The A.M. Best Co. sharply lowered to "weak" from "excellent" First Sealord Surety's credit rating, and the surety's apparent financial troubles have created problems for at least one general contractor with a few subs in default.Big sureties such as Travelers and Liberty Mutual have remained profitable through the economic downturn by sticking to tight underwriting standards. First Sealord, based in Villanova, Pa., serves contractors whose bonded contract value averages $429,000. Surety industry executives predict increasing defaults by small subcontractors in 2012.Sean Murphy, vice president of construction operations for Coastal Construction Group, Miami, says his company has a few subcontractors in
Arch dams, classically curved monoliths situated in narrow valleys, are not as common as other types of dams, such as embankment dams and gravity dams. ENR takes a look at some of the biggest arch dams in the world, both completed and under construction.