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March 28, 2013
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News for and about concrete professionals

  Industry News  
  • Students ready their concrete canoes
    Last weekend, Texas A&M University-Kingsville hosted the regional Concrete Canoe Competition -- the precursor to the annual event hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers in June. Ten teams competed. Meanwhile, a team from Iowa's Dordt College is at work designing and building a 200-pound canoe for the regional competition in April at the University of Minnesota-Mankato. "Not all of the boats make it," said Henry Fernandez, a participant from the University of Texas-El Paso. "That’s the fun part." Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Texas) (3/22), Waseca County News (Minn.) (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this 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
  • Study: HSR investments fuel real estate development
    A study by economists at the University of California, Los Angeles and China’s Tsinghua University on the effect of investing in high-speed-rail systems indicates that it spurs real estate development, cuts commuting times and eases road congestion. "Bullet trains simultaneously alleviate some of the congestion costs associated with urban growth in the megacities and trigger the growth of the nearby second-tier cities," said environmental economist Matthew Kahn, a professor at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Business Insider (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology & Trends  
  • 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
  • Construction industry faces deficit in skilled workers
    The economic downturn forced many construction workers to find jobs in other industries; others simply retired. Now, as the industry is seeing more strength, contractors in the U.S. are concerned about whether they can find the skilled workers they need. "If the industry continues to add jobs, it won't be long before contractors in some parts of the country are scrambling to find enough skilled workers to meet demand," said Stephen Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America. (U.K.) (3/25), Mother Jones (03/20), KTAR-AM/KTAR-FM (Phoenix) (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & HR  
  • Why leaders should model themselves on Margaret Thatcher
    Recently released papers shed light on former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's handling of the Falklands crisis, writes Heritage Foundation fellow Luke Coffey. Thatcher's decision to go to war came at a time of uncertainty, confusion and conflicting advice from subordinates, making her stand all the more impressive, Coffey argues. "Perhaps the biggest lesson one can learn is that making the right decision is not necessarily the same as making the most popular decision," he writes. The Huffington Post/The Blog (3/24) 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
  ACI News  
  • Free ACI Web Sessions this week: "The Economics, Performance, and Sustainability of Internally Cured Concrete, Part 2 (b)"
    ACI Web Sessions are recorded presentations from ACI Conventions and other concrete industry events, made available for viewing, free of charge, online and on-demand. Each week, a new one-hour block of presentations will be posted. This week, view the Web Session on "The Economics, Performance, and Sustainability of Internally Cured Concrete, Part 2 (b)." LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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We owe something to extravagance, for thrift and adventure seldom go hand in hand."
--Jennie Jerome Churchill,
American-born British society figure

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