Roads And Highways – Lindys Graphics Fri, 11 Jun 2021 23:06:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Roads And Highways – Lindys Graphics 32 32 Cleanup of WVDOH following a strip of storms Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:55:17 +0000

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (WSAZ) – Road crews from the West Virginia Highway Division are dealing with damage quickly after a narrow strip of thunderstorms ravaged West Virginia in the afternoon and in Thursday evening.

The storms created areas of high water in Lincoln, Wayne, Jackson, Kanawha and Marion counties, damaged several roads and washed away several culverts.

In Lincoln County, whitewater washed the road around a culvert at the intersection of WV 3 and Bias Road near Hamlin, preventing road access to about 50 residents.

District 2 engineer Rob Pennington said DOH emergency crews reopened the road at 11:30 p.m. Thursday and plan to repair the damage to the asphalt over the next few days.

“We had three culverts that were washed away and suffered damage to the pavement,” said Pennington. “We are correcting these issues as quickly as possible. “

The flooding also caused minor damage to roads in Wayne County.

In Jackson County, downtown Ripley was hit hard by flood waters which quickly rose and then receded. District 3 Engineer Justin Smith said the high-water washed asphalt at the intersection of County Road 21 and US Road 33. The damage needed to be repaired quickly.

“The storm was really localized,” Smith said. Several roads and culverts were damaged, “But no one is stuck and we have no closed roads.

High water has closed a few roads in Kanawha County, District 1. Smith Creek and Coal River roads have both been closed due to high water, and high water signs have been posted on Browns Creek Roads and Strawberry.

District 4 maintenance engineer Aaron Stevens said stormwater clogged several culverts in Marion County and caused pavement damage at WV 21.

Several trees were also felled. All roads were open on Friday and crews were cleaning up the mess.

Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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senator expects $ 579 billion and $ 1 billion in spending for new infrastructure | Business Fri, 11 Jun 2021 05:11:04 +0000

Washington (AP) – Bipartisan group of senators pay attention to infrastructure swaps Under plan, negotiators are negotiating nearly $ 1 trillion on top priorities for President Joe Biden, resulting in $ 579 billion new expenses.

Ten senators poured into a closed room and were asked to continue their efforts after Biden was unable to resolve the difference this week away from the Republican-only proposal. The senator personally informs his colleagues and warns that changes can be made.

“Our group consists of 10 senators, five from each party, working in good faith and on a viable compromise framework for the modernization of national infrastructure and energy technologies. A bipartite agreement has been found, ”the senator said in a joint statement.

“This investment is fully paid and does not include tax increases. We are discussing our approach with our colleagues and the White House, which lays the groundwork for broad support from both sides. I am optimistic that I can meet the needs of American infrastructure. “

The White House said Democratic senators explained the new plan to the administration, but questions remained.

“The President appreciates the Senator’s work in creating good jobs, shaping the future of clean energy and driving the significant investments needed to compete in the global economy,” Deputy Press Secretary Andrew said. Bates said. “In particular, we need to answer questions regarding both policy and payment details. “

The president and Congress are strained to reach agreement on his thoughts on infrastructure investments and stick to the range of packages for roads, highways and other projects and their payment methods. Parliamentarians say the group’s agreement in principle represents significant progress in crafting a bill that can pass through such divided parliaments this year, but it could be easily broken. I am also aware of it.

For those familiar with the negotiations but not allowed to discuss it publicly, if the cost runs to $ 97.4 billion over five years, which is the norm for spending on highways, or eight as suggested Biden. He said it would be $ 1.2 trillion. In this size, the new package exceeds the previous Republicans’ previous effort of $ 928 billion in new spending on the $ 928 billion package, or $ 330 billion, but still reaches $ 1.7 trillion over the years. eight years that Biden is looking for. do not.

The group appears to be facing the same issues Biden and Republican chief negotiator Senator Shelley Moore Capito faced when they agreed on their payment methods.

Chief negotiator Sen. Bill Cassidy (Republican) did not release the final tab. When asked if the new spending amounted to $ 600 billion, he replied. “The president said that was his goal, so I don’t think anyone felt he had to go beyond his goal.”

Senator John Tester (D-Mont.), Another member of the group, said the higher amount was “close enough” but is still discussing how to pay it. One option is to include potential income from uncollected income tax, he said.

