Friday vote may advance master plan for American Dream mall in N.J. | Construction injuries, fatalities drop by double digits in Texas | Coast Guard approves $1.3B Bayonne Bridge project
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May 16, 2013
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Friday vote may advance master plan for American Dream mall in N.J.
Work is advancing at the 4.8-million-square-foot American Dream mall in East Rutherford, N.J., with improvements to surrounding roads nearly done, a $200 million rail line completed and 80% of construction for the DreamWorks water and amusement park's main building interiors finished. "We have gained basically all our regulatory approvals and are waiting for final approval from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority," said Triple Five spokesman Alan Marcus. The authority is expected to take a vote during a special board meeting tomorrow on approving the mall's new master plan. Real Estate Weekly (New York) (5/15), The Republic (Columbus, Ind.)/The Associated Press (5/15)
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Construction injuries, fatalities drop by double digits in Texas
The number of construction-related injuries in Texas fell by 36% from 2003 to 2011 and fatalities dropped 26% between 2008 and 2011, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. "While none of our members will be happy until there are zero injuries and zero fatalities on construction sites, the steps our firms are taking in Texas to improve construction safety are working," said Brian Turmail of the AGC. KUHF-AM/KUHF-FM (Houston) (5/15), American City Business Journals/San Antonio/Alamo City Beat blog (5/15)
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Coast Guard approves $1.3B Bayonne Bridge project
The $1.3 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge between New York and New Jersey has been approved by the Coast Guard. "We’re looking forward to seeing the project proceed," said Coast Guard spokesman Chief Warrant Officer Russell Tippets. The new roadway will be 215 feet above the high-tide mark, 64 feet higher than the old one. The bridge will have two wider lanes in each direction, plus shoulders and a median. It is scheduled to be finished in 2017. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (5/15)
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Developer to invest $500+M to expand portfolio in Calif.
Over the next three years, developer Thompson | Dorfman Partners plans to spend more than $500 million to add to its multifamily and mixed-use developments in Northern California. The firm already has almost 1,200 residential units in various stages of development in the Bay Area. GlobeSt.com (5/15)
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Economists: Construction outlook slightly positive for 2013
Although a full economic rebound isn't yet here, the outlook for construction remains slightly positive, according to three industry economists during a recent Reed webinar. The decline in federal discretionary spending is "a slope and not a cliff," which will continue for many years, said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. However, on a more positive note, Simonson says that by year's end, "we’ll see growth in the nonresidential and private spending and in residential spending." DWM Magazine online (5/14)
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Texas building sectors need more workers
The energy boom in Texas has created a problem in the construction sector as workers move to energy-related projects and away from office and commercial construction. "A concrete guy making X dollars an hour, they desperately need workers a mile down the road, they will pay them a percentage more to move and come work on their job," said Jerry Nevland of the Associated General Contractors. In addition, there is a dearth of younger people entering the construction workforce. KTRK-TV (Houston) (5/15)
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Innovation & Green Building
Technology, geometry key to completing Seattle's Highway 99 project
About 130 workers at FBS Encon Precast in Washington's Pierce County are manufacturing 14,000 concrete components for the $2 billion Highway 99 tunnel project on the Seattle waterfront being built by a Dragados/Tutor-Perini joint venture. Each tunnel ring is made up of nine arcs and a smaller keystone, and despite there being only one ring size, the 1.7-mile tube will be able to curve "because each ring is 2.65 inches narrower on the keystone side than the opposite side." Bertha, the boring machine that will excavate the tunnel beneath the old Alaskan Way Viaduct, will begin digging the tunnel in July. KING-TV (Seattle) (5/15), The Seattle Times (5/15)
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High-efficiency systems help Maine hospital get LEED Gold
Energy-efficient features such as a white roof, low-flow water technology and high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling systems, are expected to slash utility costs by half at a new hospital in Augusta, Maine. Hospital officials aimed for the LEED Silver certification but instead will receive the Gold designation, the project manager said. The hospital is set to open in November. Morning Sentinel (Waterville, Maine) (5/12)
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ConsensusDocs releases updated federal subcontract to help construction firms perform federal work
The newly revised ConsensusDocs standard subcontract (ConsensusDocs 752 for federal work) will make it easier for general contractors and subcontractors to perform federal work. The updated ConsensusDocs 752 Federal Subcontract Agreement is designed to address recent changes in federal contracting such as requirements for certifying small business entities and new reporting of executive compensation requirements. Visit consensusdocs.org for more information.
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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth."
-- C.S. Lewis,
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