At Long Last, Brooklyn Sports Arena Opens
Brooklyn Nets co-owner Bruce Ratner, developer of the $4.9-billion Atlantic Yards, initially expected to have Barclays Center ready for the 2007 basketball season. But after surviving major obstacles, the arena opened on its latest schedule and budget on Sept. 28. The $1.1-million arena's hard cost is $524 million; its soft cost is $182 million. Site acquisition and sitework cost $153 million. Financing cost $135 million, and a transit connection cost $76 million.
Groundbreaking for the first residential tower is set for Dec. 18. No decision has been made about whether the tower will be modular, but a prototype module is under construction.
California's 405 Freeway Opens On Time After Repair Work
Heavily hyped, the 405 Freeway closure project in Los Angeles, known as "Carmeggedon 2," was a success, leaving the remaining half of historic Mulholland Bridge demolished and one of the nation's busiest highways reopened hours ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline. "We had an A-team out there, and everything went as planned," says Dan Kulka, communications manager for Kiewit Infrastructure West, the project's lead contractor. By finishing on time, Kiewit avoided a $360,000-per-hour late fee.
Work began on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the 10-mile closure of the 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways so crews could take down the northern half of the bridge. The southern section was demolished last year. Kiewit and subcontractor Penhaul Co., Anaheim, Calif., led the demolition. As part of an overall $1-billion project to add carpool lanes to the freeway, the demo involved using giant hoe rams atop the road to punch through the deck and chip away at four girders and columns.
San Diego Authority Clears Way For Drinking Water From Ocean
Seeking long-sought-after water independence from Los Angeles providers, San Diego County's water authority approved a public review period for a proposed desalination plant at the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad that will, by completion in 2016, contribute 50 million gallons of drinking water per day, or 56,000 acre-ft. The proposal calls for a private developer, Poseidon Resources, Stamford, Conn., to construct and operate the plant in a public-private partnership arrangement and for the authority to purchase at least 48,000 acre-ft per year for 30 years. The authority would also be able to purchase additional amounts of approximately 8,000 acre-ft and the plant down the road. Public comment sessions are scheduled for Oct. 2 and Oct. 10, with the water authority's board of directors voting on the proposal later this year.
Obama Blocks China Wind Buy
On Sept. 28, President Obama signed an order that prohibits Ralls Corp., a privately owned Chinese firm, from moving forward with the installation of wind turbines at four wind farms, sited in Oregon, the company acquired earlier this year. The wind farms are situated within protected air space of a U.S. Navy test site. The order further requires Ralls to remove all structures, installations and other materials from the site within 14 days. It also requires Ralls to divest all its interests in the four projects, including related assets, intellectual property, technology, personnel and customer contracts, and transfer operations held since the acquisition.