The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a $357m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the construction of four new toll lanes on State Highway (SH) 288 in Houston, Texas.The project includes the construction of more than 10 miles of tolled lanes between US 59 and the Harris County line, including direct ramps to the Texas Medical Center, a new interchange with the Sam Houston Tollway and improvements to the Loop 610 interchanges.US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The TIFIA loan program is designed to help communities like Houston begin projects like this — a project that they would have otherwise had to wait years to start.“The new tolls lanes will provide a more reliable commute in one of America’s most congested metro areas, and improve access to jobs and community services in neighborhoods there.”
UK-based construction firm Laing O’Rourke has secured a £76.2m contract from Imperial College London’s development management partners Voreda to build a residential tower.
CIMIC Group’s construction company CPB Contractors has won a contract from GoldLinQ Pty Ltd to design and build the $200m Stage 2 of the Gold Coast light rail project in Australia.Under the contract, CPB Contractors will construct a 7.3km northern extension of the Gold Coast light rail from Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale, to connect Stage 1 with the main Brisbane to Gold Coast rail line.CIMIC Group’s executive chairman and CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes said: “The Queensland government’s commitment to delivering state‐of‐the‐art public transport has provided us with the opportunity to design and construct this significant light rail infrastructure.“Our capability and major project experience in the rail sector provide the certainty of delivery that is necessary for the expansion of the transport network in one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.”CPB Contractors’ managing director Román Garrido said: “We continue to work with GoldLinQ to achieve innovative design and cost‐effective construction solutions for this project, to the benefit of the people of Queensland.“In addition, our team will engage with local workers and businesses to develop increased job and work opportunities as the project progresses.”Construction work on the project is set to start in April 2016 and will be complete in late 2017.
German automobile manufacturer Daimler has unveiled plans to build a new €500m production facility in Poland.The new plant will be located in Jawor, about 70km west of Wroclaw, and will manufacture four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Markus Schäfer, member of the divisional board Mercedes-Benz Cars, production and supply chain management, said: “The planned establishment of a new engine plant in Poland is a further step in our global growth strategy.“Capacity expansion in Eastern Europe reflects the increasingly international orientation of our powertrain production compound. This will lead to more flexibility and efficiency in our worldwide production network.”Frank Deiß, head of production powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and site manager of the Mercedes-Benz plant at Untertürkheim, said: “With the new facility in Jawor, we want to start the second engine production of Mercedes-Benz Cars outside Germany.“This allows us to react flexibly to market changes across several plants. The powertrain production compound is managed by the lead plant in Untertürkheim.”The plant is scheduled to commence production in 2019.
UK-based Caddick Construction has been selected by Derwent Group to develop a £100m retail and leisure site on Edge Lane in Liverpool.To be known as Liverpool Shopping Park, the 727,000sq ft mixed-use commercial development will include 41 retail units, parking for 1,500 cars and leisure space.The project, designed by AEW Architects, also involves the construction of industrial units and two large retail units.Phase one of the development, known as Western Quarter, will feature 92,500sq ft of retail space.Derwent Group’s managing director David Lyons said: “This is a transformative project and the final piece of Liverpool’s retail puzzle. Liverpool Shopping Park will bring branded fashion retailers, restaurants and leisure operators together in an out-of-town location, complete with plenty of free parking and great access in and out of the city.“This is a sizeable and strategic £100m investment for the Derwent Group and it will deliver much needed regeneration and jobs in this part of the city. “It’s taken some time to get this project on the table but everything is now in place for work to begin in earnest in April. We are delighted to be working with Caddick Construction again.”
