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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Dan Patrick visits Bryan for opening of RELLIS infrastructure center

RELLIS
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
RELLIS

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was on hand Wednesday morning for the opening of the Texas A&M System’s first new facility at the RELLIS campus in Bryan – the Center for Infrastructure Renewal.
Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2015, the CIR is a 138,000-square-foot research and development facility operated by two A&M System agencies, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). With a focus on innovative improvements to the safety, efficiency and longevity of infrastructure, the CIR will provide lasting benefits for Texas taxpayers, Patrick said.
“From 2000 to 2040, [Texas] will have grown from 18 million to 42 million people,” Patrick said. “Infrastructure is key. … After walking through here, I know this is an investment that’s going to pay great dividends to the university, to other universities, to the country, to the state of Texas. It’s going to make infrastructure more efficient for us, more affordable for us and safer for us.”
According to System Chancellor John Sharp, Patrick’s support was crucial in bringing the CIR to life. Looking ahead, Sharp lauded the array of advancements the center is expected to contribute.
“The CIR has 12 labs designed to accelerate the development of things,” Sharp said. “Imagine roads being paved with new materials that instantly harden so the road reopens immediately afterwards, new ways to use asphalt will pay for this place fifty times over.”
Other projects include sensors that report when components of bridges need to be replaced and buildings with greater resistance to high winds and flooding, Sharp said. The center is directed by civil engineering professor Zachary Grasley.
The opening of the CIR marks an important milestone for the RELLIS campus overall, according to Board of Regents Chairman Charles Schwartz, who said there is much to look forward to as development continues.
“Just two years after we determined to revitalize this facility and these lands, we’re here for this important ribbon cutting for this facility,” Schwartz said. “I want you to know that we have 300 million dollars in construction authorized by the board of regents for this campus in the future.”

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