Photo by Tudor Van Hampton for ENR

Bauma 2013 Equipment Show Opens

Snaking their way through the thick crowds, contractors visiting this year's Bauma expo in Munich were pumped up about hydraulic hybrids—machines that recover fluid energy and save 20% or more in diesel fuel at a fraction of the cost of electric power. "This will change the world in our business," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman.

Caterpillar, Hyundai and Liebherr were all displaying new hydraulic hybrids at the show, which was expected to set a new record of more than 500,000 people. On April 16, Oberhelman presented the keys to Cat's first 336EH hydraulic-hybrid excavator to Stem Antonsen, a heavy civil contractor in Norway. He said he expects a one- to two-year payback on the hybrid, which costs 9% more than the standard model.

Washington State Bridge Chief Dismissed After Design Errors

Jugesh Kapur, head of the Washington State Dept. of Transportion's bridge and structures office, has been dismissed from his position, and another employee disciplined, following the design errors that have delayed work on the S.R. 520 replacement bridge, say local media reports. Cracks were discovered in one of the first pontoons fabricated for the project. An agency spokesman declined to confirm names or answer questions on the subject or any related personnel matters.

Contractor Wins $500,000 Bonus For Finishing Job 30 Days Early

A North Carolina contractor had to use snowplows to clear worksite roads after winter snowstorms, but it was worth it. Phillips & Jordan Inc. won the $500,000 promised bonus for completing U.S. 441 between Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Cherokee, N.C., which opened on April 15, 30 days ahead of deadline. The two-lane highway had been closed since a Jan. 15 landslide took out a 200-ft section. Phillips & Jordan replaced 275 ft of highway under the $4-million contract, says Dudley Orr, vice president.

Schiavone-Picone Is Low Bid For NYC Subway Station Job

A joint venture of Schiavone Construction, the Secaucus, N.J., unit of Spain-based Dragados S.A., and John P. Picone Inc. Lawrence, N.Y., is the apparent low bidder on a contract for entrances, facilities, MEP, finishes and related work at the 86th Street station of the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan, says MTA. The firms bid $208.37 million. Four other teams submitted bids that ranged from $258.78 million to $268 million.

An MTA spokeswoman says the expected award is in June, with construction set to start in September and anticipated completion in 2016. But tenants and owners of a 21-story apartment building on 86th Street filed suit in federal court last month to halt station work, claiming it would be a hazard, according to a published report. A similar suit filed in 2011 was dismissed. MTA declined comment.