In what has and will continue to be one of the more controversial construction projects in American history, the US/Mexico border wall appears to be moving forward and there are many construction firms across the country that are very interested in the $20 billion project.
Posted by Federal Business Opportunities on February 24, 2017 and modified on March 3, 2017, the border wall has already drawn interest from 180 different construction companies, according to CityLab. The formal solicitation of the project to interested parties will be sent out on March 8. Preliminary planning estimates for the all include a requirement for a 30 foot tall wall made of concrete that “meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage.” According to the notice, the contract procurement will be broken into two phases:
1. Vendors will be required to submit a concept paper of their prototype(s) of the design-build structure by March 20, 2017. Those prototypes will then be evaluated and the finalists, or “down select,” will be chosen to proceed to phase 2.
2. Proposals will be submitted in response to the request for proposal (RFP) by May 3, 2017, including the price.
“The intent of the procurement,” the notice says, “is to acquire and evaluate available wall prototypes and provide some initial construction of some wall segments, but is not intended as the vehicle for the procurement of the total wall solution for the border with Mexico.” The notice also explains that multiple awards are intended to be issued, so it sounds like they are not planning to rely on only one company to finish the massive project on time.
The Trump Administration will be pushing to complete the wall, which will span around 2,000 miles, by the end of 2020. That’s a breakneck speed for not only the bid process, but also the construction. According to the MIT Technology Review, half of the 2,000 miles already contain natural borders, like mountains and other natural barriers, so the actually wall may only be 1,000 miles.
It’s hard to imagine that the due diligence process, the design, and actual construction of the wall could even allow for the wall to be completed by 2020, especially with the plethora of lawsuits that are undoubtedly going to be hurled its way, for not only political reasons but also environmental concerns. However, if the most powerful person in the country insists it will be done, it’s at least got a fighting chance.
What do you think? Is $20 billion and less than 4 years going to be enough to complete the wall?
In March of this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would begin taking orders on their Solar Roof Shingle concept. Tesla Solar Roof is a solar power roof system that eliminates the need for bulky solar panels installed over top of traditional roof materials. Instead, the shingles themselves, which come in a variety of different styles, are the solar panels.
At the company’s second quarter earnings report, Tesla announced that the first solar roof installations have been completed.
Construction crews in Parma, Idaho were busy working onmulti-story onion shed, when the under construction structure collapsed, sending some that were on the roof down with it. 14 crew members were either on the structure or around it at the time of collapse, but 6 of them were transported to the hospital. First responders on the scene explained that it was lucky that only 6 were injured.
Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long. After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry. They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore. ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.
You may remember a story we shared at the end of June about a rescue of a construction worker who was dangling from a suspended scaffold 15 stories in the air. The Sarasota County Fire Department completed a very skilled rescue, in which one firefighter scaled down the side of the building to the trapped worker, attached him to a harness, and both men were hoisted back up to the roof. The cause of that failure was a snapped line. At that time, the fire chief mentioned that he rarely sees events like this and that only 5 or 6 rescues like this have happened in his 29 year career.
OSHA currently controls over 20 laws that protect workers who file safety complaints against their employer or other employees. In general, whistleblowers are protected against retaliation from their employer.
In August of 2016, it was discovered that a luxury high rise condominium complex in San Francisco, which houses several celebrities, was sinking and leaning considerably. The 58-story Millennium Tower contains home that range in value of anywhere from $1.6 million to $10 million. Since the discovery, fingers have been pointed in all directions and several lawsuits have been filed.
In January of this year, tragedy struck a Florida construction company when 3 construction workers died while working underground below a newly paved road. After the first worker entered the hole and collapsed after entering the confined space through a manhole, the second went in to rescue him and also collapsed, followed by the third. After a post-incident investigation, OSHA has released their findings, as well as several fines.
In late June, OSHA pushed the enforcement of their 2016 rule which will require employers to electronically submit injury and illness reports from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017. At that time it was unknown when the administration would launch the platform to submit the data online, but that has now been decided.
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Just last November, a massive Five-Alarm fire rocked a multi-story residential building that was almost 80% complete at the time, completely destroying the project. This month, yet another multi-story residential tower that was almost complete caught fire, making it the 5th in 5 year to suffer the same fate. At least 3 of the previous 3 fires have been ruled as arson but, up to this point, no arrests for any of the previous arsons have been made.