Dodge Starts Slip 4% in October

The value of new construction starts settled back 4% in October to a seasonally adjusted rate of $589.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline follows the 10% increase reported in September, which was the strongest month so far in 2014.

During the first 10 months of the year, total construction starts, on an unadjusted basis, were $475.8 billion, up 5% from the same period a year ago. "Recent months have shown an up-and-down pattern for construction starts around what is still a rising trend," says Robert Murray, chief economist for DD&A. "Non-residential building is making a more substantial contribution to the expansion, notwithstanding October's decline," Murray says. "This year's retreat in non-building work has been measured," he adds.

Miami Moves Ahead on Program To Reroute System Wastewater

A 100-millon-gallons-per-day membrane bioreactor treatment plant, estimated at $1-billion, is the centerpiece of Miami-Dade County's $3.3-billion project to halt wastewater discharge into the Atlantic Ocean. Program manager CH2M Hill will oversee design, procurement, construction and commissioning for 28 projects. When completed, the plant will be among the largest of its type in the world, the firm says.

In 2008, Florida enacted its Ocean Outfall program, which aims to protect reefs by halting ocean wastewater discharges by 2025. CH2M Hill says the first major contracts could break ground in 2019. Contractors will "replumb" the existing wastewater system by reversing its flow to the membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plant, says Matt Alvarez, project manager for CH2M Hill Miami. The Ocean Outfall program hopes to reuse roughly 60% of Miami-Dade's wastewater flows by 2025. The county plans to provide Florida Power & Light with 90 mgd of reuse water for cooling at the Turkey Point nuclear powerplant. Also, deep-well injection systems will deliver an estimated 27.5 mgd of water to the aquifer.