“We still have to talk,” said the tester.

Senator Mike Brown of Indiana, one of the Republicans outside the group, said the package would offer nearly $ 1,000 billion. This includes $ 579 billion in new spending, which exceeds the baseline of the transportation project.

Mr Brown also said part would be paid for by the undeveloped COVID-19 Relief Fund, which was not the original White House training.

“They came up with something similar to what I think Capito was working on, but in my opinion it would be a bit more money,” he said.

Biden ordered the senator to continue working this week when he left on his first trip abroad after talks between Capito and the Republican senator failed.

The president calls for drastic investments in roads, highways, bridges, as well as broadband, electric vehicle charging stations and other aspects he sees as a new economy, with rates of corporate tax starting at 21%. I paid by raising it to 28%.

Republicans prefer to refrain from investing elsewhere and focus on modifying existing transportation systems. They opposed a tax hike to pay for new spending, and 10 lawmakers said the package did not include a tax hike, but Republican Senator Mitt Romney said the package would increase tax on gasoline at rate. Inflation, which said it was proposing to be indexed. The federal gasoline tax, which is currently 18.4 cents per gallon, has not increased since 1993.

The White House has revealed that indexing gasoline taxes and imposing mileage taxes on electric vehicles for inflation is no rookie. They would violate the president’s red line on tax increases for Americans with annual incomes below $ 400,000.

The Senate is narrowly divided by 50:50, and in most laws that require 60 votes to pass filibuster, Biden seeks bipartisan consensus to secure passage. At the same time, he’s also calling on the House and the Democrats who run the Senate to prepare to hand over part of the package themselves under special budget rules that allow 51-vote approval in the Senate. I go.

In the equally divided Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris will vote for a tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, the home panel submitted a bill early Thursday. It is an important part of the Chamber of Commerce’s infrastructure efforts. The bill seeks to increase federal spending on roads, bridges, transportation and railways. The $ 547 billion package will be passed primarily in line with party policy by 38-26 votes and could be considered by Full House later this month.

senator expects $ 579 billion and $ 1 billion in spending for new infrastructure | Business

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The Audi E-Tron, happier in the city, on country roads than on fast highways, needs a more powerful battery, but does it matter? Thu, 10 Jun 2021 08:57:02 +0000

“There is no free lunch,” according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, but perhaps some aspects of the all-electric Audi e-tron Sportback would make it reconsider its famous saying if it was. alive today.

Audi e-tron regenerative braking technology was so effective under certain conditions that some trips in hilly countryside were made using less uptime meter mileage than was actually driven. This is just as good, as the overall battery performance was not impressive.

Modern electric cars have the ability to recover energy when the vehicle is coasting or going downhill. In traffic, when you release the accelerator, you may feel a braking effect and it replenishes your energy. The e-tron was particularly good at this, and that’s just as good because its 95 kWh battery offered less than adequate capacity.

Audi says this battery will provide 241 miles of range (in the US, the official claim is 204 miles for the 95 kWh e-tron SUV. The US uses a different formula to establish battery life. ) but during my one week experience with the car my home charger was averaging 180 miles maximum per tank. Audi also says that to protect the battery in the long run, you need to charge it to just 80% of its capacity. This shaves nearly 40 miles from the range, leaving about 100 miles less than the claim.

On short trips, it doesn’t matter. A local test run in the 63-mile Sussex countryside only took 45 miles of range availability. Friedman would have been shocked. The Audi Electric didn’t like mostly uphill rides – a 17 mile drive on uphill roads used 30 miles of uptime, but on the way back only used 8.

Longer journeys were a problem. My expressway motorway test at legal high speeds showed that range was consumed at a rate of 76.1%. In other words, if the range availability was 100 miles while traveling through Europe at 130 km / h (around 80 mph), you would get just over 76 miles. That’s much better than the 41% of the Polestar 2 and just ahead of the 73.25% of the Jaguar I-Pace.

High-speed cars and electric cars don’t mix well, says Richard Billyeald, technical director of the consulting firm Thatcham Research of Britain.

“Electric vehicles are very sensitive to aerodynamics. The faster you go you get an exponential impact of drag and 80mph uses a lot more energy than 60mph. The ideal speed is probably 50, “Billyeald said, adding that he was talking about electric cars in general and not the Audi e-tron.

