Castle Contracting Building New Veterans Community Project in St. Louis

Veterans Community Project (VCP) and Castle Contracting are building a community of 50 tiny homes for veterans experiencing homelessness as well as a Veterans Outreach Center to provide support services on a land parcel in North St. Louis.

Castle designed the site and site infrastructure and is the civil contractor on the project. Kadean Construction is building the outreach center and the tiny homes are being prefabricated and built by Veterans Community Project, with support from partners.

The homes are 240 sq ft to 320 sq ft in size and are expected to serve as transitional housing. The center will be where veterans can receive counseling. Sitework is now underway, according to Adam McBride, executive director of Veterans Community Project. 


Photo by Jeff Yoders for ENR

“We pulled in a lot of our trade partners and talked them through what the mission is and helped them to look at it that way as well as to say, OK, how can we do this,” says Ryan Neff, project manager for Castle. “None of us are trying to make money on this project. We're really trying to figure out how can we be the best stewards of the resources and help the most.”

Castle is both the engineer-of-record and the contractor on the project. Laborers Local 110 is sponsoring one of the tiny houses, all of which will be framed by union carpenters.

“Not only could we acquire 3.5 acres here that fit our needs, to the north we have bus transportation right at our front doorstep and exactly one-half mile south is John Cochran VA medical hospital,” McBride says.


Photo by Jeff Yoders for ENR

VCP was founded in Kansas City by a group of combat veterans whose mission is to fill the gaps of a system that leaves too many service members behind. The organization vows to serve any veteran regardless of discharge status, length of service or type of service. VCP has already built a Kansas City campus that has served more than 4,100 at-risk veterans and successfully transitioned 80 formerly homeless veterans into permanent housing since its opening in 2018.

McBride explains that “80% of veterans are not connected to the critical support services that a majority of them have earned by way of their service. Making it easier to connect to those services has a real impact on bringing the number [of veterans committing suicide] down, and it's one of the main things that we do.”


Chicago Transit Bypass Opens to Traffic

RPM Bypass

Image courtesy of Stantec

On Nov. 29, the first train traveled on Chicago’s new Red-Purple Bypass, a milestone in the largest capital project in the Chicago Transit Authority’s history at $2.1 billion. The bypass removes a bottleneck north of the Belmont Station, where as many as 150,000 riders travel daily at the intersection of the Red, Purple and Brown lines. Relieving pressure at this pinch point is expected to have a positive effect on the entire transit system, sections of which are more than a century old, according to the CTA. 

Stantec is the lead designer on the full Red and Purple Modernization Program, working with design-build team Walsh-Fluor.


Wisconsin Center Expansion Breaks Ground

Wisconsin Center District

Image courtesy The Wisconsin Center District

Wisconsin Center District leadership and board members, elected officials and Milwaukee community leaders broke ground on the Wisconsin Center expansion on Oct. 26. The $420-million project will take up one city block in downtown Milwaukee and include 650,000 sq ft of space, bringing the total Wisconsin Center footprint to over 1.3 million sq ft.

Wisconsin Center District

Image courtesy The Wisconsin Center District

The expansion project will include 300,000 contiguous sq ft of exhibit hall space, a rooftop ballroom and outdoor terraces, indoor parking, 24 additional flexible meeting rooms for a total of 52, and a retrofit of the current convention center. The facility is anticipated to open in the first quarter of 2024. The project was expected to break ground in 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic. WDC felt comfortable moving the project forward in late 2021.

Wisconsin Center District

Image courtesy The Wisconsin Center District

Expansion partners include the project owner’s representative, CAA ICON, design partners Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects and Atlanta-based tvsdesign, construction management partners Gilbane Building Co. and C.D. Smith Construction, which have formed a joint venture as Gilbane | Smith Wisconsin Center Expansion (Gilbane | Smith) and disadvantaged business enterprise partners Cross Management Services Inc.


Lane Begins Work on Kansas City Levee Improvements


Photo courtesy of Lane Construction

The Lane Construction Corp. has broken ground on the Kansas City Levee Flood Risk Management Project. This $258-million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contract will reduce the risk of a levee breach and overtopping during future flooding events in the surrounding area. 

The project is shared between both Kansas and Missouri, and consists of work along the Argentine, Armourdale and Central Industrial District levees in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. The system protects 7.65 miles of industrial, commercial and residential areas, and includes more than 27,000 residents, 2,700 structures and $10 billion in investments.


New Interstate Highway Opens in Indiana

Indiana Interstate Highway

Photo courtesy HNTB/InDot

On Dec. 20, I-69 opened to traffic in both directions on the new Interstate 69 near Martinsville, Ind. Gov. Eric Holcomb and state and local officials held a ribbon-cutting where I-69 meets state route 39, a part of the $1.5-billion highway I-69 Finish Line project. 

Project team members from design engineer HNTB, officials from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation and from contractor Milestone Contractors also attended the ceremony, which featured I-69-shaped candy canes.