Construction Industry News: July 30, 2020

Material and Labor Cost Index Falls in July

Engineering and construction costs declined in July after staying flat in June, according to the IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index. The index fell to 43.4 overall, with the materials and equipment sector reaching 44.8, and the sub-contractor component sitting at 40.2.  The index, which is calculated based on survey data from procurement executives in engineering, procurement and construction firms (EPC), indicates falling prices at any figure below 50.

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2020 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook: A midyear update

In 2019, the engineering and construction industry saw overall market growth despite cost pressures, labor shortages, and trends toward fixed-bid projects. We originally forecasted this trend would persist into 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift in project timelines and a drop in the sectors’ labor and employment.

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Senate GOP $1T COVID-19 Relief Proposal All But Omits Infrastructure

Senate Republicans have unveiled their opening proposal to begin negotiations with Democrats on a new coronavirus relief package.

The Associated General Contractors of America praised several provisions in the proposal, announced on July 27, including protection for employers from coronavirus-related lawsuits, an expanded tax credit for companies that retain workers and another round of funding for a recalibrated Paycheck Protection Program of forgivable federal loans.

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Seattle bridge repair effort advances, bridge future unclear

Workers on Monday managed to attach two large platforms to the underside of a damaged commuter bridge. But officials still don’t know whether the repairs they are set to start will permanently fix the bridge or not.

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Maryland Shortlists Four Teams for Planned $11B P3 Highway Project

Despite the looming collapse of the public-private partnership behind the problem-plagued Purple Line light rail project, Maryland’s transportation agencies are pressing ahead with a separate P3 initiative to add four tolled Express Lanes to portions of the I-495 Capital Beltway and I-270 outside Washington, D.C.

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California Governor Asks Warren Buffett To Back Klamath Dam Removal

Gov. Gavin Newsom has appealed directly to investor Warren Buffett to support demolishing four hydroelectric dams on a river along the Oregon – California border to save salmon populations that have dwindled to almost nothing.

Newsom on Wednesday sent a letter to Buffett urging him to back the Klamath River project, which would be the largest dam removal in U.S. history.

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