The Audi has futuristic-looking streamlined cameras where you would expect to find exterior mirrors, which have a big negative impact on airflow. The cameras provide a rear view that shows inside the driver’s door, with a small screen just below where the mirrors would be.

But does reach really matter? Anyone who buys this Audi e-tron – priced at around £ 90,000 ($ 130,000) including tax for this loaded version – might well be a well-heeled early adopter who doesn’t care much about range and will jump into the Mercedes class. S or Range Rover if they want to go further than local shops or golf.

Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics, says no, and points out that electric cars are still at an early stage.

“I think in these segments the range is of course an important element to consider, but it is not the most important compared to the lower segments. When you pay so much for an electric car, you are doing it mainly because you want to join this “cool” green car trend, you want to impress, or just because you want to try out the new technology. Range matters more when you only have one car, but most customers in those price ranges have more than one, ”Munoz said.

“We have to remember that we are still in the early stages of electrification and the cars available today will look very basic for the next 10 years. This should therefore be seen as an experiment for both (manufacturers) and these customers. They’re both trying out this new mode of mobility, which means it’s not all figured out yet, ”Munoz said.

Automotive analyst Charles Tennant agrees that in this price bracket it’s not a game-changer, and manufacturers’ claims of electric car lineup often don’t live up to the real-world experience anyway. But as electric cars become more and more common, range will need to be addressed.

“As more electric vehicles hit the roads at lower prices, the actual range achieved will be a big problem for mainstream consumers, who can rely on just one vehicle, unlike the well-heeled Tesla.

, Porsche or Audi driver who may have more in the team. The auto industry must therefore realize the autonomy of electric vehicles if it is to avoid a negative reaction from consumers, ”said Tennant.

The car itself as a package is incredibly impressive. It looks like the business – my version was a deep metallic blue. The build quality is exactly as you would expect; impressive. The interior is luxurious with awesome stuff throughout. Performance was electric at its best; instant reaction to speed requests accomplished with barely a sound. The handling was crisp and impeccable and the air suspension made my own Suzuki Vitara feel a bit like a rattle box. The rear seats were not compromised by the plunging Sportback rear line.

Audi, Mercedes and BMW are mounting a campaign to overthrow Tesla from its dominant position as the world’s favorite premium electric car. According to Munoz of JATO Dynamics, they are getting closer.

“Yes, the (Tesla) Model S (sedan) and X (SUV) are still a benchmark, but I don’t think too long. They are quite old now and the 3 Germans are improving quickly with more modern cars, ”said Munoz.

Prices for the Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro start at £ 79,900 ($ 113,000) after tax. In the United States, the Audi e-tron SUV starts at $ 74,800 before taxes.

Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro

Battery – 95 kWh lithium-ion

Power – 402 ch

Electric motor – 2 asynchronous, 1 per axle

Torque – 561 Nm

Claimed range – 241 miles

Load – 80% in 30 minutes via a 150 kW load. 14 hour wall cabinet

Driving – all-wheel drive

Gearbox – single speed

Acceleration – 0-100 km / h-62 mph 6.6 seconds

Maximum speed – 124 mph / 200 km / h

Competition – Tesla Model X, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-Pace, BMW iX3, BMW iX, Polestar 2

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Biden ends GOP infrastructure talks, launches bipartisan push Wed, 09 Jun 2021 18:01:44 +0000

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has ended talks with a group of Republican senators over a big infrastructure package and has started reaching out to senators on both sides as he struggles to build a compromise bipartite on its legislative priority.

The president is walking away from talks with chief Republican negotiator Senator Shelley Moore Capito after the two spoke on Tuesday, according to an administration official who granted anonymity to discuss the private reflection. The president believes she negotiated in good faith and would welcome her to the bipartisan talks, the official said.

The rift comes as the two sides were unable to bridge the gap over the scope of the president’s massive infrastructure investment and how to pay for it.

Republicans came up with a $ 928 billion proposal, which included about $ 330 billion in new spending – but not as much as Biden’s $ 1.7 trillion investment proposal for rebuilding roads, bridges, highways and other infrastructure across the country, including Virginia hospitals and health centers.

