As of early March, there were nearly 200 construction companies that marked themselves as “interested” in constructing the US/Mexico border wall. The Daily Mail now reports that over 600 have expressed interest in the design and construction of the wall. The Request for Proposal (RFP) package for the conceptual design of the wall was released on March 17th and the responses are due no later than March 29th.
There are plenty of people that have very strong feelings about the border wall and there are now several politicians that have submitted bills in various states that would punish contractors for being involved with the wall.
Last week, two San Francisco supervisors, Hillary Ronen and Aaron Peskin, introduced legislation that keep any contractor that bids on the wall from doing any government work for the city of San Francisco in the future, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oakland City Council introduced similar legislation last week, as well.
The Berkeley, CA city council has already approved a resolution that would allow the city to divest from a contractor that is involved with the wall in any capacity.
Hensel Phelps Construction and Tutor Perini Corp. currently hold large contracts with San Francisco. The Chronicle states that Hensel Phelps is under contract to build a new terminal at the San Francisco International Airport for $1.1 billion and Tutor Perini holds an $860 million contract to build the Central Subway for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. Although current contracts would not be affected under the legislation, it would prevent the companies from bidding on any further city work, if they moved forward with the border wall process.
Nily Rozic, an Assemblywoman in New York, introduced a bill that “would prevent the state from signing contracts or investing in companies hired for the federal project,” CBS New York reported.
Letita James, a NYC Public Advocate, also plans to submit legislation to ban construction firms, which participate in the border wall, from doing business with New York City, according to Newsday. She also plans to request that the city’s public employee pension fund divest from construction firms that participate.
Illinois State Senator Martin A. Sandoval introduced SB2091 that would label companies that participate in the border wall as a “restricted company,” if they want to do business with the state of Illinois. As of March 16th, Sandoval’s bill has been postponed.
Companies involved with the wall will undoubtedly face public backlash and many expect plenty of lawsuits to be filed in order to delay or kill the wall all together. It will be interesting to see which companies will drop out of the running and which will continue to explore the opportunity.
Construction sites can often be some pretty spooky places, especially when unexpected items and creatures, like human remains, are found on the property. They can also be the site of some heavy superstition, like at several projects in Iceland that were believed to be delayed by hidden elves. But, according to one contractor, there’s something especially spooky about the childhood home of serial killer Ted Bundy.
Cranes collapse for a variety of different reasons. Some are overloaded, some catch on fire, and others succumb to high wind loads. Regardless of the reason, a falling crane can cause tons of damage and have the potential to kill on-site workers and pedestrians walking near the job site.
A recent crawler crane collapse in Northern Italy could have been much worse as the crane, carrying a large section of viaduct, crashed to the ground.
On January 1, 2017, OSHA officially put into effect a revision to workplace injury and illness reporting that requires certain employers to submit recorded information of these instances electronically. Companies were to submit all of this information from the previous year (2016) by July 1, 2017, but now that due date is in jeopardy.
According to the US Department of Labor (US DOL), the construction industry has the highest rate of current drug users (15.6%) as compared to any other industry in the United States. As the city of New York grapples with trying to reduce their alarming rate of injuries and fatalities on construction sites, the New York chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has proposed that lawmakers add mandatory drug and alcohol testing for construction workers to the law books, according to the New York Daily News.
Feeling the pressure of 9 straight quarters with a decline in total revenue, Caterpillar has acquired the equipment sharing startup, Yard Club, to get help dig themselves out of the dirt. Their most recent quarter was the company’s first positive revenue quarter since November of 2012.
Last year, Tesla announced a new disruptive product to the market in the form of solar roof shingles. Unlike traditional solar roof panels, these shingles mimic the look of traditional terra cotta, clay, and slate tiles, creating a more aesthetically pleasing look. This week, the company began taking pre-orders for the roof shingles and also released a cost calculator.
The worst day on the job is when someone on site gets injured. The 2nd through 500th worst days are the legal battle that follows many of those injuries. Nobody expects accidents to happen, but it’s best to be adequately prepared if one does. That not only includes knowing how to react to injuries with a safety plan, but also making sure your company’s documentation is in order in case lawsuits start flying.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is constantly researching ways to improve construction process and materials, like this material 10 times the strength of steel, or this solar cell that’s lighter than a soap bubble, or this “reversible concrete.” This time the Institute is showing off its autonomous robot that can spit out building structures on site within hours.
Holding the distinction of having the world’s tallest building is a coveted milestone for designers, builders, and countries alike, but no one has been able to top the 2,722 foot tall Burj Khalifa yet, since it opened in early 2010. The 2nd tallest tower in the world, the Shanghai Tower, opened 5 years later and stands 2,073 feet tall. Just recently, two more gigantic buildings opened their doors, taking over the 4th and 5th spots on the list for tallest in the world, pushing America’s One World Trade Center into 6th place.