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New Center for Good Travel

Biz BriefsNavigating the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers University will no longer require a map. A new building is being dedicated this week at the school’s Busch campus in Piscataway that consolidates most of the CAIT’s nine previously scattered programs.

The center’s mission—to contribute to the operation and maintenance of safe and efficient transportation and infrastructure through research, education and work force training—is funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, says Director Ali Maher. It is one of the 10 highest-funded university transportation centers in the country, he says. All are designated by the U.S. DoT.

The new 15,000-sq.-ft. facility houses laboratory space and programs including Rutgers Intelligent Transportation Systems and the Transportation Safety Resource Center. Intelligent Transportation Systems is looking at installing sensors that will continually monitor the integrity of structures like bridges and tunnels. The Resource Center helps local police and fire departments identify areas with high accident rates and recommends ways to make mishaps less frequent.

Faculty and students will still be able to sample the local roads: Some projects will remain on other parts of Busch campus, including the Pavement Resource Program that researches ways to make asphalt last longer.

“In the U.S., the infrastructure is aging and doesn’t get attention until there’s a crisis,” says Maher. “The Society of Civil Engineers [in 2005] rated the country’s infrastructure a “D.” We are behind Japan and Europe in per-capita investment in infrastructure and China is fast catching up.”

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