Heavy Construction News Mining for answers on abandoned mines — ScienceDaily

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Soil scientist Jim Ippolito believes in local solutions to local problems. The problem he’s working on is contaminated soils near abandoned mines.

In the western United States 160,000 abandoned mines contaminate soils in the region. Ippolito, associate professor of soil science at Colorado State University, hopes to solve this problem with biochar, a charcoal-like substance that can reduce the toxic consequences of mining for metals.

Biochar is made by burning plant material in a low-oxygen kiln. Ippolito proposes using western states plant materials such as dead lodge pole pine trees or pesky, nuisance trees — like the invasive tamarisk — as fodder for the kiln.

“I thought, why don’t we just use this stuff to make biochar?” said Ippolito. “It’s using local materials to solve a local problem.”

Abandoned mine sites are common in western states. Over the years, extracting precious metals like gold or silver left a legacy of high acidity in mining-affected soils.

“When you dig holes in the ground via mining and pull out rock that hasn’t seen the atmosphere in millions of years, the materials undergo a change,” said Ippolito. “These materials can start to acidify.”

When certain rock minerals are exposed to the atmosphere, they can form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid spreads like an infection, breaking down rocks around it. Some of these rocks contain heavy metals, like lead or copper, and most of the time the metals are harmless. The heavy metals turn into a problem when they become bioavailable — or when plants are able absorb them. Sulfuric acid makes metals more bioavailable to plants by releasing metals from rocks.

“A good analogy would be that the process sort of works just like the way our stomach acid works to break down food into components that are bioavailable to us,” said Ippolito.

The bioavailable heavy metals can pass into plant cell membranes and poison the plant. “You’ll find places near abandoned mines that are completely void of vegetation because of elevated bioavailable metals,” said Ippolito.

Most people cleaning up old mine sites mix lime into the soil to reduce acidity. Less acidity in the soil means less opportunity for plants to absorb heavy metals, because the metals change form from more to less bioavailable in the presence of lime.

Instead of lime, Ippolito wants to use biochar to reduce soil acidity. Biochar is typically produced by heating plant material in a sealed environment. “Basically you take wood, put it into a drum, seal it, and start a fire underneath it,” said Ippolito. “The material that’s left in the drum looks like charcoal.”

The research on the uses of biochar is extensive: it’s been tested as a water purifier, a fertilizer, a carbon sink and more. Ippolito’s biochar is special because it’s made from local trees that pose problems in western states. One of the trees is the lodge pole pine. Mountain pine beetles have decimated millions of acres of the lodge pole pine in western states and Canada. Rows and rows of trees lay like matchsticks. In dry regions, felled pines are a tinderbox for forest fires. Ippolito said making something useful from flammable, wasted trees can only be a good thing. He’s also proposing using tamarisk as a biochar feedstock. Tamarisk is an invasive species in western states. It clogs watersheds, robbing nutrients and water from native species.

The researchers made biochar from both trees and mixed it into four different soils from abandoned mine sites in Colorado and Idaho. They analyzed the bioavailability of the metals present in the soil. Both biochar types decreased soil acidity in all four soils. The biochar successfully interrupted the toxic combination of acidified soils and heavy metals, converting those metals to less bioavailable forms.

Ippolito’s next step is to take his locally-sourced biochar into the field. He said he’s ready to put it to use. “I’ve spent at least a decade testing biochars in the lab and greenhouse,” he said. “It’s finally time to apply the biochar to some mine sites.” Ippolito is working with the USDA Agricultural Research Service to test the biochar on a western U.S. mine site as well as in Missouri.



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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Wall Street falls as bank stocks skid, oil dips | Reuters

Wall Street falls as bank stocks skid,

By Sweta Singh and Tanya Agrawal

 

U.S. stocks were down on Wednesday as financials tumbled after JPMorgan and Bank of America hinted at revenue weakness in the current quarter and oil prices fell to a three-week low.

 

JPMorgan (JPM.N) blamed lower volatility for the decline in trading revenue, while Bank of America (BAC.N) said trading revenue in the second quarter was on track to be 10-12 percent lower than last year.

 

Measures of market volatility are at rock-bottom, hitting trading desks at big banks. The U.S. stock market’s main gauge of investor anxiety .VIX closed at its lowest level in over two decades on May 8.

 

“There is a choppy sideways market due to the fact that fundamentals are largely unchanged and expectations of market friendly policies in the U.S. are being pushed to 2018,” said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist, North America, Russell Investments.

 

Financials, which have largely outperformed the broader market on bets of fiscal stimulus and simpler banking regulations under President Donald Trump, are on track to decline 0.7 percent so far this year.

 

 

JPMorgan (JPM.N) was down 2 percent on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) fell 3 percent and was the biggest drag on the Dow. Bank of America (BAC.N) was down 2.5 percent.

 

Adding to the pressure, oil prices fell as rising Libyan production fueled concerns that OPEC-led output cuts are being undermined by several countries that are excluded from the deal. [O/R]

 

“With oil also down, the thoughts of an economic slowdown start to come up in people’s minds and has created a pause in the market euphoria,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardville, New Jersey.

 

 

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the financial index’s .SPSY 1.13 percent fall leading the decliners.

 

At 12:31 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 30.8 points, or 0.15 percent, at 20,998.67, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 5.1 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,407.81 and the Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC was down 16.44 points, or 0.26 percent, at 6,186.75.

 

Shares of Michael Kors (KORS.N) fell 9.9 percent to $32.69 after the luxury fashion retailer gave a bleak full-year forecast and said it would shut more than 100 full-price retail stores in the next two years.

 

 

Mallinckrodt (MNK.N) was down 1.4 percent at $43.04, after sources said the drugmaker is exploring a sale of its generic drug unit, in a deal that could fetch as much as $2 billion.

 

Analog Devices (ADI.O) rose 2.5 percent to $86.91 after the chipmaker’s quarterly results came in above expectations.

 

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,706 to 1,122, for a 1.52-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,678 issues fell and 1,057 advanced for a 1.59-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

 

The S&P 500 index showed 28 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 82 new highs and 70 new lows.

