephants. Part of a successful investment strategy is not only picking winners but culling losers. $2.6B for an airport access link that will shave a few minutes off the line haul time to downtown (and only downtown) hardly seems the best of investments.

‘After bridge fall, engineers worry about undue alarm”

After bridge fall, engineers worry about undue alarm
“State highway officials around the country want the government to stop scaring the public by using dire-sounding phrases such as “structurally deficient” and “fracture critical” to describe bridges in need of repairs.”
Perhaps they forgot a bridge fell down. This occurred in part because there was *not* enough attention to bridges. Perhaps scarier terms are useful here. Certainly the real problems should rank worse than the non-problems, but the previous problem of under-investment has not suddenly disappeared. As the average age of bridges increases, the likelihood of collapse also increases in the absence of rehabilitation.
Modeling themselves on car dealers “”Car dealers no longer have ‘used’ cars. They instead switched to ‘previously owned.’ Can’t we similarly come up with nomenclature that is less of an issue?” Minnesota said in its response.” is hardly reassuring. People hardly hold car dealers in high regard.