Industry Spotlight

Interface Consulting News:

  • Interface selected as expert in construction arbitration case involving a crane in Michigan
  • Interface visits project site in North Dakota to assist with cost analysis
  • Interface invited to join HCC Advisory Board for The Drafting and Design Engineering Technology Program

Construction Litigation

Willacy files lawsuit against 'tent city' contractor

The Brownsville Herald

"Willacy County has filed a lawsuit against the company that built the $65 million so-called 'tent city' prison, accusing it of fraud in the construction of a substandard facility that could close before the county pays its debt....The lawsuit states that the prison has been 'plagued by systemic problems requiring constant repairs and upkeep due to the slovenly ways in which (it was) constructed, the hopeless poor materials employed in the construction. All facets of the buildings require repairs, bespeaking the overall poor construction....'...."

AMP loses case seeking millions over canceled power plant

The Columbus Dispatch

"The coal-fired power plant was to be built in Meigs County. AMP canceled the project in 2009 in the face of cost estimates that had risen by more than $1 billion. AMP had paid $97 million to Bechtel and other contractors in the run-up to planned construction, costs that were passed on to AMP's member cities. AMP filed the lawsuit in 2011, arguing that it would have abandoned the project sooner and spent less if Bechtel had been providing timely reports about the factors that might contribute to changes in costs...."

Midtown's One57 residential tower hit with 19 civil suits

New York Post

"The city's tallest residential tower has become a lightning rod for lawsuits. Developer Extell has been hit with 19 civil suits over its 75-story tower at 1 W. 57th St. since breaking ground on it almost four years ago — and the building is still months away from completion....The $27 million suit, by the project's electrical contractor, Five Star Corp., may explain why Extell is fighting so many court battles. In papers filed last month, Five Star says its work was 'suspended, delayed and disrupted repeatedly and continuously by Extell's failure to provide an adequate and complete design for the project.'"

Construction Delays

Costly Delays In Bringing Up Kashagan Weighing On Oil Companies' Returns

Forbes

"Kashagan, the mega oil project located in Kazakhstan's zone of the Caspian Sea has been plagued by significant delays and cost overruns due to several technical issues. Just days after the project finally started producing oil after years of delay..., it was shut down indefinitely due to a cracked pipeline. It was initially planned that the project would be brought online in 2005 at a cost of $10 billion. Today, after more than eight years of delay and a cost overrun of more than $30 billion, it is still not producing any oil...."

Underground detours cause delay in Penn Avenue project in Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"Reconstruction of a four-block section of Penn Avenue in Garfield is behind schedule after underground utility work took longer than expected....'We ran into a lot of unknowns in the ground. We're finding utilities that we didn't know were there and utilities we knew were there but weren't where we thought. So we had to adjust the plans," Mr. Hassett said....The $4.7 million project has caused closure of Penn Avenue ....Mr. Hassett said the project's cost likely would rise because of the utility complications but hadn't yet determined by how much."

Wyo. Power plant stalls 17 years, faces skepticism

Associated Press

"Megawatts from the Two Elk Energy Park originally were supposed to begin flowing back when Bill Clinton was president. Instead, a series of hang-ups, including the global economic meltdown and difficulty finding an investor willing to share the cost, have kept Two Elk at a virtual standstill....Two Elk would be one of the more unusual large U.S. power plants. The 300-megawatt plant would burn a combination of low-grade coal from the nation's largest coal mines and timber from vast expanses of Rocky Mountain forests killed by a massive beetle infestation."

Construction Costs

County commissioners quiz hospital over construction costs

The Dallas Morning News

"Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price on Tuesday accused Parkland Memorial Hospital of running 'over budget' on the construction of a new public hospital....Both sides seemed to agree that the $1.27 billion hospital replacement project will cost almost $55 million more than the approved plan....County Judge Clay Jenkins said Parkland seemed to have increased the scope of the hospital project. His colleagues disagreed, saying Parkland seemed to be spending more money than it had budgeted."

Costs rise another $177 million at Kemper plant

Associated Press

"The Southern Co. says it will cost at least another $177 million to finish the power plant it's building in eastern Mississippi's Kemper County, pushing the total cost above $5.2 billion. The Atlanta-based parent of Mississippi Power Co. said Wednesday that poor weather, unexpected turnover of construction employees and installation inefficiencies contributed to the extra costs. The utility is dividing the costs between $152 million for construction and $25 million for additional startup costs."

Companies Deliver Panama City Metro in Record Time and Without Cost Overruns

EFE

"'Besides the outstanding compliance with the agreed timeframe and delivering it in just over three years, the construction of this metro is unprecedented because it was completed' without any cost overruns....Forn told Efe that the construction and launch of the Panama City metro 'has been an example of the perfect effectiveness and coordination among the different companies that participated,' including Brazilian construction group Odebrecht. The $2 billion subway system has been one of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli's flagship projects."

