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November 12, 2012News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • Increased oversight to move $12B vit-plant project ahead in Wash.
    Energy Secretary Steven Chu intends to push the $12.2 billion Hanford vitrification plant in Washington closer to completion by selecting teams of experts who will provide "increased focus on the resolution of technical challenges ... to ensure the mission will be accomplished safely and efficiently." Technical issues have delayed construction of the plant, which started in 2002, and the Department of Energy has admitted it will not be able to have the plant operational by 2019. Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, Wash.) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Archaeological survey of Honolulu's $5.3B rail project to finish early
    An archaeological survey of Honolulu's $5.3 billion rail project is expected to be finished by early December, two months ahead of schedule. The digging of 398 archaeological trenches was accelerated by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation following a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling. Although steps in the process remain, the acceleration could help the state save millions. KITV-TV (Honolulu) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Billions could be needed to comply with stormwater regs in Calif.
    Newly approved rules could compel cities in California'a Los Angeles County to spend billions to prevent pollution from surface runoff. In Los Angeles, compliance costs could reach an estimated $5 billion to $8 billion in the next 20 years, said Shahram Kharaghani, the city's watershed protection division manager. However, environmental groups argue that municipalities' cost estimates are unrealistic. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lawmakers: Drop light rail from $3.5B CRC bridge plan's design
    Several Republican lawmakers in Washington state have called for the removal of a proposed light-rail line of the $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing after voters rejected a sales tax increase that would have funded it. The group has suggested a redesign that would focus on other forms of transit. However, getting rid of the rail line could mean the project would lose $160 million in funding since many of its milestones are tied to light rail. The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AGC SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Economic Update 
  • What's the economic outlook for the AEC industry?
    Economists from the the American Institute of Architects, the Associated General Contractors of America and Reed Construction Data say the architecture, engineering and construction industry is on an upward trend that could continue beyond next year. The widening of the Panama Canal and shale boom have contributed to increased spending in some sectors, and housing starts and commercial construction are expected to show continued improvement. The "fiscal cliff" is the biggest threat to the industry, the economists said. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Finance (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • RFID technology offers potential for workforce management
    Radio-frequency identification technology could become more common in the construction industry because it can be used for tool-tracking and workforce monitoring, according to this article. A case in point would be Turner Construction in New York, which is using ADR Software to check on crews at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia project. The RFID tags are placed on hard hats and ID badges and allow the company to ensure productivity and safety on the job site. Constructech (free registration) (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Feds, military: Green building advocates aim high
    Designs to save water and energy, vegetative roofs, geothermal heating and prefabrication are just some of the sustainable building strategies employed by many government contractors. This piece looks at several military and federal buildings that have attained LEED certification and the companies that designed and built them. Building Design + Construction (free registration) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • CEOs press Congress to deal with "fiscal cliff"
    Corporate executives are launching media-based campaigns urging action on the "fiscal cliff." The Campaign to Fix the Debt says it expects to spend more than $1 million on advertisements with slogans such as "Just Fix It." The Business Roundtable says it's ready to spend about $500,000 on similar messages focused on media in the Washington, D.C., area. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mica to discuss possibility of remaining chairman of House T&I
    House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., will meet with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, this week to discuss the possibility of staying on as committee chairman, a House GOP aide said. Mica, who is reaching his term limit under House Republican rules as the panel's chief, hasn't said whether he will seek a waiver to serve again. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., has expressed interest in the committee chairmanship. The Hill/Transportation blog (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • AGC’s Advanced Management Program
    Nov. 11-17
    For construction leaders on the rise, no program provides a more comprehensive, uniquely focused program than AGC's Advanced Management Program. Held just one time each year, this exclusive six-day program grounds construction industry executives in the essential skills and techniques required to successfully lead an organization. Go to for more information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AGC’s Advanced Management Program
    For construction leaders on the rise, no program provides a more comprehensive, uniquely focused program than AGC's Advanced Management Program (AMP). Held just one time each year, this exclusive six-day program grounds construction industry executives in the essential skills and techniques required to successfully lead an organization. Go to for dates and more information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease."
--John Donne,
British poet, satirist, lawyer and cleric

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