 

(Reporting by Sweta Singh; Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

 

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God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Heavy Construction News – Human activity has polluted European air for 2,000 years — ScienceDaily

Heavy Construction Photos


A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

The new study, accepted for publication in GeoHealth, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, provides evidence that the natural level of lead in the air is essentially zero, contrary to common assumptions. The research shows lead pollution from mining and smelting was detectable well before the Industrial Revolution and only when the Black Death pandemic halted those activities did lead in the air return to natural levels.

“These new data show that human activity has polluted European air almost uninterruptedly for the last ca. 2000 years,” the study’s authors write. “Only a devastating collapse in population and economic activity caused by pandemic disease reduced atmospheric pollution to what can now more accurately be termed ‘background’ or natural levels.”

The new findings could affect the current standards for lead pollution. Current public health and environmental policy deem pre-industrial lead pollution levels to be “natural” and thus presumably “safe,” but this assumption may need to be re-examined, according to the study’s authors.

Lead is one of the most dangerous environmental pollutants and is toxic to the brain at extremely low levels. No levels of lead can be considered safe in children, according to Philip Landrigan, Dean of Global Health for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who was not connected to the new study.

“It’s clear that lead has lasting effects on children’s lives,” said Landrigan, who has researched lead poisoning in children and was instrumental in the implementation of abatement policies in past years.

Reconstructing past lead levels

In the new study, historians at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, collaborated with climate scientists at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine in Orono. The team chose to examine past lead levels in the air because it is a dangerous pollutant and serves as a proxy for economic activity, ramping up when economies grow and tailing off when they decline.

The researchers matched new, high-resolution measurements of lead in an ice core taken from a glacier in the Swiss/Italian Alps with highly detailed historical records showing that lead mining and smelting activity plummeted to nearly zero during the plague pandemic years of 1349 to 1353.

The researchers found that lead levels declined suddenly in a section of the ice core corresponding to that four-year window of time. That decline is unique in the last 2,000 years of European history, according to Alexander More, a historian at Harvard and lead author of the new study.

“When we saw the extent of the decline in lead levels, and only saw it once, during the years of the pandemic, we were intrigued,” More said. “In different parts of Europe, the Black Death wiped out as much as half of the population. It radically changed society in multiple ways. In terms of the labor force, the mining of lead essentially stopped in major areas of production. You see this reflected in the ice core in a large drop in atmospheric lead levels, and you see it in historical records for an extended period of time.”

The researchers also found other, lesser, drops in lead accumulation in the ice core. One occurred in 1460, which the authors show may have also been due to an epidemic-related downturn. Other drops occurred during an economic slowdown in 1885 and most recently in the 1970s when abatement policies phased out leaded gasoline and other sources of lead air pollution.

More said the ice core holds much additional data, accessible due to the precision of the Climate Change Institute’s next generation laser facility and the expertise of climate scientists on the research team. Combining that data with historical sources can lead to new discoveries in the fields of climate science, the history of human and planetary health, environmental and economic history, he said.

“This research represents the convergence of two very different disciplines, history and ice core glaciology, that together provide the perspective needed to understand how a toxic substance like lead has varied in the atmosphere and, more importantly, to understand that the true natural level is in fact very close to zero,” said Paul Mayewski, Director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine and co-author of the new study. “Using the ultra-high resolution ice core sampling offered through our W. M. Keck Laser Ice Facility, we expect to be able to offer new insights, previously unattainable with lower-resolution sampling, into the links between climate change and the course of civilization.”



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Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Environmentalists shine World Cup spotlight on vulnerable mascot

Environmentalists shine World Cup spotlight on vulnerable mascot

June 16 – With attention focused on the world’s greatest soccer stars in Brazil, conservationists are working hard to promote the plight of the animal being used as the official World Cup mascot. Known as Fuleco on posters and banners throughout the country, the three-banded armadillo is in decline, and conservation groups say FIFA and the Brazilian government should be doing more during the World Cup to ensure the animal’s long term survival. Rob Muir reports.

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Rooney, Messi, Neymar.. the faces of the world’s greatest soccer players are everywhere throughout Brazil. Less famous, but far more important for conservationists is Fulecko, the offical mascot of the World Cup.
Fuleco is modelled on Brazil’s three-banded armadillo..a mammal best known for its ability to roll itself into a ball.
But the armadillo is officially listed as vulnerable by scientists. Its habitat in northeastern Brazil is being detroyed by human expansion and environmentalists like Rodrigo Castro, of the Caatinga Assocation hope that, Fuleco will draw attention to the animal’s plight.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) RICARDO CASTRO, DIRECTOR OF THE CAATINGA ASSOCIACIAO, SAYING:
“It is impossible to believe that an institution like FIFA that is using Fuleco, using the armadillo, the mascot, to increase the profit of the event is not able to put a small part of this extra profit towards the conservation of this so much endangered animal.”
But so far Castro says he’s seen no evidence that World Cup money is flowing in the armadillo’s direction. And despite efforts by environmental groups to publicise the situation, store assistant Valke, says Fuleck memorabilia bearing the FIFA trademark are flying off the shelves.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) VALKE, TOY STORE ASSISTANT, SAYING:
“People buy. They are a bit more committed to the animal’s cause after a strong campaign on the internet, but they don’t stop buying the product because of that. Many worry a bit more about the animal itself when they get to know about it, but they buy.”
But local bar tender Mairton de Melo, says he and many of his customersd are concerned. He says FIFA needs to do more.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) MAIRTON DE MELO, BARTENDER, SAYING:
“It is beautiful what FIFA is doing for the country. It is good for Brazil, our country. But the way they are taking advantage of that animal is not good. They should care a bit more about the conservation, do something now that they are taking advantage of it. They should be helping it.”
The criticism is one of many being leveled at the Brazilian government and FIFA. But amid construction delays and political unrest over the cost of hosting the event, conservationists say they’ll have to work hard to keep the three-banded armadillo in the reflected glare of the World Cup.

