Construction News from the Pacific Northwest

Carl Molesworth | September 28, 2010

$65-Billion Alaska-Russia Tunnel Planned
Moscow, Russia – The world’s longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, is part of a $65 billion project planned by Russia to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia. The project, which Russia is coordinating with the U.S. and Canada, would take 10 to 15 years to build, Bloomburg News reported. The route would be built by TKM-World Link, a partnership of state organizations and private companies.

Plans call for a 3,700-mile transport corridor from Siberia into the U.S. to feed into the tunnel, which at 64 miles would be more than twice as long as the underwater section of the Channel Tunnel between Great Britain and France. The Bering Strait tunnel will cost $10 billion to $12 billion, and the rest of the investment will be spent on the entire transport corridor, officials said. The tunnel would run in three sections to link the two islands in the Bering Strait and would contain a high-speed railway, highway and pipelines, as well as power and fiber-optic cables, according to TKM-World Link.

Portland City Council Approves Green Street Policy
Portland, Oregon – The Portland City Council has approved a green street policy that requires elements such as curb extensions, bioswales and stormwater planters to be part of all city-funded infrastructure projects in the public right-of-way. The policy is spelled out in the city’s stormwater management manual, and projects that don’t fall under the manual’s requirements will pay 1 percent of their construction costs into a "percent for green" fund.

The new policy was developed from lessons learned during several green-streets demonstration projects in the city. More than 500 opportunities for additional green streets project have been identified that would ease the pressure on the city’s existing stormwater infrastructure, including the "big pipe" combined storm and sewer overflow system now under construction on the east side of the Willamette River.