AGC SmartBrief February 2016 | Videos: Construction 90% Complete at Vikings Stadium

Videos: Construction 90% complete at Vikings stadium | $3.7B energy project could be built in Ark. | Calif. high-speed rail wants an extra $150M for rising construction costs

FEBRUARY 17, 2016
AGC SmartBrief
News for contractors and the construction industry

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Videos: Construction 90% complete at Vikings stadium 
Minnesota Vikings
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Mortensen Construction is 90% finished with construction of the $1.1 billion National Football League stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. About two-thirds of the seats, purple of course, have been placed in the 1.75 million-square-foot structure, drainage is being installed and several punch lists have been completed. The stadium should be ready before the fall football season. Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) (2/16), Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (2/16)
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Infrastructure & Project Focus Sponsored By
$3.7B energy project could be built in Ark. 
Energy Security Partners, led by retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark and former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, is considering building a $3.7 billion gas-to-liquids facility in Pine Bluff, Ark., that would create more than 5,000 jobs during the build-out. The project would be the largest in the state's history. KUAR-FM (Little Rock, Ark.)(2/16), Arkansas Business (2/16)
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Calif. high-speed rail wants an extra $150M for rising construction costs 
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is concerned about the increasing cost of construction of the 29-mile segment from Fresno to Madera and wants an extra $150 million in contingency funding. Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons was awarded the $1 billion contract for the section, with a $160 million contingency allocation. "We feel pretty good that management and mitigation might not warrant the potential increase, but it's still something important to get out there and make the board aware," said a spokeswoman for the authority. The entire 520-mile high-speed rail line could cost $68 billion. The Fresno Bee (Calif.) (free registration) (2/16)
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Crack fixed in concrete sill at Panama Canal 
Panama Canal
(Ed Grimaldo/AFP/Getty Images)
In August, a crack appeared in one of the concrete sills at the Panama Canal expansion project, setting the project a bit behind schedule. Testing determined that too little steel reinforcement was used, and water seeped between the lower and middle chambers. The crack has been fixed and successfully tested. The canal expansion is scheduled to open in June. (2/15)
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Brooklyn, N.Y., could get its largest office tower 
Forest City Ratner and Greenland Holdings, a Chinese real estate company, want to build a 1.5 million-square-foot office tower in Brooklyn, N.Y., and are looking to transfer development rights for the project to a site across from Barclays Center. The effort is part of the developers' $5 billion Pacific Park project, formerly known as Atlantic Yards. The state must approve the proposal. Crain's New York Business (2/16)
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Great Plains Bonding Inc achieves Drivers Level
The Merchants Bonding Company Leaderboard Program recognizes Great Plains Bonding Inc of Sioux Falls, SD, for achieving the Drivers Tour of surety professionals. Drivers level agencies are represented by agents who demonstrate surety savvy and commitment to growth. Congratulations to Great Plains Bonding Inc. Thank you for your partnership.
Economic Update
Multifamily housing to continue growth in 2016 
Apartment construction
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Last year, 188,000 apartment units opened up across the country, and experts expect more will be built this year. That could increase the vacancy rate and curb the feverish rise in rents. But even these changing fundamentals will be a mild compared to the still-increasing demand for apartments, according to this article. National Real Estate Investor online (2/16)
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Fed to weigh conflicting data in determining rate path 
Federal Reserve officials will have to weigh US full employment and inflation nearing 2% against global factors when deciding on interest rates in March, experts say. "At this point in time, uncertainty in financial markets will probably take the upper hand; with turbulence ongoing they're more likely to say we need more time to assess," said Michael Feroli, chief US economist at JPMorgan Chase. Bloomberg (2/15)
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Innovation & Technology Sponsored By
$1B city could be developed to test Internet of Things tech 
House model showcasing Internet of Things tech
(Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)
Pegasus Global Holdings, a telecom and defense equipment vendor, is reportedly spending $1 billion to develop a medium-size city in rural New Mexico. The urban site, which would have no residents but streets, big-box stores, homes and more, would provide a safe space for companies looking to test Internet of Things technology that's not ready for public streets yet. Some critics point out that the real test of new tech is how it interacts with humans, something the test city will not be able to offer. Network World (2/16)
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Construction Career Pathways Close the Skills Gap
Last November, NCCER's Construction Career Pathways Conference hosted more than 160 representatives from the construction industry and education. These representatives worked together to create actionable goals for developing and improving construction career pathways. Find out why they thought it was important by watching the Construction Career Pathways video.
Policy Watch
CBO looks at alternative funding mechanisms for transportation projects 
Congressional Budget Office
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A report from the Congressional Budget Office notes that funding mechanisms for highway construction do not always match the need. CBO is suggesting that the country consider mileage fees, congestion pricing or tolls as funding sources in addition to the gas tax. The US spends about $50 billion annually for transportation projects but only collects about $34 billion from the federal gas tax. The Hill (2/16)
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Get social: Follow AGC today and join the conversation 
Follow AGC on Facebook and Twitter and be the first to know about important news related to construction and AGC. Follow us on both and add to the discussion by visiting Facebook and Twitter. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn and see what we're up to on YouTube and Instagram.
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Constructor Marketplace: Search for contractor services and construction supplies in one place 
Need a vendor? Reach thousands of suppliers and service providers in one place: AGC's official purchasing directory, Constructor Marketplace. This site places you in contact with vendors from more than 50 categories -- everything from acoustical and drywall to windows -- quickly, so you can get the materials or the help you need to get the job done right. Use Constructor Marketplace's free Request for Proposal Automator to request custom project bids from multiple Marketplace vendors with just a few clicks. Advertising is available: Place your products or services in front of thousands of contractors per month, one-third of whom are repeat visitors. For more information about advertising, e-mail Jamie Williams. To add your basic listing or update a listing, e-mail Tracy Venzen. This Buyers' Guide is not the AGC Online Member Directory. To access the AGC Member Directory, please visit
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If anything is worth trying at all, it's worth trying at least 10 times."
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