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Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

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Missouri, Utah Task Forces to Study Project Funding Needs, Make Recommendations :: Story ID: 34561 :: Construction Equipment Guide


📅   Wed May 31, 2017 – Midwest Edition #11

Both Missouri and Utah are creating new transportation task forces to study their states’ project funding needs and make recommendations to legislators on future revenue-raising options.

Both Missouri and Utah are creating new transportation task forces to study their states’ project funding needs and make recommendations to legislators on future revenue-raising options.


Both Missouri and Utah are creating new transportation task forces to study their states’ project funding needs and make recommendations to legislators on future revenue-raising options.

Those panels will get under way at a time when a number of states are boosting transportation funding by raising motor fuel taxes and a range of fees on drivers or vehicle registrations and other efforts that mainly target direct users of the transportation system.

In Missouri, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported that state lawmakers again ended a legislative session without boosting project funding, but approved a resolution to create a “21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force.”

Although the story cited complaints by some that lawmakers keep studying the problems without following through with a revenue plan, it said the task force would be charged with evaluating the condition of Missouri’s transportation infrastructure and its current funding. The panel would have until Jan. 1, 2018, to file a report.

The story said Patrick McKenna, Missouri DOT director, told the News Tribune, “We are in favor of creating an action plan to solve the transportation funding issues in the state of Missouri — and are hopeful that the task force will provide additional information and public forum to accomplish those aims.”

In Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the new Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force got under way May 16, and received a warning from Carlos Braceras, Utah DOT executive director.

“We’re going to double our population in 35 years. And we are not going to be able to double our road miles,” Braceras said, according to the Tribune.

The legislation creating that panel said it shall study, prepare and report and make recommendations on governance, coordination, oversight and operational structures of transportation agencies in Utah, the funding needs and future funding sources.

It is to report the task force’s findings and recommendations to the legislative Transportation Interim Committee and the governor before Dec. 1.



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Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Purple Line Project Presses on After Endangered Species Case Dismissed – Construction news

 

📅   Wed May 31, 2017 – Northeast Edition

 


Given recent court litigation that has caused extensive delays in the $5.6 billion Purple Line project, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn has outlined a path forward for the Purple Line.

The lawsuit involved considering the potential impacts to the Kenk’s amphipod, a freshwater crustacean that looks much like a shrimp. The species is currently found at a few spring-seep sites in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland making it a candidate for the endangered species list. A federal judge denied the case on May 30 after finding that environmental reviews did not violate federal protections of such endangered species.

Secretary Rahn has warned that significant changes to the project would occur unless the court acted on or about June 1. In response to Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon’s May 30 final ruling that two of three counts – covering 25 issues – filed by plaintiffs were without merit, the Office of the Maryland Attorney General immediately filed a notice of appeal regarding Leon’s decision to order further study of the project’s contested ridership estimates. The timeline for an appeal is not defined.

“With a legal path forward, MDOT’s and the Purple Line’s situation has changed from the unknown circumstances of just two weeks ago,” said Secretary Rahn. “With an unknown timeline for an appeal and dwindling available cash to carry the federal reimbursable costs being expended by MDOT; and to protect the taxpayers of Maryland, I am ordering that action be taken immediately.”

Secretary Rahn ordered the following steps:

• The contractor, Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), is directed to suspend the execution of new construction contracts; and

• PLTP is directed to suspend all procurements for non-essential materials and equipment; and

• PLTP is directed to freeze all hiring of construction staff; and

• MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is directed to suspend all hiring of Purple Line oversight staff; and

• MDOT MTA is directed to suspend state funding of county design reviews; and

• MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and MDOT MTA are directed to pull from the Board of Public Works any requests for the purchase of right-of-way for the Purple Line project.

• All parties are directed to limit the obligation of further costs for the Purple Line project to those of agreed necessity.

Further steps should be anticipated as more information is available, Secretary Rahn said.

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He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

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Dynapac Appoints Roush Vice President of Aftermarket & Product Support for North America – Story ID: 34538 – Construction Equipment Guide

Dynapac Appoints Roush Vice President of Aftermarket & Product Support for North America

 

📅   Wed May 31, 2017 – National Edition

 

 

Dynapac North America LLC, a leading manufacturer of rollers for asphalt and soil applications, pavers and planers, has named Jamie Roush Vice President of Aftermarket & Product Support for North America. Effective July 1, 2017, Roush will be responsible for growing the Dynapac aftermarket segment and optimizing operational efficiency.

Prior to the pending Fayat acquisition of Dynapac from Atlas Copco, Roush served as the Atlas Copco vice president of aftermarket for two years. He also held management roles in aftermarket business development, e-commerce and customer service during his 10-year stint with Atlas Copco.

“Jamie’s extensive aftermarket background and successful track record will make him a vital asset to our management team,” said Brian Bieller, Dynapac North America President and Regional General Manager for North America. “Ultimately, his leadership will help Dynapac customers ensure reliable operation and long life for their equipment.”

Roush earned an undergraduate degree in physics from Muskingum University in Ohio and attended Cleveland State University for graduate studies in mechanical engineering.

For more information on Dynapac North America, visit www.dynapac.com.

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In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

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Uber fires self-driving car chief at center of court case| Reuters

Uber fires self-driving car chief at center of court case

By Alexandria Sage
| SAN FRANCISCO

 

SAN FRANCISCO Uber Technologies Inc said on Tuesday it fired the technology whiz it had hired to lead its self-driving unit, Anthony Levandowski, after he failed to comply with a court order to hand over documents at the center of a legal dispute between Uber and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo unit.

 

Uber had hoped Levandowski, one the most respected self-driving engineers in Silicon Valley, would help the ride services company catch up to rivals including Waymo, in the race for self-driving technology. Instead the hiring led to a court fight and the threat of criminal charges. Uber replaced him as the head of its self-driving car unit in April before finally making the decision to fire him.

 

Levandowski formerly worked for Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving division, which says he stole trade secrets by downloading more than 14,000 documents before he left. Levandowski is not a defendant, but his actions are at the heart of Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber.

 

Uber said in a letter to Levandowski filed in federal court on Tuesday that it was firing him because he had not complied with a court order to hand over the documents. (tmsnrt.rs/2rBPNzW)

 

He has declined to cooperate, citing his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. Levandowski’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Uber and Alphabet are battling over technology expected to revolutionize the way people use cars. Waymo claims its trade secrets made their way into Uber’s Lidar technology, which bounces light pulses off objects so self-driving cars can “see” the road. Uber denies these claims.

