Senate could impede $2T infrastructure measure | Some highway, bridge projects resume in Pa. | Minn. forging ahead with roadwork
April 3, 2020
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Infrastructure Friday's Top Story
Senate could impede $2T infrastructure measure
McConnell (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have supported including a $2 trillion infrastructure package in a stimulus bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has pushed back. Trump cites zero interest rates as a good reason to proceed with infrastructure projects as part of a pandemic relief package, but McConnell and other Senate Republicans have advocated for a bill narrowly focused on economic relief.
Full Story: The Hill (4/2) 
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Roads, Tunnels & Bridges
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is letting 61 of about 800 highway, bridge and tunnel projects that have been put on hold proceed. The restart is the first part of a multiphase plan from the construction industry, the department and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to resume highway projects.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (4/2) 
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The Minnesota Department of Transportation plans to spend more than $1 billion on 188 road projects this year in a repair season that could benefit from pandemic-reduced traffic flow. County and city projects also are planned.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (4/2) 
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Power Plants & Transmission Lines
Citing health precautions and supply chain and labor problems due to the coronavirus pandemic, Southern says work at its Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 in Georgia may be delayed or disrupted. Energy demand may decline and add to factors that could hinder financing as well as facility construction and operation, Southern says.
Full Story: Seeking Alpha (free registration) (4/1) 
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TC Energy has not begun construction in Montana on the Keystone XL pipeline, despite expectations it would Wednesday. The developer has postponed construction to later this month, although spokeswoman Sara Rabern says the situation is fluid.
Full Story: KTVQ-TV (Billings, Mont.) (4/2) 
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Mass Transit, Rails & Airports
The public is invited to comment on a draft environmental report for a $500.5 million rail connection from Sacramento, Calif., to the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley. If the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission's final report is adopted, the project will move on to the design phase, with a goal of beginning service in 2022.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Sacramento, Calif. (4/1) 
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Effects of the coronavirus pandemic are evident under social distancing rules in Oregon, but major rail and airport construction projects proceed in the Portland area. In some cases, hiring is down and workers have requested time off.
Full Story: Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, Ore.) (3/31) 
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Wastewater & Sanitation
The Waukesha Water Utility in Wisconsin plans to open a bidding round soon for six contracts, each ranging from $40 million to $60 million, that will support a new drinking water system the city is mandated to have up and running by September 2023. Upon completion, Waukesha will buy drinking water sourced from Lake Michigan from Milwaukee and eliminate the use of underground wells that contain elevated radium levels.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Milwaukee (3/30) 
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The coronavirus pandemic hasn't hindered progress on a 30-month, $120 million replacement of lead water service lines in Newark, N.J. Crews have replaced more than 9,100 of an estimated 18,000 lines, and the city plans to test water through a digital platform after the replacement.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (4/1) 
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Levees, Dams & Hurricane Protection
Damage caused by 2019's spring flooding has left many levees on the Missouri and Kansas rivers at risk during this year's flood season, the Army Corps of Engineers said. Currently, flood risk is above average in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and the eastern part of the Dakotas, according to the National Weather Service.
Full Story: The Associated Press (3/31) 
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Association News
New ConstructorCast Podcast: Cybersecurity and Construction
(AGC)
With so many construction firms relying extensively on telecommuting and remote access, prioritizing cybersecurity and system resilience may be more important now than ever. Contractors are vulnerable to many forms of cyberattack, including social engineering, ransomware attacks, wire fraud, and hacking. On the latest episode of AGC's ConstructorCast, Nikki Ingram, a cybersecurity risk engineer with Zurich North America, talks about what you need to look out for and shares some tips and preventative measures that will help contractors protect themselves. Subscribe to AGC's ConstructorCast on your podcast app, or stream online.
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