I-65 Interchange at Buckner Road Expects to Reopen Next Week: Report


The new I-65 Interchange at Buckner Road in Spring Hill is expected to open on May 31 after being under construction for more than two years, according to a report by Williamson Source.

On its website, Spring Hill called the new interchange a “game-changer” for the area, as there is currently only one I-65 access point to the city through the Saturn Parkway Exit.

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TDOT Will Halt Construction for Easter Weekend

Road construction

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will halt interstate construction beginning Thursday as travelers head to their Easter destinations. 

“TDOT crews and contractors will stop all road construction work that requires lane closures beginning Thursday, March 28, at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, April 1 at 6:00 a.m.,” a release from the department says. “This will provide maximum roadway capacity to motorists expected to travel across the state this upcoming holiday weekend.”

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Supply Problems Stoking Pennsylvania’s Housing Shortage

As housing costs rise in many parts of the commonwealth, Pennsylvania policymakers want to boost supply to meet demand.

“If we don’t continue to increase the inventory at all levels, we’re never going to get to where we need to be,” Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, said during a House Housing and Community Development meeting on Monday. “We can’t build our way out by just building subsidized housing.”

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Georgia Department of Transportation to Halt All Lane Closure Activity for July 4 Holiday Weekend

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) announced Tuesday that Independence Day travelers would not be delayed by construction on Georgia roads during this year’s holiday.

GDOT announced that the department will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes from Friday, June 30 from 12 p.m. until 5 a.m. Wednesday, July 5.

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Arizona State Republicans Celebrate Large Investments in Water Security and Projects

Arizona will be investing over $360 million in state water security and new projects, according to a Thursday statement from the Arizona House Majority Caucus.

State Representative Gail Griffin (R-Hereford), Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Energy, & Water, shared that these investments come from the state general fund through the new state budget. Some of the funded projects include $20 million to reconstruct the Winslow levee, $25 million for groundwater delivery infrastructure, $15 million in on-farm irrigation efficiency grants, nearly $40 million for well projects in Peoria and Gilbert, and $810,000 for irrigation systems projects in Glendale. Additionally, funding will also go to studying water supply demands, rural water needs, and brackish groundwater.

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Report: Wisconsin Schools Directing Largest Share of Federal COVID Aid to Construction Projects

A new report shows Wisconsin schools are marking a significant amount for federal COVID relief on construction projects, outpacing planned pandemic aid for core educational and mental health programs.  

The Institute for Reforming Government’s updated K-12 COVID relief Audit found some $265 million of the current $1.49 billion in taxpayer funds allocated is going to construction.

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Dozens of Virginia Housing Projects to be Supported by $93 Million in Loans

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development is distributing more than $93 million in housing loans to support housing projects across the commonwealth that are estimated to create nearly 4,000 units for low-income and extremely low-income households, according to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office. 

The $93 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development will support 57 projects in various parts of the state. In total, the projects are estimated to create 3,936 units for low-income and extremely low-income households, including 298 permanent supportive housing units, 3,825 rental units and 111 units for homeownership opportunities, according to the governor’s office. 

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Tucson City Council Moves in Favor of Increased Electric Vehicle Readiness; Rising Costs a Concern

The Tucson City Council recently approved an amendment to the Unified Development Code to ensure that new commercial development in Tucson is Electric Vehicle (EV) ready.

“These new regulations would require all new commercial development, multi-family, office, and retail to include EV stations or outlets, as well as conduit to support future expansion of EV capacity,” according to the city of Tucson. “These new requirements come after more than a year of stakeholder and public engagement, community input, and technical analysis to develop the proposal.”

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Appalachia Service Project Hosts Home Dedication Ceremony in Humphreys County for Survivors who Lost Their Homes During the August 2021 Flooding

On Tuesday, Appalachia Service Project (ASP) hosted a Home Dedication ceremony for five new, mortgage-free homes in Humphreys County for five flood survivors who lost their homes during the August 2021 flooding. The five homes completed are a part of ASP’s 25-home commitment to help low-income residents of Humphreys County recover after the flooding, according to a press release by the organization.

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Will Pause Construction for July 4th Weekend

Tennessee motorists will not have to worry about construction delaying their Independence Day plans, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). 

“With so many people hitting the road we want to do all we can to ensure they reach their destinations safely and without necessary delays,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a Monday press release. “We are doing so by suspending lane closures during this busy holiday travel time.”

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Businesses Fail to Find Workers, and Experts Say Federal Policies Have Made It Worse

A new labor market survey found that a majority of employers, particularly restaurants, still cannot find enough workers.

The new report from Alignable said that 83% of restaurants can’t find enough workers. Overall, the report found that “63% of all small business employers can’t find the help they need, after a year of an ongoing labor shortage.”

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Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Challenging Biden’s Authority to Block Keystone Pipeline

Keystone XL Pipeline

A federal district court judge granted the Biden administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by more than 20 Republican attorneys general challenging the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit revocation.

Judge Jeffrey Brown, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled that he couldn’t determine the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s action because TC Energy, the pipeline’s developer, had abandoned the project. On June 9, TC Energy announced its intention to permanently halt construction of the pipeline, saying it would focus on other projects.

Biden canceled the pipeline’s federal permit immediately after taking office on Jan. 20 in an executive order. The order said the U.S. “must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy” and that the Keystone project would undermine the nation’s role as a climate leader on the world stage.

