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November 20, 2012News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • Honolulu rail project nears $1.55B funding deal
    The federal government will sign a $1.55 billion funding agreement with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said a congressional delegation. "This is the best holiday gift the citizens of Honolulu could possibly receive: the lean, clean, smart city of the future," said Mayor Peter Carlisle The law requires the Federal Transit Administration to inform Congress a month prior to signing the agreement for the $5.26 billion project. Honolulu Star-Advertiser (11/19), KITV-TV (Honolulu) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
FEATURED ARTICLE: 10 Small-Business Predictions for 2015
Things are looking up for small businesses in 2015. We count down the 10 ways you can get ahead in the New Year. Read the article.

  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Chicago-St. Louis HSR project could create 6,200 jobs
    The proposed Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail project could provide more than 6,200 jobs. The project has moved closer to reality with federal approval of its environmental impact statement. "This historic achievement advances the crucial Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail project while signifying that all environmental impacts and route alternatives have been analyzed to determine the best option," said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. CivSourceOnline.com (11/19), ProgressiveRailroading.com (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $850M National Gateway nears completion
    The scheduled completion of CSX's $850 million National Gateway project in 2013 will bring benefits, including less road congestion and a quicker and less expensive transportation alternative, said John Spychalski, a professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and a faculty affiliate at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute. "Getting those tunnels and overpasses up to height or removed [altogether] has been critical to this project," Spychalski said, so that double-stack freight cars can deliver more goods at a lower cost. The Vindicator (Youngstown, Ohio) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Economic Update 
  • Construction industry slowly coming out of the doldrums
    Construction activity is on the rise. The Architecture Billings Index is at 51.6, and construction spending has reached "a nearly three-year high," as reported by the Associated General Contractors of America this month. Marked increases in activity were noted for the multifamily residential, power and commercial construction sectors. Forbes (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Green-property index offers investors new sustainability measure
    The U.S. Green Building Council, FTSE Group and NAREIT are developing a green-property index for investors. It is meant to give retail and institutional investors a new way to invest in sustainability. "We've been tracking the U.S. REIT space for 18 years and have recently been hearing more from our clients about which companies own LEED-certified or Energy Star-certified assets," says Keven Lindemann, CFA, CAIA, director of SNL Real Estate. Forbes (11/19), REIT.com (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Greenbuild Expo showcases sustainable products
    More than 1,000 booths showcased sustainable products at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Some of the most innovative products, according to Andrew Michler, were "FilterPave," a 96% ground glass, porous paving material, and "Grasscrete," a concrete-filled paperboard that looks like a "big egg carton." Inhabitat (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Concrete-crushing tech: Turning debris into reusable building material
    Transforming demolition debris from the Dallas Fort Worth Connector project into usable building material not only saves the state money but has a positive environmental impact. NorthGate Constructors' concrete-crushing plant chews up 200 tons of debris per hour and has saved more than $2 million on the Connector, said Kristen Schropp, spokeswoman for NorthGate. Material has also been reused as road bed for other projects. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
The Buzz(CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

What truly matters this Thanksgiving:
  •  A dry roof
  •  A warm stove
  •  A heartfelt embrace
  •  An old friend
Let's count our blessings together. -The Team at Vico Software


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  Policy Watch 
  • Lawmakers make case for approval of Keystone XL project
    Eighteen senators have requested a meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the future of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. In a letter to Obama, the senators said politics should be cast aside and that the project should be approved. "The election is over, people want us to work together to create jobs, and one sure way we can create jobs right now is by moving forward with construction on the Keystone XL pipeline," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The Hill/E2 Wire blog (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • AGC webinar -- The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts: How to Comply with Federal Prevailing Wage Laws
    Two-part webinar -- Dec. 11 & 13
    Participants on this webinar will learn how to avoid the most common problems plaguing construction contractors in compliance with the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts.  Topics covered will include ensuring compliance with flow-down requirements, how to make the conformance process work for you, the right way to complete certified payroll records, dealing with off-site operations, the treatment of truck drivers, and ascertaining the proper classification of your employees. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Submit a proposal for the 2013 AGC Contractors Environmental Conference
    The Associated General Contractors of America will hold its second national "Contractors Environmental Conference: Compliant. Competitive. Cost-Effective." in early June 2013, in Crystal City, Va., right outside of Washington, D.C. We invite presentation proposals for compelling educational sessions on environmental issues geared towards construction professionals. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 15. Learn more and submit your proposal today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
A good man with a good conscience doesn't walk so fast."
--Georg Büchner,
German writer


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