Nevada’s Bridges Among Nation’s Best
For the second consecutive year, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association ranked Nevada Department of Transportation’s bridges the nation’s best. The ARTBA released a ranking of the country’s bridges based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s bridge inventory data. The analysis concludes that 1.8 percent of Nevada’s 1,900 public bridges are structurally deficient compared to the 9.6 percent national average.
In a press release, NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon says, “We utilize federal and state transportation funding to make important enhancements to keep Nevada bridges the nation’s best, and, most importantly, to keep Nevada motorists safe on our bridges.”
The ARTBA website notes that since 2004, the state of Nevada has seen the construction of 275 new bridges and the major reconstruction of 21 bridges. NDOT inspects Nevada bridge structures every two years regardless of condition and inspects bridges with extensive deterioration more often. “Keeping everyone safe and connected on Nevada’s roads is our primary focus,” says Malfabon.
Arizona Builder’s Alliance To Discuss Arizona’s First P3 Highway
Arizona Builder’s Alliance is holding a luncheon Thursday, March 17, 2016 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Guest Suites to discuss status, plans and an overview of the upcoming $2 billion South Mountain P3 project, the first Highway P3 in Arizona.
Speakers at the luncheon include Carmelo Acevedo, project manager, ADOT; Robert Samour, project director, ADOT; and Ken Smith, GEC project manager, HDR. Smith will explain the thought process behind the highway.
“This first-of-its-kind highway contract in Arizona has not only reduced the overall cost but allowed ADOT to accelerate the entire project, meaning motorists will be able to benefit from this critical freeway sooner,” says ADOT Director John Halikowski in a press release.
State, federal, and local dollars will fund the project, and a public-private partnership will oversee the final design, construction, and 30-year maintenance plan. This P3 partnership allows for quicker construction and overall cost reductions for the 22-mile run of highway set to connect the East and West valley. The freeway is set to open in 2019.
Tickets for this luncheon range from $30 to $47 and are available on the Arizona Builder’s Alliance website.
Associated General Contractors of New Mexico Appoints New President
The Associated General Contractors of New Mexico named J.B. Henderson President John Stroud the new 2016 board president. Stroud, who has worked for J.B. Henderson for 25 years, takes on the role of AGC’s board president as the construction industry in the state has one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.
Stroud “[looks] forward to working alongside my fellow board members, our member companies, and our other community leaders. We will align our efforts to enhance New Mexico’s built environment and grow our economy,” according to an AGC press release. He goes on to say, referencing the unemployment rates, that “connecting the network of employers and job seekers will begin to address our state's workforce challenges and facilitate economic development.”
Nevada Tesla Gigafactory Construction Workers Walk-Off Job
Nearly 350 local workers walked off the job at the site of Tesla’s gigafactory near Reno, Nev., Feb. 29 to protest Tesla outsourcing some Gigafactory jobs to a third-party non-union contractor, Brycon Construction. This left about 60 laborers on the site.
Todd Koch, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada, says the one-day walkout was engaged to shine a spotlight on Tesla’s “contractor hiring practices.”
Koch says, “These construction workers from Nevada had watched as Tesla took contracts from contractors hiring Nevadans and began issuing contracts to Brycon Corporation from New Mexico. Nevadans were displaced and replaced by Tesla’s action of hiring Brycon who in turn brought in workers from out of state. Brycon began to solicit the local construction workers as they were laid off from other companies. Because the compensation Brycon offered was 50% or less than what they were making at the same project, most Nevadans refused Brycon’s offer.”
Tesla received $1.4 billion in tax incentives to build its factory and the union workers feel jobs should be kept for local Nevada construction workers. Tesla responded that more than 50 percent of its workers are from the state of Nevada — a requirement of the tax breaks. A Tesla representative emailed a statement to Bloomberg and others which read, in part, "Their issue is not with how Tesla treats its workers. Their issue is that of the many third-party contractors that are involved in the construction of the Gigafactory, many are union but the one at issue is not."
Koch says his group and others remain committed to changing Brycon’s hiring practices.