A joint venture between BL Harbert International and Gray Construction will work on a $1.3 billion expansion to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama. Work has already started and includes moving the energy center, expanding the assembly shop and constructing a new body shop. Construction should be finished in 2017.
Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors is starting a $175 million renovation and remodeling project at Dallas' former Statler Hilton. The project will turn the historical building into the Statler Hotel & Residences, a mixed-used tower with the 11 top stories converted into residential units, the bottom two stories into retail and meeting space and the middle five stories into hotel rooms. The project should be completed at the end of 2016.
Construction companies are paying bills two days earlier than they were a year ago, demonstrating the financial health of the industry, according to Creditsafe. However, "[m]argins still remain quite tight for a lot of firms, and they're facing growing pressure in labor costs in many markets," says AGC's Brian Turmail. "But materials costs have remained relatively flat, and some like diesel have actually declined."
Two sections of a canal that supplies drinking water to about 187,500 in Columbia, S.C., have collapsed, raising concerns about a drinking water shortage. The city has been able to draw water directly from a reservoir, but residents have been instructed to boil it and take conservation measures. A contractor is trying to plug the breaches with a rock dam, and the National Guard is dropping sandbags. Meanwhile, standing floodwaters in the area could persist for 12 days.
Vice President Joe Biden pressed for more infrastructure spending to enhance the US economy during a speech at the American Job Creation and Infrastructure Forum. He pointed to an ASCE study that found the country needs to spend $3.6 trillion by 2020 to improve the country's infrastructure. "We have to have an infrastructure that is consistent with 21st-century needs," Biden said.
Delays and the cost of repairs to Bertha, the tunnel-boring machine at work on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project in Seattle, have already cost Washington state $3.25 million -- and that could rise by another $75 million, according to the state Department of Transportation. The added costs come from underground easements as well as increased staff time.
Machine learning, the "Google Maps of construction" and tools to enhance collaboration were just some of the topics at Engineering News-Record's FutureTech East conference, where technological innovation in construction was the focus. This article takes a look at how some firms use each.
The construction boom has lead to a 6.4% jump in craft compensation and a labor shortage in many markets around the country since mid-2014. Some traditionally union markets such as New York have started to look at nonunion labor. Contractors around the country discuss the labor challenges in this article.
William Glasser detailed the seven habits of poor criticism, which include nagging, threatening and pointing fingers. Fortunately, empathy and recognition can help. "Learning to recognize these seven 'deadly' habits can help your relationships thrive, because you learn to stave off communication roadblocks and see [the] other person’s perspective a little better," Kristin Wong writes.
Officials at the Federal Reserve decided against increasing short-term interest rates last month because of concerns that inflation would continue to fall short of the target, according to the central bank's minutes.
"Participants anticipated that recent global developments would likely put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term; compared with their previous forecasts, more now saw the risks to inflation as tilted to the downside," the minutes read.
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