Industry Spotlight

Interface Consulting News:

  • Interface expands its global services by forming new client alliances in Europe and South America
  • Interface increases its resources with highly talented personnel by hiring Travis Wingo to its consultant and expert team; Mr. Wingo comes to Interface with a degree in construction management and extensive domestic and international experience in commercial and industrial construction

Construction Arbitration and Litigation

New AAA construction rules offer certainty to arbitration of construction disputes

Saul Ewing, LLP

"The American Arbitration Association ("AAA") unveiled supplementary rules for construction proceedings that seek to remove some uncertainty from the resolution of construction disputes. The new rules...permit the parties to predetermine certain aspects affecting the cost and time necessary to resolve their construction dispute. The parties may elect to place limits on the time within which the arbitration must be completed and the number of days to hold hearings."

Contractor Wants Another $400 Million for 405 Widening Project

LA Weekly

"The project was initially budgeted at a cool $1 billion, which rose to $1.1 billion. But now the contractor, Kiewit, says it is owed another $400 million....In its complaint...Kiewit blames the MTA for 'active negligence and active interference' that affected 'virtually every aspect and area of the design and construction of the Project.'...Dave Sotero, an MTA spokesman, said that the agency is still trying to negotiate with Kiewit to resolve the outstanding issues."

Who's to blame for faulty Morrison Bridge repairs?

KOIN6

"Conway Construction is suing the subcontractor, Virginia-based Zellcomp, who supplied the fiber reinforced polymer decking....In the meantime, Pullen said the county can't wait to fix the failing bridge. 'We can't wait for the litigation to run its course because we feel like it needs to be replaced as soon as possible,' said Pullen....The Morrison deck repair project is estimated to cost $7.3 million, Pullen said."

Construction Law

When Is a Construction Defect a Mere Business Risk and Not Insurable?

JD Supra

"Happily this holding is easily understood and consistent with the general view that faulty workmanship can be an occurrence, potentially covered in a CGL policy where neither expected nor intended by the insured....[D]espite the ever creative arguments from coverage counsel for insurers who seek to avoid coverage, as long as the faulty workmanship caused measurable property damage to other property, not just to the work or product of the insured, the CGL policy should provide coverage for construction defect claims, despite the wide array of conditions, exclusions and endorsements limiting the scope of coverage."

Increased Cost

Unprecedented construction in Iowa City and at UI drives up

The Gazette

"You can look toward the sky at the many towering construction cranes to gather how busy the construction scene is in the Iowa City area....Thirty-three percent, 23 percent and 6 percent - those are how much higher the lowest bids received this spring for projects from Iowa City...were than the professionally calculated estimates. A major reason...is what is believed to be an unprecedented amount of construction occurring in Johnson County. As much as $2 billion worth of projects are underway or planned, and that has put labor and some materials at a premium."

Vermont Gas pipeline cost soars 40 percent

Burlington Free Press

"The utility announced...that Phase 1 of expanding gas service in Addison county, from Colchester to Middlebury, will cost $35.6 million more than originally planned. Vermont Gas cited as reasons increased construction costs, changes to accommodate people living along the route, and 'enhanced project oversight.'...Sinclair said it's 'premature' to determine exactly how rates will be affected by the cost increase, adding that the new estimate 'doesn't affect the economic fundamentals in any way.'"

Construction Economics

Feds warn states: Road construction money running out

CNN

"The Obama administration is sending letters to all 50 states warning that it will limit road construction spending beginning August 1 unless Congress acts to fund a dwindling federal trust fund that helps pay for such projects. For motorists, that could mean everything from renewed encounters with axle-crunching potholes to more congestion as traffic is managed more tightly on outdated bridges. For state and local governments, it means juggling infrastructure maintenance and upgrades with an unsteady source of funds to carry out those priorities."

Plaintiffs in Texas Lawsuit Seek Pay for Riding Company Bus

Lawyersandsettlements.com

"A large number of Texas-based employees associated with RMF Nooter Inc. are unhappy with their employer with regard to a lack of compensation for travel time, and are participating in a class-action lawsuit citing violations to Texas Employment and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)....They hold that while they are satisfied getting to and from the embarkation point where they meet the transport buses on their own time, once they board the transport for the ride to the work site - and conversely, once they have returned to the original embarkation point - only then should the clock stop running."

