January 15, 2021
AGC SmartBrief
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Infrastructure Friday's Top Story
President-elect Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan that is geared mostly toward immediate work on vaccine distribution and individual financial relief but includes funds for local governments, transit systems and school construction. Biden intends to follow up with a second plan in February that likely will include a greater focus on infrastructure.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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Roads, Tunnels & Bridges
A $766 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration has cleared the way for work to begin on the Portal North Bridge across the Hackensack River in New Jersey. Construction might begin this year on the $1.9 billion project.
Full Story: The Associated Press (1/11) 
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Louisiana officials are weighing a proposed Interstate 10 interchange in Ascension Parish as they negotiate with the owner of land key to the project. A 2015 study put a $35 million price tag on the interchange, but it could cost more.
Full Story: The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (1/14) 
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Waterways, Canals & Ports
A project to build a lengthy causeway and a deepwater basin at the port in Nome, Alaska, has advanced with congressional approval. The Arctic Deep Draft project, estimated at $505.23 million, is entering the design phase as it seeks funding.
Full Story: KNOM-AM/FM (Nome, Alaska) (1/12) 
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Power Plants & Transmission Lines
Burns & McDonnell Caribbean has been selected to manage a rebuild of Puerto Rico's power grid, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The multibillion-dollar project will also modernize the grid and replace a patchwork of repairs made since the hurricane.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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A 53-mile electricity transmission corridor is beginning to take shape in Maine, with access-road plowing and equipment staging underway. Clearing is expected to begin Monday for the New England Clean Energy Connect, which requires a 54-foot-wide path for power lines.
Full Story: The Associated Press (1/12) 
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The coronavirus pandemic is forcing a delay in some plans for Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant. The utility expects a November timeline for launching Unit 3 to remain intact, as well as a launch a year later for Unit 4.
Full Story: Capitol Beat News Service (Atlanta) (1/12) 
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Mass Transit, Rails & Airports
Unexpected "poor soils" in the Minneapolis section of a light-rail line under construction will delay the line's completion beyond a target date of 2023, according to the Metropolitan Council. It's unclear whether the delay will raise the cost of the 14.5-mile project.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (1/14) 
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Wastewater & Sanitation
Michigan has received requests for almost 58% of the $500 million it has available for wastewater projects via the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and through Jan. 31, municipalities can apply for financing for projects that start next year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's separate Clean Water Plan may increase access to water infrastructure funding, but the CWSRF will remain an essential funding vehicle, according to John LaMacchia of the Michigan Municipal League.
Full Story: MLive (Michigan) (tiered subscription model) (1/12) 
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Levees, Dams & Hurricane Protection
Surprisingly unstable subsurface rock has doubled the project cost for a $2.5 billion dam near Pacheco Pass in Santa Clara County, Calif., but the Santa Clara Valley Water District is proceeding. The dam would tower 319 feet and form the largest new Bay Area reservoir in 20 years.
Full Story: San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (1/13) 
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Association News
AGC's 2021 risk program kicks off Jan. 26; don't miss out
Featuring a January virtual-only event and a June in-person conference, AGC's Construction Risk Management Two-Part Program offers contractors and their risk partners two opportunities in 2021 to network, share ideas and shape the business environment. The virtual event will provide you with a first-half outlook at the US economy, the surety and insurance marketplace, and the construction risk environment. You can view the agenda and speaker details for the virtual First-Half Outlook for the coming year (Part 1 on Jan. 26-28). And learn more about AGC's annual in-person risk management conference (Part 2 in Bonita Springs, Fla., on June 2-4). Surety bonds, insurance policies, construction contracts, and construction operations are all open for discussion. #AGCRisk2021 will benefit anyone interested in controlling the cost of managing the risks inherent in the changing construction industry. Register today (registration options are selected during checkout).
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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