Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "highway" ...

  • The Center for Public Integrity: Wireless Wars: The Fight Over 5G

    One of the largest deployments of wireless technology in decades is occurring as telecommunications companies erect a new network of small cells to support the next generation of wireless communications called 5G. The problem, however, brings these small cells into neighborhoods and business districts, unlike the larger towers seen along highways and in fields far from centers of population. And with it, resistance from citizens. The clash pits telecoms, which want to ease regulations to reduce costs, against local governments and their residents, who want to control the look and placement of the cells and defend revenue and public property rights. The Center reports on how the telecoms are relying on money and tried-and-true relationships with politicians and regulators to get their way. And they are winning.
  • Houston Chronicle: Out of Control

    When new residents of Houston first hit the roads, many come to the same realization: This is not normal. The highways are a labyrinthine mess. The motorists drive at extraordinarily high speed, often distracted. At night, drunk drivers weave in and out of traffic. Those factors lead to daily tragedy. Chronicle reporters knew the carnage was unusual. In 2016, they began investigating the scope of the problem. The findings: the greater Houston region was the nation’s deadliest major metro area for roadway fatalities, with more than 640 deaths annually – or the equivalent of three fully loaded 737s crashing and killing all aboard, every year. They found declining speeding enforcement, even as deaths rose. They also discovered similar results with DWI and distracted driving enforcement.
  • Hollow Columns

    At least 22 highway bridges in Washington state sit on hollow concrete columns that are at risk of instantaneous implosion in a major earthquake. The state doesn’t know how to fix them. In addition, the state knows of 474 bridges that are at risk of crumbling in a big quake. The state has insufficient funds to fix them. Highways that are part of the Puget Sound region’s “seismic lifeline” emergency aid routes were found by KUOW to contain dozens of seismically vulnerable bridges. The state does not publish the totality of its infrastructure needs, in contrast to its seismic cousin California. Until KUOW published a map showing the locations of the endangered bridges, no such public information was available.
  • Hidden Dangers on America's Roads

    “Hidden Dangers on America’s Roads” is a compilation of CBS News investigations revealing lax government regulation and the unwillingness of automakers to address potentially fatal issues in transportation safety. Those issues include vehicle defects, outdated federal automotive safety standards and policies surrounding the medical qualifications, or lack thereof, of commercial interstate drivers. These stories exposed weaknesses that inspired members of Congress to push for an upgrade of federal motor vehicle safety standards, forced the National Highway Traffic Safety administration to launch programs to identify potential changes to standards and led to a recall of more than a million vehicles worldwide.
  • Frankenstein Guardrails

    The FOX31 Denver’s investigative unit discovered Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews assembling guardrail systems with mix-and-match parts from competing manufacturers. By “Frankensteining” already questionable end-cap terminals, with incompatible rails, the state had been creating serious road safety hazards for years. Within a week of the revelation, the Federal Highway Administration ordered a nationwide warning and Colorado began inspecting every guardrail system in the state (42,000 end-cap terminals/21,000 guardrail systems), repairing hundreds of dangerous installation errors.
  • China's Animal Activists

    In China, passion for animal welfare is driving a grassroots movement challenging economic interests and political authorities. In 2014 activists confronted the dog meat trade as never before, intercepting transports on the highways and attempting to stop an annual dog meat festival in the city of Yulin. Most acted out of a deep love for animals, which has awakened as pets have become increasingly popular among the middle class and the Buddhist value of compassion has reemerged after decades of disfavor. This article tells the story of several weeks during June of 2014 when a group of activists went to Yulin to challenge the festival.
  • The Wrong Way

    “The Wrong-Way” is an eleven-month-long investigation that revealed Texas has been slow to install highway safety measures already used to prevent deadly wrong-way crashes in other states. Our team obtained new statewide crash data showing the staggering toll of injuries and deaths on Texas roads. Using that data we mapped high frequency crash locations, pinpointing the spots in the state where people are most likely to be injured or killed by wrong-way drivers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5a3Ga8g45k&feature=youtu.be
  • Highway Hazard?

    Guardrails are easy to overlook when they’re doing their job, but when they don’t work, critics say the consequences can be deadly. Our piece looked at a guardrail system that critics call the worst offender, the ET PLUS made by Trinity Industries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6fQV1v3qVQ
  • Uphill Battle: How to Outsmart I-70 Ski Traffic

    This in-depth analysis of travel times, weather and car accident data from the I-70 mountain corridor helped Colorado skiers outsmart weekend traffic jams. The analysis led to an interactive online widget that can predict the best and worst times to drive based on day of the week, month of the year, and snowfall totals. As a result of the investigation, there were changes to I-70 highway management and Colorado state law. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvzPKnbL5sU&feature=youtu.be)
  • Politics in Cook County Schools

    In the April, 2015 Cook County elections, a number of local mayors, two state representatives and a township highway commissioner got actively involved in local school board elections. They paid for campaign mailers, palm cards and even robo-calls. When the Illinois State Board of Elections released campaign donation information for the second quarter of 2015, a web of cash and in-kind donations to local school board campaign committees was revealed. Three recurring donors showed up in the campaign contribution records for the politicians and school board committees. They are Del Galdo Law Group, Odelson & Sterk attorneys, and Franklin Park company Restore Construction.