[VIDEO] Average Gas & Diesel Prices Expected to Drop

Average cost of gasoline and diesel fuel has dropped by 6 cents a gallon and is expected to continue; plus more construction industry news on the Aug. 20, 2015, edition of Construction News Tracker

Brighter jobs future for construction...

A fast fix bridge build...

And good advice for your company's bottom line...

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

Looking at the nation's unemployment rate, while employers added 215,000 jobs in July the rate remains at 5.3%. Talk to economists, however, and they're concerned that the growth rate is only 1.5%, which could lead to the government raising interest rates in the near future.

Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 45 States

Specifically for construction, seasonally adjusted employment rose by 105,000 while non-seasonally adjusted add 262,000 year-to-date through June. Let's hope the national monthly job growth of 211,000 in 2015 remains steady and the economy continues to strengthen.

A forecast to put a smile on your face from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The agency says the average cost of gasoline and diesel fuel has dropped by 6 cents a gallon and is expected to continue despite some states increasing taxes to cover the costs of lost transportation revenue. World petroleum prices are falling, and this extends into road building costs as well. 

Some pricing table information:

  • Alabama DOT: performance graded asphalt is under $2.00 per gallon
  • New Jersey DOT: asphalt cement is below $500 per ton — the lowest level in four years

EIA estimates diesel fuel prices will continue to drop towards year end, and retail gasoline may dip below the $2 per gallon mark as well.

Anyone who has ever traveled around Chicago on the Interstate 80/94 bypass has noticed the massive Thornton rock quarry. It's so big and deep some call it the Midwest Grand Canyon. Much of Chicago is built with limestone mined from the hole and is part of the largest civil engineering project ever built.

The numbers alone are staggering. A massive tunnel is being excavated to eventually connect 14 communities' stormwater runoff away from Lake Michigan, treated and then into the Cal Sag Canal. Engineers have created a 112-foot dam to regulate flow.

When completed, the deep tunnel with three reservoirs, including Thornton, will be linked to 109 miles of 30-foot-diameter tunnels and will contain over 20 billion gallons of water.

If you run a business, you must evolve. Because of this need, we and Caterpillar have developed a link on the ForConstructionPros.com website called Profit Matters with the idea that technology can dramatically improve your efficiency. Editor Larry Stewart is targeting the brain trust for answers.

Video: Caterpillar Reveals How Technology Can Raise Construction Efficiency 50%

Click on the Cat Profit Matters link at the top of our webpage and learn how your operation can improve and save money as well.

Faced with continuing bridge deterioration, the Tennessee DOT has come up with its Fast Fix 8 plan. The result is a bridge rebuild in 58 hours time. TDOT and Kiewit Construction have devised the plan to demolish and replace 16 bridges along Interstate 40 in Nashville with work only on 13 weekends. As TDOT Construction Director Will Reid explains, the orchestrated replacements will reduce time and money.

Kiewit completed eight beams, 22 deck panels and 81 tons of concrete set during the 58 hour time span.

Finally, don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do. This is Construction News Tracker looking over the industry that makes the world a better place. Brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.

We're on Twitter using #constructionnews and Facebook as the streaming Web never ends.

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