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November 19, 2012News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • Work can continue on Calif.'s $68B high-speed rail project
    Site surveys, geological testing and design work can continue for California's $68 billion high-speed rail project after a judge denied a request by a group of farmers for an injunction to halt work. The California High-Speed Rail Authority "acted reasonably and in good faith" in observing the state's environmental rules, said Timothy Frawley, Sacramento County superior court judge. The case will be heard in the spring, and construction is expected to start in July. Google/The Associated Press (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Calif. extends completion deadline of $6B HSR project by 1 year: A one-year extension has been added to the construction schedule for a $6 billion high-speed rail project in California's Central Valley, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Completion of the project is now expected to occur by December 2017. "We are going to get lower bids, save some money and still meet all of our deadlines," said CHSRA CEO Jeff Morales. "It is a good business move." Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Fla. DOT advances $675M express lanes project
    Construction is set to start early in 2014 for the Florida Department of Transportation's $675 million upgrade to Interstate 75 and the Palmetto expressway. The project involves the addition of express lanes along a 27-mile stretch of the expressway and the erection of sound barriers. The design-build project will be financed from state funds. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tall and thin is in for skyscrapers
    When it comes to skyscrapers, thin is in, and cities around the world are adding the skinny structures to their skylines. Advances in structural design and construction materials have made possible these slim new buildings, many of which fetch high prices. "If you can build more slender and higher, you can get more units with good views -- and height is valued," said Jon Stovell, a developer in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Wall Street Journal (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Is Sacramento, Calif., ready for a flood?
    New Orleans is the U.S. city most at risk of flooding, but the metro area of Sacramento, Calif., is number two. If a levee breaks, 1.4 million people are at risk. The state has invested billions in levee and dam upgrades and evacuation plans. Find out which infrastructure components are most likely to be affected in the event of a major flood and what plans have been made to avert damage. The Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (free registration) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AGC SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Economic Update 
  • Texas' construction industry to benefit from potential growth
    The combination of a booming oil and gas industry and 5 million commercial and industrial structures that need upgrading bodes well for Texas' construction industry, writes Robert Graham. Texas added the most construction workers -- 32,800 -- of any state between September 2011 and September 2012, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. The Courier (Conroe, Texas) (11/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Deteriorating bridges and lack of funding a challenge for Wis.
    More than 1,200 of Wisconsin's 13,000-plus bridges were labeled "structurally deficient" at the end of last year. The cost to fix them is about $81 million, according to the National Bridge Inventory. But the state doesn't have the money, and earmarks in Congress -- once used to fund repair projects -- are a thing of the past. The state repairs major bridges where it can and imposes weight limits on those it can't afford to fix. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • BIM helps companies execute complex projects
    The use of building information modeling helps companies execute complicated building plans, according to this piece. For instance, L.P.R. Construction used BIM to help it erect an extension to the Denver Art Museum that called for 2,750 tons of steel. AECOM Technology used BIM to handle the complex construction of an S-shaped building in the U.K. In each case, the company's use of BIM contributed to reduced costs and delivery times. Constructech (free registration) (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • LEED v4 aims to "push the envelope"
    The proposed LEED v4 rating system from the U.S. Green Building Council has been criticized for its credits that encourage chemical ingredient labeling of building materials. However, Scot Horst, senior vice president of the USGBC LEED program, said at last week's Greenbuild that the standards would promote transparency in the green-building process, and Rick Federizzi of USGBC says "we are right." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Budget deal looks promising, leadership says
    Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama are promising to act quickly to avert a "fiscal cliff" and reach a budget compromise. An agreement for a two-phase plan is likely to trim some entitlement programs and increase some taxes. "This isn't something we're going to wait until the last day of December to get it done," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. National Journal (11/16), The Wall Street Journal (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • ConsensusDocs in-person workshop on contract negotiations and latest developments
    AGC members receive $100 off a special half-day program on Dec. 12 in San Francisco, preceding the 2012 Construction SuperConference, which will delve deep into strategies, processes and case studies in tailoring effective design and construction contracts. Learn from industry experts, including Professor Justin Sweet, involved with the latest in construction law developments and best practices. Gain insight on how to use ConsensusDocs contracts to get better project results. Use code FD82X7B to save $100! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AGC’s Construction Project Manager Course
    Dec. 2-7 | Dallas
    AGC's Construction Project Manager Course (PMC) provides you and your project managers the chance to hone the skills necessary to work more efficiently, increase productivity and propel your construction business to the next level. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt."
--William Cornelius Van Horne,
Canadian railway executive


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