Home construction skyrockets...
Is your company like the CIA?...
And Bobcat/Doosan expands homebase...
That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo research claims homebuilders' confidence has grown to its highest level in 10 years. The gauge is at 61 and represents the strengthening single family housing market. It's supported by improving unemployment numbers, low borrowing costs and soft mortgage rates. The feds report housing starts rose to 1.18 million in July — the second highest level since the fall of 2007.
Ten years ago much of the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans, was underwater and struggling to exist after it was pummeled by Hurricane Katrina. Over 1,800 people lost their lives when 80% of the city was flooded. A large sector of the region has since recovered, and the Army Corps of Engineers has spent billions in reconstructing levees and dams to prevent any future catastrophe. But there remains much to be done.
West Fargo, N.D., is growing. Bobcat/Doosan recently broke ground on a $9.5 million headquarters expansion. As President Rich Goldsboro told the gathering, it's a future commitment to the community. This expansion will double the square footage and employee capacity of the company's home base.
Just how secret is your company? Do you hold all your cards cost to the vest? If so, it's not necessarily good business practice. ASCC, the American Society of Concrete Contractors, is encouraging members to reach out and share opportunities by exchanging advice and developing mentors. The idea is to eliminate silos of closed information, and it's been demonstrated that the sharing pays off.
To carry forward the sharing scenario was the the theme of Sage Summit 2015 recently. The company provides software and accounting services to companies worldwide, and as I learned in an interview with Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Construction John Witty, our sector plays a key role in their plans.
Companies like Sage are critically important to construction management and help to bolster the economic structure.
The U.S. division of Eurovia, Hubbard Construction, has hit a home run by securing contracts from the Florida DOT worth an estimated $200 million. The state approved a $15 billion state transportation budget earlier this year, and the latest contracts cover four projects in central and northeast Florida.
Goodbye mile marker 420, at least in Idaho, citing the earnest need by thieves for the number that is widely associated with marijuana. Few states have roads that cover 420 miles. Washington lost some 420 markers before it legalized pot in 2012, but the best story comes from Montana where at mile marker 420 on I-90 a few years ago a motorist was pulled over and authorities found 115 pounds of the drug hidden in the vehicle. Idaho DOT finally said it had enough, and the new location now boasts 419.9.
Finally, life is like a yo-yo as mankind does its best to tie knots in the string.
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.