SunEdison has started construction of a $420 million wind farm project in Bingham, Maine. The project, which will have 56 turbines, is expected to create 400 construction jobs and will power 65,000 homes when finished. Construction should be completed in 2016.
A joint venture among Hunt Construction Group, Gibbs Construction, Boh Bros. Construction and Metro Service Group has been awarded a construction manager-at-risk contract worth up to $546.5 million to build a new terminal the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. The JV will conduct a bidding round this month to choose contractors for the project. The entire cost of the expansion is expected to be around $650 million.
Many construction companies have started to install GPS tracking on their heavy-equipment fleet as a way to improve maintenance management. GPS can keep track of engine run time, remind about the next scheduled service, reduce unplanned downtime and cut maintenance costs, according to this article.
The Inca Road, a 3,700-mile, terraced-stone trail that stretches through the Andes Mountains from Colombia to Chile, was built centuries ago, is still used today and is "the grandest engineering achievement of the pre-Hispanic Americas," writes Patrick Symmes. "You are talking about thousands of miles in some of the most rugged topography in the world," said Karen Stothert, an archaeologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
University of Wyoming engineering professor Fred Ogden and other researchers have created a model to better predict water movement between the ground's surface and the water table, a development that will help city planners, climate scientists and hydrologists. The formula requires less computer power to calculate predictions than the previous model and is "a reliable way to couple groundwater to surface through the soil that people have been looking for since 1931," said Ogden.
A U.K. commission has expressed support for a $28 billion expansion of London's Heathrow Airport and the building of a third runway. If approved, it would become one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world -- but the expansion is mired in controversy because of anticipated noise and emissions issues, as well as the demolition of 800 homes.
Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers are looking at subatomic particles called muons to better identify the thickness of concrete slabs and metal pipes used in energy infrastructure to catch them before they fail. The process could help determine if maintenance is needed and is less invasive than X-rays and ultrasound.
Cyberinsurance is a new market established to provide coverage for businesses -- including contracting firms -- at risk of cybersecurity breaches. In the event of a cybersecurity issue, losses can include payouts to third parties harmed by the disclosure of personal information, as well as the costs associated with following regulations such as notices to possibly affected parties. Although such losses may be covered by general liability, excess or even crime policies, a specific policy may be required in case existing policies don't cover them, three attorneys write.
Michigan could spend an extra $1.5 billion a year on infrastructure projects by 2018 after its Senate approved a plan that would redirect some state funds and gradually increase the gas tax from 19 cents a gallon to 34 cents in 2017. The full tax increase will generate $822 million a year. "This is another step in the process that helps us get to a sustainable road funding solution," said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof. The House must still approval the measure.
Air Worldwide's latest U.S. hurricane model has new features, including a storm surge module and loss estimates that reflect local building codes and design practices. The model will help improve insurers' understanding of risks from wind and storm surge for risk selection, portfolio management and risk transfer, says Air Assistant Vice President Tim Doggett.