December 30, 2019
AGC SmartBrief
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Editor's Note
A note to our readers
Happy holidays! This is SmartBrief's last publication for 2019. To close out the year, we have selected the most-read stories that have caught readers' attention and informed their workday. Hope you enjoy this special edition, and we look forward to keeping you smart in 2020!
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Top Story
Amazon's decision to no longer build one of its headquarters in New York City means the area will lose out on $27.5 billion in revenue and 1,300 construction jobs. The decision also represents a missed opportunity for the city's workforce development efforts.
Full Story: Curbed/New York (2/14) 
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One of two cranes that have been imploded at the site of a Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans has damaged a sewer line, but overall the effort has gone as well as it could have, the city's fire chief says. Once debris is removed, the city will proceed with search and extraction.
Full Story: WDSU-TV (New Orleans) (10/21) 
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The construction techniques used to build Chicago's 70-story One Bennett Park skyscraper over the course of three years can be viewed in less than a minute in a new EarthCam time-lapse video. The concrete skeleton goes up first, followed by precast exterior panels and windows.
Full Story: Curbed/Chicago (8/20) 
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Infrastructure & Project Focus
NYC approves world's tallest planned demolition
(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Howard I. Shapiro & Associates, on behalf of JPMorgan Chase, has received approval from the New York City Department of Buildings to demolish the company's 707-foot-tall structure in New York City. It will be the tallest building ever slated for a planned demolition, making room for the bank's new 70-floor headquarters.
Full Story: Construction Dive (1/28) 
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Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee have the highest scores for infrastructure in the annual America's Top States for Business ranking. The ranking is based on federal data on each state's roads, bridges, railways, waterways, ports, airports and utilities.
Full Story: CNBC (7/11) 
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Six contractors and one joint venture will vie for task orders from the Army Corps of Engineers under a $999 million contract for rapid infrastructure services delivered to disaster areas. The widely varied work could include repair of roads, bridges, dams, utility structures, and water and sanitation systems.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Washington, D.C. (10/11) 
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Innovation & Technology
The world's largest hard rock water tunnel-boring machine, dubbed "Big Tex," is ready and set to begin work soon on Dallas' 38-foot-wide Mill Creek Tunnel, which will handle up to 9 million gallons of water per minute to curtail flooding during intense rain. The tunnel will extend 5 miles at a depth of 100 to 150 feet.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (12/3) 
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Boston Dynamics' four-legged robot, Spot, has found work with German-American firm HoloBuilder, where it patrols construction sites to gather 360-degree images that let engineers track progress. HoloBuilder and Hensel Phelps conducted pilot tests of the technology during construction of Harvey Milk Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport.
Full Story: Fast Company online (11/18) 
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London-based contractor Mace Group is eliminating a need for tower cranes with six-story-high factories atop structures being built. Within each factory, workers carry out activities including concrete placement and installation of prefabricated systems.
Full Story: Building Design + Construction (free registration) (8/5) 
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Getting Ahead
List: The world's top 50 "construction mega cities"
Dubai, London and New York City top GlobalData's list of 50 "construction mega cities" with the highest investment value in their project pipelines. Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, San Francisco and Boston also are on the list.
Full Story: Construction Dive (12/5) 
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Top contractors tend to attract and retain strong talent, and they view hiring as a long-term process, The Family Business Institute's Dennis Engelbrecht says. Among top contractors' 10 key qualities are a positive work environment and a diversified work mix that includes profitable jobs that are "under the radar," he says.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/4) 
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The $3.3 billion Highway 99 tunnel in Seattle, which replaced the Alaskan Way Viaduct, came in $223 million over budget. A slideshow documents the destruction of the viaduct and construction of the tunnel.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Seattle (10/4) 
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Association News
AGC Member Firms Can Apply for Grants Between Now and January 10, 2020.

AGC of America and Autodesk are launching a new, $75,000 grant program to help member firms provide safety harnesses for women. The grant program is designed to help firms attract more women into the construction profession while continuing to meet the highest levels of workplace safety. As part of that effort, winning firms will be selected based on their ability to leverage relatively small grant awards to attract more women and provide them with appropriately sized safety harnesses. AGC is accepting applications until January 10, 2020. Click here to learn more about the grant program and apply.

For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at 703-837-5410 or
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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 AGC's website for more information.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday, Wednesday
In observance of New Year's Day, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday and Wednesday. Publication will resume Thursday.
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Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Hal Borland,
writer, journalist, naturalist
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