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February 26, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • $2.2B Minn. grid-link overhaul to boost wind power availability
    Eleven Minnesota utilities are embarking on a $2.2 billion project to modernize the state's transmission infrastructure. The CapX2020 project, which is due for completion by 2015, will expand the state's transmission capacity to accommodate all the wind power capacity that came into service in recent years and give the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator the ability to dispatch power within its 11-state territory. "When this is done, you'll have a lot more wind-generated transmission from South Dakota and North Dakota all the way to La Crosse, Wisconsin," said Mike Gregerson, a project consultant. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (2/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  • U.S. shutdown is possible if stopgap isn't passed soon
    Finger pointing between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans focuses on the $85 billion sequestration set for Friday, but the price of deadlock could become much higher a few weeks later. The U.S. government could be forced to shut down if Congress doesn't adopt an interim funding measure by March 27. Bloomberg (2/26), Reuters (2/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: U.S. economy to expand at a moderate pace in 2013
    The U.S. economy is expected to expand at an annual rate of 2% for 2013 due to uncertainty surrounding the government's budget, according to a survey done by the National Association for Business Economics. "The problems in Europe and our own domestic fiscal drama will keep the investment outlook subdued," said Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America and one of the panelists. The growth rate could get stronger after the budget problem is resolved. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (2/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • New coating "automatically seals cracks" in concrete
    A new "self-healing concrete coating" has been developed by a team of South Korean scientists that could "automatically seal cracks, preventing water from entering the material." The coating has microcapsules that contain a substance that can seal cracks. "Our self-healing coating is the first example of capsule-type photo-induced self-healing system, and offers the advantages of catalyst-free, environment-friendly, inexpensive, practical healing," the scientists said. Inhabitat (2/20), (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Colorado project takes a step toward zero-energy goal
    A project in Fort Collins, Colo., with five employers was able to cut its peak-load energy demand more than 20% over four weeks. The Zero Energy District project is concentrating on the energy-saving portion of an overall plan that in the future will have workplaces generating and storing energy on site rather than relying on coal-fired mega-power plants. Mechanical engineer Judy Dorsey said that "minimizing peak-period pressure on grid loads is the key to environmental friendliness -- and to ZED self-sufficiency. The Atlantic Cities (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Bipartisan immigration talks prompt change in governors
    Some Republican governors that have pushed for immigration enforcement have altered their stance on the issue now that some in their party are softening their approach and leaning toward letting undocumented workers stay in the country. A bipartisan group of senators has started negotiations on a broad overhaul to immigration. "There's been a temporary cease-fire in the immigration wars at the state level," said Darrell West of the Brookings Institution. Bloomberg (2/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • California charity named for next Operation Opening Doors project -- how you can help
    AGC Charities has selected Palm Springs, Calif.-area charity Angel View for its next Operation Opening Doors project. The group provides a host of services for local disabled children. AGC Charities, with the leadership of Hensel Phelps Construction, will renovate the facilities' outdoor therapy area, improve access to the facility and replace aging and damaged doors and wainscoting. AGC Charities is looking for volunteers, supplies and donations. Visit and watch this video to learn more about the project and how you can help. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AGC’s Data DIgest
    Data DIGest is your source for the latest economic news relevant to the construction industry with commentary and analysis from AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. It brings you actionable information to stay ahead of the curve on issues such as materials, prices, construction employment and state-by-state construction trends. Subscribe at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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