$855M design-build contract awarded for Texas toll road | $1.2B in bonds sold to help fund Calif. high-speed rail | Construction to start on first phase of $770M office expansion
April 21, 2017
AGC SmartBrief
News for contractors and the construction industry
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$855M design-build contract awarded for Texas toll road
The Texas Department of Transportation is building a tolled loop around Houston, and it recently awarded an $855 million contract to Grand Parkway Infrastructure to develop, design, construct and maintain a 44-mile segment of that road. Work could start in 2018 and be substantially complete in 2022.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (4/21) 
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Transform the way you build with PlanGrid.
Watch this video to learn how GCs cut project costs by collaborating with PlanGrid. Whether it's getting change orders to the field, documenting progress photos and issues, or closing out the project with as-builts, PlanGrid is the source of truth.
Infrastructure & Project Focus
$1.2B in bonds sold to help fund Calif. high-speed rail
$1.2B in bonds sold to help fund Calif. high-speed rail
After delaying the process for several years, California sold $1.2 billion worth of bonds to help fund construction of 118 miles of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. The bond sale, however, will only partially fund the $64 billion project, and no funding source has been identified to complete it.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Construction to start on first phase of $770M office expansion
Construction should start today on a Centene Corp.'s multiphase office expansion project in Clayton, Mo. The first phase of the $770 million expansion involves building a 28-story tower.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (4/20) 
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Video: Skanska building $400M bridge in Fla.
Preliminary construction work started last month at the $400 million Pensacola Bay Bridge project in Florida, and crews today will begin to install a temporary trestle for materials delivery. Skanska USA is the contractor.
The Pulse (Florida) (4/20) 
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Economic Update
Mnuchin vows tax overhaul by year-end
Mnuchin vows to complet tax overhaul by year-end
Mnuchin (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)
The Trump administration is confident an overhaul of US tax law will be finished by year-end, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. "Whether health care gets done or doesn't get done, we're going to get tax reform done," he said.
Bloomberg (4/20),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Growth in bank lending for CRE registers big drop in Q1
Bank lending for commercial real estate dropped to 7.7% in the first quarter, down from 11.6% in the same quarter a year ago, according to weekly Federal Reserve data. Some of the reasons for this two-year low in lending growth include concerns over multifamily and retail property fundamentals, a slowdown in sales, and rising construction costs.
CoStar Group (4/20) 
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Innovation & Technology
Minn. pavement-testing facility to begin new tests
Minn. pavement-testing facility to begin new tests
Minnesota's MnRoads, a pavement testing facility in Albertville, will begin new research in June. Old cells along the tracks will be dug up and analyzed for a final time, and tests will begin on cold-weather effects of "fiber-reinforced concrete, asphalt overlays of concrete pavements, cold central plant recycling and concrete partial depth repairs."
Crossroads blog (Minnesota) (4/20) 
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Robot can handle changing construction site environment
After working out some kinks, ETH Zurich's In Situ Fabricator1 robot could make it much easier to fabricate building elements on-site, as the machine adapts to a site's changing environment. In recent tests the robot built a wavelike, 1,600-brick wall and welded steel to create a curved mesh for concrete.
Daily Commercial News (Ontario) (4/21) 
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Getting Ahead
Pull planning can reduce construction costs
Pull planning can reduce construction costs
Pull planning -- a collaborative effort by all involved in a construction project, which means a total of "hundreds of years of experience" -- can create a construction schedule that can be tweaked at each milestone. The goal is to streamline the project, cut costs and increase efficiency.
Construction Dive (4/20) 
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Association News
Constructor Marketplace: Search for contractor services and construction supplies in one place
Need a vendor? Reach thousands of suppliers and service providers in one place: AGC's official purchasing directory, Constructor Marketplace. This site places you in contact with vendors from more than 50 categories -- everything from acoustical and drywall to windows -- quickly, so you can get the materials or the help you need to get the job done right. Use Constructor Marketplace's free Request for Proposal (RFP) Automator to request custom project bids from multiple Marketplace vendors with just a few clicks. Advertising is available: Place your products or services in front of thousands of contractors per month, one-third of whom are repeat visitors. For more information about advertising, email Jamie Williams at jwilliams@naylor.com. To add your basic listing or update a listing, email Tracy Venzen at tvenzen@naylor.com. This Buyers' Guide is not the AGC Online Member Directory. To access the AGC Member Directory, please visit www.agc.org.
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AGC Members get big incentives on Ford Commercial Fleet Vehicles
As a qualified Association Member with an active Ford Commercial Fleet Identification Number, AGC Members have the opportunity to receive significant discounts on new Ford fleet vehicle purchases. Combined with Ford's National Commercial Fleet Incentive Program (56M), qualifying AGC Members can save as much as $2,000+ off select vehicles. Learn more and save on your fleet purchase.
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