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February 14, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
 
  • Water, sewer, schools on the "Fix-It-First" agenda
    Water and sewer systems could be closer to necessary upgrades, and schools closer to modernization, if President Barack Obama's priorities are given attention by Congress. In his State of the Union address, Obama talked about "an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair." Analysts point out that because 85% of U.S. residents get their water from systems owned or managed by government entities and a great many of those systems are obsolete, water should be at the top of the investment list. Obama wants to move ahead with public-private partnerships that would help create "modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children." Bloomberg Businessweek (2/14), Education Week (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • LaHood responds to Obama's "Fix-it-First" program: Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood expressed his appreciation for President Barack Obama's proposal to create a "Fix-it-First" program. "President Obama knows what we at DOT also know: fixing the roads, rails, bridges, ports, transit systems, and other transportation assets most in need of attention will create jobs and help our businesses compete more effectively," LaHood said. "But, as the President said last night, ... we have much more to do," and need the "support of Congress" to resume improvement. The Hill/Transportation blog (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Girling: U.S. will OK Keystone XL pipeline by June's end
    TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is expected to secure U.S. approval by June's end, said Russ Girling, the company's president and CEO. The company also still expects "that the pipeline will become operational in late 2014 or early 2015," he added. Reuters (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $1.4B Cricket Valley power plant in N.Y. gets approval
    A proposal to build a $1.4 billion, 1,000-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Dutchess County, N.Y., has been approved by the state's Public Service Commission. The Cricket Valley project, which is slated to begin in 2014, is expected to create 300 construction jobs. Reuters (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fla.'s Central Polk Parkway project may cost nearly $1B
    The Florida Department of Transportation plans to build Central Polk Parkway, a 5.6-mile roadway that will help reduce traffic congestion on U.S. Route 27. The eastern leg would be a toll road that would run through five central Florida cities and connect to Interstate 4. The project could cost almost $1 billion "between now and 2020" according to preliminary estimates. The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.) (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Subcontractors question self-perform clause for $975M Minn. stadium
    Subcontractors are concerned about the self-perform clause in the $975 million Vikings stadium bill that states the construction manager can choose to self-perform work on the project "without soliciting competitive bids" so that the project can stay on schedule. Gresser Co., which did cast-in-place concrete work for the TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota, says this would shut out specialty contractors from bidding on some subcontracts. "Our position is that in certain situations, allowing the construction manager to competitive bid certain scopes of work makes sense for everybody, owners included," said Tim Worke, director of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota’s Highway Division. Finance and Commerce (Minneapolis) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
How Much Do You Really Need to Make? The Answer May Shock You
Rather than focus on what you can afford to pull out of the business to cover your living expenses, you need to focus on how much you need to earn at your business in order to afford the lifestyle you want to have. This is where the Personal Earnings Goal, or PEG, comes into play. Learn how to calculate your PEG and find out how much you really need to make.

  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Norway's $24.5B infrastructure plan includes 2 unique structures
    Construction of a floating bridge and floating tunnel along the E39 coastal highway in Norway are part of the country's $24.5 billion infrastructure program. The nearly 2.5-mile-long bridge is expected to achieve the world record for the longest floating span, while the tunnel, also about 2.5 miles long, would be the first of its kind in the world. The bridge project should set a new benchmark in construction design, according to government engineers. Engineering News-Record (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Policy Watch 
  • U.S. highway network improvement is a priority, says Rep. Shuster
    Upgrading the interstate highway system is essential if businesses are to become more globally competitive, said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa. Funding remains a concern, but Shuster rules nothing out, saying, "Everything has to be on the table." The country needs roughly $2.75 trillion to maintain and develop its infrastructure network by 2020, but funding is expected to reach only $1.66 trillion in the same period, according to a study by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Reuters (2/13), Bloomberg (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • 2013 AGC’s 94th Annual Convention and Constructor Expo
    March 6-9 || Palm Springs, Calif.
    Growing your business can be a difficult endeavor ... even in a strong economy. In today’s construction marketplace, with fewer projects to bid on, increased competition from out of market firms, lower margins and higher materials prices, the average contractor faces nightmarish conditions in which to try to keep their businesses afloat, much less thriving. Very often, the line between success and failure comes down to simply who you know. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • American Legion Post reopens after renovation by AGC Charities and volunteers
    Construction charity organization AGC Charities, Inc., completed renovations to an American Legion Post on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to make the facility more handicap accessible. Dozens of local contractors donated their time, expertise and money to make a series of improvements to the Kenneth H. Nash Post 8 building. "We are honored to have this opportunity to give back to the men and women that have sacrificed so much for our great country and the freedoms we all enjoy," said Joseph H. Jarboe, senior vice president of Clark Construction Group and the president of Associated General Contractors of America. "We hope that with these new renovations the Post will be able to better serve these honorable service men and women and provide the best accommodations possible." Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Mistakes are part of the dues that one pays for a full life."
--Sophia Loren,
Italian actress


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