Model Contract: New Joint-Venture Design-Build And Teaming Forms Available

ConsensusDocs, which writes and publishes model contract agreements for building teams, has released joint-venture design-build and teaming agreements, which the group says are industry firsts. The JV document helps team members address licensing and insurance requirements as well as risk-allocation issues. The teaming document helps team members "memorialize" roles and responsibilities when submitting a project bid or proposal, says the group, whose documents are written and endorsed by 40 design and construction associations.

Equipmen: Terex Sells Off-Highway Truck Division to Volvo Construction

Volvo Construction Equipment is buying Terex Corp.'s off-highway truck business in a cash transaction worth $160 million. The sale, which includes articulating and rigid-frame trucks, allows Terex to continue to focus on lifting and materials-handling products, while Volvo expands in the earthmoving business, including light mining. The deal, set to close by the second quarter of 2014, will give Volvo the truck line, distribution and factory assets in Motherwell, Scotland, and a 25.2% stake in a Chinese manufacturer.

Environmenta: Countries Agree To Scale Back Water-Supply Plan for Dead Sea

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to a scaled-back $700-million version of a long-envisioned project to replenish the Dead Sea. The project, estimated at $10 billion earlier, now will include a desalination plant and a 180-kilometer-long pipeline from the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea's northern extension. Some 200 million cu meters of water will be extracted annually, with allocations to the two countries and to Palestinians the West Bank. Officials are still considering options for brine disposal and project funding. The World Bank reportedly has agreed to grant a loan for the pipeline until funds are raised from donor countries and private sources. Israeli sources said Israel is committed to purchasing at least half the desal plant's output. The original Red-Dead plan involved a series of pipelines and tunnels, with a plant quadruple the size and hydroelectric plants along the pipeline route. Opposing environmental groups say they favor the scaled-down approach.

Infrastructur: Large TBM Stuck on Seattle Job 1,000 ft Into a 2-Mile-Long Bore

North America's largest tunnel-boring machine, the 57.5-ft-dia "Bertha," has not moved since Dec. 6, after hitting an unidentified object just over 1,000 ft into its nearly two-mile-long dig below Seattle for a new highway to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct. Soil-sampling test shafts and ground-penetrating radar failed to note this obstruction 60 ft below ground prior to tunneling. The Washington State Dept. of Transportation says Bertha is performing well, and the shutdown is "precautionary." The agency and contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners are deciding on the next step. One option is to drill from the surface. Another option is to place divers in the 18-in. space between Bertha and the obstruction, but pressurizing the space could push through the fill and debris located above the glacial till.