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In Dragline’s Bucket


We started writing this edition of Dragline before a “final” decision was made on our country’s surface transportation program, which is set to expire today. (The reason? Though our Time Machine had been towed away by the repo man, we were called out of the office for most of Thursday for a meeting we simply had to cover.) Probably a three month extension will be adopted, keeping things running until the end of October, but you can’t be sure about these things. Such “patches” have been made so often that, frankly, a shutdown could turn out to be a “refreshing” change. Especially if it got Congress to suspend its August vacation to finally hammer out a practical, long term program. We’ve commented repeatedly on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Power Plan,” which is forcing utility companies to close older coal fired electrical plants. Now there’s a rumor the final plan will extend the proposal’s deadlines by two more years. With Michigan’s construction workforce now exceeding 152,000, how is our industry going to attract more people into the skilled building trades? We don’t think dropping Michigan’s prevailing wage law’s going to help. Go To Dragline  

New Royal Oak Hotel Plan Gains State Grants

Following months of negotiations with project developers the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has announced $4.5 million in Michigan


Community Revitalization Program financing for a $48 million hotel and mixed use project in Royal Oak.  Full Story 

MSU Slates Next ‘Construction Junction’ For August 13th

The next “Construction Junction” meeting conducted by Michigan State University is scheduled for Thursday, August 13th, in Room 343 of the College of Law Building, starting at 8:30 am.  Full Story

Marquette Council Updated On New Hospital Plan

At this week’s meeting of the Marquette City Council Jim Bogan, regional market president for U.P. Health Systems, said he expects the purchase of the 37 acre Roundhouse site for the new, $300 million replacement for Marquette General Hospital will be finalized within the next few weeks. Full Story

Traverse City Fishing Pier May Go Solar

Last night the board of directors of Traverse City Light & Power reviewed plans for the proposed $8.7 million public fishing pier project along with a proposal to build a solar panel system on top of it. Full Story


Davis Iron Works Experiences Changing Of The Guard

Davis Iron Works Inc., Walled Lake, has announced that Frank G. Nehr Jr. has become its owner and president of the company. He succeeds his father, Frank Nehr Sr., who has been owner and president of the company since 1984 and now serves as chairman of the board. Nehr Jr. has worked in the construction industry for 31 years, 25 of which have been at Davis Iron Works Inc. Full Story

Auto Supplier To Build Plant In Detroit

This week YFS Automotive Systems Inc., a supplier of fuel tanks and other automotive components, said it was planning to build a 150,000 square foot facility in Detroit requiring an investment of $26.9 million. Full Story

Mesick May Expand Its Water System Next Year

Assuming the village of Mesick can expand its limits to annex the area involved, next year an estimated $2 million is expected to be spent extending its drinking water system. Full Story


Chris Purdy Moves Up SmithGroupJJR’s Ladder

SmithGroupJJR, a Detroit based architecture, engineering, and planning firm, has promoted Chris Purdy to leader of its International Learning Practice. He succeeds Mike Medici, who was recently named the firm’s president and managing partner. In his new role Purdy heads the company’s eight learning studios that provide master planning and design for renovation, expansion, and new construction projects for higher education clients. He was previously the firm’s Learning Studio leader at its Detroit office, a position he had held since 2008.  Full Story

Detroit’s Riverside Park Deal OK’d By City Council

The Detroit City Council this week approved a plan negotiated by Mayor Mike Duggan with the bridge company, owned by the Moroun family, for a transfer of park land in exchange for other property and $3 million. Full Story

Building Connections For Scouting Arrives Sept. 17th

The eleventh annual Building Connections networking event benefiting the Boy Scouts of America, Great Lakes Field Service Chapter, is arriving on Thursday, September 17th, in conjunction with the Construction Association of Michigan.  Full Story

Grand River Restoration May Begin In 2017

This week the Grand Rapids City Commission received a report from the steering committee for the estimated $30 million restoration of the white water portions of the Grand River. It recommended a temporary public-private entity be formed to work with various groups involved in the project and said it’s possible work could get underway in two years.  Full Story

New Eastside Rec Design Unveiled In Ypsilanti

Following a redesign, this week the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission has decided to proceed with the Eastside Recreational Center proposed for Ypsilanti’’s Water Street Development. Full Story

Water Resources Division To Launch New System

On August 17th the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Resources Division (WRD) anticipates the launch of a new information system to be called MiWaters. It’s to be a web based permitting and compliance database.  Full Story

Downtown Albion To Gain New Boutique Hotel

Plans for a boutique hotel proposed for downtown Albion have been enhanced by a $1 million state grant from the Michigan Community Revitalization Program.  Full Story

ESD Workshop Takes A Look At Financing College

On the evening of Tuesday, September 15th, the Engineering Society of Detroit has scheduled a 90 minute presentation on the financing of college educations by the families of prospective students. Full Story