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August 7, 2012News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • $2B Mass. convention center expansion plan includes 7 hotels
    The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has received state approval to build seven new hotels near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The state Legislature has allowed up to 2,700 rooms to be built, including a new headquarters hotel with 1,200 rooms. The project will be part of the first phase of the Convention Center Authority's $2 billion expansion plan. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (8/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • Keystone XL pipeline's route could affect Ogallala Aquifer
    The new route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through Nebraska will avoid the Sand Hills region, but it could pass through areas above the Ogallala Aquifer, a water supply for eight states that is vulnerable to the effects of an oil spill, opponents say. TransCanada says it will monitor pressure throughout its network to check for any possible leaks. "[People] were concerned that any spill would contaminate and ruin the water in the entire aquifer, and that’s just practically impossible,” said James Goecke, hydrogeologist and professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska. The Washington Post (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • North America's top 100 planned multibillion-dollar construction projects
    The 100 biggest planned construction projects in North America, including Michigan's $2 billion New International Trade Crossing bridge, California's $68 billion high-speed rail project and the $4.1 billion Ohio River bridges project, are intended to develop the continent's infrastructure network, according to CG/LA Infrastructure. These projects are estimated to create more than 20 million jobs in the next few years, CG/LA said. MLive.com (Michigan) (free registration) (8/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Economic Update 
  • AIA ups forecast for construction spending in 2012
    The American Institute of Architects has raised its forecast for construction spending this year. "With companies looking to bring back manufacturing jobs from overseas, there has been a sharp rise in demand for industrial facilities, which is leading to an upward revision in projections for future construction spending," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. The group now sees a 4.4% increase in spending this year and a 6.2% increase next year. CoStar Group (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Jobs index indicates U.S. labor market is slowly healing
    The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index, which measures U.S. job prospects, rose last month, suggesting the labor market is improving. "Slow employment growth is likely to continue in the next few months," said Gad Levanon, The Conference Board's director of macroeconomic research. "There is no reason to expect employers to rapidly expand their workforce in the current economic environment." Bloomberg (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • Tools help streamline, expedite LEED certification process
    New software and technology are helping construction companies streamline and expedite how projects can be LEED-certified. For instance, the U.S. Green Building Council launched the LEED Automation program in 2010 to fast-track the certification process by synchronizing LEED Online with third-party systems. Now, the New Building Institute launches the COMNET Energy Modeling portal that gathers energy modeling data from a number of software packages, conducts quality assurance checks, and sends the information to LEED Online "for the energy and atmosphere prerequisite and the energy and atmosphere credit." Constructech (free registration) (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy Watch 
  • LaHood announces $3.3M grant for CRC bridge project
    The Columbia River Crossing project will receive a $3.3 million grant from the Interstate Discretionary Program, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The money will help fund the design and engineering of the Oregon side of the project. Oregon still needs to find $595 million for the rest of its share of project costs. The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • ClickSafety to provide online training program for construction professionals
    Construction professionals will be able to take a wide range of mandatory and optional safety training programs online thanks to a new collaboration between the Associated General Contractors of America and ClickSafety, which is authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to provide its online Outreach Training Program. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Federal Government Contractor: Ethics & Compliance Programs -- Second Edition
    A meaningful Ethics and Compliance Program can help prevent potential issues of non-compliance. Combining checklists, forms, tables and business ethics training materials, this publication will help contractors appreciate the grounds for an alleged violation of the expected standards of business conduct and ethics and to develop, implement and document an effective Ethics and Compliance Program. Order it here, or visit the AGC Store. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears."
--Michel de Montaigne
French philosopher and statesman


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