PCA finds more liquidity to Highway Trust Fund shoring than meets the eye

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Initial reports find Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) call for an increase in federal gasoline and diesel taxes—aimed at shoring up the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) longer term while preventing potential road construction work stoppages this season—will spur a $164 billion increase in HTF revenues.

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Design-build delivery method crosses 50 percent threshold on major projects

Sources: Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Research indicates that more than half of construction projects above $10 million are being completed through design-build, the highest level yet for the delivery method offering an alternative to traditional competitive bid-build. A new DBIA report, “Design-Build Project Delivery Market Share and Market Size,” also finds that use of design-build had remained steady since a growth spike at the end of the last decade, and remains especially high in military projects.

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Bowco acquisition broadens Meadow Burke footprint in underground precast

Source: Meadow Burke, Tampa, Fla.

Meadow Burke has closed on Bowco Industries, crediting the Canby, Ore., company for customer service, high-quality design, and setting “the standard for precision-engineered products for the utility and underground precast industry,” and bringing “Meadow Burke another facet of revolutionary advantage of any other company in the industry.”

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Microsoft founder ties concrete to a halving of world’s extreme poverty rate

Sources: CP staff; Bill Gates’ gatesnotes blog

In “Have You Hugged a Concrete Pillar Today?,”  Microsoft founder Bill Gates takes stock of Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, the latest work from his favorite author: “[Vaclav Smil] argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, both in terms of the amount we produce each year and the total mass we’ve laid down.”

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Unistress lands $70M precast bridge deck panel contract from Tappan Zee JV

Sources: Unistress Corp., Pittsfield, Mass.; Tappan Zee Constructors LLC, Tarrytown, N.Y.; CP staff

Unistress will invest $6 million in capacity upgrades and add 100-plus production staff to support the largest contract in its 46-year history: 6,000 precast panels, typically 40- x 12-ft., for the New NY Bridge. Upon scheduled 2018 opening, the 3.1-mile, $3.9-billion Hudson River crossing will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, linking Westchester and Rockland, N.Y., counties and nearing its 60th year in service.

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Lafarge, Oldcastle, NPCA and PCI advance Precast Product Category Rule

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; National Precast Concrete Association, Carmel, Ind.; CP staff

To support development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) catering to contracts for green building certification candidate projects—especially those targeting the recently released LEED v4— precasters and allied groups are finalizing a North American Precast Concrete Category Rule (PCR) through program operator ASTM International.

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OSHA web tool promotes plant, site accident prevention

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Timed with the recent American Society of Safety Engineers conference in Orlando, OSHA released an interactive training tool to help identify common hazards in construction and manufacturing workplaces. Users will learn hazard identification skills, plus abatement and control.

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ACI Foundation opens fellowship, scholarship applications

Source: ACI Foundation, Farmington Hills, Mich.

The American Concrete Institute’s ACI Foundation is accepting through October 15 applications for 10 undergraduate fellowships, plus one undergraduate and eight graduate scholarships during the 2015-2016 academic year. ACI Foundation Fellowships range from $7,000 to $10,000, and are awarded to high-potential undergraduate and graduate students who are studying engineering, construction management, or other related fields of study in the area of concrete.

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PCA Bridge Award entry deadline nears

Source: Portland Cement Association Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

PCA is accepting through June 30 entries for the 14th biennial Bridge Awards competition, recognizing excellence in design and construction of cast-in-pllace or precast concrete crossings. Eligible structures are highway, rail, transit, pedestrian or wildlife crossings essentially completed between October 2011 and September 2013, and located in the U.S. or Canada.

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