Infrastructure

The fittest cities in America: See how yours compares

City officials have an important role to play in ensuring the well-being of their communities. Here’s how they can address resident health through policy and resources.

Texas is once more flirting with expanding passenger rail

The state’s booming population, congestion problems and billions of federal dollars on the table have officials eyeing ways to boost passenger rail.

People are still being swallowed by storm drains. One U.S. agency is pushing for safety measures.

A new federal rule requires that local officials in flood-prone areas consider safety features for drain openings. In 2021, ProPublica reported that uncovered storm drains were responsible for at least three dozen deaths over six years.

Major federal bridge grants jump-start long-stalled projects

The Biden administration announced $5 billion to build major bridge replacements, including several grants that were among the largest received by states in their history.

In an era of dam removal, California is building more

Project boosters claim the dams will be the most environmentally focused dams in California’s history, with water earmarked for environmental purposes and minimum flow requirements for the Sacramento River.

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Splash pads make waves across communities, replacing public pools

Observers say public pools are necessary community infrastructure and save lives. Splash pads have become a more affordable option.

Rough ride? Data bikes chart the condition of bike paths in more cities

The tools that transportation agencies use to record the condition of pavement on roadways don’t work for biking and walking paths, so several communities are rolling out bikes that can get the job done.

Taking a train during a heat wave? Watch out for ‘sun kinks.’

As tracks heat up, they expand and buckle. That's forcing rail operators to adapt as the climate warms.

Zoning reform made way for an explosion of smaller homes in California. Will it work elsewhere?

Encouraged by California’s success, states across the country are passing laws to allow for more accessory dwelling units to address a shortage of affordable homes. But a slew of factors can keep the housing solution from taking off.

FEMA will now consider climate change when it rebuilds after floods

The federal agency is overhauling its disaster rules in a bid to end a cycle of rebuilding in unsafe areas.

High-speed rail needs national direction to get rolling, report says

A New York University professor emphasizes the need to pay attention to the nuts and bolts—or, in this case, the rail profiles and cross ties—of high-speed rail projects to keep costs down and construction on time.

Gas taxes can’t pay for roads much longer, but Amazon deliveries might

More states could follow Colorado and Minnesota in putting a fee on retail deliveries.

This city in the West made itself drought-proof. Then its dam started leaking.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, and cities across the West rely on fragile water sources—and aging infrastructure.

This housing fix could help build more homes. But firefighters are sounding the alarm.

At the center of the housing debate are building codes, and whether states’ bids to update them to address the affordable housing crises poses safety risks to the individuals they are trying to help.

Pedestrian deaths finally dipped in 2023

A new report shows some progress in improving safety for people traveling by foot, but the number of pedestrian fatalities is still far higher than it was before the pandemic.

The federal government just acknowledged the harm its dams have caused tribes. Here’s what it left out.

The Biden administration said officials historically gave “little, if any, consideration” to impacts on tribal fishing. But some sought deliberately to upend the harvest, according to documents obtained by ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Calls for cyber framework harmonization ramp up

Efforts to streamline cybersecurity regulations across governments, industries and sectors are underway. The nationwide program StateRAMP has launched its initiative to standardize those rules and regulations.

Biden administration awards $1.8B for urban, rural transportation projects

The more than 145 projects include funding for urban street upgrades, bike and pedestrian improvements, and highway expansions, among other things.

One state is pioneering paying for roof upgrades as storms boost insurance costs

The approach aims to make Alabama a more attractive place to do business. At least five other states are trying to duplicate its roof program.