Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Civil engineering in the news today - Friday 6 February

Heavy snow is again being forecast for this morning with warnings that a national shortage of salt will turn many roads into death traps. The Highways Agency has four days' supply left after agreeing to share some with local authorities...

...It is using 25,000 tonnes of salt a day, but Salt Union's Cheshire mine, which provides 90% of the country's supplies, is producing only 30,000 tonnes a week. Some councils are receiving little more than a tenth of their needs - The Times

Pressure from a large dam could have helped to trigger the earthquake which killed up to 90,000 people in south-west China last year, some scientists have claimed. Chinese and overseas experts suggested that the weight of waters in the Zipingpu Dam in Sichuan may have affected the timing or scale of the 7.9 magnitude quake. The dam stands just 3.5 miles from the epicentre - The Guardian

Emergency services and local authorities were stretched to breaking point last night as the heavy snow, icy conditions and lack of gritting salt to treat roads continued to wreak havoc in parts of Britain. More than 5,000 schools were closed and some communities were largely cut off after local authorities began to strictly ration salt. The government said ministers were working with the Highways Authority and the Local Government Association to make sure salt was distributed effectively, but the AA claimed that untreated roads and pavements were turning into "death traps" - The Guardian

The toll from Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic will almost double in the next few months as up to 55,000 more people contract the disease, according to private predictions by the World Health Organisation. Last weekend the number of infections swept past 60,000, the worst case predicted by the United Nations in early December. The Times has now obtained a WHO memorandum expecting between 32,000 and 55,000 more cases - The Times

The contingency fund for the 2012 Olympics construction project in East London has been reduced to £500M as organisers fight the recession, government figures revealed. A £2bn fund agreed by ministers in 2007 has been eroded by the complexity of the building work and the credit crunch. The Government has been forced to bail out the £1bn athletes’ village and the £355M media centre with taxpayers’ money after commercial developers failed to raise their share from banks - The Times

Nuclear reactors are to be built in Sweden for the first time in nearly 30 years after the Government decided to abandon a decades-old commitment to phase out the power source. Sweden joins a list of EU countries that have chosen nuclear energy under pressure to diversify from fossil fuels and meet tough climate-change targets for cutting CO2 emissions - The Times

China has declared an emergency over a drought in central and northern areas that could damage the wheat crop. Farmers in Henan, Anhui and Shandong, where many have lost jobs in construction and factories are likely to be affected - The Times

Network Rail has accepted the regulator's determination of its funding for the next five-year control period from April 1, which will see £28.5bn spent on Britain's tracks, signals and stations. The rail company will receive less money than in the current control period and considered appealing against the settlement - The Daily Telegraph

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.