Construction has started on the final phase of a project to widen U.S. Route 113 in Maryland from two to four lanes. The team of Wallace Montgomery and Allan Myers was awarded the design-build contract for the $51.4 million phase.
Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year on the $600 million Fenway Center in Boston. The multiphase project with five buildings and 1.1 million square feet will include residential, retail and office space and will be built over a portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
About half of the underground concrete has been placed at a $200 million professional soccer stadium in Minnesota, and Mortensen Construction is beginning vertical construction. About 30% of the excavation still must be completed for ancillary buildings, and the entire project should be finished in 2019.
Utility work has started on a project to realign the Loop 610/Interstate 69 interchange, and construction on the $259 million project is expected to take six years. The project will rebuild the Loop's main lanes, increase all ramps to two lanes and add shoulders to what is a well-known traffic chokepoint.
The $1.2 billion second phase of the Interstate 74 bridge project from Illinois to Iowa is moving forward and is expected to take 3.5 years to complete. The various parts of the project are on track or ahead of schedule.
A recent survey of 43 state transportation departments found a 21% increase in bids over 2016, but material and wage inflation were starting to impact the industry, according to people at a recent Wall Street investors conference. "Global growth momentum should continue and accelerate across most sectors into 2018," analyst Andrew Wittmann of Robert W. Baird & Co. said.
Spending by states on transportation projects increased 7.6% from 2016 to $70.2 billion, and overall capital spending increased 5.7%. The increased spending reflects "states' significant efforts at addressing both the maintenance and expansion of [their] transportation systems," a National Association of State Budget Officers report says.
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is building a $4.7 billion rail line in San Jose, and the agency is trying to decide whether to construct one or two tunnels through downtown. A panel of experts recently recommended the two-tunnel option, and the transportation authority is expected to make a decision in January.
Hurricane Harvey could dramatically change development in the Houston area, with Harris County planners considering using 500-year flood-plain maps rather than 100-year maps. Commissioners must approve the change, and it could significantly increase development costs by requiring homes to be higher off the ground.
A chemical plant run by a BASF Total Petrochemicals joint venture in Port Arthur, Texas, released 106 million gallons of raw sewage and industrial discharges during Hurricane Harvey, part of 149 million gallons from 200 plants. The company said the spill was mostly rainwater that included no harmful chemicals and that "process water systems were not compromised."
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