London-based residential developer Anthology has submitted plans to Brent Council to transform Amex House in Wembley into contemporary apartments. The developer wants to convert the 16-acre site, which formerly served as an office base for a civil engineering firm, into 195 housing units.Designed by GRID Architects, the project will feature a mixed tenure of affordable and private homes.Anthology’s executive director Adam Gaymer said: “We have worked closely with local residents and the council to ensure that our proposals offer a positive benefit to the local area. Aside with creating a unique space for people to live, work and play, these plans will create jobs, provide a boost the local economy and deliver much needed homes.“Amex House which will be known as ‘Anthology Wembley Parade’ forms part of our growing London portfolio and reflects our policy of investing in prime regeneration sites. We look forward to enhancing communities and unlocking the potential of other sites around London in the near future.”Anthology expects to secure planning approval in summer 2016 and construction work is set to commence in autumn 2016 with homes for sale in 2017. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Hochtief has been selected as the general contractor by the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) for the construction of the €200m Mercedes Platz public space in Berlin. The construction site, which is located in front of the Mercedes-Benz Arena next to the East Side Gallery, will be handed over to Hochtief this month and its ground-breaking will take place on 6 June 2016.AEG’s real estate and development vice president Michael Kötter said: “We are delighted that in Hochtief we have acquired a reliable partner with great experience of major projects for the construction of Mercedes Platz. Our agreement ensures that the project will be completed on time and within budget.”Hochtief Building Berlin branch manager Thilo Warlich said: “We are honored by the trust Anschutz has placed in us to build Mercedes Platz.“We have already prepared thoroughly for the project in an effective pre-construction phase, and implemented technical optimizations. We look forward to this exciting construction challenge and an excellent working relationship with Anschutz.”The project is set to be completed in late 2018.
Saipem and consortium partners Bos Shelf and Star Gulf have secured the $1.3bn contract for Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz natural gas project in Azerbaijan. The Shah Deniz field is located 90km offshore Azerbaijan, in water depths from 75-550m.The five-year scope of work will include the transport and installation of subsea production systems and subsea structures, and the installation of fibre optic cables and production umbilicals.It will also involve the installation of 90km of pipelines, the activation, crewing and operations management of the new-build subsea construction vessel (SCV) Khankendi.Saipem’s CEO Stefano Cao said: “We are delighted to have secured this major award, which enables us to continue and consolidate our 20-year relationship with BP and Socar in Azerbaijan and to put our world-class people and technologies at their disposal for the timely and efficient delivery of Shah Deniz Stage 2. “This award also further strengthens Saipem’s key role in the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor where the company has a total of four contracts, in the upstream segment and in gas transportation infrastructure both onshore and offshore.”
Scottish Water has commenced construction of phase one of a £120m project to upgrade the drinking water network in Ayrshire and parts of East Renfrewshire in Scotland. The water main’s route begins at Waulkmill Glen reservoir near Newton Mearns in the north and goes south via Drumboy Hill to Amlaird Water Treatment Works near Fenwick, with branches to the South Moorhouse and Corsehouse water treatment works.Preparatory works on the 13-mile long strategic water main have been carried out and the firm has now started work to install the pipes.Stewart Davis, Scottish Water programme manager, said: “This is a major piece of work on the first phase of Scottish Water’s overall investment in improvements to connect the system in Ayrshire with the Greater Glasgow area’s network.“We have worked closely with many different stakeholders, including landowners and statutory bodies, and we would like to thank them for their help and co-operation which has enabled us to complete the preparatory work and now move on to the construction phase.“This involves installing a new water main from Waulkmill Glen reservoir to the Fenwick Waterside area, which we estimate will be completed this autumn.”
Dublin City University (DCU) has unveiled a €230m capital development plan to transform the multi-campus university. The five-year development will improve the university’s capacity in research and innovation. The construction of a new student centre, new sports facilities, additional on-campus accommodation and 21st century digital teaching spaces are also part of the transformation.€54m of funding provided by Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will be used to improve facilities on the All Hallows Campus and the construction of student accommodation.It will also facilitate the construction of two new floors on the F Building on the St Patrick’s College campus.On the Glasnevin campus, the finance will allow a buy-back of existing campus residences and construction of an additional on-campus student housing project.
A new report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center has identified four national markets as key growth regions for the construction industry to 2020.
The Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah is planning to construct a $740m concourse north of the existing terminal. The new concourse is expected to accommodate forecasted growth in passenger traffic and replace aging facilities.The project is in addition to the South Concourse, which is just starting construction as part of the Salt Lake City Department of Airport’s (SLCDA) Terminal Redevelopment Program (TRP).The new facility will increase the TRP from $1.8bn to $2.6bn and will replace existing gates on Concourses B, C and D, which have deficiencies that would require costly renovations if retained.The plans are on to include a flexible gate layout to serve a mix of aircraft sizes, even though the concourse will primarily be used for narrow-body and small, wide-body aircraft.The north concourse layout will allow an additional 15 gates to be added to the east for a total of 45 gates. Further, a passenger tunnel will be built to connect the North Concourse to the South Concourse and the new terminal.Phase one of the construction work will commence on the west portion of the building and is set to be finished in 2020, in conjunction with the opening of the South Concourse-West and the new terminal.
US-based chemical company Chemours is set to build a new $230m facility in Ingleside, Texas. The new move is part of the company’s five-point transformation plan to invest in large-scale manufacturing to expand supply of its Opteon family of products.Set to be built over three years, the new facility will be located at the Chemours Corpus Christi site and it is expected to triple the production capacity of Opteon products.The new plant will use an innovative, patented process to produce Opteon YF (HFO - 1234yf), which is used in automotive air conditioning and in Opteon refrigerant blends for a range of applications.Chemours’ president and CEO Mark Vergnano said: “Opteon products were developed in response to increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and in many cases they perform better than the products they replace.“This is another step in our transformation plan, and is a shining example of how Chemours is investing in innovative growth opportunities as we become a higher value chemistry company, delivering essential solutions that improve the quality of life.”The site is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2018.
Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp has unveiled plans for a new $150m research and development (R&D) campus. The new project will be located at the Riverside Campus, in the former Bryan Air Base, a World War II facility that Texas A&M University acquired in 1962. The 2,000-acre tract will be named the Rellis Campus.The $150m investment includes $25m to demolish 32 old buildings, rebuild roads and update utilities. The base's chapel and two hangars will be renovated in recognition of the site's role of training pilots for the World War II.Construction of the first building is likely to begin in September 2016 and the $25m in upgrades is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary is set to expand its activities in Hungary by investing HUF185bn (€594m) in its Kecskemét factory.The investment includes the construction of a new HUF80bn (about €265m) bodywork plant.The project will also include the development and expansion of the company's existing capacities, with the 99,000 sq m facility due to be fitted with the latest technology.Hungary Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó pointed out that this is the largest investment in Hungary to be announced within the past 18 months.Szijjártó added: "Hungary and every Hungarian can be rightfully proud of the fact that one of the world's largest and most innovative automotive industry companies has manufactured more than half a million cars in Kecskemét during the past four years."Construction is already underway and is projected to be completed by 2018.Kecskemét Fidesz mayor Klaudia Pataki Szemereyné said: "The new investment is a message that Mercedes, which in addition to its 4,000 direct employees also provides a living for a further 10,000 people, is also proud of Kecskemét and is not only one of the city's largest employers but is also a partner, ally and friend to the city."
Israel-based construction firm Shikun & Binui has completed the fundraising for the planning, construction and maintenance of a proposed express lane in the Houston Metropolitan area in Texas. Financial closing for most of the $1bn project and the initial drawing of funds is likely to take place during the next several weeks, subject to the fulfilment of a number of customary terms set out in the financing agreements, including the receipt of the final approval of the project's bond offerings from the Texas legislature.The project’s concessionaire, known as the Blueridge Transportation Group, has committed to build, finance, maintain and operate the portion of the road defined in the contract for 52 years, including the construction period In return, the concessionaire will be given the right to collect tolls from users of the Express Lane.Shikun & Binui’s chairman Moshe Lahmani said: "The completion of this project's financial closing is another key step in our 'go international' strategy, whose goal is to diversify and expand the geographic scope of our operations, and enter the American market."The US is a sophisticated, competitive market, and the choice of Shikun & Binui confirms the excellence of our capabilities and the high level of professional and know-how that we bring to complex infrastructure projects. We intend to further deepen our activities throughout the Americas in general, including the US, Colombia and other Latin American countries."Work on the project is expected to last for three years.
