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Team selected to replace 558 Pennsylvania bridges

Harrisburg, Pa. — PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch announced that Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners was selected for the department’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, a Public-Private Partnership (P3) to replace 558 bridges across the state. The team, which included 11 Pennsylvania-based subcontractors in its proposal, must begin construction in summer 2015 and complete the replacements within 36 months. The commonwealth retains ownership of the bridges, but the team is responsible for maintaining each bridge for 25 years after its replacement.

EPA invites communities to apply for assistance to build resilience, pursue revitalization

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches. EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country, including underserved communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies.

Officials celebrate opening of Englewood flyover

Chicago — Federal, state and local officials on Oct. 23 celebrated the opening of the $142 million Englewood flyover, a major railroad bridge that has eliminated a significant source of train delays on the south side of Chicago and has reduced emissions and noise from idling trains in the neighborhood. The flyover bridge replaced a crossing between the Metra Rock Island tracks and a set of Norfolk Southern tracks at 63rd and State St.

11th Street Bridge Park selects OMA + OLIN design

Washington, D.C. — After a seven-month nationwide competition, the 11th Street Bridge Park competition jury unanimously selected OMA + OLIN as the design team for Washington D.C.’s first elevated park over the Anacostia River. The design team was asked to transform an aged-out freeway bridge into a one of a kind new civic space over the Anacostia River.

NACTO announces Global Designing Cities Program

San Francisco — The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) announced that it will develop and publish a new Global Street Design Guide, the first-ever worldwide standard for designing city streets and prioritizing safety, pedestrians, transit and sustainable mobility. The guide is the first project of what will become the Global Designing Cities Program, a multi-year initiative to provide guidance on street and public space design to cities around the world.

Q3 engineering and construction deals continue to gain momentum

New York — The engineering and construction industry had a record-setting number of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions (valued at $50 million or more), with 66 deals in the third quarter of 2014, according to Engineering growth, a quarterly analysis of the global deal activity in the engineering and construction industry by PwC US. This represents the most deals seen in a single quarter since at least 2007, when PwC began reporting quarterly engineering and construction deal trends.

Infrastructure project coordination and collaboration saves Chicago more than $14.5 million

Chicago — The City of Chicago instituted its Project Coordination Office (PCO) in 2012 to facilitate coordination between multiple service providers within the public right of way. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) selected Collins Engineers, Inc., a Chicago civil and structural engineering firm, to administer the PCO and provide oversight for the coordination of all city utility construction activities. Under the management of the PCO, conflicts are now identified and addressed readily, reducing the risk of duplicated efforts on construction, contributing to $14.5 million in savings YTD 2014 with new processes implemented by the PCO, including the dotMaps application.

Alta Environmental to conduct stormwater monitoring program at Los Angeles World Airports

Los Angeles — The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) awarded a contract to Alta Environmental for environmental technical and expert consulting services for up to $5 million for three years on an as-needed basis. Under this contract, Alta will install new stormwater monitoring equipment and conduct stormwater monitoring, analysis, and reporting for Los Angeles International Airport, Ontario International Airport, and Van Nuys Airport.

Retrofitting old buildings to make them earthquake safe

Atlanta — Non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings built prior to the 1950s in California and prior to the 1980s in the central and Southeastern United States were typically not designed with proper details to perform adequately during earthquakes. Through a grant provided by the National Science Foundation, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology — along with partners at Virginia Tech, Rice University, Howard University and the University of California, Los Angeles — are testing retrofits that potentially can make these buildings safer and more secure.

Construction firms report trouble finding qualified workers to meet growing demand

Washington, D.C. — Most construction firms report they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as the industry recovers from its years-long downturn, according to the results of an industry-wide survey released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials called for new career and technical school programs, as well as other workforce measures to offset the labor shortages.

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