City of Spokane Awards $125 Million Cutting-Edge Filtration Contract
MWH Constructors and Slayden Constructors Inc. were awarded a $125 million contract by the city of Spokane to provide general contractor and construction manager services for an upgraded tertiary filtration system for the Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility. As designed, the system is the most effective phosphate removal process of its kind in the U.S., according to the project team.

The filtration system upgrade will increase the removal of phosphorus from the effluent to more than 99 percent. The current system removes 90 percent of phosphorus, which has been associated with low oxygen levels and algae blooms that can harm aquatic life in the Spokane River and Long Lake. With additional disinfection, the new filtration system could bring the effluent in compliance with Washington State Department of Ecology “Class A” standards, allowing the water to be safely reused for irrigation, industrial processes, dust control, wetland enhancements and recharging groundwater supplies.

Construction of the upgrade is expected to begin in late 2016 and is part of the city of Spokane’s $310 million Integrated Clean Water Plan. Construction of the new system will be completed in two overlapping phases with early evaluation to ensure constructability of the new system’s proposed design. The Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility will remain fully operational during construction.
Non-Residential Construction Costs Likely To Rise in Seattle
According to a recent report from Mortenson Construction, building owners could be looking at an increase of 3% to 4% for non-residential construction costs in the coming year in major markets across the country, including Seattle.

"There continues to be a lot of activity in the markets we track although average project size is reduced relative to recent years." says Clark Taylor, vice president of estimating at Mortenson.

Mortenson Construction recommends that building owners anticipate a 3.5% to 4.5% rise in construction costs in 2016 due to continuing strong construction employment trends in the city. Seattle’s cost index is also 3.6% higher than it was last year and continues to outpace the national average. The Mortenson Construction cost index is calculated quarterly by pricing a representative non-residential construction project in Seattle and other geographies throughout the country, according to the report.

"Construction employment is leveling out and price escalation should be more consistent with long-term averages. We believe this should allow customers to more accurately plan for increases in the next year," Taylor says.

The company analyzed six major markets: Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Phoenix and Seattle.
Oregon Contractor Accused of Misconduct
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has imposed more than $25,000 in civil penalties and made Tri-Star Flagging owner Evan Williams and additional business entities associated with him ineligible for public projects for three years, the agency announced this week.
The violations occurred during construction work performed in Milwaukie.

Previously, the agency recovered $104,000 in fringe benefit wages for 37 employees of Evan Williams’ Tri-Star Flagging who worked as flaggers on the Sellwood Bridge project.

The agency’s final order includes civil penalties of $9,491.34 that stem from failure to pay prevailing wage rates to 13 workers on a public project and an additional $16,000 assessed for 16 inaccurate and falsified payroll records.

The order adds Portland Flagging, LLC and AD Traffic Control Services, LLC to the list of companies associated with Williams that are ineligible to receive payment on public works projects.

Last month, the Oregon Labor Commissioner filed a complaint against Williams and his companies that alleges retaliation, threats of physical violence, and other unlawful employment practices against employees who filed wage claims.
Army Corps of Engineers Awards $8-Million Washington Dam Upgrades Contract
The Tri-City Herald reports that the Knight Construction and Supply won an $8-million Army Corps of Engineers contract to upgrade the Ice Harbor Dam in Kahlotus, Wash. The project will focus on upgrading the navigation lock’s downstream lift gate hoist machinery.

The hoist machinery that Knight Construction and Supply will replace is over 50 years old.

The company expects to upgrade the dam from Dec. 12, 2016 through March 20, 2017 during an already-scheduled closure of the Columbia and Snake River inland navigation system. For more information on the closure, visit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website
Alaska’s $138-Million Museum Project Nears Completion
The $138.4-million State Library Archives and Museum Building in Juneau, Alaska, is nearly complete. The 118,000-sq-ft project, being built by PCL Construction, is set to open in May.

While the exterior of the building is mostly finished, the interior is still under construction. The interior includes exhibit halls, a children’s discovery room, temporary galleries for rotating exhibits, library, the Richard Foster Reading Room, and a research area. Additionally, the building will contain staff work spaces such as a records room, paper preservation lab, and a wood and metal shop.

Some highlights of the building’s construction include cast glass panels designed by Portland artist Walter Gordinier in the reading room. The library will also feature wood panels designed by Ketchikan artist Evon Zerbetz. A sky bridge will connect the left and right sides of the second floor.

The first floor of the building will have a giant Alaska map incorporated into the floor of the lobby. The museum itself will also contain rooms and exhibits dedicated to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures; Athabascan, Yupik, Inupiaq, Aleut and Alutiiq peoples; and other topics such as World War II and modern Alaska.