Talks broke down on two fundamental issues, the official said. Republican senators could not significantly increase the dollar amount of new investments or devise specific ways of paying for them.

Biden rejected the suggestion of GOP senators to use unspent COVID-19 money to fund new infrastructure spending.

At the same time, Biden began contacting other senators, including Republicans who are part of a bipartisan group with Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who meets later Tuesday on Capitol Hill to negotiate a new proposal. .

The president is expected to engage with lawmakers as he embarks on his first overseas trip this week for an economic summit of the Group of Seven industrialized countries in Europe.

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No traffic on the highways connecting Ladakh to Kashmir, Srinagar to Jammu Wed, 09 Jun 2021 05:27:00 +0000

Srinagar, June 9 (UNI) National highways, connecting the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, were closed for weekly maintenance on Wednesday, an official said on Wednesday. traffic police.

However, the historic Mughal Road 86 km long and the Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar roads are open to traffic, he told UNI this morning.

He said no movement of traffic was allowed from Srinagar or Jammu on the national road for weekly road maintenance, especially between Nashree and the Jawahar tunnel. The UT administration has announced that it will not allow any traffic every Wednesday in order to allow the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to perform proper maintenance of the highway for the free movement of vehicles. other days.

Meanwhile, Indian Government Road Transport and Highways Secretary Giridhar Aramane, Union Secretary for Road Transport and Highways Giridhar Aramane visited Banihal to assess the state of construction of the Four-lane double-tube tunnel between Qazigund and Banihal which is an important part of the Srinagar-Jammu national road widening project.

In this regard, the Union Secretary chaired a brief meeting in Banihal and reviewed the progress of the prestigious project with a detailed assessment of all vital aspects of the construction works.

The Union Secretary observed that most of the civil, mechanical and electrical works have been completed while the toll stations at both terminals are also ready. He said only security gadgets are on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions on flights as they are purchased in Singapore. He assured that the mega project will be open to the public in a few weeks, which will reduce the distance traveled on the highway by 16 km.

Relevantly, the construction works of the 8 km tunnel crossing the mountain range were started in 2011 by the “Navyug Engineering Company” after the approval of the NHAI.

According to the construction agencies, the testing of various installations inside the tunnel, including the installation of ventilation and CCTV installed inside the tunnel, has already started and the tunnel is expected to be opened within the tunnel. weeks to come.

The traffic spokesman said the UT Ladakh and UT J&K administrations decided on Wednesday not to allow any movement of traffic on the Srinagar-Leh state road for weekly maintenance. Therefore, he said, no traffic was allowed from Srinagar or Ladakh today on the highway. He said earlier that it was Friday when Beacon authorities were performing weekly maintenance on the road which has remained closed for about five months due to snow accumulation since January 1.

Meanwhile, he said, the historic Mughal Road, seen as an alternative to the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, was in circulation. But, he said, only cargo carriers, including those carrying perishable fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to empty trucks and tankers, were allowed to travel from Heerpora Shopian in southern Kashmir to Poonch in the Jammu region.

Vehicles must have been driven between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. only, he said, adding that no vehicles will be allowed after the cut-off time. No passenger vehicle or pedestrian traffic will be allowed on the road, he added.

The spokesperson said that Anantnag in southern Kashmir and Kishtwar in the Jammu region were also in circulation. However, only vehicles carrying patients and medical emergencies will be allowed to travel, he said.


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Martin Cook on chicane problem at Maryon Road, Ipswich Tue, 08 Jun 2021 12:22:00 +0000

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt accused Labor of trying to score political points in its latest column, following an argument over the removal of a chicane at Maryon Road. But Martin Cook of Labor, Ipswich councilor for the Gainsborough district, responded with his take on Suffolk’s road problems.

Last week Ipswich MP Tom Hunt criticized Labor advisers and myself personally in his column. He criticized me for standing up for my residents and for calling for the Maryon Road chicane to be removed.

Martin Cook, Ipswich City Councilor
– Credit: Martin Cook

I’m not going to apologize for trying to get this change. This has been a long-standing scarecrow of people living in the area as it causes unnecessary traffic jams. The problem has been getting the highways authority, the Conservative-controlled Suffolk County Council, to do anything about it.

