Podcast: AGC's Deery says market is "good but not booming" | Remember the Alamo -- it's getting redeveloped | N.C. moving forward with $346M toll lanes project
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October 22, 2018
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Podcast: AGC's Deery says market is "good but not booming"
Brian Deery of the Associated General Contractors of America says "business is good but not booming" for the construction industry given the limited increase in federal infrastructure spending. Furthermore, the industry is not yet "past the wilderness" with regard to the impact of steel tariffs on the industry despite sentiment among some that initial price bumps resulted from opportunistic suppliers.
Roads & Bridges online (10/18) 
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Shorewest among The Surety Elite
Merchants Bonding Company names Shorewest Surety Services elite Champions of contract surety. Demonstrating uncommon excellence for their contractor clients, Tom Chambers, Todd Schaap, Dan Gibson & Eric Olson are top professionals in surety. Congratulations from The Common Sense Surety!
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Infrastructure & Project Focus
Remember the Alamo -- it's getting redeveloped
Remember the Alamo -- it's getting redeveloped
(Pixabay)
Despite objections from residents, the nearly 300-year-old Alamo site will be redeveloped, thanks to the San Antonio City Council's approval of a $450 million plan. Work, which will include construction of a new museum, could begin as soon as 2020.
The Associated Press (10/19) 
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N.C. moving forward with $346M toll lanes project
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded a $346 million contract to Blythe Construction for toll lanes on Interstate 485 in south Charlotte. Work is set to begin in summer 2019.
WSOC-TV (Charlotte, N.C.) (10/19) 
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Chicago OKs $2.5B North Branch development
Plans for a $2.5 billion mixed-use development in Chicago's North Branch Corridor gained approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, and construction of the first phase may start in 2020. The previous industrial site will be large enough for 14 mixed-use buildings that will include affordable housing, plus 13 acres of open space and a walkway along the Chicago River.
Chicago Sun-Times (free registration) (10/18) 
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Luxury hotel, condo tower to sit along Dallas' Turtle Creek
A 21-story tower planned for 2999 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Dallas will house a contemporary hotel with 175 rooms and 82 condominiums. JMJ Development has tapped FAB Studio to design the concrete and glass structure.
The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (10/19) 
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Economic Update
Construction starts' value down 5% in Sept.
Dodge Data & Analytics says the value of construction starts declined 5% month over month in September and 1% year over year. Nonbuilding construction dropped 13% due mainly to a dearth of big electric utility and gas plant projects, but manufacturing plant construction increased 36%.
Construction Dive (10/19) 
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Innovation & Technology
Prefab shipping containers offer alternative for construction
SG Blocks is using prefabricated steel shipping containers to give homeowners in natural-disaster-prone areas a durable, cost-effective alternative to brick and wood shelter structures. Shipping containers have been approved as a mainstream building product since 2017, and SG Blocks says the process of retrofitting a container-based building is roughly 10% less expensive and as much as 50% faster than traditional construction methods.
CNBC (10/18) 
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Group: Green construction offers great ROI
The Appraisal Institute says environmental improvements to new and existing structures can benefit residential sellers and buyers. While the upfront costs can be steep, green homes may offer lower utility bills, eligibility for federal tax credits and potentially higher value upon selling.
The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) (free registration) (10/20) 
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Getting Ahead
AGC's Pilconis offers look into regulatory landscape
Associated General Contractors of America Senior Counsel Leah Pilconis says AGC would like to see a streamlined National Environmental Policy Act process to expedite efforts and cut costs of projects with water impacts, but she notes that the Trump administration's executive orders on environmental permitting already are having an immediate effect. "We are seeing a lot of movement, and even more proposed rules coming that are intended to streamline environmental programs that are on the books," she says.
Concrete Construction (10/2018) 
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Hot Topics
Policy Watch
Atlantic Coast Pipeline clears environmental hurdle
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has approved erosion, sediment and stormwater runoff control plans for a 300-mile section of the roughly 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Project consortium leader Dominion Energy will now look to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its approval so construction can begin.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/20) 
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Association News
Construction Employment Rises from September 2017 To September 2018 In 45 States And D.C.; 29 States, D.C. Add Construction Jobs Since August
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between September 2017 and September 2018, while 29 states and Washington, D.C., added construction jobs between August and September, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released Friday. Association officials noted that the continued job gains were a sign of an exceptional business environment, but that difficulty in hiring qualified craft workers could increase contractors' costs and extend construction times. "Construction activity is expanding nearly everywhere, as only three states experienced a decline in construction employment over the past year," said chief economist Ken Simonson. "These results show that contractors remain upbeat about demand for projects going forward. However, further employment gains may be difficult, given low unemployment in most states and an inadequate pipeline for training future construction workers." Read full news release here.
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Subscribe to AGC of America's Podcast
The ConstructorCast is AGC of America's monthly podcast covering all the news, views, and interviews relevant to your construction business. Each month, we pick a new topic and sit down with experts to go in depth on some of the most pressing subjects in the construction industry. Search for it on your mobile device's podcast app to subscribe, or visit our website for more information.
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