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    Construction NewsBRIEFS! 12-2-2011

    The Federal Highway Administration has a backlog of more than $2 billion in requests, or 20 times the amount of money Congress sets aside every year for the agency’s Emergency Relief program, according to Stateline.org. Thirty-nine states are waiting for money to help rebuild their disaster-damaged roads. Connecticut is owed $13.9 million for disaster-related road repairs.

    State officials in Massachusetts hope that as many as 16,000 jobs will be created by casino development in the coming years but the most immediate increase in job creation should come from $3.4 billion in state capital spending by next July to pay for new research centers and hospitals, campus improvements and new transportation projects in Central Massachusetts, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Almost half of the $44 million in state bond funds being allocated this year for investments in life sciences and biotechnology, $21.8 million, will go toward completion of the $400 million, 440,000-square-foot, Albert Sherman Center for life science research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The state has also recently gained federal approval and will go out to bid Dec. 2 on contracts for the $140 million Route 9 replacement bridge over Lake Quinsigamond. Other major capital allocations for Central Massachusetts projects in the current fiscal year include: Another $65 million toward the $302 million 320-bed Worcester State Psychiatric Hospital off Belmont Street, which is supporting about 400 construction jobs as it is being built; $700,000 for design of a new Health Science and Athletic Center at Worcester State University that will clear the way for construction of the $40 million to $50 million campus complex; and $127,000 to plan a new academic building at Quinsigamond Community College.

    A true, fixed-price approach to designing and building complex capital projects is outlined in LePatner C3 Model™: Construction Cost Certainty, a white paper by attorney and author Barry B. LePatner that builds on the final chapter of his book, Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets and instructs owners how to regain control of their projects and rebalance their relationship with the contractor. LePatner, also the author of Too Big to Fall: America's Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward (2010), which provides a comprehensive overview of the state of our nation’s infrastructure and what must be done to fix it, was the featured speaker at CRBA’s Fall Meeting last month.