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Energy Department laboratory hosts 3D-printed turbine foundation tests

A $250,000 infusion from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program will position Boulder-based concrete construction specialist RCAM Technologies and technology integrator Accucode Inc. to develop wind energy components using 3D printing methods. The grant supports RCAM work on a concrete wind turbine foundation with the potential to reduce offshore deployment costs by up to $4 million per structure and $400 million per plant. The firm will use the funding to expand its 3D concrete printing capabilities at two Colorado partner locations: the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, and Accucode’s new Colorado Springs facility.

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Design-build solution tames combined sewer overflow discharges

The $78 million Southwestern Parkway Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Basin project, a component of Louisville and Jefferson County (Ky.) Metropolitan Sewer District’s federal Consent Decree to mitigate CSO discharges to local waterways, received the Design-Build Institute of America’s 2019 Best in Engineering Design Award and National Award of Excellence (Water/Wastewater) recognition.

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Transportation economist: 2020 outlays outpace inflation

The U.S. transportation infrastructure market is expected to grow at least 5 percent this year, fueled by increased federal, state and local government investment, according to American Road & Transportation Builders Association Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black. Total construction and related-market activity in 2020 should reach $300.4 billion, up from $286.5 billion in 2019 after adjusting for project costs and inflation.

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Labor Board walks back union election rule’s ‘ambush’ aspects

A lengthy, late-2019 notice in the Federal Register outlines modifications to the National Labor Relations Board’s Representation–Case Procedures rule, which saw 25 amendments in 2014-2105 as a part of a significant policy shift under President Barack Obama. Changes effective April 2020 sunset certain provisions enabling what opponents dubbed “ambush elections” by narrowing the window between a union petition for bargaining unit representation and rank & file voting from a 38- to 28-day average.

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Transportation, equipment contact lead fatal work injury categories

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 5,250 fatal work injuries in 2018, a 2 percent increase from the prior year’s 5,147 figure, but agency officials note that the fatal work injury rate last year remained unchanged at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) for 2018, released late last month, and indicate mostly year-over-year figures:

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