Construction Industry News

Construction Adds 36,000 Jobs in Jan., Jobless Rate Dips from 2017

February 15, 2018
Tom Ichniowski – ENR

The construction industry saw a jump of 36,000 jobs in January and a sharp year-over-year drop in its unemployment rate but an upturn from December’s rate, the Labor Dept. has reported.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Productivity Gains Found in New BLS Data

February 7, 2018
Alisa Zevin – ENR

After decades of reports about stagnant or slipping construction productivity, a new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study, “Measuring Productivity Growth in Construction,” shows gains in several construction sectors. Many economists say the study uses more reliable productivity measures than those used before.

Ms. Zevin may be contacted at

Contractor Faces Charges in 2016 Trench-Collapse Death

January 31, 2018
Tim Newcomb - ENR

For the first time in Washington state history, an employer faces felony charges for a workplace fatality.

Harold Felton, 36, died in a January 2016 trench collapse at a West Seattle residential sewer-line project. Phillip Numrich, 40, then-owner of Alki Construction, now faces second-degree manslaughter charges, filed on Jan. 5 by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

OSHA Cites Contractor Following Trench Collapse

January 24, 2018
Johanna Knapschaefer – Engineering News Record

Schnabel Foundation faces up to $212,396 in proposed penalties in connection with the death of Mark Camire

Following the death of a 32-year-old Dunbarton, N.H. laborer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Schnabel Foundation Co. for failing to protect its employees against crushing hazards while installing permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn, Mass., Public Library.

New Customer Service Role Raises Client Advocacy to Its Highest Level

January 10, 2018
Jim Parsons - ENR

It’s the rare construction firm that doesn’t pride itself on putting customers first. But are those customers getting what they truly want? And when employees are asked to go the extra mile on a project, are they clear about where to go?

Construction Set for $40-Million Music Center Plaza Renovation in Los Angeles

January 5, 2018
Greg Aragon – Engineering News-Record

Construction is set to kick off next month on The Music Center plaza’s extensive $40 million renovation in Downtown Los Angeles. After receiving approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on December 19, the 53-year-old plaza is poised for a major transformation into a new, modern outdoor gathering space.

San Francisco Issues Rules for High-Rise Foundations

December 20, 2017
Nadine Post - ENR

Projects sited in areas with the worst soil—in high-risk seismic zones and subject to liquefaction—would require more than one geotechnical engineer on the peer-review team.

Ms. Post may be contacted at

L.A. Gives Notice to Owners of Older Concrete Structures About Seismic Retrofits

December 1, 2017
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

Earlier this month, just over two years after Los Angeles passed a law requiring seismic retrofits of older, nonductile concrete buildings, the city’s Dept. of Building and Safety began sending compliance orders to owners. The L.A. retrofit ordinance, which also includes requirements for weak first-story wood-framed buildings, was the first of its kind in the U.S.

Ms. Post may be contacted at

Growth to Remain Modest in 2018

November 15, 2017
Alisa Zevin & Tim Grogan – Engineering News-Record

A dip in public works combined with a substantial decrease in utility work, weak industrial markets and slower-than-anticipated growth in residential construction all put a damper on general construction growth in 2017. The consensus among economic forecasts analyzed by ENR indicates a very modest rebound in growth in 2018.

Reprinted courtesy of Alisa Zevin, ENR and Tim Grogan, ENR
Ms. Zevin may be contacted at

Construction Begins on Historic Napa Courthouse Damaged by Earthquake

November 8, 2017
Greg Aragon - Engineering News-Record

Richmond, CA-based Alten Construction has begun construction on the historical Napa County Courthouse in Napa, CA. The $11.6-million project will repair the courthouse, which was damaged by the South Napa earthquake that hit August 24, 2014.

ENR may be contacted at

DOT Test Program Could Widen Construction Drone Use

November 2, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

The Trump administration is launching a pilot program that seeks to expand the use of aerial drones, a move that could increase that spread of the aircraft in the construction industry.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Houston Could Learn Something From Austin About Managing Stormwater

October 26, 2017
Peter Coy - Bloomberg

Austin is already ahead of Houston in its approach to stormwater runoff, and it may be about to extend its lead. The Texas capital is working on a rewrite of its building code that, if passed by the city council next year, would require that most rain be absorbed where it falls instead of running off and causing problems elsewhere.

ASCE Tackles Climate Change in New Guide for Resilient Structures

October 19, 2017
Pam Radtke Russell - Engineering News-Record

Insurance companies, governments and some businesses are looking to engineers to build more-resilient structures to accommodate changing climate and weather extremes. But some engineers may not know how to incorporate into their designs consistently the unknowns of future rainfall and storms.

Ms. Russell may be contacted at

New York City Adopts New Construction Safety Training Law

October 11, 2017
Richard Korman - Engineering News-Record

The New York City Council adopted on Sept. 27 a municipal construction safety law requiring workers on many projects to have 40 to 55 hours of safety training, well above the minimums required by federal law.

Mr. Korman may be contacted at

Reducing Uncertainty in Construction – Interview with Brittanie Campbell-Turner

September 28, 2017
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

Brittanie Campbell-Turner is a Construction Management professional and a podcast host. In this interview, we discuss construction productivity, ways to make it better, and the Constructrr podcast.

