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March 28, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • Caltrans may replace 288 giant bolts on Calif.'s Bay Bridge
    Caltrans is considering replacing all 288 bolts on the $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge in California after at least 30 of them snapped. The bolts are between 9 and 17 feet long and about 2.5 inches in diameter. "It appears to be a type of materials problem -- the presence of hydrogen in the metal," said Tony Anziano, Toll Bridge program manager, who is "pretty confident" it's not a design issue. It is unclear how long replacing the rods would take, but the new bridge is safe and still scheduled to open the day after Labor Day, Caltrans said. San Francisco Chronicle (free content) (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Ga. reactor project is making good progress, NRC member says
    The construction of new reactors at Southern Co.'s Plant Vogtle in Georgia is progressing according to plan, said William Ostendorff, a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "The NRC as a safety regulator has a very key role in making sure this project is completed according to all regulations," said Ostendorff, who toured the site Tuesday. He said it was his third visit to this site in 2½ years. The Augusta Chronicle (Ga.) (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Deal signed to build $1B USC Village in Los Angeles
    The University of Southern California will build a $1 billion, mixed-use "Village at USC." The deal to build it was signed Wednesday by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and C.L. Max Nikias, president of the university. The project will consist of "student housing, academic buildings, a grocery store, bars and restaurants, a hotel and conference center, as well as 12 acres of open space." The project is scheduled for completion in 2030. Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.) (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $1.1B in transportation projects slated in Minn.
    Minnesota plans to spend $1.1 billion on roads and bridges in 2013, but some in the industry say more is needed. The state transportation department's plan calls for road and bridge projects that will "improve safety at railroad crossings, repair seawalls and docks, make improvements on runways and terminals at regional airports, and improve transit centers," MnDOT said. Tim Worke, director of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota's highway division, said the $1.1 billion falls short of filling the need. "We welcome the investment ... but we think it’s woefully inadequate going forward," Worke said. Finance and Commerce (Minneapolis) (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  • Construction spending in El Paso, Texas, may exceed national rate
    Construction spending in El Paso, Texas, could exceed the projected national growth rate of 5% to 10%, according to Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. Among the projects expected to boost El Paso's construction industry is the $649 million hospital at Fort Bliss. However, "I think El Paso's construction industry has some bright spots, but also some challenges," said Omar Veliz, president of the AGC's El Paso chapter, citing the fact that many local contractors were left out of the building of the hospital. Hispanic Business (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Augmented reality can transform design, construction methods
    The use of augmented reality has the potential to transform the way AEC firms execute design and construction projects, said Sydney-based architect Rana Abboud. Tools such as Google Glass offer a perspective of the physical environment integrated with 3D graphics and data. "What this [AR] would do is allow you to overlay the computer data directly onto the site and walk around," Abboud said. "So it's not a static, one perspective view. Basically, you walk around a site and you can see these 'hot spots' which show the location of where things need to go." Building Design + Construction (free registration) (3/26), (Australia) (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • San Francisco breaks ground on 1,070-foot Transbay Tower
    The groundbreaking ceremony for San Francisco's 1,070-foot Transbay Tower was held Wednesday. The tower, designed by Cesar Pelli, the designer of Wells Fargo Center in Minneapolis, will be the West Coast's tallest when completed in 2017. The mixed-use tower -- part of the Transbay Terminal development -- will have retail and office space as well as 4,500 housing units. It will feature "special energy efficient glass [and] ventilation systems that let in fresh air and cut down energy bills." KNTV-TV (San Francisco) (3/27), KCBS-AM (San Francisco) (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • 5 areas employers need to pay attention to in Obama's second term
    Expect to see the federal government focus on "disability and recruitment discrimination claims" and "eradicating unpaid working time due to alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors or as overtime-exempt," say a group of attorneys at Cozen O’Connor. They also see the Obama administration pay attention to how well employers verify the legal status of their employees and foresee "headaches" for companies as the health care law comes into effect. (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • Work like a pro and win: Chrysler Commercial Vehicles contest
    Chrysler Commercial Vehicles is giving away an all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size van for their "Work Like a Pro!" contest. To enter, simply tell them why your business needs a new ProMaster, and you could win one of the very first ProMaster vans to roll off the line. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter @ChryslerForWork with the hashtag #WorkLikeaPro. Learn more about contest details and enter for your chance to win. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Project Delivery Systems for Construction
    Written by AGC contractor members and professional industry practitioners, the newly released Project Delivery Systems for Construction -- Third Edition publication provides detailed information on traditional and alternative project delivery systems. It includes chapters on Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, Construction Management At-Risk, Construction Management Agency and Program Management. This book uses real-life examples from actual projects and comes complete with self-tests and case studies to emphasize points covered in the text. To order, visit the AGC Store or buy it here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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