Today we take a look at some of the stories making headlines in the construction industry for the week of April 22nd, 2013.
OSHA Issues Final Rule on Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Underground Construction & Demolition
On Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published their final rule for Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Underground Construction & Demolition in the Federal Register. The final rule takes effect on May 23rd, 2013. The rule eliminates the current standard for cranes and derricks used for demolition work and underground construction. It is being replaced by the current rules for cranes and derricks in construction standard from August 2010. This standard already applies to all other sectors of the construction industry and is intended to better protect workers who use these types of heavy equipment for underground and demolition.
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index for March 2013 Signals Growth for 8th Consecutive Month
The American Institute of Architects has released their March 2013 Architecture Billings Index (ABI). For March, the ABI had a score of 51.9 which was down from its score of 54.6 for February 2013 but still indicates growth since any score above 50 indicates an increase in the demand for design services. All four regions in the U.S. showed growth with the Northeast leading the way at 54.6 followed by the Midwest at 53.9, the South at 53.6 and the West at 51.9. All sectors of the industry also indicated growth with Multi-family Residential coming in at 56.9, Commercial/Industrial at 53.5, Mixed Practice at 53.3 and Institutional at 50.6.
PANYNJ Awards Contracts for Major Bridge Projects
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey awarded two contracts on April 24th, 2013 for two major bridge projects that connect Staten Island to New Jersey. The joint venture of Skanska Koch, Inc./Kiewet Infrastructure Co. was awarded a 743.3 million contract to raise the roadway deck of the Bayonne Bridge. The new deck will be built above the current deck which is a first for the agency. The new deck will feature wider lanes and a median divider along with a bike and pedestrian walkway. The second project awarded was a $1.5 billion Public-Private Partnership with NYNJ Link Partnership to replace the Goethals Bridge. The design-build-finance-maintain contract is another first for the Port Authority. The new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge will be the first new bridge built by the Port Authority since the George Washington Bridge in 1931.