Brittanie Campbell-TurnerHere’s what Brittanie says about herself and her podcast: “I’ve been servicing the engineering and construction management industry for 10+ years having specialized in project controls and schedule management. I’m currently a Project Management Consultant at Mace, and I am always researching ways to positively impact the construction industry by implementing best practices and innovative ideas through The Constructrr Podcast at

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

Miami's Downed Construction Cranes Spark Debate on Safety

September 20, 2017
Nathan Crooks - Bloomberg

In Miami’s central Edgewater district along Biscayne Bay on Wednesday, a collapsed construction crane hung from the top of a high-rise condominium under development, dangling over low-rise apartments below. Residents wondered why it hadn’t been taken down or better secured as Hurricane Irma headed toward the city.

Hurricane Inc.: Chasing Billions From Ever Costlier Disasters

September 14, 2017
Prashant Gopal - Bloomberg

Frank Jones’s cell phone chimes: He’s landed another job. If he’s lucky, it could net him a cool million. “We got a monster house,” says Jones, driving through Houston in his Range Rover. His aptly named Cavalry Construction Co. is part of a legion of contractors and other entrepreneurs fanning out across Texas and Florida in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Don’t call him a storm chaser. Jones bristles at the term. Saviors to some, opportunists to others, these businesses clean up, in every sense, after hurricanes, tornadoes, and other catastrophes. Disaster is fueling a growth industry as more frequent and powerful storms lash coastal regions teeming with new homes and offices.

Help Available To Evaluate the Impact of Construction Delays

September 7, 2017
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

The American Society of Civil Engineers has published "Schedule Delay Analysis: Standard ANSI/ASCE/CI 67-17," which aims to help construction teams use the critical path method to determine the impact of construction delays on a project and calculate delay damages or liquidated damages.

Ms. Post may be contacted at

Kiewit-Led Team Wins Contract to Build $1.2B Central 70 Reconstruction in Denver

August 30, 2017
Mark Shaw - Engineering News-Record

The Colorado Dept. of Transportation has selected the Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP) to lead a public-private partnership that will design, build and finance a reconstruction of Interstate 70 through Denver. The $1.2-billion project, known as Central 70, is the biggest highway infrastructure project in the state’s history.

Mr. Shaw may be contacted at

NJ Building Contractor Sam Hochberger Dies at 88

August 24, 2017
Engineering News-Record

Sam Hochberger, founder and president of a Fort Lee, N.J., building contractor that had been involved in construction of the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, its main research library, died on July 4 of complications related to multiple myeloma, according to his family. He was 88.

ENR may be contacted at

Congress Faces 'Packed' Agenda After Aug. Break

August 17, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

When Congress returns after Labor Day from its break, lawmakers will be staring at deadlines just weeks ahead for at least three must-pass, construction-related measures. The list includes legislation to fund federal agencies for at least part of fiscal year 2018 and a measure to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration programs, including airport construction grants. The deadline for both bills is Sept. 30. Congress has made headway on the measures but almost certainly won’t have final votes by the deadline. That means lawmakers will turn to stopgap extensions.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

Australia Pitches Trump on a Plan to Fix America’s Roads and Bridges

August 10, 2017
Mark Niquette - Bloomberg

Among his many campaign promises, Donald Trump pledged to fix America’s crumbling roads and bridges with $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. Almost seven months into office, though, and two months removed from his vaunted “infrastructure week,” the president has revealed few details for how to pay for it. As his advisers look for ideas, a group of Australian politicians and executives has been lobbying for the administration to adopt a controversial policy of selling or leasing airports, toll roads, and other public facilities to raise money for infrastructure projects.

June Construction Spending Dips from May, Up Year over Year

August 2, 2017
Tom Ichniowski - Engineering News-Record

Construction spending in June slipped 1.3% from the previous month’s level, to an estimated $1.206-trillion annual rate but the total rose 1.6% year over year, the Commerce Dept. has reported.

Mr. Ichniowski may be contacted at

The Agonies of Building Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium

July 26, 2017
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

Just about every Tuesday for three years, structural-engineer Erleen Hatfield arose at 3:30 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight from New York City to Atlanta. The early riser was determined to make a 9:30 a.m. meeting for her most dynamic project in more than a quarter century of practice—a 2-million-sq-ft stadium with a 14.5-acre convertible roof that opens and closes at its center, much like a camera lens iris. The daring design, which brazenly departs from kinetic-roof sports architecture, makes earlier “boxes with sliding lids” look almost simple.

Ms. Post may be contacted at


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Post Harvey, How Can Texas Ensure History Doesn’t Repeat Itself?

PBS NewsHour reports on measures being taken to prevent the damage Hurricane Harvey caused.

One Woman’s story of Career Success in a Male-Dominated Industry.

LinkedIn presents the backstory of a woman working in the Highway Construction Industry as an Ironworker.

San Jose, CA Ramping up to be the Nation’s Top Housing Market of 2018

CBS reports the housing market in San Jose, California is at an all-time high with average home prices reaching $1 million while the amount of homes for sale are at an all-time low.

AGC of America Study Findings of Construction Workforce Shortage

The Associated General Contractors of America shares the results of a study regarding why construction firms are struggling to craft professionals to hire, how firms are trying to address the workforce shortages and proposed solutions by calling congress to action.

Progress in Puerto Rico, but still more to do

Fox News reports on the progress of relief efforts taking place in Puerto Rico following brutal hurricanes last fall.

Politicians weigh in on Flood Prevention in Houston

KHOU 11 reports on the idea to build homes higher in Houston Texas to help prevent flood damage such as Hurricane Harvey caused last fall.

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