Insurer Receives Binladin Claim For Mecca Crane Collapse

Saudi Arabia’s United Cooperative  Assurance has received a claim from contractor Saudi Binladin Group  related to the collapse of a super-heavy-lift crawler crane in Mecca on Sept. 11 that killed more than 100 people. The insurer in a financial filing said it  received the claim two days after the  accident and has appointed “evaluators licensed by the country’s banking regulator to determine the damage caused by the accident,” Reuters reported on Sept. 20.The Saudi government  suspended work by the contractor in the country, saying it had not “respected the norms of safety.”

Manufacturer Liebherr claims the crane was “technically faultless” and the tip-over was caused by improper stowage before the storm.

Everglades Water-Storage Job Moves Forward

The Sept. 11 award of a $197-million contract to Barnard Construction Inc. imparts fresh momentum to another key restoration project in the Florida Everglades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to give Barnard notice to proceed this winter on the contract to build the 3,400-acre C-44 Reservoir in Martin County. Completion is expected in 2020. The reservoir will store 50,600 acre-ft of water, which will be gradually discharged to simulate the Everglades ecosystem’s natural sheet flow.

USDOT Pushes High-Speed Rail Line

The U.S. Transportation Dept.’s Federal Railroad Administration, along with North Carolina and Virginia, have signed off on the final environmental impact statement for a proposed high-speed rail line linking Raleigh and Richmond. The agency says about 60% of the 162-mile route would use existing rail lines and have no at-grade crossings. Funding for the estimated $197-million project still needs to be secured.

U.S. Judge Ends Bahamian Resort Bankruptcy Claim

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin J. Carey has ended a Bahamian developer’s effort to seek U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection when he dismissed 14 of the firm’s 15 filings in Connecticut court. In June, subsidiaries of Baha Mar Ltd. had filed motions to reorganize debts linked to construction of the $3.5-billion Baha Mar resort project, reported to be 97% complete.

Contractor China Construction America and the Bahamas government had fought the U.S. filing by arguing for, and achieving, a bankruptcy proceeding to be managed by provisional liquidators appointed by the Bahamian supreme court. The contractor alleges it is owed $72 million from the developer.