Mr Hunt accuses me of trying to score ‘political points’ because the former Labor adviser to the region was unable to push through this change.

In the recent election, local Tories strongly advocated the use of Suffolk County Councilors’ locality budgets to make improvements such as removing the Maryon Road chicane and repairing potholes .

The Maryon Road chicane would cause traffic problems near the Gainsborough Sports Center and the Ipswich Academy.

The Maryon Road chicane would cause traffic problems near the Gainsborough Sports Center and the Ipswich Academy.
– Credit: Martin Cook

However, a quick look at the facts and figures reveals how epic failure this local budget scheme is, in my opinion.

Of 75 Suffolk County Council councilors, only three had been able to spend their entire local freeway budget as of March 31, 2021. A fourth quickly made a list of late commitments to spend what they had left over the course of the year. 2021-2022 fiscal year. This left 71 of the 75 councilors, from all political parties, to hand over money.

A total of £ 2.1million was left unspent in Suffolk on March 31, 2021, and even after reviewing forward commitments for 2021-2022, there was still £ 1.3million left. Many people will find it difficult to understand how this could be the case when the main complaint I received during the recent election campaign concerned the terrible state of the roads in Suffolk.

In my opinion, this is because the Suffolk local highways budget program is very poorly designed, too bureaucratic, and puts many obstacles in the way of councilors funding the projects their constituents want.

Even former members of the Conservative highway cabinet failed to get the county council to spend their budgets. Mary Evans and Guy McGregor were among those who returned the money. Jane Storey returned £ 49,880.18 unspent.

The former leaders of the Conservative Council were not immune. Mark Bee had some extra money, as did Colin Noble who returned £ 48,460.53. The top spot, however, was reserved for Tory adviser Peter Beer who returned £ 66,825.64 – more than any other adviser.

However experienced senior county councilors who belong to the ruling Conservative Party are unable to spend their budget on local roads, I think this indicates a systemic failure of governance.

Rather than picking numbers and blaming individual advisers for the all too obvious shortcomings of this program, wouldn’t it be better if Mr Hunt directed his anger at the Tory administration that runs Suffolk County – and call them to take control over the situation?

It should come as no surprise that the Suffolk local highways budget proposal is apparently dysfunctional.

The county council has failed on highways projects large and small, in my opinion. From potholes that take six months to repair even after work is ordered, to large projects like the north Ipswich bypass, abandoned with £ 1million spent, the £ 8million wasted on the switch to the Upper Orwell scrap or overspending over £ 50million on the Third Lowest Crossing.

I have never heard Mr Hunt utter a word of criticism about the poor performance of the Tory-run Suffolk County Council freeway operation or the enormous waste of money by the Tory administration allegedly could pay tens of thousands of potholes to fill.

The Conservatives have led Suffolk County Council since 2005. In my opinion, the problems with our roads are entirely theirs.

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State Road 4 will be closed west of US 31 | New Mon, 07 Jun 2021 17:50:49 +0000

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY – The Indiana Department of Transportation announces the closure of State Road 4 between State Road 931 and Kenilworth Road starting Monday, June 14.

The road will be closed just west of Kenilworth Rd for a project to cover and rehabilitate the bridge deck over the Shidler Hoffman Ditch. State Road 4 is slated to reopen there in mid-July 2021.

A bridge deck coating is a protective treatment done to extend the life of a bridge deck. Read more about this treatment on our Facebook page here.

Motorists should look for an alternate route. The official detour will follow State Road 23, US 20/31 and US 31.

Stay informed

Motorists in Northwest Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts at any time via:

About Indiana’s hands-free law

In 2019, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute reported that distracted driving from mobile devices was a factor in at least 1,263 crashes and three fatalities. To make Hoosier roads safer, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb signed Indiana’s hands-free law to reduce distracted driving across the state. As of July 1, 2020, drivers are prohibited from holding a mobile device, except in an emergency, while their vehicles are in motion. For more information on the new law, visit Hands-Free Indiana is a partnership between the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police, Indiana Institute of Criminal Justice, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Constructors Inc ., Indiana Motor Truck Association and ACEC Indiana.

