Construction Industry News: Feb 20, 2019

Calif. Gov. Pulls Plug on L.A.-San Francisco High-Speed Rail Project

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he’s abandoning a $77 billion plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco and will focus instead on completing a 119-mile segment in the state’s agricultural heartland.

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Musk’s Boring Co. Discussed a JFK Transit Tunnel With New York Officials

Amazon.com Inc. isn’t the only company that’s having a hard time in New York this year. Elon Musk’s Boring Co. at one point talked with New York City-area officials about connecting John F. Kennedy International Airport with Manhattan directly via tunnel, a route long considered a kind of holy grail for weary transit riders traveling into and out of the city. But regional engineers raised concerns over the Boring Co. tunnel’s feasibility.

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New Spending Package Has Mixed Results for Federal Construction Programs

Most of the attention on the big fiscal 2019 spending package enacted on Feb. 15 understandably has focused on one item, the $1.375 billion the legislation contains for southwest border barriers, far short of the $5.7 billion President Trump has pushed for.

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US Appeals Court Slams FERC on Long-Muddled State Environmental Permits

What may be the nation’s largest dam removal project—delayed for years by regulatory and legal disputes of a utility, stakeholders and states over licensing and environmental permits—now may have new momentum after a hard-hitting January federal appeals court ruling.

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Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive Bridge Closes for Emergency Repairs, Reopens With Temporary Fix

Lake Shore Drive, a part of U.S. Highway 41 that runs parallel with and along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Chicago, was closed to northbound traffic from the morning of Feb. 11 to the afternoon of Feb. 12 due to cracks in structural steel support girders on the elevated roadway leading up to the Outer Drive Bridge that crosses the Chicago River near the mouth of Lake Michigan. The popular thoroughfare handles 120,000 vehicles a day, half of which use the northbound lanes.

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BUILD grants take $600M hit in new spending bill

Federal budget allocations for the USDOT’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grants decreased by $600 million to $900 million in the $333 billion fiscal year 2019 spending bill President Donald Trump signed on Feb. 15. 

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Weekend of Events Precedes Seattle Tunnel Opening

Seattle residents will get the opportunity to celebrate their new tunnel Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2-3, and get one last chance to check out the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which will be fully removed in the coming months.

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