Texas Comptroller releases analysis on school construction costs

KGNS

"An analysis of new school construction costs released by the Texas Comptroller's office today shows the cost for some campuses varied by nearly $200 per square foot....Susan Combs is making policy recommendations to help school districts and taxpayers monitor construction efficiency and compare costs....The Comptroller's analysis shows there are practices school districts can implement to save tax payer dollars. For example,...Cypress-Fairbanks ISD uses architectural prototypes that suit elementary, middle or high schools, saving months of construction time and hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Schedule Delays

Design issues delay Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project

Long Beach Press Telegram

"Building the state's first major cable-stayed bridge...has not been an easy feat....Now, engineers, who have already completed about 65 to 70 percent of the design work, are encountering bigger issues in designing the new bridge's foundations and its towers, complications that officials this week said will delay one of the port's biggest projects by 12 to 18 months and push up the costs of a $1.263 billion project that has already seen budget increases."

Xcel management blamed for cost overruns at Monticello nuclear plant

Star Tribune

"An investigation of Xcel Energy Inc.'s massive cost overruns during a five-year project to upgrade its oldest nuclear reactor in Monticello is placing much of the blame on the company's management for letting it happen....The project to extend the plant's life and increase power output ballooned from an estimated $320 million in 2008 to $665 million when it was completed last year. However, the final price tag likely will rise to $748 million, including construction-in-progress financial costs."

Contractor blames winters for 8-month delay in lift station construction

Journal & Courier

"RL Turner Construction Co. President...didn't impress members of the West Lafayette Board of Works with his explanation why his company is eight months behind schedule constructing a lift station on the city's north side....'He answered, 'Winter,'' Booker said after [the] meeting....While last winter was particularly brutal, the project, if it had been completed on time, would have been finished...two months before the polar vortexes and snow storms that plagued Indiana."

Industry Spotlight

Louisiana Construction Progress Defies Budget Constraints

After Louisiana state legislators amply prepared its construction budget, Governor Bobby Jindal is now faced with the task of narrowing down the anticipated construction project list due to state budgetary restrictions. Construction improvements and projects will no doubt be affected by these financial decisions; however, even though there are concerns regarding the allotment of the state budget beginning in July, important infrastructure expansions are already taking place across The Pelican State, including universities, interstates, airports, and apartments.

La. construction projects queue overloaded

The Advocate

"Like Santa filling his sack with toys on Christmas Eve, legislators crammed plenty of goodies into the state construction budget before leaving the State Capitol this year....Just one problem exists: Legislators were too generous. The state can't afford the heavy slate of projects, forcing Gov. Bobby Jindal to pick and choose which ones move forward....$355 million can be borrowed for new projects[,]...[and] legislators missed the borrowing limit by roughly $380 million."

What's happening now: UL construction update

The Advertiser

"Construction is underway at nearly every corner of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette....'In this case, most of the projects were initiated by our students,' Bill Crist said....'Hopefully when they come back as alumni, they will take a lot of pride in what they've done....I'm excited to be a part of it. We're shaping this campus for great things, for a great future.'"

DOTD to pursue design-build construction for I-49 South project

The Advertiser

"Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas announced plans to move forward with the construction of I-49 South by pursuing a design-build contract for the construction of the U.S.90/La. 318 interchange....'The completion of I-49 South is a priority for the state,' said Secretary LeBas. 'With the support of Governor Jindal, we're able to pursue innovative ways, such as the design-build method, to move us one step closer to achieving our goal of upgrading U.S. 90 to interstate standards.'"

Competition for $546 million airport construction contract gets underway again

The Times-Picayune

"New Orleans airport officials...officially restarted the process of finding a team to oversee the $546 million construction of a new terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport....The 650,000-square foot terminal will feature two concourses and 30 gates and a centralized security checkpoint. There will also be a new, 2,000-space parking garage. Despite the delay, the Aviation Board has vowed to see the terminal completed by March 2018."

Work begins at mixed-income apartment development in Terrebonne Parish

Daily Reporter

"Site development has begun along Bayou Cane where an apartment complex designed for low- and middle-income families will be built....Work is expected to be completed in 2015. The Terrebonne Parish Council approved the use of $5.7 million in Community Development Block Grant money for the development in July 2013....Officials told The Courier...that the remainder of the development's $13.5 million total cost will be covered by tax credits."

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