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TZ Bridge deck panels to be reused

"The 61-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge, scheduled for demolition this summer, is going to live on in Orange County.

In a new twist on reuse-reduce-recycle, the county has asked the New York State Thruway Authority for 14 of the 150 prefabricated deck panels that will be salvaged from the bridge before it is dismantled.

“We have one bridge – the Corwin Bridge - already in design to accept the panels,″ said Chris Viebrock, the county’s public works commissioner.

The bridge, which carries County Route 11 (Mount Hope Road) over the Shawangunk Kill in the Town of Mount Hope, is getting an estimated $690,000 makeover. The panels will shorten the construction timetable and shave the cost.

Viebrock, praising the Thruway for making the panels available, said he is also evaluating the feasibility of using them on three other bridges as well as two crossings on the new extension of the Heritage Trail between Goshen and Middletown."

Shared Autonomous Vehicles Could Still Increase VMT

Conventional wisdom assumes there will lots of cheap oil for the coming fleet of autonomous vehicles. Or that coal-fired powered plants, generating electricity will replace the need for cheap oil. But will it?

I still think in many ways we are at the twilight of the fossil fuel-era. Many of the predicted fossil fuels won't become a reality, because most of them are marketing gimmicks.

And I'm not sure that autonomous vehicles are all they are cracked up to be? Will computers ever be smart enough to react to potholes, pedestrians, deer, fog and other drivers? Even if they are safer then humans, will people trust a system that still causes carnage on the highways?

I don't believe there will ever be autonomous vehicles in mass. I think motoring is in it's final years, and we should enjoy it while it's still a thing.

100-Octane, Super Premium Fuel Is Coming to a Pump Near You

Apparently inexpensive 87-octane fuel may be going the way of the dinosaurs, to allow gas stations to stock 100-octane fuel, which will be more expensive but allow higher-compression, more fuel efficient engines.

"Oil companies and automakers are quietly collaborating to get higher-octane fuel into pumps all across the country. They’re pushing for higher octanes for their obvious benefits like extracting more power from less gas to meet rising mpg requirements and reduce emissions. The challenge is how to break the news to the public without tipping them off to the fact that it will cause a rise in gas prices across the board."

"Why would it affect the price of regular fuel? It’s likely that when a 100-octane fuel is introduced, 87 octane—the current “regular” grade gas—will be phased out. The idea is to make every car on the road burn higher-octane gas reducing CO2. Unfortunately, if your car wasn’t specifically engineered for higher-octane fuel, the difference in performance and efficiency will be minimal."

2015-16 CDTA Bus Boardings by Route

CDTA's 905 Bus Plus Red Route is the most popular bus in their service. It got 1.9 million boardings or 11.3% of all bus boardings in the CDTA system during the 2015-16 fiscal year. Approximately 5,222 persons boarded that bus per day. 35% of all CDTA bus boardings were on only four trunk routes -- Route 905 Bus Plus Red (11.3%), Route 12 Washington Avenue (9.8%), Route 1 Central Avenue (7.6%) and Route 22 Albany-Troy-Waterviliet (6.9%).

Data Source: 2015-2016 CDTA Route Preformance Metrics, https://www.cdta.org/sites/default/files/source_files/2015-16_route_performance_report.pdf