The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will begin enforcement of the crystalline silica standard on Sept. 23. The rule requires, among other things, the use of engineering controls to prevent worker exposure to silica dust from concrete, stone and other materials.
The Architecture Billings Index was 53 in May, up from 50.9 in April. "The fact that the data surrounding both new project inquiries and design contracts have remained positive every month this year, while reaching their highest scores for the year, is a good indication that both the architecture and construction sectors will remain healthy for the foreseeable future," said Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects.
The nation's inland waterways need an infusion of revenue to keep up with infrastructure maintenance, and C. Jarrett Dieterle of the nonpartisan but right-of-center R Street Institute believes it's time to implement tolls for those who use the rivers, despite the pushback from the shipping industry. He says many Americans gain no direct benefit from improvements to the nation's locks and other river infrastructure.
Researchers have developed a giant, inflatable plug designed to prevent flooding in subway tunnels. The Resilient Tunnel Plug, fashioned from a high-strength fabric, can be inflated quickly when a rail tunnel is threatened by surging waters.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation wants to replace two bridges on Interstate 24 in downtown Nashville using accelerated bridge construction. The bridges are heavily traveled, and ABC means work can "be finished in months instead of years," TDOT says.
A number of recent accidents have highlighted the dangers of operating cranes near power lines. By designating a spotter and making use of motion-limiting or range-control warning devices, contractors can reduce workers' risk, according to the American Society of Safety Engineers.
A number of construction experts have voiced concerns over the way Grenfell Tower in London was refurbished a few years ago. Building Design Editor Thomas Lane and BB7 Managing Director Ben Bradford are among the experts who have noted that the use of several contractors and subcontractors can introduce additional project risks.
Construction is proceeding on the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco, and more than 700 construction workers are on-site each day. The first phase of the $2.26 billion project should finish in December, and the facility will serve as a major rail and bus terminal for the region.
A rate of 6.625% was set for most of the $1.15 billion in nonrecourse bonds to be sold to fund the American Dream Meadowlands project in New Jersey. Developer Triple Five plans to combine $1.6 billion in private financing with the bond sale to complete the entertainment and shopping complex, which has languished for years.
M.A. Mortenson Co. has carved out a niche in the sustainable energy sector, and CEO Dan Johnson says the company's approach to business gives employees unique opportunities. He talks about his management philosophy and says his "job only exists to support the men and women that build our projects in the field and provide value to our customers."
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