Construction News Tracker Video: FHWA Reveals Highway Trust Fund Money Trail

Highway Trust Fund money trail revealed...

Equipment rental market expected to surge...

And Green Globes equals LEED for federal projects...

That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.

What we've long suspected about the trail of our Highway Trust Fund dollars had been revealed. The Federal Highway Administration has compiled a list that shows what each state contributes, and more importantly, how much it gets back from Uncle Sam. The chart goes all the way back to 1956 when the Highway Trust Fund was created - with the gas tax then at three cents a gallon. Now the beleaguered fund is barely able to keep pace with current needs at 18.4 cents a gallon. A really interesting read if you're at all concerned about how your road tax money is spent.

A major milestone has been reached at the World Trade Center site in New York City. 4 WTC has opened - the first of the buildings rebuilt on the site of the 9/11 terrorist destruction. At 977 feet, it falls short of the WTC 1 project set to open next spring at 1,776 feet. The National September 11 Memorial, now two years old, is housed at the base of the entire 16-acre building site. Recently opened and tied to WTC 1 is the modernistic transportation hub. At over 600 feet long, the passageway provides some 200,000 daily commuters a link from path trains to Manhattan's west side.

American Rental Association, the group that monitors the segment that keeps the pulse of the equipment rental market, says this year has seen a 6.5 percent jump over last year to a record $38 billion. Specifically, three important segments - construction/industrial, general tool, and do it yourself and party rentals - are seen to grow another 6.5 percent in 2013. Even though the economy has slowed GDP continues to grow, and equipment rental appears to be right along with it.

The General Service Administration, in a five year review of building practices, has downgraded LEED as the go-to building certification standard. The agency that oversees all U.S. government projects says Green Globes may also be considered when incorporating energy efficient and eco-friendly projects.

An extremely wet spring this year has raised problems for many industries ranging from agriculture to construction. It has affected the asphalt paving business equally as hard as the need for hotter, faster and cleaner product has impacted the industry.

Minnesota contractors who have switched from petroleum based to LNG systems are touting the benefits as they see significant savings in operating costs while returning a better environmental impact. Muellar and Sons of Hamburg, Minn., claims it has increased its hourly truck output with a 10 percent improvement in productivity. Not to mention the savings in energy costs alone. Even the pollution emissions are down some 80 percent according to the company.

Look before you pump. That's the mantra coming from the GIE+ Expo recently completed. The Consumer Protection Program of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute seeks to caution dealers, sellers, retailers and users of outdoor power equipment to be aware of fuel selection.

OPEI Warns Against Using Gas-Ethanol Blends Greater than E10

This comes as additional ethanol blends begin appearing in the marketplace. The effort is aimed at users of every sort of power equipment that exists from recreational to construction, basically small engine powered devices, as the OPEI says the gas you put in your car may be different than recommended for power equipment - and you need to be aware. They have signage available at OPEI.org.

We leave you with this thought, computers can figure out all kinds of things except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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