Housing starts increased 10.5% year over year in January but were down 2.6% from December. Multifamily housing was the key factor in the drop, declining 7.9%, but single-family houses increased 1.9%.
A $1 billion project to upgrade the spillway at Folsom Dam and the recent disaster at the Oroville Dam spillway demonstrate opposite ends of the dam-maintenance spectrum and the challenges engineers face with older dams. Experts says the problem has only increased as the climate changes.
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., has introduced the Build USA Infrastructure bill to inject funding into the Highway Trust Fund. The bill would transfer $21.4 billion a year from fees collected by the Customs and Border Patrol to the trust fund and has provisions that reduce regulatory burdens on construction.
On Feb. 7, the floodgates at the Oroville Dam in California were opened, sending 55,000 cubic feet of water per second down a concrete spillway. The amount was only 18% of the volume that the spillway was engineered to withstand, but it crumbled under the pressure, and "design flaws, misunderstood geology and poor maintenance over the years" could be factors in the failure.
Construction giant Kiewit identified an array of risks and good reasons to get into software development, as it has with its wholly owned unit InEight. The overarching goal is to avoid the fate of other leading construction companies that over the years have disappeared due to failure to anticipate change and adopt new technologies or that succumbed by taking on projects that went far over budget.
A transit-oriented, mixed-use development planned on the site of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego would be anchored by a soccer stadium. The project includes two hotels; office, commercial and residential space; and acres of open space.
Construction has started on the $916 million South Mountain Freeway in Arizona, a 22-mile extension to Loop 202 that will connect with Interstate 10 on each end. The controversial project still faces legal challenges.
A report by the US Green Building Council highlights green building efforts at 30 entertainment venues across the country. One of the venues is the Orlando Magic's Amway Center which was the first new LEED Gold-certified NBA arena and saved $700,000 in annual energy costs.
A $1.9 billion rail-line extension project in Minnesota was recently granted $929 million in federal funding, and some Republican lawmakers in the state want that money used for road and bridge work instead. A resolution has been introduced, and if approved, the state would ask the US Department of Transportation to allow the transfer.
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