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A $7.8bn, five year road and rail spending plan has been announced by the Australian government. The 'AusLink' land transport plan is geared to developing a strategic network of road and rail transport corridors. A detailed paper will be published this month.

Texas Department of Transportation has invited three major consortia - Cinta of Spain, and US firms Fluor and Trans Texas Express - to produce detailed strategies for the development and financing of a 1,290km transport corridor. The Trans-Texas Corridor will include separate highway lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks as well as high-speed commuter and freight rail services.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to build a 70m deep concrete cut-off wall underneath the entire 1.3km length of Missouri's Clearwater Dam. The $81M plan has been developed to control a growing seepage problem through and under the dam which is causing concerns about the potential for catastrophic failure. The Corps estimates that a failure could cause up to 369 deaths and $200M in damage.

Public consultation has been taking place on the proposed designs for a new Peace Bridge over the Niagara River between the US and Canada.

Ten of the 13 proposals are for a companion bridge alongside the existing 1.7km structure.

Front-running designs are for twin and three towered cablestayed bridges and a rigid frame arch.

Chinese contractor Norinco has signed a contract with Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway for the financing and construction of Line 4 of the metro in the Iranian capital.

The 21km line includes 22 stations and will run east-west under the city. Construction is scheduled to take four and a half years.

A draft environmental study has recommended construction of a new freight rail tunnel under New York harbour. The aim is to improve movement of goods through northern New Jersey and southern New York states.

WSP International Sweden is the lead member the team chosen to design a 2.5km crossing of Mozambique's Zambezi River. The design team also includes Louis Berger of the US and Portuguese firms TYPSA and GRID. The bridge will replace a ferry to improve north-south connections.

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