At a groundbreaking this morning, Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Betsy Price, and Ross Perot, Jr. joined with Facebook executives to officially announce the construction of a Facebook data center on a 110-acre site on the northeast corner of Park Vista Boulevard and Texas 170 in Hillwood’s AllianceTexas development. Peloton’s Fort Worth office has been involved with this project for the past 6 months, working with Hillwood and Facebook on the site layout, entitlement, and site design of the facility. Construction of Phase 1 begins tomorrow on approximately 500,000 square feet of data hall and administrative areas, and Phase 2 will include 250,000 square-feet of additional data hall area.
The EPA and USACE issued the final Clean Water Rule defining “Waters of the U.S.” on May 27, 2015 (40 CFR 230.3). The rule will become effective 60 days after the Federal Register publication, which is expected in mid-June.
The final Clean Water Rule stems from a proposed rule published in April 2014 by the EPA/USACE to clarify the scope of waters of the U.S. The proposed rule received over 1 million public comments. The EPA/USACE’s stated intent with the final rule is to increase Clean Water Act (section 404) predictability and consistency.
According to the rule, the EPA/USACE will not reopen existing approved jurisdictional determinations unless requested to do so by the applicant or unless new information warrants revision of the determination before the approved jurisdictional determination expiration period (typically five years). Approved jurisdictional determinations associated with issued permits and authorizations will be valid until the expiration date of the permit or authorization. Applicants seeking jurisdictional determinations after the Clean Water Rule becomes effective should expect the jurisdictional determination will be made consistent with the Clean Water Rule. It is assumed expired, approved jurisdictional determinations will be treated in a similar manner.
Visit the EPA Clean Water Rule website
The Peloton Young Professionals Group (along with other Peloton employees and family members) recently volunteered at the Trinity Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build in Fort Worth’s Hillside – Morningside neighborhood, one of Habitat’s Communities of Character neighborhood revitalization initiative target areas. On the day of the build, the group of 15 Peloton builders joined other volunteers with the finish-out of siding and trim work in preparation for the dedication of five new homes. “It was a great opportunity to help out in our community, and to spend some time together outside of work,” said Peloton organizer, Kole Weber, P.E. “I was really impressed with the amount of work we completed in the five hours we were out there.” Peloton worked in teams, and after some guidance from the Habitat crew, were left in charge of their own tasks.
A leading electronics maker is developing a prototype quadcopter that could help reduce bridge inspection and maintenance costs. The drone consists of a central unit with four rotors, a high-definition camera (that can capture cracks as small as 2mm wide), and sensors including gyroscopes. On either side of this central unit are two large fiberglass wheels intended to allow the drone to scoot along the underside of bridges and along walls, checking for wear and tear.
The wheels serve to protect the drone from pipes and other obstacles when it flies up vertical bridge supports and along the undersides of bridges. They also help keep the drone a fixed distance from the surfaces it is video recording. Fujitsu plans to continue trials of the drone before commercialization.
Although generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works throughout the world. The official mission of USACE is to “deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.”
But did you know:
- George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the Army on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution, and engineers have served in combat in all subsequent American wars.
- The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
- The Corps substantially expanded the system of fortifications protecting New York Harbor, including the 11-pointed fort that now serves as the base of the Statute of Liberty (which convinced the commanders of the British navy to avoid attacking that strategic location during the War of 1812).
- In the 1850’s, westward expansion generated interest in a rail link from the Mississippi to the Pacific coast, and topographical engineer officers surveyed and evaluated four alternative routes for the road, gathering a great deal of scientific information at the same time.
- On the beaches of Normandy, engineer troops, operating under heavy enemy fire, cleared lanes for landing craft by destroying the mine-bearing steel structures that the Germans had implanted in the intertidal zone and bulldozed roads up the narrow draws through the cliffs lining the beaches.
- Army engineers supported 9/11 recovery efforts and currently play an important international role in the rapidly evolving Global War on Terrorism.
- Today, USACE owns and operates 24 percent of the U.S. hydropower capacity or 3 percent of the total U.S. electric capacity. It is also the nation’s number one federal provider of outdoor recreation.
Every year in March/April, TxDOT collaborates with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and other transportation partners to observe National Work Zone Awareness Week. The FHA says on average 85% of the deaths in highway work zone crashes are drivers and passengers in cars.
Everyone needs to take responsibility for work zone safety, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians.
In Texas, there can be as many as 2,500 active work zones at any given time. There are currently 20 active work zones along Interstate 35 in Texas, encompassing 109.6 miles from north to south. This is the largest number of work zones TxDOT has ever had on the state’s main corridor, as it tackles one of the largest construction programs in department history.
Remember, sometimes there’s only a foot or two separating construction workers from vehicles driving along Texas roadways. Be safe. Drive smart.
The City of Fort Worth’s Transportation and Public Works Department has launched a “pothole blitz” and is asking for the public’s help in reporting problem locations. Recent winter weather has increased the number of potholes, which form when water that has seeped into pavement, freezes and expands. As it begins to thaw and contract, the vacated space fills with air which can easily collapse under the weight of traffic. To report potholes on City streets, fill out this form. For state maintained highways and roadways, visit the TxDOT website.
We are excited to announce that one of our own, Andrew Wilson, EIT, CFM, has been named the 2015 Edmund Friedman Young Engineer of the Year by the Fort Worth branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This award is given to recognize younger members of ASCE who exhibit outstanding contributions to the public welfare of the civil engineering profession. Andrew works on our Hydrology and Hydraulics team in the Peloton Fort Worth office, supporting our land development clients with flood studies, permitting, detention design, and related services. He has been active in ASCE since he was a student at UT Arlington. We are proud to have Andrew at Peloton!
The City of Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works Department has been awarded the prestigious American Public Works Association accreditation. Fort Worth began the process in October 2011, and becomes the 93rd agency in North America to receive accreditation (the sixth in Texas, joining Arlington, College Station, Plano, Haltom City and Houston). The APWA recognizes public works agencies that go beyond the requirements of the management practices established nationally.
“Fort Worth’s APWA accreditation shows that we have dedicated ourselves to concepts of improvement and in-depth self-assessment of department policies, procedures and practices,” said TPW Director Doug W. Wiersig. “The heroes of this prestigious APWA award are the public works and transportation staff whose mission is to provide public works services and programs that contribute to making Fort Worth a great city.”
Peloton is pleased to announce the addition of Logan McWhorter, P.E. to our North Texas team. Logan’s background spans a variety of land development project types including commercial, retail, mixed-use, institutional, education and healthcare throughout North Texas. His extensive experience in civil engineering, entitlement, scheduling, program management and city/client coordination will enhance Peloton’s expertise as we continue to grow and take on new projects.
With the addition of Logan, Peloton will be better able to expand our client-base and serve the North Texas region in the coming years. Peloton Land Solutions is a Texas-based consulting firm with more than 90 professional engineers, planners, surveyors, scientists, landscape architects and support personnel in three office locations. Our firm provides comprehensive land development services to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and oil and gas clients.