Thursday, September 29, 2011

Construction Week: Gang's MacArthur, New Holland Withdraws, TBW Agreement Snagged, AAA Pushback


Chicago Architect Jeanne Gang Named MacArthur Fellow

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named architect Jeanne Gang as one of this year's 22 MacArthur Fellows. Founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects in Chicago, Gang, 47, over the next five years will receive a no-strings-attached cash prize of $500,000 as part of the award, which the foundation announced on Sept. 20. Gang's recent work includes the critically acclaimed Aqua Tower, Chicago, which created "optical poetry," says the foundation. Gang currently is working on an exhibit at New York City's Museum of Modern Art titled "Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream." "It's really time now to think about urbanizing the suburbs," Gang tells ENR. "People want to have city life, even in the suburbs." Gang says she will use the award to fund research projects to help her firm move forward new design ideas, especially in sustainability.


New Holland To Pull Heavy Line From North American Market

New Holland, Racine, Wis., is exiting the North America heavy construction equipment market in 2012, focusing instead on landscape and residential compact machinery. New Holland's skid-steer loader had a 13.3% market share in 2010, making it the firm's most popular machine, reports Manfredi & Associates, Mundelein, Ill. Parent company CNH Global N.V., which also owns Case Construction, recorded $4.9 billion in second-quarter net sales, partly thanks to a 24% year-over-year gain in construction equipment, with demand up 37% in North America for both light and heavy equipment. New Holland next year will withdraw its crawler dozers, motor graders, large wheel loaders, heavy-duty excavators and telescopic handlers. The brand will continue to offer compact skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders, tractor loaders, loader backhoes, compact wheel loaders and compact excavators.


Settlement Between HDR and Tampa Bay Water Hits Snag

On Oct. 17, the Tampa Bay Water board is planning to vote again on a proposed $30-million legal settlement with HDR Engineering, Omaha, over flaws at the utility's 15.5-billion-gal reservoir. The utility's board voted 4-3 on Sept. 19 to approve the settlement, and later that day Tampa Bay Water announced the deal. However, lawyers for Tampa Bay Water soon pointed out that the vote was not valid because all legal settlements require five members to approve. The utility says it is considering the Sept. 19 vote a "conditional approval" of the settlement until the board meets on Oct. 17. The settlement included an agreement by HDR to pay $30 million to Tampa Bay Water, well short of the $162.4 million the utility is paying Kiewit Infrastructure South to repair and expand the facility. HDR was the engineer for the $140-million construction of the reservoir, which opened in 2005. Just over 12 months later, significant cracking was discovered in the internal embankments of the reservoir.