Kiewit Infrastructure West is beginning negotiations on a $559 million design-build contract in Nevada. Two other groups had submitted bids, but Kiewit was named "apparent best value." Project Neon will overhaul the state's largest interchange on Interstate 15.
Residential construction spending in the US in August exceeded $36 billion, the most since 2007. But a labor shortage could affect builders' ability to construct new homes on time and within budget, because the number of experienced construction workers without a job is at the lowest level since 2000, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. "To get people back onto the construction site, we're going to have to pay a lot more," said Christopher Huebner, owner of HSCB Homes.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics plans to ramp up production of the F-35, the next-generation fighter jet. In preparation, the company will spend $1.2 billion to expand and upgrade its production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Work includes hangar refurbishment, more structures on the flight line and perhaps construction of two additional hangars.
The American Society of Engineers gave the country's dams a grade of D, noting that 4,000 of the more 87,000 need repairs. The recent flooding in South Carolina and the dam failures there highlight ASCE's finding. The Association of State Dam Safety says $54 billion is needed for dam repairs, and the Army Corps of Engineers says it will be 50 years before work on its dam-project backlog is completed if budget levels are unchanged.
Democrats in the New Jersey House of Representatives propose to increase the state's 14.5 cents-per-gallon gas tax to fund investment in the state's transportation infrastructure. Republicans say they will support the measure only if the Democrats pass GOP cuts to estate and inheritance taxes. New Jersey's gas tax is currently the second-lowest in the nation.
Building information modeling is part of an array of advanced construction technologies being employed under the heading of virtual design and construction, or VDC, at the site of the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Ariz. VDC is seen as vital to identifying potential problems during construction and over the life cycle of such highly complex projects. For OdySea, "we virtually incorporated more than a mile of underground piping, intricate life-support systems and a building design that features rounded walls and aquariums," said Jim Brandt, project director of McCarthy Building.
Chances are most businesses are not ready to take advantage of virtual-reality and augmented-reality technologies, advises Gartner analyst Brian Blau. But the potential of VR and AR should not be ignored, he says.
Mobile applications for construction are providing a wide range of solutions and making smartphones and tablets the go-to devices on-site. US Cellular's Matt Kasper describes five of the most useful apps available at low or no charge.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has decided to give five consortia an additional month to prepare their bids for Construction Package 4, a design-build contract for a 22-mile section of the high-speed rail network. The delay creates challenges, because $2.2 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus money must be used by Sept. 30, 2017, or be returned to the federal government.
Russian engineer Nikita Chen-yun-tai has developed a 3D mobile printer that can be trucked to a construction site, be set up quickly and print a house in 24 hours. The printer is said to use little energy and create no waste. It also prints on two planes, thanks to a rotating extruder.
- Page 1