Construction work is set to commence shortly on the £100m Shieldhall Tunnel project in Glasgow. The Costain-Vinci Construction Grands Projets Joint Venture project is a key part of Scottish Water's £250m five-year programme of work that began in 2013 with the aim to improve river water quality and the natural environment and tackle flooding in the Greater Glasgow area.The tunnel, between Craigton and Queen's Park, will follow a 3.1-mile long route. The front sections of the 1,000t TBM, to be used in the construction, have already arrived in Glasgow from Germany and its remaining parts will be delivered and assembled in the next few weeks. The complete TBM will measure 180m in length.Construction of the trench is already underway and is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2016. The Shieldhall Tunnel is projected to take more than a year to complete.
Braeburn Estates, a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, has broken ground on the £1bn Southbank Place mixed-use development at London's Shell Centre tower site.The Shell Tower will anchor the development that will feature five residential buildings and two buildings for business use.Canary Wharf Group said that 80% of the apartments, equating to 800 units, in five buildings are already sold. The two business buildings will total up to 530,000sq ft. Southbank Place will also house 48,000sq ft of retail outlets, restaurants and cafés.The project is expected to create over 13,000 construction and supply chain jobs in total and when completed, Southbank Place is expected to employ over 6,000 workers.Canary Wharf Group CEO Sir George Iacobescu said: "This is an area that has long been neglected, but will offer the best of all worlds, from the bustling culture of the South Bank to some spectacular views of the most recognised landmarks in the Capital, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben."Southbank Place is also playing a major role in the development of the local community by creating new jobs, providing affordable housing and stimulating the growth of local businesses through our South London Procurement Network initiative."Construction work is slated to be complete by 2019.
Construction has started on phase one of the £107m Warrington Time Square regeneration project that will transform the centre of the UK town into a contemporary marketplace. The development will house a Cineworld Cinema, a new 42,000sq ft market hall, restaurants, retail units, new council offices, a 1,100-space multi-storey car park and a new public square. The new 25,000sq ft retail shell will temporarily house the town's market while the £10m market hall is built.During the construction phase, about 400 workers will be employed and when completed, Warrington's Time Square regeneration project will create 400 new permanent jobs in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors.Steve Green, director for the North West region at Gleeds, which is providing cost management services to the project, said: "We are really excited to see work begin on the Time Square development and believe the project is pivotal in regenerating and revitalising Warrington town centre."Not only will Time Square create hundreds of jobs for the community and help boost the local economy, it also will help attract inward investment to the region."The project, undertaken by Muse Developments and Warrington & Co. on behalf of Warrington Borough Council, is expected to be completed in 2019.
A joint venture between Italian infrastructure group Salini Impregilo and Australia's NRW Pty Ltd. has secured a contract worth AUD1.176bn ($898m) from the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia to design, build and maintain the Forrestfield-Airport Link in Perth, Australia.The underground passenger rail line project will connect the eastern suburbs of the city with an existing suburban rail network as well as the airport. It will measure 8.5km in length, of which 8km will be underground.The JV will bore twin tunnels for the entire length of the line and build three stations. Parking spaces and new and expanded bus feeder services will also be built. The rail line will be tunnelled underground from a junction near Bayswater Station, under the Swan River and the airport.Western Australia’s premier Colin Barnett said: "This is a huge milestone on the path to delivering this project, which will change the face of Perth's eastern corridor and give people direct access to the airport by public transport."Early work worth AUD370m ($281m) comprising geotechnical work, contract management and land purchases is already underway. Work at the site is scheduled to begin shortly, and the line is expected to open in 2020.