 

Levandowski has 20 days to comply with the court orders, according to the Uber letter.

 

 

Last month, Uber named Eric Meyhofer to replace Levandowski as head of its Advanced Technologies Group. Meyhofer will continue to lead the team, an Uber spokeswoman said via email.

 

The New York Times reported Levandowski’s exit earlier on Tuesday, citing an internal email sent to employees. (nyti.ms/2qD4X3h)

 

“Over the last few months Uber has provided significant evidence to the court to demonstrate that our self-driving technology has been built independently,” Angela Padilla, Uber’s associate general counsel for employment and litigation, wrote in an email to employees, cited by the Times.

 

An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the letter’s authenticity and said the company has urged Levandowski to “fully cooperate.”

 

 

Waymo has said Levandowski received stock worth more than $250 million for joining Uber, along with his portion of the $680 million that Uber paid last year for Otto, the self-driving truck company he formed after leaving Google. That amount assumes certain targets would be met, and it was not clear how his firing would affect those payments.

 

A source familiar with the matter said Levandowski had not yet vested his Uber shares.

 

LEVANDOWSKI REFUSAL

 

Levandowski, a top engineer on self-driving technology, has turned into a liability for Uber in court. The company has acknowledged that his refusal to testify has hurt its defense efforts. Uber has never denied that he took the Waymo documents.

 

 

Asked last month why Uber did not threaten to fire Levandowski to pressure him into turning over the documents, Uber attorney Arturo Gonzalez told Reuters, “We can fire him but we still don’t get the documents.”

 

Uber had argued that it was acceptable to sideline Levandowski by preventing him from working on Lidar technology, but not firing him. But U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup criticized the company, telling lawyers: “You keep on your payroll someone who took 14,000 documents and is liable to use them.”

 

The judge theorized that Levandowski could have used Waymo’s documents himself even if he did not turn them over to Uber.

 

“What prevented him from bringing a laptop to work every day and consulting the files?” Alsup asked Uber lawyers in April.

 

Uber has been hit by a string of departures of senior executives and other negative news. Earlier this year, Uber was caught using its technology to avoid government regulators. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick was seen on video berating an Uber driver, and the company also faced accusations of sexual harassment that led to an internal probe led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

 

The Holder report will be shown to the board this week, a source familiar with the matter said, adding that next week, Uber plans to speak with employees about it.

 

(Additional reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru, Editing by Peter Henderson; Editing by David Gregorio)

 

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They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.

The Unfulfulled Expectations of Prefabrication | 2017-05-03

The Unfulfulled Expectations of Prefabrication

Many of us have experienced that proverbial “lightbulb moment,” a flash of insight when the complexities of a new or challenging concept finally make sense. But when it comes to the nuances of prefabrication, a recent industry survey says many contractors are still in the dark.

For contractors that are applying prefab, that blindness can be particularly frustrating, given that the strategy of integrating pre-made components into the building process continues to make inroads in construction. Proponents say it improves efficiency, optimizes labor resources and lowers costs.

Clearly, prefabrication is on the rise. The average use of prefabricated assemblies in projects reached 35% in 2016, a threefold increase over the past six years, according to a new survey by Raleigh, N.C.-based management consultant FMI. Specialty contractors are leading the way, performing almost double the amount of prefab project work compared with GCs and GMs (44% vs. 23%).

Despite the growing use of prefabrication, however, FMI says only a handful (14%) of survey respondents believe their processes are living up to expectations. The rest consider them to be ineffective or in need of improvement.

FMI offers one explanation for these shortcomings, citing an individual firm’s level of understanding regarding what is essentially a manufacturing approach to construction, elements of which often vary from one project to the next. It amounts to an ongoing cycle of implementation, evaluation and refinement that in­fluences every aspect of the process, from estimating and bidding to field operations.

In other words, prefabrication also requires a change in a contractor’s culture and operational philosophy, says Sabine Hoover, FMI content director and study co-author. As such, it demands a strategic approach that not all firms are willing to make. “Just dabbling in prefabrication is not the way,” Hoover says.

Firms that resist making a full commitment to prefabrication contribute to the disappointing results. Nearly 80% of FMI’s survey participants use prefabrication on less than 50% of their projects and are considerably less effective in its use compared with those that apply prefab processes on more than 50% of their projects.

What’s more, the manufacturing-based mind-set that is crucial to making prefabrication successful also requires time, patience and a willingness to accept that process refinements may sometimes result in failures and setbacks, a departure from construction’s traditional business strategy.

“Prefabrication is counter to every GC’s business model,” observes Geoff Golden, CEO of Golden Construction LLC, Birmingham, Ala. “If you’re not willing to try a new methodology and experiment with it, it won’t come to you.”

Constant curiosity is another key ingredient, says Steve Foote, vice president and operations manager for Greiner Electric, Denver. “The method you use may be cost-neutral, but there may well be a way that it could be better,” he says. “It’s staggering to think how long it takes to get good at it.”

All-in Adoption

Resistance to new ways of thinking is not limited to the construction industry, of course. But if a contractor’s leadership is unwilling to embrace prefab fully, it’s unlikely that field employees will. That lack of commitment can quickly undermine the cultural shift and the feedback loops that are key to making any new process work.

“If something doesn’t work, field employees need to feel safe about saying so,” Hoover says. “That’s different from the traditional work environment.”

Forcing prefabrication on field staff “will be a big mess,” agrees Foote. “They’ll hate it. But if they know they can really communicate with you, then they’ll help make the process work. It has to be implemented as a team.”

Aaron Thompson, vice president of design and fabrication for Corbins Electric, Phoenix, tackled this mind-set challenge by stressing to field staff that prefabrication is designed to eliminate work they didn’t want to do, not to eliminate their jobs. “It’s also important to get field-respected people in supervisory positions,” Thompson says. “That was a big step in gaining field buy-in.”