About the Indiana Department of Transportation

Over the past 100 years, INDOT has transformed the state of Indiana into the crossroads of America that we know today. With six district offices and 3,500 employees, the agency is responsible for the construction and maintenance of more than 29,000 miles of freeway tracks, more than 5,700 bridges and the support of 4,500 rail and of 117 airports across the state. Indiana again ranked # 1 in the US for infrastructure in CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business ranking. Learn more about INDOT at

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ODOT to Seal 13-Mile Section of Highway 207 | Local News Mon, 07 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000

PENDLETON – Travelers can expect delays, rocks, flaggers and one-lane traffic as the Oregon Department of Transportation begins sealing a 13-mile section of Oregon Highway 207 from June 14, according to a press release.

The work crews will redevelop the roads and repaint the markers and highway lines and will be completed by the end of June, according to the press release.

Travelers can expect loose rock on the roads for several days after the chips have been sealed, which requires spreading rock chips over emulsified oil and pressing the rocks with rollers, the release said. Press. Work crews will sweep the roads, which could cause minor delays at night and early in the morning.

The route will be redeveloped once the project is completed, the press release said.

The crews will work on 333 Hermiston Highway between Exit 182 of Interstate 84 at mile 12 and the intersection of Madison Road and Butter Creek at mile 17, according to the press release. They will also be working on the 320 Lexington-Echo Highway between Butter Creek at mile post 27 and the Morrow County line at mile post 19.

ODOT said travelers can expect “delays of up to 20 minutes, reduced speeds, loose stones in the roadway, flaggers and pilot cars directing single-lane traffic through the roads. work areas ”. The project will also result in two short-term closures of the eastbound exit ramp at Exit 182.

Authorities are asking travelers to monitor construction crews and equipment in these areas and to allow additional travel time. Cyclists should be prepared to travel behind a pilot car on chipped rock covered sections of freeway with no usable shoulders.

To avoid the work zones, authorities are asking travelers to use alternative routes or delay their plans, according to the press release.

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Often times it’s what you can’t see that tells you what’s going on with Alaska’s wildlife. Sun, 06 Jun 2021 01:16:52 +0000

“I didn’t see a caribou. I did not see any traces of caribou.

When you’re in the woods or on the highway, it’s not what you see that tells you what’s going on outside. This is what you don’t see.

A recent drive south from Delta to Meier Lake, and then back to Paxson along the Denali Freeway to the Maclaren River, brought this premise home.

The Delta Junction area is moose. This surprises me somewhat because the navigation quality seems poor.

However, winters are quite easy, with relatively light snow in many areas due to the wind. When we drive, we expect to see moose. More than half of the cows I have spotted over the past two weeks have new calves with them. This is what I saw.

What I don’t see are wolf tracks. I also did not see any signs of bears in the Jarvis, Donnelly, Paxson or Maclaren areas. Does this indicate predation is on the decline? A cow / calf ration greater than 50% could also give this indication. It is far too early to tell, but it is a starting point.

We saw cows with calves in several places on the Maclaren path, even in areas that normally have good numbers of bears. There is a lot of snow on the Denali for the first 40 miles. “I didn’t see any bears, I didn’t see any bear tracks.”

I now have a working hypothesis based on what I haven’t seen.

Normally, a spring drive to Paxson and along the Denali will yield a good number of porcupine sightings. Nary a porcupine did I see. What are the prey of porcupines in our region? Nothing in the wild. Some believe that coyotes eat porcupines. I won’t deny it, but I think if you do your research you will find that this is rare. More porcupines are struck by cars along the roads of our region than all the coyotes along the Delta River eat in a year.

The absence of dead porcupines along the Richardson Highway leads me to believe that something killed many of our porcupines before winter.

Now the porcupines don’t go far, and there are still quite a few far from the road; we see them on the back trails. What happened to the creatures along the way?

Last fall I found nearly a dozen porcupines near the Richardson and Denali freeways that had been culled and abandoned. If you take the time to read some outdoor forums, you will find that there are a number of guys out there who think all porcupines should be killed.

Their reasons are varied. Whether you agree or disagree is not the issue at this time. But, we have a theory to start with – based on what we haven’t seen this spring.

The sightings of ptarmigan were between few and none on our route. Additionally, the lack of normal activity of the Northern Goshawk has led me to believe that the ptarmigan population is indeed low.

