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March 7, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • $4B Tappan Zee Bridge project to require "thousands" of workers
    Construction of the $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge replacement in New York is expected to create "thousands" of jobs across several fields, according to state and project officials. Recruitment is expected to be slow initially, "but once it ramps up, over the course of the next few months and into next year, this will really get moving. A whole lot of subcontractors will get jobs," said Brian Conybeare, the state's community liaison for the project. The Journal News (Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, N.Y.) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • NYC's East Side Access project over budget, behind schedule
    New York City's East Side Access project, which will bring Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal, is behind schedule and over budget, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The project, originally expected to be completed by 2009 and cost $4.3 billion, will not be finished until 2019 and could cost $8.76 billion. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s current estimate is $8.25 billion, excluding the full cost of rail cars. Bloomberg (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Alaska plans to build $5.2B hydroelectric dam on Susitna River
    The Alaska Energy Authority hopes to construct a $5.2 billion dam on the Susitna River. The dam is expected to produce up to 600 megawatts of electricity, which will become a new power source for more than two-thirds of Alaska's population. However, the project faces two challenges. -- whether it would be cheaper to build a natural gas pipeline spur instead of the dam, and the dam's effect on the salmon population. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $1B casino plan in Boston goes green
    A new design proposal for a $1 billion casino project in Boston includes lots of greenery in an attempt to boost Suffolk Downs' chances of securing a state operating license, according to the racetrack group. "It's a part of our commitment to having the most sustainably designed gaming property in the United States," said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs chief operating officer. "[C]learly, sustainable construction and operation is going to be a significant factor" in who is awarded the license, said Stephen Crosby, chairman of the Massachusetts Gambling Commission. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  • Construction spending in Alaska could reach $8.4B this year
    Construction spending in Alaska is expected to rise 8% this year to about $8.4 billion, according to an Institute of Social and Economic Research forecast from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Spending on highway projects is expected to rise about 40%, while spending on air and seaport projects is expected to increase 30%. Military and health care construction are expected to be down. Alaska Journal of Commerce (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • RFID allows company to maintain safety through tracking
    DPR Construction is controlling safety and personnel at one California construction site using RFID tags. Using readers and ID cards, the company tracks personnel coming and going from the site to maintain security. Also, in the case of an emergency, the system can ensure everyone is evacuated without harm. RFID Journal (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New tech tools aim to help maximize building sustainability
    New technology tools from Scotland's Integrated Environmental Solutions are designed to help those in the AEC industry maximize how sustainably a building is designed. The toolset includes life-cycle cost and assessment and capital cost. There's also a BIM component, and the tools can be customized. "A major advantage of these tools is the ability to get rapid feedback on design options so you can assess and reassess right from concept through to detailed design," said IES Director Craig Wheatley. Constructech (free registration) (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. embassies increasingly turn to sustainable construction
    Sustainable and energy-efficient construction is increasingly being adopted by U.S. embassies because it saves costs, according to this article. Renewable sources of energy help embassies be self reliant. However, security demands don't always allow for turning off lights to reduce further energy use. "We are always trying to find a way to strike a balance between security requirements and smart energy use," says Bill Miner, director of design and engineering at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. FederalTimes.com (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • House passes interim measure to avert U.S. government shutdown
    The House of Representatives passed a bill in a 267-151 vote that would fund U.S. government programs through Sept. 30, to avoid a shutdown March 27. Some attendees of a dinner meeting between President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leaders are more optimistic that Democrats and Republicans can reach an agreement on the budget and debt. Reuters (3/7), USA Today (3/6), The Hill (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The big issues facing the next EPA chief
    The Environmental Protection Agency has numerous pollution-related concerns awaiting action as part of enforcing the Clean Air Act, writes Brad Plumer. Utility-based carbon dioxide emissions, drilling-based methane emissions and EPA rules postponed during the past four years will all need to be addressed by nominee Gina McCarthy, Plumer writes. The Washington Post/Wonkblog (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • March/April issue of Constructor magazine now available
    Introducing AGC’s 2013 President Paul Diederich
    The digital edition of the March/April issue of Constructor magazine is now available. This issue includes a feature story on AGC’s 2013 President Paul Diederich, president of Industrial Builders in Fargo, N.D., and how Diederich has grown up with AGC and a passion for advancing the industry. This issue also includes a preview of the 2012 Annual Report from AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr, a look at the recently launched Constructor Marketplace, and a fascinating look at off-site modular construction and how it is improving the safety and quality of projects today. You can read Constructor on your desktop, tablet or smartphone and stay in the know. The digital edition contains the same articles, images and ads as the printed copy in a convenient format that mimics the print version. To stay up to speed on industry and association news, be sure to follow Constructor on Twitter and subscribe to Constructor Monthly. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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    Follow AGC on Facebook and Twitter and be the first to know about important news related to construction and AGC. Follow us on both and add to the discussion by clicking on Facebook and Twitter. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn and see what we’re up to on YouTube. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man's power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened."
--Anne Louise Germaine de Staël,
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