And like every other business practice, prefab processes demand constant, effective monitoring to gauge effectiveness, address deficiencies or problems and identify areas for improvement.

But as the FMI survey notes, many contractors don’t fully understand how to measure and track prefab efforts.

“It was hard to do in the early days,” admits Foote, adding that Greiner Electric now uses a proprietary system that determines the unit and time cost of every element in its prefab process. “That allows us to continually evaluate and improve,” he says.

“There’s a flow to manufacturing that you can see,” adds Golden. Training employees to observe the process and empowering them to interrupt things should quality issues arise can go a long way toward a goal that Golden characterizes as “smoothing the chaos of construction.”

But as Thompson has found, many GCs prefer the “chaos,” or at least the flexibility it affords to move trade workers to where they’re most needed on a jobsite as a project progresses. And that insistence on flexiblity can present another obstacle to the effectiveness of prefabrication, he says.

“Obviously, the more information we have about a project’s details and schedule, the better we can plan kit preparation,” he says. “GCs get nervous when they don’t see material sitting at the site, even if they won’t need it for a while. That’s changing as more GCs understand prefabrication.”

Initiating the Improvement Cycle

Right now, it is hardly surprising that contractors’ opinions and results are mixed, Hoover says. “We’re in a messy transition of baby boomers who want to hold on to old ways and new people coming in,” she says. “The better companies are luring younger workers who can deal with technology and understand change, and they’re the ones who will make prefabrication happen.”

Indeed, Hoover says prefabrication’s growth in construction may well be inevitable as its advantages continue to overshadow current work practices. “If you’re not willing to do things that will reduce schedule by 50%, reduce risk and improve safety, you’ll be out of it,” she adds.

Ultimately, what may attract more GCs and specialty contractors to understanding, adopting and improving their prefab mind-set is the same trend that affects other aspects of the industry—labor.

“There’s already a shortage of field guys now, and it’s only going to increase,” Foote says. “If you think there will be enough people to do work five years from now, you’re wrong. How will you be competitive if experience is at a premium and you have to pay higher rates?”

Fundamentally, adopting prefabrication comes down to attitude—that is, an open-minded, patient culture that is willing to learn and capitalize on what works and what doesn’t, Thompson observes.

“You have to be ready to take a punch in the face,” he says. “Just when you think you’re an expert, something happens.”

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My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

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Raptor robot gives Usain Bolt a run for his money

Raptor robot gives Usain Bolt a run for his money

June 18 – A bipedal robot modelled on the now extinct Velociraptor, can run faster than Usain Bolt, according to its developers. The Jamaican sprinter holds the 100 metres world record with a time of 9.58 seconds but South Korean researchers say their robot could leave him in the dust. Rob Muir reports.

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Its developers say their Velociraptor Robot is the fastest robot on Earth.
Natsot (Running)
Modelled on the fast-running predator of more than 70 million years ago, the robot’s hooked, carbon-composite legs are controlled by individual motors.
Balance is provided by a long tail-like appendage and, while it has to remain tethered to a supporting arm, Park Jong-won from South Korea’s KAIST Institute, says his robot is quicker than the fastest man on Earth.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH KOREAN RESEARCHER OF KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KAIST), PARK JONG-WON, SAYING:
“The robot can run 100m in just 7.8 seconds. That means the robot is faster than Usain Bolt.”
Faster by almost two seconds.
But the Raptor robot has not been designed to challenge Usain Bolt.
Park says it’s meant to eventually serve a practical purpose as a delivery or reconnaisance machine for the military or for search and rescue purposes, in places inaccessible to wheeled vehicles.
He says for speed and balance on uneven surfaces, the active tail will be crucial, as it was fr the original Velociraptor.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH KOREAN RESEARCHER OF KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KAIST), PARK JONG-WON, SAYING:
“The robot can manage its body posture very actively based on the natural movement of animals.”
Eventually, Park’s team would like to let the Raptor Robot off the leash, but he says a lot more work still needs to be done before it can be allowed out on its own.

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Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.

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Crews Finish Work on $20M Substation in Rhode Island – Construction news

Crews Finish Work on $20M Substation in Rhode Island

 

📅   Tue May 30, 2017 – Northeast Edition

 

Work on the new sub station has been completed.

Photo: Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

Work on the new sub station has been completed.

Photo: Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

 

Work on the National Grid’s new $20 million substation in Rhode Island has been finished.

The Westerly Sun reports (http://bit.ly/2s7nxm0 ) the Chase Hill substation that will be serve approximately 24,000 residents in Westerly, Hopkinton and Charlestown was finished ahead of schedule and on budget in March.

The construction of the facility just off state Route 216 in the village of Ashaway began in 2015. It will replace two older substations located in Ashaway and on the Hope Valley-Richmond line.

National Grid officials say the substation is functional. The distribution infrastructure still has to be completed before the station goes online.

The substation is part of the utility’s initiative to upgrade and modernize facilities throughout the Northeast. Officials say the substation was necessary to accommodate the growing southern Rhode Island population.

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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

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Work Starts Again on Wyoming Wind Power Project After Winter – Construction news

Work Starts Again on Wyoming Wind Power Project After Winter

 

📅   Tue May 30, 2017 – National Edition

 

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

 

With Wyoming’s harsh winter weather in the past, work has resumed on a massive onshore wind development in the United States.

“We have about 40 pieces of equipment and about 30 or 40 operators,” said Bill Miller, CEO of Power Company of Wyoming, a Denver-based subsidiary of the Anschutz Corp. “We started up in early April for this year’s infrastructure construction.”

However, it will be at least a year before any turbines are erected, Miller said.

Once complete, the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project will have as many as 1,000 turbines and generate up to 3,000 megawatts, or enough electricity to power nearly 1 million homes, he said.

The electricity would go to Southern California over a major power-line project under development by TransWest Express, LLC, another Anschutz subsidiary.

Construction on the project’s extensive infrastructure began last September and ended in December because of winter, and environmental restrictions slow progress in the spring and early summer, Miller said.