Construction Economics

Macau Rides High on New Round of Casino Construction

The New York Times

"Macau has grown explosively over the last decade, and...some of the world's biggest casino operators step up their bet on China's love for gambling....Analysts at Nomura, for example, forecast in a recent report that gambling revenue could nearly double to $80 billion by 2018. This helps explain why operators like Wynn, Sands and SJM are prepared to plow billions of dollars into more expansion despite the fact that taxes on gambling revenue in Macau are far above those in Nevada."

African Airports Building Cargo Terminals in Hopes of Freight Rebound

Engineering News-Record

"Despite recent declines in air cargo activity throughout Africa and forecasts predicting only minimal increases, major airports across the region are launching terminal projects in anticipation of rebounding global economic activity. Developments in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Angola and Ghana are among those now moving into construction. In January, Ethiopian Airlines announced it had signed a $148-million turnkey contract with Unitechnik Systems GmbH and Varnero Construction for construction of a second cargo terminal...."

Construction Opportunities

Chile Installs Record-Breaking 150MW of PV in Q1, 380MW Under Construction

Greentech Media

"...Chile installed 153 megawatts of utility-scale PV in the first quarter of this year. That's more than three times the amount that any Latin American country has ever before installed in a single quarter. 'The last quarter has been a testament to the real pipeline now emerging in Chile,' said GTM Research global solar analyst Adam James. 'The market has strong fundamentals, and we are seeing that companies like SunEdison can leverage a variety of business models to execute deals on those fundamentals...'...."

High-speed rail construction could start next month near Madera

The Fresno Bee

"An elevated viaduct near Madera will likely be one of the first major pieces of tangible construction for California's proposed high-speed rail line, with work starting as early as next month....Sylmar-based Tutor Perini, Zachry Construction of Texas and Pasadena-based Parsons Corp last summer won a contract for just under $1 billion from the California High-Speed Rail Authority to design and build the first 29-mile stretch between Madera and Fresno of a statewide bullet-train line."

Industry Spotlight

2014 Record-Breaking Highway Construction Plans Bolster Local Infrastructure

Across the United States, departments of transportation are facing one of their busiest construction seasons yet, with million dollar road expansions and resurfacing projects in the works. Highway improvements will no doubt cause temporary traffic congestion and frustration for drivers; however, the long-term benefits of widened ramps, additional lanes, and strategically placed bridges in states like Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, Nebraska, and Illinois will be well worth the wait. Read on to learn about the hundreds of construction projects due to take place this spring and summer.

Minnesota road construction plan includes 308 projects in 2014

St. Paul Pioneer Press

"From replacement of the Interstate 35E bridge along St. Paul's Larpenteur Avenue to construction of a new St. Croix River bridge in Oak Park Heights, state road repair projects are about to step into proverbial high gear, and there are a lot of them....Of the 308 state projects, 74 will take place within the Twin Cities metro, and 194 will roll out in Greater Minnesota, including resurfacing on Minnesota 1 in Ely. Another 40 projects will improve railroad crossings, as well as runways and terminals at regional airports."

ODOT kicks off record-breaking road-work season

The Columbus Dispatch

"Spring has arrived and orange barrels are blooming. The Ohio Department of Transportation kicked off its construction season yesterday at the north I-270/Rt. 23 interchange, where crews will start digging a first-of-its-kind trench this month to carry northbound express lanes on Rt. 23. Transportation projects across the state will total about $2.5 billion this year, the largest construction program in the state's history, said ODOT Director Jerry Wray."

Dozens of road projects slated for spring, summer in Naperville

Chicago Tribune

"With 145 road resurfacing projects scheduled for this year, Naperville city officials say they hope to minimize the inconvenience to residents....$11.6 million is being spent on street repaving, not including the Route 59 project. The resurfacing will occur in all four quadrants of the city and is being spread out....Ongoing Route 59 construction is widening to three lanes a 2.5 mile stretch of the road between I-88 and Aurora Avenue..."

Taking the Interstate? Leave the house early; Omaha roads face busy construction season

Omaha World Herald

"Nothing says spring quite like the arrival of orange cones, lane shifts and road closures....The start of road construction season means relief is on its way for some major traffic snarls that slow thousands of drivers. This year's list of metro-area projects includes $37 million in work along portions of Omaha's three Interstates. During the mild winter weather, crews got a head start on bridge work as part of the Interstate expansion projects....It's a good thing because this construction season is revving up to be one of the Road Department's busiest in recent years."

Utah drivers prepare: UDOT names top 10 construction projects for 2014

KSTU

"Summer is the season when orange traffic cones seem to sprout along Utah roadways, and officials with the Utah Department of Transportation announced their top 10 statewide projects for the year....Weight said they have about 175 projects planned for this year, but she said most of those projects are routine maintenance and should wrap up quickly. She said crews will work at night when possible in order to reduce the impact on drivers."

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