First Wave Of New Roads Funds Likely To Focus On Smaller Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the next couple years, the engineering needed to widen the northern segment of Route 222 in Berks County is likely to begin.

That’s one of the ways PennDOT and local transportation planners are looking to spend the first round of extra roadwork funds coming to Berks as a result of the recent statewide transportation funding package.

“The increase in state money alone will give us an extra $25 million total over the next four years,” said Alan D. Piper, senior Berks transportation planner.

Planners discussed the money during a Thursday meeting of the Reading Area Transportation Study, the panel that plans transportation spending in Berks.

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Mexico: The New China

3-D perspective image of the San Diego-Tijuana...

3-D perspective image of the San Diego-Tijuana area from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In November I quit my job as the editor of Wired to run 3D Robotics, the San Diego-based drone company I started with a partner as a side project three years ago.  We make autopilot technology and small aircraft — both planes and multirotor copters — that can fly by themselves.  The drones, which sell for a few hundred bucks, are for civilians: they don’t shoot anything but photographs and videos.  And they’re incredibly fun to build (which we do with the ample help of robots).  It wasn’t a hard decision to give up publishing for this.

But my company, like many manufacturers, is faced with a familiar challenge: its main competitors are Chinese companies that have the dual advantages of cheap labor and top-notch engineering.  So, naturally, when we were raising a round of investment financing last year, venture capitalists demanded a plausible explanation for how our little start-up could beat its Chinese rivals.  The answer was as much a surprise to the investors as it had been to me a few years earlier:  Mexico.  In particular, Tijuana.

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