NAVFAC Gets New Leader

Rear Adm. Katherine L. Gregory has been named the new commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the Navy's chief of civil engineers, the Dept. of Defense announced on June 18. The first woman to lead NAVFAC, Gregory, who has been commander of NAVFAC Pacific and also Pacific Fleet civil engineer since July 2010, will succeed Rear Adm. Christopher J. Mossey in the top NAVFAC post. Mossey has been NAVFAC commander since May 2010.

PLA Deal for N.Y. Tappan Zee Bridge Could Save $452 Million

The New York State Thruway Authority and 14 labor groups have approved a project labor agreement (PLA) for the planned Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, a move that will save taxpayers $452 million, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced on June 18. The PLA, subject to final approval from the Federal Highway Administration and the authority's board of directors, will be a required provision of the project's RFP. Under the plan, a lockout or other work disruptions, including renegotiations of collective bargaining agreements, are not permitted. Plan provisions include a standardized 40-hour work week for all trades; a higher ratio of apprentices to journeypersons than is typically allowed in collective bargaining agreements; a $25 bonus for workers arriving one hour prior to their shift, instead of an hour of overtime pay; and standardized holidays that eliminate overtime for service trades. "For too long we have talked about replacing the Tappan Zee, and we cannot wait any longer," Cuomo (D) said in a statement. The $5-billion-plus infrastructure project is one of the largest nationwide, and the PLA will provide thousands of construction jobs and is a "critical step forward" in the project, Cuomo added.

Court Rules Against EPA in Dispute Over Navistar Fines

Truck-maker Navistar Inc.'s "day of reckoning is fast approaching," says a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. On June 12, the court found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was wrong to allow Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar Inc. to pay EPA $1,919 for each diesel truck engine it produced that did not meet current emission regulations. Navistar competitors filed the suit, arguing that EPA's January interim rule-making on the fines was not put out for public comment. The court vacated the rule. Navistar pursued a unique technology path to meet reduced tailpipe levels, which came due in 2010. Its engines are still not compliant. Navistar says it disagrees with the court and will ask for another hearing. Wall Street analysts speculate that European manufacturers Volkswagen AG and Fiat Industrial are interested in buying the company.

Two Teams Submit Proposals For Denver Light-Rail Project

Denver's Regional Transportation District received two proposals in mid-June for its $750-million I-225 FasTracks light-rail project, which will complete the existing east-side light-rail line. One team is led by Balfour Beatty Ames Joint Venture, which includes Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, and Merrill Lynch Global Markets. The other team, led by Kiewit Infrastructure Co., includes Mass. Electric Construction Co., AECOM and RBC Capital Markets. No details about the proposals are available yet.