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March 6, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
 
  • Billions needed to upgrade N.J.'s water infrastructure
    New Jersey needs to spend about $36.6 billion over the next five years to upgrade its water infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities, according to a draft study by Facing Our Future. The state now loses as much as 22% of its treated drinking water because of aging pipes. Three water utilities have already gained approval to add surcharges to water bills to help pay for upgrades. NJSpotlight.com (New Jersey) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • FTA OKs environmental analysis of Md.'s $2.5B Red Line light rail
    Baltimore's planned $2.5 billion Red Line light-rail project has received environmental approval from the Federal Transit Administration, moving the project to design phase. Construction of the 14.1-mile, east-west rail system could begin in 2015 and is expected to take six years to complete. Work, once funding is found, will include laying surface, tunnel and above-ground tracks and building 19 stations. The Baltimore Sun (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Exxon plans Texas plant expansion, 10,000 construction jobs
    Exxon Mobil plans a multibillion-dollar upgrade of its plant in Baytown, Texas. The plant "is already the largest integrated refining complex in the country," said ExxonMobil Chemical Co. President Steve Pryor. Once permits are approved, work on the plant could take about three years and the facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2016. The project should create about 10,000 construction jobs. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Texas' $1.6B I-35W corridor project advances
    By the end of the year, Texas will begin rebuilding Interstate 35W, an approximately $1.6 billion project that includes two simultaneous projects: a stretch from Interstate 30 to Loop 820 costing $1.4 billion and a segment from Loop 820 to north of U.S. 287 that would cost $244 million. "The reconstruction of 35W has been on the drawing board for far too long. It's time to move dirt in the name of mobility, safety and commerce for our residents and businesses," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Update 
  • AGC: Sequester will cut federal construction spending, water projects
    The Highway Trust Fund and the Airport Improvement Program are exempt from sequestration cuts, which means most transportation projects should be unaffected. However, the Associated General Contractors of America estimates that federal construction funding could be cut by $4 billion during fiscal 2013 and water projects could be cut by $135 million. Money spent on R&D will also be cut, and this could hamper technological innovations. Constructech (free registration) (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. service industries show surprising strength
    Momentum is evident in the latest reading on U.S. service industries, with the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index rising unexpectedly to 56 last month from 55.2 in January. Construction was one of 13 nonmanufacturing industries that reported growth. Resurgence in the housing market is cited as a big supporting factor, along with a gradually firming labor market. Bloomberg (3/5), Institute for Supply Management/News release (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Obama seeks budget-deal support from Republicans
    Putting talks with GOP leaders on the back burner for a while, President Barack Obama is reaching out to rank-and-file Senate Republicans to build support for a budget deal with higher taxes to pay down U.S. debt. Obama told senators that he is willing to make changes in health care and retirement programs to get a budget compromise that includes higher taxes. The Washington Post (3/5), Bloomberg (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • Webinar: Key Contracting Issues for Owner & Design Professional Agreements
    This webinar, being held March 27, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, will compare key provisions in AIA & ConsensusDocs contracts. Three prominent industry attorneys will analyze key provisions for every Owner and Design Professional agreement. Topics include: project date, copyrights, indemnification, consultants and dispute resolution. Learn more, and register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AGC moves the construction industry toward interoperability
    AGC just took another significant step forward towards the development of interoperability for the construction industry! The AGC engaged Burger Consulting Group to work with contractors and construction software vendors to accomplish easy data exchange and integrated systems using agcXML schema. This will result in significant cost savings for software developers, ease of communication between contractors and their systems and accurate data storage. Learn more and find out how you can take part in this initiative. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."
--Anna Lappé,
American writer, speaker and activist


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