“Come July 15, most of the restrictions on the project will be lifted and then the project will speed up at that point,” he told the Rawlins Daily Times (http://bit.ly/2qop4Th ). “We’ll operate on through until we’re shut down due to weather, which could happen any time between Labor Day and Christmas. We’re very pleased with how it’s proceeding at this point.”

Miller said that the goal is generating wind power by 2020, but he’s aware that for a project its size, the timetable may have to be pushed back.

Miller said that “some issues will come up with any project of this size and scope.”

The entire project is expected to create 1,200 jobs at peak construction and is also expected to create more than 100 permanent positions in operations and maintenance.

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But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”

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Buck & Knobby JCB Holds Grand Opening Event – Story ID: 34508 – Construction Equipment Guide

Buck & Knobby JCB Holds Grand Opening Event

 

📅   Tue May 30, 2017 – Midwest Edition #11

 

The JCB GT, the world’s fastest backhoe, demonstrates its awesome power at the open house event.

The JCB GT, the world’s fastest backhoe, demonstrates its awesome power at the open house event.

Buck & Knobby JCB held a grand opening celebration May 6, 2017, at its new dealership outside of Toledo in Holland, Ohio.

Located around the corner from the Toledo Airport at 9127 Airport Highway, the new branch is just off exit 52 of the Ohio Turnpike. The new facility is situated on 6 acres and was designed to accommodate future expansion requirements of the company. The current 6,000-sq.-ft. structure includes a sales showroom area, parts department and six service bays equipped with a 4-ton overhead crane.

Headquartered in Ottawa Lake, Mich., and established in 1948, the dealership maintains strong ties with area contractors, many of whom were involved with construction of the new facility, including Rudolph Libbe Inc., serving as the general contractor. In addition, the site work was completed using JCB construction equipment.

The new JCB facility offers more than 300 different machines covering construction, landscape, industrial, agricultural, and access markets including loader backhoes, wheel loaders, excavators, rough-terrain forklifts, telescopic forklifts, skid steers, compact track loaders, scissor and boom lifts, along with JCB’s new Hydradig, a wheeled excavator and tool carrier, and JCB’s Teleskid, the first skid steer with a telescopic boom for increased performance and versatility. The dealership maintains a full range of replacement parts and offers equipment service both at the dealership and in the field to maximize convenience and minimize downtime for its customers.

According to Gerry Maibach, Buck & Knobby equipment business manager, the dealership is excited with the prospect of being back in the Northwest Ohio/Toledo market.

“JCB is always at the cutting edge of new technology and equipment, so we are thrilled to work together to offer the best equipment available to our customers,” said Maibach.

The grand opening event featured special sales and finance promotions, along with a full lineup of JCB equipment on display and available for live demonstrations. Guests at the event were treated to lunch and door prizes and had the opportunity to spend time with Buck & Knobby personnel along with JCB manufacturing representatives. Attendees also were encouraged to visit JCB’s traveling showroom trailer equipped with a reception area and interactive displays. The JCB GT, which is the world’s fastest backhoe equipped with a 1,000 horsepower big block Chevrolet engine, according to the company, also drew a crowd.

The family of company co-founder, Lloyd R. “Knobby” Nolfo, including his widow, Alice Nolfo, were on hand celebrating the new Buck & Knobby JCB facility, and the group also celebrated Alice Nolfo’s birthday.

Buck & Knobby Equipment traces its beginnings to Toledo, Ohio, where it had its start as a small equipment dealership. As the business grew, the dealership relocated to Ottawa Lake, Mich., which serves as its headquarters to this day.

According to Christian Baillie, JCB North America’s vice president of construction equipment dealer sales, “Buck & Knobby has proven itself a dependable, hardworking company over the past 70 years, and its dedication to customer service is outstanding. We look forward to working with them in the years to come and are excited to celebrate the grand opening of the new JCB-dedicated dealership.”

For more information, visit www.jcb.com.

CEG

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Singapore’s central bank ends 1MDB review, penalizes Credit Suisse, UOB | Reuters Construction news

Singapore's central bank ends 1MDB review, penalizes Credit Suisse, UOB|
 

SINGAPORE Singapore’s central bank said on Tuesday that it has imposed financial penalties on Credit Suisse CCGN.S and United Overseas Bank (UOB) (UOBH.SI) after completing its two-year review of banks involved in 1MDB-related transactions.

 

 

It fined Credit Suisse S$700,000 ($504,950) and UOB S$900,000. It has previously imposed fines on other banks.

 

 

Malaysia’s 1MDB, once a pet project of Prime Minister Najib Razak who chaired its advisory board, is the subject of money-laundering investigations in at least six countries including Switzerland, Singapore, and the United States.

 

 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Tuesday that its latest inspections of the two banks revealed several breaches of anti-money laundering requirements and control lapses.

 

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim and Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

 

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But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

Construction Asks, ‘Where’s the Infrastructure Program?’ | 2017-05-03

Heavy Construction News

As President Trump passes the milestone of his first 100 days in office, his most effective tool so far has been what he calls “the sledgehammer”—the pen he has used to sign about 30 executive orders, plus memos and pieces of legislation, that knock down a wide range of Obama-era rules and decisions.

Among Trump’s construction-related actions are measures to ease contractor disclosure mandates, narrow federal authority over dredging near bodies of water and remove Obama’s roadblocks of  high-profile energy pipeline projects.

But the sledgehammer hasn’t been effective in advancing Trump’s legislative priorities. GOP-drafted legislation to abolish President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and set up a new system failed in March to gain enough Republicans’ votes to ensure passage in the House. But House Republicans revised the bill and the new version was passed on May 4 by a narrow  217-213. The outlook for the legislation in the Senate is unclear.

On tax reform, a second top legislative item, Trump has just gotten the ball rolling, unveiling a bare-bones, one-page outline for an ambitious tax-cut plan that could benefit many engineering and construction firms. But the outline quickly sparked strong criticism from Democrats.

If that proposal were to become a reality, it would provide a stunningly large revenue lift to engineering firms and contractors—and more jobs for workers—around the country.

Construction industry officials are most anxious about what they view as the biggest of Trump’s Big Three legislative initiatives: his promised plan to pour $1 trillion into improving highways, bridges and other infrastructure over 10 years.

