Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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80 Landscape Architect and Specifier News I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 2 8 While Chicago is in the midst of replacing the old lead piping water mains, the city is not replacing the residential service lines from those mains. The Chicago Tribune reported that the water test kit results of one home in northwest Chicago contained 250 ppb of lead, one of the highest levels found in the testing. Water Testing in Chicago Causes Some Lead Concerns For nearly a century, Chicago's plumbing code specified lead pipes to bring water to residents. Lead is unsafe to consume at any level, according to the EPA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congress banned the use of lead pipes to convey potable water in 1986. The Chicago Tribune analyzed the results of water testing of 2,797 Chicago homes, which involved free home testing kits distributed over the last two years. Tap water in 3 of every 10 homes sampled had lead concentrations above 5 parts per billion, the maximum allowed in bottled water by the FDA. According to the Tribune, since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011, Chicago has borrowed more than $481 million for water projects, including $312 million to install new water mains. However, the mayor's office has said it's up to homeowners (and at their expense) to replace any lead piping connections from their homes to the city mains. The Chicago Department of Water Management said, "The city's water exceeds the standards set by the EPA for clean, safe drinking water." Mississippi Closes 540 State Bridges After receiving a list of unsafe bridges from the Federal Highway Administration, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a proclamation on April 10, declaring a state of emergency and ordering the Mississippi DOT to immediately close 83 locally owned bridges. Closure of hundreds of other state bridges ensued. On April 5, 2018, Brandye Hendrickson, the "acting administrator" of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), sent a letter to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant that listed bridges in his state that FHWA inspectors deemed unsafe. The letter directed Mississippi to immediately close those unsafe bridges. Note: The FHWA employs 2,900 people and has a $44 billion annual budget. The governor immediately ordered the Mississippi DOT to close 102 state bridges. As of April 10, 540 bridges out of the state's 10,783 bridges were closed (that's 5%), according to Mississippi's Office of State Aid Road Construction. FHWA counts 54,560 of the 615,002 U.S. bridges (8.87%) to be "structurally deficient," a $123 billion repair job, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. FHWA gives the overall U.S. infrastructure a D+ grade. Candidate Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. In February, the administration introduced a $200 billion federal infrastructure plan.

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