General contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis and structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates have settled a lawsuit with the family of the man who died in his apartment when the boom of a 210-ft tower crane toppled while working on Tower 333 in Bellevue, Wash. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. An LCL action against MKA, part of the suit, remains unresolved. According to MKA Chairman and CEO Jon D. Magnusson, MKA designed the crane base assuming a tie-in to the building frame in the initial configuration, but the crane was erected without a tie-in. The reason for this is the
A flurry of April announcements illustrates how the White House is moving to fill top spots at federal agencies that oversee major construction programs. The designees need Senate confirmation, but the lineup is winning praise from industry officials. At the Dept. of Transportation, Obama’s pick to be under secretary for policy, Roy Kienitz, an aide to Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell (D), “is a person who hasn’t been captured by conventional thinking,” says John Doyle, special counsel for law firm Jones Walker LLP. Doyle was a lead House staffer and Kienitz a key Senate aide in drafting the 1991 Intermodal Surface
Nearly a year before an ill-fated Kodiak tower crane collapsed on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and killed two workers, China-based RTR Bearing Co. sent an e-mail to New York Crane & Equipment Corp., saying, “We don’t have confidence on this welding,” referring to a custom bearing assembly the crane owner had ordered. But New York Crane asked RTR to perform the $21,860 job anyway, according to court papers filed in conjunction with the accident. Photo: Castro & Karten LLP Plaintiffs’ photographs show where swing bearing (top) snapped away from spacer ring (bottom). Even as personal-injury lawyers are now blaming Brooklyn-based
Maryland's transportation secretary, John D. Porcari, is President Obama's choice to hold the number-two post at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, the White House announced on April 10. His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation. PORCARI Porcari has led Maryland DOT since 2007, his second stint in the job. He also was the state agency's secretary from 1999 to 2002. Both times he served under Democratic governors. Between those two periods, Porcari was the University of Maryland's vice president for administrative affairs. Jane F. Garvey, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration and acting Federal Highway Administration chief in the
A federal investigation of impeached ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has resulted on April 2 in six indictments for fraud and extortion that include construction executives. Christopher Kelly, a roofing contractor, and William Cellini, president of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association, were indicted along with Blagojevich, his brother, his chief of staff and a lobbyist. Cellini was similarly indicted last October.
The White House announced on April 2 that President Obama has selected Victor M. Mendez, former director of the Arizona Dept. of Transportation, to lead the Federal Highway Administration, subject to Senate confirmation. The President also chose Jo-Ellen Darcy, a long time Senate aide, as assistant secretary of the Army for civil works—the Pentagon official who oversees the Corps of Engineers—the White House said on March 31. Mendez joined Arizona DOT in 1985 as a transportation engineer and rose through the ranks to become the agency’s director in 2001. He left the top agency job in February after Jan Brewer
Jo-Ellen Darcy, a long-time Senate staffer who has specialized in water and environmental issues, will be nominated as assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, the White House announced on March 31. The assistant secretary oversees the civil works program of the Army Corps of Engineers. Darcy currently is senior environmental advisor to the Senate Finance Committee. Before that, she spent more than a decade as a staffer on the Environment and Public Works Committee, where she played a key role in drafting Corps-related legislation. Her positions on the EPW staff included senior policy advisor and deputy staff director.
President Obama has chosen J. Randolph Babbitt, former president of the Air Line Pilots Association, as his nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration, the White House said on March 27. Senior officials of airport associations praised Babbitt’s knowledge of the aviation industry. James C. May, president of the Air Transport Association, called him “a superb choice” for the top position at the FAA.
Jonathan Z. Cannon, President Obama’s pick to be the Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy administrator, has withdrawn as a candidate, saying that a group on whose board he had served “has become the subject of scrutiny.” A 2007 EPA inspector general’s report said the group, America’s Clean Water Foundation, didn’t comply with federal financial, program management and procurement standards for EPA grants it received. Cannon said on March 25, “While my service on the board of that now-dissolved organization is not the subject of the scrutiny, I believe the energy and environmental challenges facing our nation are too great to delay
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood continues to like the idea of a national infrastructure bank. Testifying at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on March 24, LaHood suggested that public-private partnerships and an infrastructure bank could help supplement the Highway Trust Fund in financing major projects. “The Highway Trust Fund is simply not going to allow us to do all that we need to do,” he said. The committee hearing is part of its preparation for the next surface transportation bill. LaHood also told the panel that hiking the motor-fuels tax should be off the table. “In these hard