If that proposal were to become a reality, it would provide a stunningly large revenue lift to engineering firms and contractors—and more jobs for workers—around the country.

Trump’s regulatory actions are important, says Jay Hansen, National Asphalt Pavement Association executive vice president. But he adds, “The biggest thing that Congress and the president can do is to pass a major infrastructure bill to help our country stimulate economic growth.”

Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan points out that the American Society of Civil Engineers pegs U.S. infrastructure needs at $4.6 trillion. O’Sullivan says, “A trillion is a big step forward.”

Question marks continue to swirl around the infrastructure plan, however, months after Trump floated it during the presidential campaign. As one industry source puts it: “The timing is confusing, the potential content is confusing—whether it’s going to be money, whether it’s going to be primarily regulatory [streamlining]—what type of projects, who’s picking the projects?”

The source adds, “It’s all up in the air and obviously … not happening in the first 100 days.”

How soon is ‘soon’ ?

Trump continues to say that a sizable infrastructure measure is in the works. On April 18, he said the plan “is coming and it’s coming fast.” But “fast” is looking like months from now—and that is just until the proposal’s release. Then, Congress will review, debate and, undoubtedly, change it.

The administration has been holding talks aimed at sketching out the proposal. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says the plan is “in its early discussions.” Speaking at an April 20 economics conference in Washington, D.C., he added, “I don’t think you’ll actually start to see specific things to be able to …vote on until the fall.”

Mulvaney also said Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, which has been targeted for a May release, will have “a $200-billion number” for federal infrastructure spending, sparking five times that amount in private-sector financing.

Bud Wright, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials executive director, says, “They are willingly taking input from many parties in developing the plan.” He adds, “Some of the signals that we have heard would suggest that, certainly, we’re not going to see $1 trillion of new [federal] funding as a part of this package. There seems to be a strong emphasis on [project-approval] process reform and attracting private capital for infrastructure investment.”

Mulvaney’s statements, like earlier ones from Trump and others on his team, left out key points, such as how much of the $200 billion would be new money or, perhaps, repackage existing spending.

In discussing the 2018 budget outline that Trump released in March, which had no funds for U.S. Transportation Dept. programs such as transit new starts and popular TIGER grants, Mulvaney said administration officials see the zeroed-out programs as “less efficient” than the infrastructure plan that is in the works.

Bruno Roy, CFO of Montreal-based WSP, noted that despite a strong infrastructure platform touted by Canada’s Liberal government when elected in October 2015, “it’s taken 18 months for the first Canadian project to trickle down.”

Sectors seek funding shares

Construction and engineering companies are pushing to make sure Trump’s proposal represents their sector focus, whether surface and air transportation or drinking water-wastewater, inland and coastal waterways, or electric power.

Joe Bennett, vice president for engineering with electric transmission owner and operator ITC Holdings Corp., says, “We see merit in infra­structure investment plans that carry provisions for modernizing perhaps the most critical national infrastructure of all: our interstate high-voltage transmission system.”

Nathan Gardner-Andrews, National Association of Clean Water Agencies chief advocacy officer, says, “We’re definitely looking for a significant funding level for water and wastewater infrastructure.” One concern is what share of the plan public-private partnerships will have. He observes, “That model does not work as well on the water side as it does, say, on the surface-transportation side.”

Even though administration officials frequently mention highways, bridges and transit when they talk about the coming program,Wright says that doesn’t necessarily mean surface transportation will get most of the $1 trillion. He adds, “We want to make sure that transportation gets its fair share.”

Transportation groups also want the plan to include a long-term fix for the Highway Trust Fund, which has needed general-fund transfers of $143.3 billion since 2008 to stay in the black. “They know they’ve got to address the Highway Trust Fund,” Hansen says. “It’s going to crater, and they can’t let it crater.”

Design firm chief financial officers remain mixed on Trump administration impacts. In a survey of 154 CFOs conducted by management consultant EFCG, respondents in transportation sector firms were split between being positive and neutral on Trump impacts.

Almost 75% of those in environmental consulting firms were either neutral or negative, although 62% of those in water and wastewater companies were positive on the Trump impact on their sector.  Ash Wason, CFO of engineer Carollo, which specializes in water and wastewater treatment design, said population growth and other catalysts would spur work in that sector, “regardless of Trump,” although he speculated that regulatory reform ahead could have strong negative impact on plant-rehabilitation investment.

Weighing In

Mike Sweeney, HNTB Corp. president for the Northeast division, urges a forward-focused plan. He says, “We need to look at infrastructure priorities and approaches so new spending goes beyond just catching up to where we should have been years ago [and] takes us to where we need to be for the future.”

He cites “new and smart” projects, such as the New York City area’s proposed Gateway Program, which includes a new Hudson River tunnel.

“Infrastructure spending is something we need badly,” says Scott Moss, president of Fort Lauderdale-based construction management firm Moss & Associates. But he adds, “If [Trump] really does spend that money on infrastructure, that further exacerbates the labor-market shortage.”

Daniel J. Filer, vice president for business development at Austin, Texas, contractor Ferrovial Agroman,  said Trump’s interest in infrastructure and private-sector investment is encouraging. But he adds, “It is important that this plan is structured and implemented in a way that addresses priority projects, applies the appropriate contracting structures and considers the needs of the tax-paying public above all else.”

Whenever the plan is unveiled, it will be only the first step toward making the $1 trillion a reality. Infrastructure backers say public-works bills traditionally win bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, citing the big vote margins for the 2015 FAST Act surface-transportation measure and the 2016 WIIN Act for water-project funding.

Administration officials say private dollars will be a part of the package through P3s or other mechanisms. But Hill Democrats’ $1-trillion infrastructure plan, rolled out in January, uses only direct federal funds.

Wright says, “Frankly, many of the projects that we think are going to make a difference on the transportation side are not necessarily ones that have the potential to generate revenue. And those are likely to be the kinds of projects that would be most attractive to the private sector.”

Lawmakers from rural states, such as Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), have made it clear that P3s don’t work in their areas and will pitch to include substantial direct federal funds in the infrastructure package.

