SBE News

Capitol Update 10/3/2022

JPMorgan model shows 92% chance of recession

A trading model developed by JPMorgan Chase strategists indicates a recession is inevitable. The model shows a 6.5% loss on the S&P 500 since the Federal Reserve’s latest interest-rate increase translates to a 92% probability of a recession, compared with a 51% probability in August. Full Story: Bloomberg

Stopgap spending bill advances sans permitting measure

A legislative plan to speed environmental reviews of major energy projects has failed as Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., withdrew the proposal from a stopgap spending bill. However, Manchin’s move cleared the way for the bill’s passage, which will keep federal construction and infrastructure projects on track through Dec. 16. Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model)

Prices throw a wrench into design-bid-build process

Price volatility in materials is wreaking more havoc with the construction industry this year than earlier predicted, with prices now expected to rise 18%, according to a new Construction Outlook report by JLL. In this environment, “we can no longer operate in a ‘design, bid, build’ structure as many development professionals have habituated. But rather, the construction process has become more fluid and requires rigorous management and communication throughout the life of the project,” says Lisa Tamayo, vice president of development at BLT Enterprises. Full Story: GlobeSt (free registration)

Moody’s: Stagflation could affect construction

The US could face stagflation, or slow economic growth coupled with inflation, say analysts from Moody’s Investors Service. The construction industry could face rising material prices, while other sectors could see higher energy costs, the analysts say. Full Story: Construction Dive

Modular construction gains ground in pandemic

An estimated $200 billion worth of modular construction made up about 5.5% of total construction in pandemic-stricken North America last year, with much of that occurring in the western US and Canada, according to the Modular Building Institute. Detached homes and smaller apartment buildings prevail in the West, but modular is now making wider inroads, with developers using the method for a greater variety of projects. Full Story: Commercial Observer

SCOTUS to usher in new term with Clean Water Act case

One of the Supreme Court’s first priorities in its upcoming term will be the Sackett v. EPA case, which could have implications for how “waters of the US” are defined under the Clean Water Act. At the heart of the issue is whether the court will accept a narrower definition for which waters are afforded federal protection and potentially exclude at least 51% of wetlands from the act. Full Story: E&E News   Vox

Lumber prices lose pandemic gains

With mortgage rates rising and supply chain problems easing, lumber prices have fallen this year. Prices have lost all increases incurred during the pandemic. Full Story: Yahoo

The road to zero casualties begins with fall prevention

Falls are the leading cause of death on construction sites but can be prevented. Diana San Diego, vice president of marketing for O’Keeffe’s, reviews the safety challenge and six solutions, beginning with a commitment to conduct regular risk assessments. Full Story: For Construction Pros

EEOC sues California contractor for national origin, sexual harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a California commercial framing and drywall contractor for national origin and sexual harassment, alleging supervisors addressed Latino workers with racial slurs and threatened to sexually assault them. The EEOC’s suit against Orange County, California-based Goodsell/Wilkins, filed Sept. 27, claims supervisors referred to Latino laborers as “wetbacks” and “Home Depoteros,” a derisive term for workers who gather at Home Depot looking for work. The suit also alleges managers mocked workers who could not speak English and told them to go back to where they came from, according to an EEOC press release. Harassment included anti-Latino graffiti in portable restrooms on site, including abusive terms and offensive imagery, the agency said. Goodsell/Wilkins did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Construction Dive submitted via a contact form on the firm’s website. Attempts to reach the company’s owners via phone were unsuccessful.

Calif. toll lane construction underway

A $244 million effort to add 18 miles of express lanes to Interstate 80 in Solano County, Calif., is well underway and is expected to be completed by spring 2025. The state is promoting safety on the project through an enforcement campaign that so far has cited about 70 people for speeding in the construction zone. Full Story: KXTV-TV (Sacramento, Calif.) 

Calif. funding clears way for flood prevention project

California’s $400 million Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project is ready to begin construction with the governor’s signature on a bill to provide state funds for 35% of the cost. The long-sought project is designed to prevent periodic flooding in the area of Pajaro and Watsonville, where existing levees have proved inadequate. Full Story: KSBW-TV (Salinas, Calif.) 

$4B entertainment district advances in Anaheim, Calif.

The Anaheim, Calif., City Council has approved plans for a $4 billion entertainment district around the city’s Honda Center and ARTIC transit station. Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year on the 100-acre OCVibe project, which will include a 5,700-seat concert venue, outdoor amphitheater, restaurants, offices and apartments. Full Story: The Orange County Register (Anaheim, Calif.) (tiered subscription model)

Lower half of Intuit Dome steel structure completed

An AECOM Hunt and Turner joint venture has completed the lower half of steel work on the $2 billion Intuit Dome for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, and the structure is expected to be fully enclosed by next summer. Steel work is proceeding on the upper portion of the bowl, with an opening projected just before the 2024-2025 NBA season. Full Story: Sports Business Journal

$4B San Diego mixed-use project underway

Construction has begun on the $4 billion Riverwalk San Diego project in the Mission Valley neighborhood. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2025, offering 930 apartment units and 75,000 square feet of retail space as part of the planned 195-acre mixed-use development. Full Story: The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model)