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Nonresidential construction spending rebounds in July

Washington, D.C. — Nonresidential construction spending expanded strongly in July, growing 2.5 percent on a monthly basis and rising a robust 8.6 percent on a year-over-year basis according to a Sept. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $617.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The government also revised upward a somewhat disappointing June nonresidential construction spending estimate from $589 billion to $603 billion and the estimate for May from $606 billion to $611 billion.

GEI completes work on San Diego County Water Authority's $1.5B Emergency Storage Project

Sacramento, Calif. — GEI Consultants, Inc. announced that its client, the San Diego County Water Authority, recently dedicated the San Vicente Dam Raise, the final major piece of the Water Authority's $1.5 billion Emergency Storage Project (ESP). The ESP consists of a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines, and pumping stations that will ensure the region has a six-month supply of water in the event of an interruption of imported water deliveries.

R.A. Smith National, Inc. expands structural services division

Brookfield, Wis. — R.A. Smith National, Inc., a multi-disciplined civil engineering and surveying firm, expanded its structural services division. On Friday, August 22, R.A. Smith National, Inc. purchased selected assets of the structural engineering practice of Arnold & O’Sheridan (A&O), Inc. from a secured lender.

ASU awarded grant for new civil engineering program

San Angelo, Texas — Angelo State University, a member of the Texas Tech University System, was awarded a five-year, $2.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to support implementation of ASU’s proposed new civil engineering program. The grant has been awarded under the USDE’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program for a cooperative project between ASU and Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) in Uvalde that is titled “Strengthening the Engineering Pipeline in West Texas” (STEP West Texas).

Alexander D. Wilson named recipient of 2014 SMDI/AASHTO Richard S. Fountain Award

Washington, D.C. — The Steel Bridge Task Force of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), and the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have named Alexander D. Wilson, manager of Customer Technical Services for ArcelorMittal USA, as the recipient of the 2014 Richard S. Fountain Award.

Upper Mississippi River receives Federal Marine Corridor Highway designation

Madison, Wis. — The U.S. Department of Transportation recently approved a request co-sponsored by five state DOTs to designate the Upper Mississippi River as a Marine Highway Corridor. Running from Lock/Mile 1 in Minneapolis to the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in Grafton, Ill., creation of the M-35 supports the larger effort of the five state DOTs to increase utilization of the Upper Mississippi River.

Stantec signs letter of intent to acquire Penfield & Smith

Santa Barbara, Calif. — North American design firm Stantec will enhance its presence along California’s Central Coast by acquiring Santa Barbara-based Penfield & Smith. A 90-person civil engineering and land planning firm with local offices in Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Santa Maria, and Lancaster, Penfield & Smith has a sizeable roster of public- and private-sector clients. This transaction is expected to close in October.

AWC statement on streamlining green building standards

Leesburg, Va. — American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the announcement that the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASHRAE, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), International Code Council (ICC) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will collaborate on developing a framework to ensure the AHSRAE 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings and International Green Construction Code (IgCC) are available for implementation as a regulatory standard working in alignment with the LEED green building program.

Survey of code professionals predicts substantial retirement exodus

Washington, D.C. — A recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Building Sciences on behalf of the International Code Council (ICC) reveals information that if not addressed in the coming years, may have an impact on the public safety of thousands of communities in the United States.

Engineers and scientists meet to discuss NY-NJ coastal resiliency

New York — Significant challenges often require a team effort. Restoring the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary is one of them. A group of professionals from the Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, joined more than 200 scientists, engineers, academics and restoration professionals on June 3, 2014, at a major symposium in Manhattan discussing progress restoring the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary and initiatives to continue improving the area’s ecological health, contributing to the region’s coastal resiliency.

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