Category: Construction Company

IIJA Announces the First Large Bridge Grant in Illinois

IIJA Announces the First Large Bridge Grant in Illinois

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. What Are Large Bridge Project Grants? The Federal Highway Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, operates the Bridge Investment Program established by the Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed in 2021. Nearly $40 billion is to be distributed over a five-year period to repair or replace thousands of bridges throughout the United States. The Bridge Investment Program allocates IIJA Large Bridge Project grants through competitive bidding on projects valued at more than $100 million. The minimum grant amount is $50 million, with maximum grant amounts of up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. Large Bridge Project grants are intended to address safety concerns and ensure the movement of freight and people. Chicago’s Large Bridge Project Grant In the first round of Large Bridge Project grants, Chicago has been awarded $144 million in IIJA funds to rehabilitate four important bridges over the Calumet River. In evaluating projects, preference was given to those far along in...

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Transportation Contractors Optimistic in 2023

Transportation Contractors Optimistic in 2023

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. Good Reason for Optimism The upswing in confidence among transportation contractors that 2023 will be a good year for them is the direct result of increased federal funding. Money may not make the world go around, but it does fuel the construction industry’s growth. And since the $1.2 trillion infusion of federal money under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is earmarked specifically for infrastructure improvements, transportation contractors have every reason to be optimistic about the near-term growth of their particular construction market sector. (The outlook for other sectors, such as retail, office, hospitality, and multifamily residential construction, which don’t have the benefit of federal funding from IIJA, is not as rosy.) What Transportation-Related Projects Are Being Funded by IIJA? First, it’s important to understand that the funds authorized by IIJA are mostly allocated to individual states. States then decide what infrastructure projects will be funded within their jurisdiction. The Department of Transportation (DOT) also received $125 billion...

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Increased Competition is Important to the Construction Industry

Increased Competition is Important to the Construction Industry

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. The Competitive Nature of the Construction Industry Competition is a good thing. Without it, companies become stagnant. They settle for the status quo. Whatever they’ve been doing must be good enough, right? After all, they’re still in business. When competition is viewed merely as a necessary evil, there is no incentive to improve, no motivation to innovate, no reason to go above and beyond. In every industry, companies compete for customers and for market share. They compete on the basis of price, product features, quality, customer service, brand recognition, innovation, and more. But it’s only in construction that bidding for jobs is the most common method of acquiring new customers. In many ways, that makes it easier to compete in construction than in other industries. In competitive bidding situations, project owners tell potential bidders exactly what they’re looking for—what they need, want, and expect. There’s no need for construction companies to conduct extensive market research to figure out what...

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New Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in Construction

New Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in Construction

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. What Is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act? The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which goes into effect on June 27, 2023, was passed to bridge the gap between the two other pieces of legislation that provide workplace protections for pregnant employees: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, and The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, which was an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Prior to the PDA, employees affected by a pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions had little recourse if they were not treated by their employers in the same way as employees with medical issues not related to pregnancy or childbirth. The ADA expanded protection for pregnant workers to require that certain pregnancy-related conditions, such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, or severe, persistent vomiting, be treated as disabilities. Closing the Gap Still, there were a number of conditions related to pregnancy that were not considered to be disabling but...

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Tesla Considers Expansion at Texas Gigafactory

Tesla Considers Expansion at Texas Gigafactory

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. The Tesla Gigafactory Tesla’s existing manufacturing hub in Austin, Texas also serves as the company’s global headquarters. It encompasses 10 million square feet located on 2,5000 acres along the Colorado River. That’s the size of 100 football fields. But plans are in the works to expand what is already an enormous footprint. Construction of the first of several new buildings started in January 2023, with completion expected in mid-February of 2024. At 693,093 square feet, its cost is estimated at $368 million. Based on Tesla’s most recent filings with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, the company’s total investment in its Texas Gigafactory is estimated to reach as high as $750 million. A Driver of Economic Growth Tesla tripled the growth of Austin’s workforce in 2022. Building new factories or expanding existing ones drives job creation in the surrounding areas, but not only for those manufacturing companies. Workers and their families need housing as well as goods and...

