The federal government and the Arizona Corporation Commission now have each approved the $2 billion, 515-mile SunZia Southwest Transmission Project that would transmit wind and solar energy from New Mexico to Arizona. New Mexico must still give the go-ahead. If approved, the project would take four years to complete and could create 35,000 jobs in that time.
For years, the 1,018-foot US Bank Tower in Los Angeles has been the tallest structure in the western US. That is about to change. The 1,100-foot, $1.2 billion Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles should be completed next year, and work is underway on the 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. In addition, a tower that may hit 1,150 feet is planned in Seattle.
Nonfarm payrolls were up 151,000 in January, according to today's data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was less than what economists had expected. The construction sector added 18,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 5% to 4.9%. The labor participation rate was 62.7%. November numbers were revised up and December numbers revised down for a net gain of 2,000.
Continental Tire plans to build a $1.45 billion tire plant in Mississippi. The project would include building out a 5.2 million-square-foot area to include the plant, a 32-acre parking lot and a rail spur. The Mississippi Legislature has approved incentives for the project.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says he will continue fighting a portion of Spectra Energy Partners' $1 billion natural gas pipeline that runs through Boston's West Roxbury neighborhood. Construction started last year on the 5-mile spur after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project, which is designed to bring more natural gas to the Northeast. FERC rejected a request to reconsider the original decision, and Walsh says he will appeal.
Hope College in Michigan completed construction of a $35 million music center. The building was constructed with 65-foot-tall precast concrete panels that weighed more than 40 tons apiece. The building's design dampens outside noise and enhances the sound from musical instruments in the building.
A construction crane collapsed at 40 Worth Street between W. Broadway and Church Street in Manhattan around 8:30 this morning and crushed several cars. Media reports say that several people were injured, and the New York City fire department said on its Facebook page that one person was killed. Multiple emergency responders were at the scene.
The West Virginia legislature passed a bill that repeals an 81-year-old prevailing wage law; however, it's "very likely" that Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will veto the bill. Labor unions and a large number of contractors opposed the bill, which passed along party lines.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to use a public-private partnership to construct a $425 million expansion to Interstate 55. The project calls for toll lanes to be added to 25 miles of the road. "By using existing resources to leverage private investment, we can build the type of infrastructure that allows Illinois to better compete in the 21st century," the governor said. The legislature must approve any partnership agreement.
Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., which will host Super Bowl 50 this weekend, has 1,150 solar panels producing 375 kilowatts of power. The roof holds 544 solar panels with an additional 642 located on bridges. The panels produce enough electricity annually to meet energy demands at all San Francisco 49ers home games.
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