Out with the old...in with the new
Feds pay up to resume VA hospital construction...
And industry employment gains hold into 2015...
That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com...
The closeout of 2014 saw construction employment rise in 38 states over the past year with Texas and North Dakota leading the way. Citing market variables, AGC says 26 states and D.C. added new jobs in October and November alone. Overall, most states remain 10 percent below previous employment levels before the recession.
The Dodge Construction Outlook for the new year is optimistic, particularly in the area of multifamily construction. Projections call for 405,000 new units per year through 2017 compared with an average of 296,000 new multifamily units in the years 2012 through 2014. It's demographic driven as economists see those residing with relatives now eager to move into their own space.
All it took was a check for $157 million from the VA to Kiewit Turner Construction to get construction ramped up again on the massive new Denver hospital project. You will recall in a previous Construction News Tracker report, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals let Keiwit Turner walk away after it was found that the VA had failed to meet its contract when it designed the project for $604 million instead of the $1 billion it will actually require, and the contractor was left to pay out of its own pocket. An interim deal was agreed on.
High fives all around for a crew of Texas bricklayers credited with saving a man's life. Working to build a brick wall at a Sugerland, Texas, subdivision the final day of last year, the crew witnessed a car smash into a nearby tree. KHOU_TV Houston, which covered the story, says the car erupted in flames with the driver trapped inside. Despite their concern over the car exploding, the bricklayers swung into action. Using bricks and a 20-pound sledge the workers managed to break a window and get the trapped driver out. Meanwhile a hogger had stopped to help and used his knife to cut the seatbelt away. As you can see the car is a near total loss, but authorities say the bricklayer heros, who returned to work the last day of 2014, will be talking about the incident for weeks to come.
Wacker Neuson is building an expanded production line at its suburban Milwaukee complex at Menomonee Falls, Wis. When completed this spring, four new models of skid steer and compact track loaders will roll off assembly lines, built for the U.S. and Canadian markets. This is a first for Wacker Neuson, which had previously produced the equipment in Austria.
The latest national poll for transportation advocates by strategy group SKD Knickerbocker and Benenson shows 67 percent of the U.S. is against any fuel tax increase. Twenty-two years have passed since the federal fuel tax was increased, and the amount it currently raises - $50 billion - is short by an average of $16 billion annually.
Also, keep in mind the present short-term highway trust fund bill passed by Congress last year expires the end of May, just five months from now.
We are just weeks away from two major industry trade shows.
The National Pavement Expo kicks off January 28-31 at the Music City Convention Center in Nashville. It's an opportunity for pavers, sealcoaters, sweepers and other build and repair specialists to gather and see new equipment in one setting. As an added bonus for attendees, the NPE show will award a Case DV26 compactor to one lucky person. Registration information is available at nationalpavementexpo.com.
Then February 3-6 is the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas. Organizers are calling it the largest show in six years with 630,000 square feet of space and 1,300 exhibitors registered. So if concrete is your business, we encourage you to make plans now to attend WOC in February. Information is available at worldofconcrete.com.
In conclusion, minds are like parachutes, they only function when open.