Dodge Costruction Starts Rise

The value of new construction starts climbed 9% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $621 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The boost was powered by an 85% monthly increase in nonbuilding construction activity. That sector in turn was driven by starts of $6 billion for two liquefied natural gas export facilities, $1.5 billion for a liquefied petroleum gas export terminal and $1 billion for a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal, all in Texas. However, starts for nonresidential buildings were down 10% from January 2014, while housing starts were down 3%.

Fatal Fall of Worker From Seattle Bridge Is Under Investigation

A worker fell 60 to 70 ft from a bridge project in Seattle on March 12 and died as a result of his injuries. The unidentified employee of Kiewit-General-Manson was working on the SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings project and was on top of the east high-rise where fixed highway spans extend toward the new floating bridge. The worker fell from his location. He was taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where he soon died from his injuries.

Lynn Peterson, the state's secretary of transportation, issued a statement: "Safety is and will always be our number one priority as an agency." The contractor is working with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Labor & Industries to investigate the cause of the accident.

Work To Restart on Stalled Modular Tower in Brooklyn

Stacking of the next modules for the world's tallest volumetric modular building is expected to begin again next month. Work stopped last summer at the B2 BKLYN site, prompted by the departure of the residential project's general contractor—Skanska USA Building Inc.— after fit-up and schedule issues surfaced. The job stalled after the 10th floor of 32 planned.

Turner Construction Co. became general contractor at the beginning of the year. The modular plant that feeds the tower—originally a joint venture between an arm of Skanska and an arm of the developer, Forest City Ratner Cos.—is now wholly owned by FC Modular. There are 157 workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard plant at present. The high-rise's completion is targeted for 2016—two years later than expected. B2 BKLYN was the first residential development out of the ground at the $4.9-billion Pacific Park Brooklyn site, formerly known as Atlantic Yards.

Contract Engineering Services Have Large Cost, Says CBO

Federal and military spending on outsourced services was highest for engineering and technical work, at $17.4 billion, or 3.4% of total contracting, says a Congressional Budget Office analysis of 2012 data. The CBO study, released in a March 11 letter to the House Budget Committee, says U.S. contracting for professional, administrative and management services grew the most of any spending category between 2000 and 2012, up 146% to $94.7 billion.