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Michigan Spending $2.5 Million of Taxpayer Money on Private Businesses, Government Groups

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded $2.5 million in Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 3.0 (MICA 3.0) grants to business groups statewide to address labor shortages.

“These grants are putting Michiganders first by helping innovative employers in high-demand industries address talent shortages across Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Together, we can continue leading the future of agriculture, construction, IT, manufacturing, mobility, and so much more as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our families, communities, and small businesses.”

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New Construction Career School Breaks Ground in Hamilton County

A new construction vocational facility for high school students and adults broke ground in Hamilton County on Thursday. Next week, workers will officially begin the building process of the Construction Career Center in Chattanooga’s Avondale neighborhood.

The old, vacant Mary Ann Garber School at 2225 Roanoke Avenue in Chattanooga is being renovated in order to house the new college-level vocational training center for 11th and 12th-grade students as well as adults in the community.

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Construction Industry Experiences Slowdown as Labor, Supply Shortages Wreak Havoc


The construction industry is struggling to recover from the pandemic due to difficulties hiring workers and severe supply chain shortfalls, a report found.

Construction contractors project revenue to remain stagnant and below pre-pandemic levels over the next 12 months even as the economy-wide recovery continues, according to the report published Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. While the Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI), which the Chamber measures on a quarterly basis, ticked up one point, it remained eight points below its early 2020 figure.

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Commentary: Pennsylvania Is a Microcosm of America’s Housing Crisis

A modern home with a light blue roof and matching siding

In recent years, an acute housing crisis has engulfed both America’s coastal metros and Rust Belt regions. California’s Bay Area, for example, confronts a crisis of affordability and limited supply that hastens a population exodus. Midwest cities like Detroit face low real-estate prices and low demand, intensifying urban decline.

Pennsylvania is a microcosm of such alarming housing trends, especially east of the Susquehanna River, which is seeing an influx of metro New Yorkers relocating to the area.

From the Keystone State’s middle-class suburbs to its post-industrial locales, the housing crisis is a major challenge. In the midstate, most notably in Harrisburg and Lancaster, housing has become significantly more expensive. In the northeast’s anthracite coal region, anchored by Scranton, rents are spiking. And in suburban Philadelphia’s Lansdale, a townhouse went for nearly $500,000.

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Virginia Tech Team Researching Using Robot Dogs to Monitor Construction Progress

Faculty and students at Virginia Tech are putting robot dogs in construction sites testing automated monitoring of construction progress. The dogs are Boston Dynamics’ internet-viral yellow-and-black four-legged Spot robots, and researchers are using them to take 360-degree pictures to document construction sites. Initial findings from the team identify safety risks and operational challenges, but also identify opportunity with the time-saving automation.

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Biden Administration to Continue Building Part of President Trump’s Border Wall

After initially vowing to not build any more new wall along the southern border, the Biden Administration has backtracked and announced that it will resume construction on some areas of the wall, the Daily Caller reports.

Construction will resume on a 13.4 mile portion of the wall located in the Rio Grande Valley, at the southernmost tip of Texas, and will once again be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The USACE confirmed that it has already “resumed DHS-funded design and construction support on approx. 13.4 miles of levee in the Rio Grande Valley that were partially excavated or at various levels of construction when work on the wall was paused for review.”

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Feds Allege Georgia Construction Owner is Illegal Alien Who Employed Illegal Aliens and Paid Them Below-Market Wages

  A North Georgia construction company owner has been indicted on charges that his company hired illegal aliens and paid them below-market wages, according to a press release by U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. Juan Antonio Perez, 46, of Rydal, Georgia, was indicted on charges that his construction company, Aztec Framing, which operated in Northwest Georgia and East Tennessee, profited by employing illegal aliens, the press release said. He has also been charged with being an illegal alien in possession of 14 firearms. Federal law prohibits illegal aliens from possessing firearms. Southern Region Communications Director Bryan D. Cox told Chattanooga’s NewsChannel 9 that agents served search warrants in six locations across North Georgia and East Tennessee. Federal records say the owner of the business, along with his homes and other businesses, were under investigation. According to a complaint filed by U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent James Rivas, in one payroll account, Perez withdrew about $5.8 million from June through January, the Chattanooga Times Free Press said. “Perez not only broke the law by allegedly hiring illegal aliens at below-market wages and paying no taxes, he had a large assortment of weapons including shotguns and pistols that he…

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Inspired by Seashells, New Bendable Concrete Design Can Make Infrastructure Safer, More Durable


by Victor C. Li   Spring construction season is underway, and many tons of concrete will be used in the coming months. Unfortunately, concrete is a brittle material: Placed under stress, it cannot bend very far before it fractures. Some pavements that are being poured now will crack within a few years and require expensive repairs. New concrete will be mixed, and the cycle will start again. But a better solution is in view. My laboratory at the University of Michigan, along with many other laboratories around the world, has shown it is possible to make concrete more ductile – that is, bendable without fracturing. Bendable concrete makes infrastructure safer, extends its service life and reduces maintenance costs and resource use. The social costs of brittle concrete Civil infrastructure very rarely fails because it lacks compressive strength – the ability to bear loads that push it together, as when columns support the weight of a building. Most failures occur because structures do not have enough capacity to carry tensile load – the ability to deform or stretch without rupturing – even though steel reinforcements often are added to concrete to prevent catastrophic structural failure. Many serious concerns about the woeful state of U.S. infrastructure can…

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