KDC Tops Off Wells Fargo’s Net-Positive Energy Campus

In early March, contractor KDC topped off the 850,000-sq-ft state-of-the-art campus in Iving, Texas, for financial giant Wells Fargo—the firm’s first net-positive energy office complex in the U.S. The $455-million campus, which includes two 10-story office buildings linked to a parking garage via a skybridge, will consolidate firm offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the end of 2025.

The campus, which has a LEED Platinum rating, is set to generate more energy than it consumes with rooftop solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and a green roof, KDC said. It also will include well-being rooms and gyms with remotely led classes, a cycling studio and a food hall with open-view cooking stations. The project team includes Corgan as architect, Kimley Horn as landscape and civil engineer and contractor Austin Commercial, KDC said.


HNTB Wins DFW Airport Contract to Manage $5-Billion Capital Program

The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport board selected consulting engineer HNTB to provide program management and construction management for its upcoming $5-billion preapproved capital project, the company said.

HNTB added that the project team will oversee vertical construction and manage terminal capacity expansion and development programs, including the first phase of Terminal F. The team will oversee services across all project phases, according to the firm, which noted that it has worked in facilities and construction management at the airport for the past decade.


OSHA Cites Texas Contractor After Trench Collapse Kills 18-Year-Old Employee

The U.S. Labor Dept. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Hurtado Construction Co. on March 15 after an 18-year-old employee of the Brookshire, Texas, contractor was killed in a trench collapse last September. OSHA has proposed $257,811 in fines, issuing one willful violation citation and six for serious violations to Hurtado.

The employee, whom OSHA did not name, was working in a 12-ft-deep trench on a water and sewer line project. While installing geotextile fabric to a reinforced concrete pipe joint, a trench side wall collapsed, trapping him between the pipe and a reinforced concrete box. He died from crushing injuries and asphyxiation, said OSHA.

Larissa Ipsen, OSHA area director in Houston, said in a statement that the firm “has routinely ignored its legal responsibility to protect employees’ safety and health.”

Hurtado did not respond to ENR queries about the incident.


Four Contractor Executives Plead Guilty in Oklahoma-Based Bid-Rigging Case

Owners and managers of four Oklahoma erosion control contractors have pleaded guilty in a bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracy prosecutors say targeted more than $100 million in public contracts, according to the U.S Justice Dept.

Pleading guilty Feb. 27 was Stanley Mark Smith, owner of a firm operating in Claremore and Catoosa, Okla. His plea followed others last fall by Roy Henry Heinrich, former owner and officer of a contractor based in El Reno, Okla.; Ryan Ashley Sullivan, an owner and executive at a Lawton, Okla.-based firm; and James T. Feazel, former operations manager of a Weatherford, Okla., contractor, the Justice Dept. said.

Prosecutors say the four began conspiring in 2017, agreeing to raise prices for contract line items and to divide contracts by submitting intentionally high bids or declining to bid for certain projects.

Sullivan was part of the conspiracy until at least April 2019; Heinrich until at least July 2021; and Smith and Feazel until April 2023, the Justice Dept. said. Court records did not specify defendants’ companies nor any specific projects they bid. An attorney representing Sullivan declined to comment. Attorneys for the other defendants did not immediately respond to ENR.


Sasaki Leads University Lakes Revitalization Effort

University Lakes

Sasaki is leading the efforts to revive University Lakes, one of the largest public spaces in Baton Rouge.
Image Courtesy Sasaki

After decades of erosion, sedimentation and ecological struggles, University Lakes, one of the largest public spaces in Baton Rouge, is undergoing a revitalization that is set to “usher it into the 21st century as a resilient and sustainable urban landscape,” said design firm Sasaki, which is overseeing all project phases.

Originally designed in the 1920s, (see rendering, above), the lake system has faced challenges in recent years, including poor water quality, flooding, failing infrastructure and unsafe conditions, said the firm. Key project goals are to create a more sustainable aquatic system, increase flood protection, enhance the natural habitat and improve safety and recreation.

In a multiphase effort, the upgrade will focus on reuse of over 600,000 cu yd of dredge material to create innovative edge conditions and improve hydrology and ecological health. The first stage emphasis is on dredging the lakes, rebuilding bridges and paths and reducing flood risks. The project cost was not released.


New Texas National Guard Base in Eagle Pass Starts Work, Governor Says

Construction has begun on a Texas military base camp in Eagle Pass, near the Mexico border, which is expected to house about 1,800 state National Guard troops as part of a Texas border security push, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said April 4.

The state in February hired New Braunfels, Texas-based Team Housing Solutions to build upon a former 80-acre recreational vehicle park along the Rio Grande. The work will include living quarters and other facilities for activated Guard troops, according to the Austin American-Statesman. No cost figure was released by the state for the facility, but media reports say it could be more than $400 million by September 2026.

Abbott earlier said the state-operated facility—that he termed the Forward Operating Base—is as part of his $11-billion Operation Lone Star border security initiative.


Construction Underway On $270-Million Bossier City, La., Casino & Hotel

Developer Cordish Cos. said that construction is underway on the $270-million Live! Casino & Hotel project in Bossier City, La., with Gulfport, Miss.-based AnderCorp selected in January as project general contractor. The gaming and entertainment venue will replace the former Diamond Jacks Casino on the site, which closed in 2020 and will be demolished. AnderCorp has already provided preconstruction services, design review and managed early-stage demolition, Cordish Cos. said.

Cordish plans to open the new casino in 2025. Bossier City Mayor Thomas Chandler called the project “the largest venture that has happened in our area in a long time.” The developer said the project will create 750 construction jobs and 750 permanent ones.