Market Momentum Increases

The Dodge Momentum Index posted a monthly increase of 7.6% in October, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The October increase reverses three months of declines, leaving the index 18% above a year ago.

The index's October rise was the result of greater planning activity for institutional building, which was up 8.8% for the month, and commercial building planning, which was up 6.8% for the month. Six commercial projects totaled more than $100 million.

Feds To Auction More Acreage For Offshore Wind Development

The Dept. of the Interior on Jan. 29, 2015, will conduct its largest competitive lease sale for offshore wind-power development. The auction area, 742,000 acres off the Massachusetts coast, could support up to 5 GW of wind power, says the Energy Dept. Twelve firms have qualified to participate, including Fishermen's Energy, Cape May, N.J., which on Nov. 21 was again denied a permit to build a 25-MW wind farm off the Atlantic City coast, with regulators citing cost to ratepayers.

Minority Construction Pioneer Herman J. Russell Is Dead at 83

Herman J. Russell, who propelled experience as a drywall apprentice into a role as founder and CEO of Atlanta-based H.J. Russell & Co., one of the largest black-owned U.S. contractors, died on Nov. 15 at age 83 after an unspecified brief illness. The firm has been involved in many key area building projects, including the current $1.3-billion Falcons football stadium. H.J. Russell ranked among ENR's Top 400 Contractors in 2012.