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January 29, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • Delay in land purchases could up cost for Calif.'s $68B HSR
    California is late to begin purchasing land for its $68 billion high-speed rail project, and the delay could push up costs, according to this article. About 400 parcels of land are needed for the initial segment, a 29-mile stretch between Fresno and Madera. The state hopes that formal offers, which "will start an eminent domain action," can be made in the next several weeks. Construction of the initial segment is set to begin in July. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Second batch of Seattle's SR 520 bridge pontoons floated
    The second batch of pontoons built for Seattle's new state Route 520 floating bridge started the journey from Tacoma to Lake Washington on Monday. The six concrete pontoons, which are 50 feet to 60 feet wide and roughly 100 feet long, were pulled two at a time from the Blair Waterway dock. They are among the 77 pontoons for the bridge that is slated for completion by July 2015. The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Shell signs LNG export JV with Kinder Morgan
    Royal Dutch Shell and Kinder Morgan have signed a deal to jointly pursue U.S. liquefied natural gas exports. Under the terms, the companies will establish a limited liability firm to construct a gas liquefaction facility at a terminal in Georgia. "This announcement underscores how the abundance of natural gas in the United States is changing the energy landscape," said Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil. Reuters (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Work restarts on Las Vegas' SkyVue observation wheel
    A 45-day work stoppage at the Las Vegas site of the SkyVue observation wheel has ended, now that funding for the project has been secured. Various parts of the wheel are expected to start arriving in May, including two 12-foot, 26,400-pound bearings. The steel wheel will sport a 350-ton main wheel axle, and 50,000-square-foot LED screens will be supported by the wheel's steel components. (Las Vegas) (1/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • New "internally cured" concrete could help bridges last longer
    A new "internally cured," high-performance concrete has been developed by researchers at Purdue University in Indiana. Testing indicates that the concrete is "less prone to cracking and damage caused by deicing salt," a factor that could extend the lifespan of bridges made with the concrete and reduce maintenance costs. A bridge on State Road 933 in St. Joseph County in Indiana will be the first to use the concrete. WISH-TV (Indianapolis)/The Associated Press (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A visit to the eco-city of Portland, Ore.
    Adam Beck, executive director for Sustainable Communities at the Green Building Council of Australia, recently visited Portland, Ore. In this piece, he reports on some of the city's green and sustainable features. Beck learned "how Portland’s EcoDistrict model is accelerating neighborhood-level sustainability and creating vibrant, connected, engaged communities," through its use of clean transportation, renewable energy and invisible infrastructure. (Australia) (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Employers praise push for immigration reform
    An initiative in Congress to overhaul immigration law is drawing praise from employers, many of whom say the system is broken and hinders hiring. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith says he is "encouraged by the momentum" for immigration reform. National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Charles Conner says the push is the best opportunity "in a generation" to solve farmers' immigration-law problems. Reuters (1/28), The Washington Post (1/28), RealClearPolitics (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • Construction employment increases in 139 of 337 metro areas between December 2011 and 2012
    Construction employment increased in 139 out of 337 metropolitan areas between December 2011 and December 2012, declined in 131 and was stagnant in 65, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by AGC of America. Association officials noted that growing private sector demand for new construction projects boosted employment in a slight plurality of metro areas. "Private sector demand for energy, health care, higher education and residential construction is having a positive impact in a growing number of metro areas," said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. "Unfortunately, construction employment in almost as many metro areas appears to be suffering from declining public sector demand and a private sector market that is still well-below peak levels." Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Better manage your prequalification data and process with new iSqFt prequalification tool
    Working in conjunction with AGC of America, iSqFt has introduced a free online prequalification management application to all AGC members. Through this online application, you will be able to send prequalification requests to vendors in your database, allow vendors to send information back to you via the online form, and track and manage responses. Learn more about this great new tool by signing up for an informational webinar being held on Friday, Feb. 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Florence Nightingale,
British social reformer, nurse and statistician

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