The Vermont Agency of Transportation today announced that two accelerated bridge replacement projects on Route 12A in the Town of Roxbury have been completed and the roadway is now open to all traffic. ‘These are the final two bridge closures resulting from Tropical Storm Irene,’ noted VTrans’ Secretary Brian Searles. ‘We are very close to reaching our Irene Response mission of opening all our damaged roads by the end of the year.’ The final closed road under construction, Route 107 in Stockbridge, remains on track for opening at the end of next week. Luck Brothers of Plattsburg, New York, was the contractor for the replacement of bridges 15 and 22 on Route 12A, both of which cross the third branch of the White River. The total closure on October 17, allowed the bridges to be completely replaced in just under 10 weeks. Unlike the temporary bridge replacements in other areas of Irene-affected roads, bridges 15 and 22 were permanent fixes to damaged bridges. ‘In responding to these bridge failures we were able to deploy innovative techniques and rapid bridge deployment to complete permanent bridge replacements in record time,’ noted Rich Tetreault, VTrans’ chief engineer. The agency also completed work this week on two culverts in the Refrigerator Flats area of Route 107. The 1.1 mile segment between its intersection with Route 100 in Stockbridge and the Post Office in Gaysville has reopened to local traffic only. Replacing the two culverts in Stockbridge is among the final tasks necessary before Route 107 can be reopened in its entirety. Irene struck on August 28, 2011 and severely damaged more than 500 miles of state highway, including some 200 state bridges. Today, only seven miles of Route 107 between Stockbridge and Bethel remain closed to public travel. Questions regarding storm-damaged roads and bridges related to Tropical Storm Irene can be answered by calling VTrans’ Irene Storm Center at 1-800-Vermont. People can also visit VTrans’ website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) where they can follow the agency’s progress on both Facebook and Twitter. VTrans 12.21.2011
Stuff co.nz 12 March 2015Clare Richards says an optimistic outlook on life has helped her endure years of pain, but she wants to choose when to quit life. The 65-year-old says a law to enable assisted suicide would bring peace and assurance to many people like her. She has had severe rheumatoid arthritis since she was 29 and had most of her joints replaced.….She attended a talk on assisted suicide in Christchurch this week by Dutch advocate Dr Rob Jonquiere. Euthanasia in the Netherlands has been legal since 2002. Dutch nationals can request euthanasia from their doctor for “unbearable and hopeless suffering”. Jonquiere told the audience of about 40 people that there can come a time for some patients when a doctor’s “back is against the wall” and the only options are suffering or termination. In the Netherlands, euthanasia could go ahead when the doctor and patient reached the decision together, he said.Christchurch man Ken Joblin, who has been blind since birth, said a euthanasia law would make people with disabilities feel less valued. “For people like me, who live with disability, there are times in our lives when we’re not feeling all that great, and if it is for extended periods of time we would be able to convince a doctor that we should die.” People with disabilities already felt isolated and a euthanasia law would make them feel even more marginalised, Joblin said. Jonquiere said he was not aware of the law affecting disabled Dutch people in a negative way.http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/67256950/Euthanasia-law-divides-folks-with-disabilities
Saudi Tourism authorities are set to develop a key project on a two million sq metre area of land in Al-Ahsa region of the kingdom. The project includes a commercial mall, hotel, tourism, recreational and marketing services.“Al-Ahsa will witness several tourism projects, investment opportunities in Al-Uqair beach, as well as sophisticated tourist events, along with the establishment of co-operative societies related to tourism with relevant government agencies,” stated Abdulateef Al Afaleq, the Chairman of the National Tourism Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC).According to a Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector is expected to create more than 400,000 jobs in the next five years. HRDF, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), is working to assess the needs of the sector, and train Saudi nationals to fill in the void.While discussing the national tourism resources, and its challenges and prospects, HRDF Deputy Executive Director Abdulkarim Al-Nujaidi said that the fund along with SCTA and Ministry of Labour is currently working on 56 schemes to increase the number of Saudi nationals in the sector. Most of these projects have been launched already.