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Agencies aim to cut red tape hampering infrastructure projects

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and six federal agency or department counterparts joined President Donald Trump in a meeting at the Oval Office last month to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing to the One Federal Decision framework for major infrastructure projects.

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Mayors, governors promote P3s for public buildings

A bipartisan group of 14 mayors and 10 governors have sent letters to Congressional leadership expressing their strong support for the Public Buildings Renewal Act (S. 3177/ H.R.5361) or PBRA, which will spur private investment in rebuilding America’s unsafe and dilapidated public buildings. The bill would permit state and local governments to access $5 billion in private activity bonds (PAB) for the financing of critical construction and infrastructure projects for qualified schools, hospitals, courthouses, universities, police stations, and prisons.

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Underwriters scrutinize hurricane-prone states’ building code adoption

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s 2018 edition of Rating the States follows a disastrous year of storms, authors note, and is well timed to inform discussion and action to improve building strength as communities repair or replace hurricane-damaged properties.

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Resiliency Council eyes buildings’ seismic factors

Growing concern over the threat of a major earthquake in California has sparked a statewide movement for resiliency and pending legislation that calls for the identification of buildings most vulnerable to seismic damage and collapse. Scientists contend that stress along the San Andreas fault has been building with little relief since the mid-1800s. The next “Big One” could come at any moment and reach a 7.5 or higher magnitude. The force of such an event could result in twice the damage of Hurricane Katrina and be up to 45 times more destructive than the Northridge earthquake that hit southern California in 1994.

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