Construction Industry News: February 21, 2020

Coronavirus impacts could have ripple effect on U.S. construction industry

The coronavirus outbreak in China could add another layer of unpredictability to the many uncertainties facing commercial building in the U.S. From labor shortages and tariffs to an upcoming presidential election, the industry entered 2020 facing many unknowns, and experts say the fallout from the COVID-19 virus is one more factor poised to affect construction firms.

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California bullet train construction update shows costs could reach $100B

Although it is making progress and putting Californians to work on the bullet train construction, the costs for the full project have grown at least another $1.3 billion to an average estimate of $80.3 billion and future funding remains uncertain. The low end of the authority’s estimate has the Northern California to Southern California route coming in at $63.2 billion, and, at the high end of the CHSRA’s range, the project could cost as much as $98.1 billion.

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Seattle Expands Bridge Bioswale Projects

The success of engineered systems to capture stormwater runoff from Seattle’s Aurora Avenue Bridge has spurred construction of additional measures that proponents say will increase total filtering capacity by another two million gallons per year.

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AECOM First-Quarter Results Leave Investors Hopeful

AECOM’s first quarter 2020 results, announced on Feb. 3, revealed a 4% drop in global revenue but better profitability news as the firm sheds some riskier construction work—informing investors that the completed sale of its government-focused management services unit for $2.4 billion, now renamed as Amentum and owned by private equity firms, will repay “a substantial portion” of outstanding debt.

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Pier Cap Dispute Compounds Arkansas Bridge Construction Delays

A $100-million bridge project in Arkansas is on hold as contractors and state highway officials wrestle over the need and responsibility for an $11-million pier cap replacement.

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