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November 5, 2012News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • 1 World Trade Center: All you ever wanted to know
    Engineers Ahmad Rahimian and Yoram Eilon take a detailed look of the design, components and specifications of One World Trade Center in New York City. Construction is in full swing, with high-performance concrete playing a major role. The building's primary roof -- and thus the majority of the building -- will be finished in the first half of next year. STRUCTURE magazine (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Sandy: A reminder to strengthen U.S. infrastructure
    Superstorm Sandy was a stark reminder of how vulnerable U.S. cities are and how infrastructure is being taken for granted, according to this piece. Sandy "illustrate[s] just how critical infrastructure is to a metropolitan area's economy," said Robert Puentes, director of the infrastructure policy program at the Brookings Institution. "Hopefully, it will spur some action, not necessarily just in terms of huge federal outlays, but in deciding what the infrastructure needs are for a 21st century economy, and what is needed to withstand the kinds of storms we're seeing." San Francisco Chronicle (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Can $10B retractable walls protect N.Y. from another superstorm?
    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is calling for a study to look at the feasability of building retractable sea walls to protect Manhattan from storm surges. The cost of building such walls could reach about $10 billion. "It's evident that with global warming, climate change, whatever you want to call it, these 100-year events are going to be a lot more often and a lot more violent, and we have to start planning for it," Nadler said. (11/2), Capital New York (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • $5.2B Honolulu rail project needs new studies, says judge
    A new environmental study is necessary for a $5.2 billion rail project in Honolulu, according to a ruling by U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima. The project also needs to better study the effects the rail line would have on Mother Waldron Park and must more clearly identify possible traditional cultural sites. The ruling, in response to challenges filed by Ben Cayetano, a mayoral candidate and anti-rail critic, dismissed other claims in the suit. "Today's ruling will require further analysis, but the bottom line is that the project can and should continue moving forward," said Mayor Peter Carlisle. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Wash. DOT likely to accept pontoons for SR 520 project
    The Washington state transportation secretary says the state will accept delivery of the concrete pontoons for the State Route 520 floating bridge, despite some issues with cracks in the pontoons. Washington DOT Secretary Paula Hammond says the flaws are not "fatal," and "apparently the concrete continues to heal" and be watertight. There's a question of whether the condition of the pontoons could affect maintenance costs of the life span of the bridge. The Seattle Times (11/2) 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 
  • U.S. construction spending up 8% from 2011 figures
    Construction spending in September was up 8% from last year -- the highest rise since October 2009 -- based on an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Private residential projects saw a 21% rise in spending, while private construction overall increased 8.8%. However, spending on public construction fell 4.2%. "It is heartening to see the growth in total spending, but the progress remains fragile and fragmentary," said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. American City Business Journals/Kansas City, Mo. (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Giant inflatable plugs: A tool to stop subway flooding?
    Flooding at some of New York City's subway tunnels could have been blocked off with massive inflatable plugs, plug manufacturers said. The plugs, which are currently in development as tools to protect subway tunnels from terrorist attacks, were found to successfully hold back water earlier this year. "I think they could have stopped a fair amount of incursion of water in the transit system," said Dave Cadogan of ILC Dover. CNN (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ground-freezing technique adopted for San Francisco tunnel dig
    Crews excavating a shaft for the Hetch Hetchy seismic enhancement project in San Francisco freeze the ground to keep groundwater and mud from flowing while they excavate. "The way we achieved that was by installing 47 pipes around the shaft, and then in through the shaft which are called freeze pipes, we drilled them down into 110 feet," said project engineer Ed Whitman. Coolant was then pumped into the pipes to freeze the ground solid. "[It] gives you the stability you need to excavate the shaft," Whitman said. The project is slated to be finished in March 2015. KGO-TV (San Francisco) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Policy Watch 
  Association News 
  • OSHA Standards for Construction (OSHA 29 CFR)
    Compliance in the construction industry is made easier with this comprehensive 29 CFR 1926 book. Included you will find the 1903 regulations on inspections, citations, and proposed penalties; the 1904 regulations on recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses; pertinent 1910 general industry regulations; and every 1926 construction industry regulation. Order it here, or visit the AGC Store. 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 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 here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible."
--George Orwell,
British novelist and journalist

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