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Rising Construction Labor Costs Causing Concerns in Industry

Rising Construction Labor Costs Causing Concerns in Industry

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. The Construction Labor Shortage Construction costs in general have been climbing for several years. Labor costs are not the only factor contributing to the increase, but they top the list, followed closely by the cost of materials. The shortage of labor, particularly skilled labor, has been described as the single greatest challenge construction companies face and is largely responsible for driving up construction labor costs. The reality is that there simply are not enough construction workers to meet the current demand. In fact, there are roughly twice as many job openings as people seeking construction jobs. Surveys reveal that 70% of contractors consider their staffing low relative to their backlogs. While there has been a construction labor shortage for years, it has grown with the easing of Covid-19 precautions and the passage of the Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act. The Home Builders Institute estimated in 2022 that more than 61,000 new hires would be needed each and every month...

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How to Use Delay Analysis Methods in Construction

How to Use Delay Analysis Methods in Construction

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. Time Is Money There are few industries in which the old saying, “Time is money” holds as true as it does in construction. Construction delays can have a significant impact, which raises immediate concerns about how long, how much, what went wrong, and who’s responsible. The answers to questions like these are not always clear-cut, and thorough analysis may be required to resolve delay claims—a process referred to as forensic delay analysis. Critical vs. Non-critical Activities The starting point is determining whether the delayed activities are critical or non-critical. That determination is based on how many days an activity can be delayed (the “float”) without delaying the entire project. Critical activities have zero float, meaning a delay of even one day will delay the whole project. Non-critical activities only become critical when a delay exceeds their float. Common Causes of Construction Delays Causes of construction delays generally fall into these categories: Contract errors or omissions (e.g., missing, incorrect, or...

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Top 10 Reasons for Construction Project Delays

Top 10 Reasons for Construction Project Delays

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. The potential causes of construction project delays are many and varied. This article highlights ten of the most common or problematic causes and provides some ideas for preventing them. 1. Inaccurate Budgets Mistakes made when budgeting can cause cash flow crunches that result in project delays. Problems are most likely to occur when data is not reported between the field and office on a timely basis, so job progress and billings do not match project costs. The best solution is to use cloud-based integrated construction management software that gives field and office staff access to real time data. 2. Inadequate Planning Construction projects are all about planning. There are plans at every phase of every project. When viewed as a whole, the plans for a given project are all about managing the human and other resources that serve as inputs to the process to produce the optimal project outcome. Failing to involve the right people who possess the necessary...

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10 Tips to Manage a Construction Backlog

10 Tips to Manage a Construction Backlog

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. What is a Backlog in the Construction Industry? A construction backlog exists when a contractor has been awarded contracts that have not yet been initiated. A backlog typically is measured in terms of the number or the aggregate value of all projects in the pipeline but not started. It can also be described in terms of how far out into the future that projects are already scheduled. It’s good to have some amount of backlog because it ensures you will have money coming in for a certain foreseeable period. With no backlog, you would be worrying about where and when you will find your next job. Too much backlog could mean you’re underbidding to win contracts, which could leave you with an inadequate profit margin or even cause you to lose money on a project. And it could make potential clients question your project management skills and experience. This article presents 10 proven ways to help you find the...

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Qcells to Build $2.5B U.S. Plant

Qcells to Build $2.5B U.S. Plant

Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs. The Demand for U.S. Energy Independence The Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Coalition (SEMA), a group of top U.S. solar companies, was formed in early 2021 in recognition of the growing demand for renewable energy. A key aspect of SEMA’s mission was, and remains, to lobby and advocate for a domestic solar energy supply chain and the creation of incentives for domestic solar panel manufacturing. (In 2022, less than 20% of the solar panels installed in the United States were made in the U.S.) A stable domestic supply chain is essential to reducing or eliminating our reliance on China for key materials (particularly polysilicon and glass), components, and finished solar panels. SEMA’s inputs helped shape the clean energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law on August 16, 2022, by President Biden. The White House has described the IRA as the most significant action Congress has taken on clean energy and climate change in the nation’s...

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