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Development & Transportation
00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f771360000Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. Four public media newsrooms are collaborating to report in depth on the root causes of our state's urban crisis -- and on possible solutions. Keystone Crossroads offers reports on radio, web, social media, television and newspapers, and through public events.Our partner stations are WHYY in Philadelphia, WPSU in State College and witf in Harrisburg. Read all of the partner stories here.Pittsburgh’s WQED joins the collaboration as an associate partner. Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

At Penn State, Researchers Looking For The Next Big Thing In Infrastructure

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Kate Lao Shaffner
/
WPSU
Dr. Farshad Rajabipour examines concrete samples with the help of second-year Ph.D student Asghar Gholizadeh.

On the surface, Dr. Farshad Rajabipour's job might not sound that interesting. He's an associate professor of civil engineering at Penn State. And he studies concrete.

"It's actually a material that's used pretty much everywhere in the world," Rajabipour said. "It's so common that people don't notice it."

Concrete is in the roads and bridges you drive over, the buildings where you live and work, and even the pipes that transport your city's stormwater.

Rajabipour works at Penn State's Civil Infrastructure Testing and Evaluation Lab. Researchers at the lab are devoted to making infrastructure safer, less expensive, and longer-lasting.

Pennsylvania's infrastructure is not in the best shape. The state has the second highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country, after Rhode Island. That means those bridges need repairs or they may be weight restricted or closed. And about 44 percent of the state's roads were rated in "fair" or "poor" condition in 2013.

Read more at the website of our partner Keystone Crossroads.