Northern goshawks are our main predators of the spring ptarmigan along the Denali. A very rainy June last year probably took a heavy toll on the chicks. This rain, coupled with a healthy aerial predator population that needed prey after the hare crash, suggests the state bird was affected.

The Upper Gulkana has the highest number of nesting Trumpeter Swans in Alaska. It is also the highest average terrain elevation. Thus, the last cold springs may have had a devastating effect on nesting birds.

We only spotted two pairs of swans on a 200 mile drive. In a normal spring, we count 20 pairs along this route. Adult trumpeters have few natural predators. Cold springs and the current lack of recruitment seem almost obvious.

Finally, the lack of ice on Paxson Lake also leads to a logical conclusion, based on what we haven’t seen.

This lack of ice tells me that whitefish and lake trout will bite like crazy over the next two weeks. Sockeye salmon fry flock to the lake, and hungry predatory fish will roam the shallows with their mouths open. A winter under the ice with limited food made them voracious.

Pay attention to what you can’t see.

John Schandelmeier is a longtime Alaskan who lives near Paxson with his family. He is a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay and has twice won the Yukon Quest sled dog race.

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Why user fees should pay for transportation infrastructure – press enterprise Sat, 05 Jun 2021 14:00:27 +0000

A recent White House memo to Senate Republicans on the Infrastructure Bill notes that President Biden “fundamentally disagrees with the approach of increasing the burden on workers by increasing taxes on infrastructure. ‘gasoline and user fees’. Instead, he proposes to finance infrastructure from deficit spending (i.e. future American workers) or perhaps by taxing large corporations (which would pass the cost onto workers).

President Biden is dead wrong about this: Transportation infrastructure should be funded exclusively through user fees for at least five reasons.

First, infrastructure financed by user fees is better maintained than infrastructure financed by taxes or deficit spending. Managers whose revenues depend on user satisfaction will keep the infrastructure in good shape to keep the money flowing. Managers whose incomes depend on the satisfaction of politicians will build grandiose facilities and then neglect them because the politician is more interested in the next big project than in maintaining the elders.

Nationally, 7.5% of city and county-owned road bridges, which derive most of their road funds from taxpayers’ money, are in poor condition compared to 5.5% of city-owned bridges. State, which are funded by gasoline taxes and other charges. Best of all are the bridges owned by various toll authorities, only 2.2 percent of which are in poor condition. Worst of all are the rail transportation systems, which are funded primarily by taxpayer dollars and have a maintenance backlog of $ 174 billion.

Second, transport users are the main beneficiaries of the transport they use, so they should pay the cost. There are side benefits of transportation, but there are side benefits to everything, and if we allow subsidies because of those side benefits, then everyone will be claiming those side benefits in order to get the subsidies. The financing of transport will then become a pure political battle that has nothing to do with reality.

Third, user fees are more than just a way to pay for things. These are signals to users and producers about the value of the things they use. Usage charges tell users what types of transport are the most expensive to provide, and they tell providers which types of transport we are most interested in using. Subsidies interfere with these signals.

Fourth, limiting funding to user fees encourages providers to be efficient and avoid grandiose projects. Subsidies isolate transport agencies from the need to be efficient and often encourage unnecessary megaprojects.

Finally, user fees are socially fair because people are getting value for their money. Far from imposing a burden on low-income people, a user-fee-based transportation system gives everyone the choice of what type of transportation is best for them.

In contrast, tax-financed infrastructure usually ends up primarily benefiting high-income people, as they have more political power. At least three-quarters of public transit subsidies come from regressive taxes, but the median income of commuters is much higher than the median of all workers. Nineteen out of twenty low-income people do not take public transit to work, but they pay disproportionately for the transit systems that are disproportionately used by high-income people.

Plus, when it comes to freeways, proper user fees can help eliminate congestion that costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Highways are unusual in that their flow decreases when congested. Better road pricing can ensure that they will rarely if ever be congested, allowing more people to use the roads during the busiest hours of the day.

President Biden’s plan to massively increase infrastructure spending without requiring users to pay for it is a recipe for disaster. People who do not have to pay for the transport they use quickly feel that they are entitled to such an obligation: the government owes them the construction of a very expensive project simply because everyone benefits equally from it. ‘free’ infrastructure.

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