The Construction Contractors’ College in Houston celebrated its most recent graduating class on Nov. 14. Personnel from Skanska USA participated with the college as instructors. Bill Brown, at left, a senior project manager with Skanska USA Building, addressed graduates. Skanska also joined Capital One as a leading sponsor of the program, which is part of the Entrepreneurs’ Learning Center at the Kingdom Builders’ Center. Brown, who had served as an instructor in the 19-week curriculum, surprised the up-and-coming entrepreneurs when he announced that Skanska had purchased iPads for the entire graduating class to help familiarize them with the latest technology in the field. The college also recognized Brown and Skanska for their support of the program and recognized Skanska’s Carlos Alvarez for serving as a safety instructor for the class.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast hard at the end of August, devastating the city of Rockport and many other small towns in the area. State Service Co. in Ingleside, Texas, was on the frontline of destruction that the storm left behind. Global Diving & Salvage was contracted to recover boats that sank in the wake of the storm surge and asked State Service to help. The two companies worked together throughout Rockport, Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Port Aransas to recover 87 sunken vessels.

State Service Co. used its 300-ton Link-Belt cranes, which were placed on barges, to lift sunken boats out of the water.

On Nov. 4, 18 organizations and five schools competed in the 2017 Houston Canstruction competition. VLK Architects and Bridgeland High School’s theme, “Can’t Bear Hunger,” earned the Jurors’ Favorite High School Team award. Freshman and sophomore students from Bridgeland High School, one of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD’s newest schools, joined VLK to form a team. After rebounding from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the group worked for several months to plan the unique design.

Canstruction is a design-build competition that allows participants to submit a theme and build a structure out of donated canned goods. Hosted at City Centre on the west side of Houston, the sculpture remains on display during voting, and at the end of the competition, the canned goods are distributed to local food banks in time for the holidays.

The team used the cartoon character Yogi Bear to tell a story about the city of Jellystone being devastated by a massive storm. Yogi was made up of more than 1,500 cans of pinto beans, with sweet pea can accents for his tie and tuna cans for his hat. The colossal picnic basket next to Yogi was made up of cans of sliced pineapple. Red LED lights flickered in the “fire,” made out of black-eye pea logs and other assorted cans.

The Texas Dept. of Transportation, state and local officials and AGL Constructors celebrated substantial completion of the 35Express project with a ribbon cutting on Nov. 8.

Launched in fall 2013, the $1.4-billion expansion of Interstate 35E extends from U.S. Highway 380 in Denton County to I-635 in Dallas County. The project has increased mobility in the key north-south corridor with an additional traffic lane in both directions, continuous frontage roads as well as 18 miles of reversible, tolled express lanes.

Crews also repaved more than 30 miles of the road as part of the project, with over 75 bridges refurbished or completely rebuilt, including structures at North Texas Boulevard, Corinth Parkway, Post Oak Drive, the new southbound Lewisville Lake Bridge, FM 407-Justin Road, Belt Line Road and Dickerson Parkway.