Atlanta Names Architect for New $1-Billion Football Stadium

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has named 360 Architecture, Kansas City, Mo., as the design firm for a proposed $1-billion, operable-roof stadium for the Atlanta Falcons. The GWCCA owns and operates the Georgia Dome. Falcons owner Arthur Blank will fund $800 million of the project's cost, while the city's development authority, Invest Atlanta, will finance the remainder with $200 million in revenue bonds.

California Settles Lawsuit Over$68-Billion High-Speed-Rail Job

The California High-Speed Rail Authority settled a key lawsuit over the first section of a $68-billion project. Several interest groups representing Madera and Merced county farmers had challenged the environmental impact report for the Merced-to-Fresno section. "This is a positive step that removes the last legal challenge to moving ahead and signals a new collaborative approach to working with [the] agricultural community to build this project," says Authority CEO Jeff Morales.

As part of the settlement, the authority will establish a $5-million fund to repay the farmers' court costs and preserve farmland. The authority is required to mitigate the effects of construction on agriculture. The first 28 miles of the rail line are expected to break ground this summer under a $985-million design-build contract, with a team lead by Sylmar, Calif.-based Tutor Perini Corp.

Dodge Momentum Index Jumps

The Dodge Momentum Index rose 5.9% in March, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, which compiles the index. The index is a strong indicator of future movement in non-residential building put-in-place data, published by the U.S. Commerce Dept. The March hike marks the fourth-straight monthly gain, following a modest retreat from last August to November. That pause reflects political and economic uncertainty, Dodge says. Recent movement suggests owners see an improving climate for construction.

Command Changes in Civil and Emergency Operations at Corps

Maj. Gen. John W. Peabody has been appointed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, replacing Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh. Peabody currently is commander of the Mississippi Valley Division. Brig. Gen. Peter A. DeLuca, who previously was commanding general of the Corps North Atlantic Division, will assume the Mississippi Valley Division command.