Stephen Sandherr, Associated General Contractors of America CEO, says, “When we have a plan, it’s going to be difficult to thread the needle to get all of the disparate factions on Capitol Hill to support an infrastructure program.” He observes, “You’ve got Republicans who say it has to be paid for. You have Democrats who are going to be pushing back on some opportunities to streamline the permitting process. You’re going to have all kinds of reasons to be against this, even though the public seems to want to get it done.”

Tax-cut outline

Trump’s proposed tax outline, announced on April 26, also faces a long, difficult path on Capitol Hill. A key feature of the plan cuts the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%.

It also would apply the 15% rate to “pass-through” entities, such as partnerships and sole proprietorships, which are taxed at individual, not corporate, rates. More than 80% of AGC member firms and more than 75% of Associated Builders and Contractors’ member firms are pass-throughs.

Trump’s tax proposal also calls for companies to bring back to the U.S. what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin estimates to be “trillions” of dollars in overseas profits. But unlike earlier “repatriation” proposals from the Obama administration and former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, the Trump plan doesn’t earmark for infrastructure that potential revenue infusion.

Chuck Kemp, CFO of Power Engineers, Boise, noted that the firm has boosted its lobbying efforts to affect policy in key business areas, such as medical costs. He says the firm’s cost of employee coverage has risen 20%. “We need to be out in front on this,” he told CFO peers at an April conference in New York. But based on an estimate of hands raised among the more than 100 attendees, only about 20% had adopted a lobbying strategy.

Looking internationally,  “ongoing talk of a new tax regime gives hopes of an uptick in the U.S. economy and therefore investment opportunities,” says Julian Anderson, president of global cost consultant Rider Levett Bucknall. “However, this is tempered by the difficulty that the administration seems to be having getting important legislation passed.” He says non-U.S. industry firms and investors are looking for “certainty and stability.”

Anderson adds, “The ongoing threat of trade wars with major trading partners means that the U.S. is not considered as reliable a partner as it has been in the past. Once some of the administration’s fervor for renegotiating trade deals has run its course, then international nvestors will likely feel more comfortable.”

Executive order vs. Executive Order

Of the administration’s regulatory actions so far, contractor groups point to legislation Trump signed on March 27 abolishing what critics have called the “blacklisting” rule. It required potential bidders on federal projects to disclose past labor and workplace-safety violations, going back three years.

They also single out a measure, signed in April, to revoke an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule extending the statute of limitations for citing firms for violations. Those regulations were canceled under the Congressional Review Act, which provides fast-track action against rules issued within a certain time period.

Contractors also praise a Feb. 28 order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin revising a 2015 rule that defines which streams, wetlands and other water bodies are subject to federal regulation. “That was a big one,” says Kristen Swearingen, ABC vice president for legislative and political affairs.

LIUNA’s O’Sullivan cites memos Trump issued on Jan. 24 to get new energy pipelines moving, including Keystone XL and Dakota Access, and expedite project permitting. Those actions have advanced pipeline projects involving more than 22,500 jobs for construction union members, he says.

More action on the regulatory front is coming. For example, the Congressional Review Act did not apply to the “waters of the U.S.” rule, and the administration is just getting started on a revision.

It will have to be drafted and then formally proposed, undergo a public comment period, possibly be altered and published as a final version. That process could take a year or two. However, the National Wildlife Federation has said it will seek to block the rewrite in federal court.

Labor regulations

With R. Alexander Acosta’s April 28 swearing in as Labor secretary, the administration may take a new look at a 2016 Obama rule that raises the salary threshold at which companies must pay overtime. The rule’s opponents also have challenged it in the courts.

ABC wants the administration to rescind an Obama executive order that encourages project labor agreements on federal contracts over $25 million. The group also wants to reinstate a George W. Bush administration directive that federal contracts should not require the use of PLAs. But construction unions are sure to oppose that plan.

With Trump in the White House, Sandherr says, “We’re advancing the ball, rather than playing defense, and on a lot of these issues we’ve crossed the 50-yard line.”

But Trump and his allies don’t face a clear field. Congressional Democrats and their supporters, such as environmental groups, are digging in to a “prevent defense” formation. They are aiming to alter the president’s proposals on Capitol Hill and go to court to block his deregulation moves. But construction groups hope both sides can team up on their industry’s chief priority: a hefty infrastructure package.

Story updated on May 5 with House health-care bill approval.

Trump’s Executive Orders and Deregulation Actions Include:

  • Buy American, Hire American

April 18: Trump signs executive order that mandates tougher enforcement of “Buy American” laws and counters what the administration sees as abuses of the system that authorizes H-1B visas for skilled workers.

April 3: Trump signs legislation that cancels a 2016 OSHA rule, which extended the statute-of-limitations period for citing companies’ past incidents.

March 28: The president signs a directive to start the process of undoing Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan limits on power plants’ carbon emissions.

  • The “Blacklisting” Rule

 March 27: The president signs legislation that strikes down a Labor Dept. rule that requires federal contractors to disclose past violations of labor and workplace-safety laws.

March 24: Reversing an Obama decision, the current administration approves a permit to build the 1,200-mile project.

  • Clean Water Act and “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

Feb. 28: Trump issues a directive that tells the EPA to start the process of revising a 2015 rule that defines federally regulated “waters of the United States.” But the revision process will be lengthy, and environmentalists vow to challenge the new rule in court.

  • Regulatory Review Task Forces

Feb. 24: Trump signs an executive order telling agencies to set up task forces with an eye toward repealing, replacing or changing existing regulations that hamper job creation or whose costs exceed their benefits.

Jan. 30: Trump signs an executive order that requires agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one they issue.

  • Keystone and Dakota Pipelines

Jan. 24: The president issues a memo directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reexamine whether to cancel the December decision to halt construction of the Dakota pipeline. He also signs a memo to begin the process of restarting the Keystone pipeline. On Feb. 7, an Army official issues a memo granting an easement allowing the restart of construction on the Dakota project.

Jan. 24: Trump signs an executive order telling agencies to expedite reviews of “high-priority infrastructure projects,” as identified by states. As of April 30, no projects have been approved for the program.

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