Canada has agreed to pay the entire cost of a $250 million U.S. Customs plazas on both sides of the border adjacent to the planned bridges between Detroit and Windsor. The United States will staff, operate and maintain the Detroit customs plaza; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said those costs would be about $100 million the first year and $50 million annually afterwards.
Construction employers added 29,000 jobs in February and 321,000 over the past year, reaching the highest employment total in six years, as the sector’s unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low of 10.6 percent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). “Despite challenging weather conditions in much of the country, both the number of workers and their average weekly hours rose last month to the highest levels since the recession,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.
On March 10, the Teamsters Union filed a legal challenge to the recent decision of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to open the border to Mexican trucks. The union was joined by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition.
U.S. diesel fuel retail prices, which averaged $3.83 per gallon in 2014, are projected to fall to an average of $2.89 per gallon gal in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That is 5 cents per gallon higher than in February’s short-term energy outlook. EIA also predicted that diesel prices will rise to $3.25 per gallon in 2016. The U.S. regular gasoline retail price, which averaged $3.36 per gallon in 2014, is projected to average $2.39 per gallon in 2015.
Large employees accounted for over half of all employees for the sixth straight year, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released on February 12. In 2012, the latest year analyzed, large businesses (at least 500 workers) employed 59.9 million (51.6 percent), medium sized businesses (100 to 499 workers) employed 16.3 million people (14 percent), small businesses (20 to 99 workers) employed 19.4 million people (16.7 percent), and very small businesses (fewer than 20 workers) employed 20.4 million people (17.6) for 34.
The national average price of diesel fuel increased for the third straight week, according to a Feb. 23 Department of Energy report. The 3.5 cents jump brought prices to $2.90 per gallon, the highest level in five weeks. Nevertheless, diesel still costs $1.17 less per gallon than a year ago. The most recent regional average diesel prices were:
- East Coast: $3.005
- Midwest: $2.826
- Gulf Coast: $2.795
- Rocky Mountain: $2.762
- West Coast: $3.065
Buyers of $20 raffle tickets are eligible to win a new Can-Am Maverick 1000 all-terrain vehicle, valued at $18,000. The decked-out fun-packed vehicle features:
The print brochure for the SC&RA Annual Conference, April 14-18 at the La Costa Resort & Conference Center in Carlsbad, Calif., included an error concerning the regular registration deadline. That deadline should be March 27 rather than April 10.
After March 27, registration rates will increase by $80—from $765 to $845 for members and from $1,045 to $1,125 for nonmembers. The $80 increase will also apply for Spouses/Guests and Children (12-18).
SC&RA members are eligible for a 20 percent discount at the International Tower Cranes Conference & Reception, May 27-28, in London, England. Topics and speakers include:
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Feb. 18 that $232.5 million in Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would be used to help 26 states and Puerto Rico repair roads and bridges damaged by storms, floods and other unexpected events.