Monthly Archives: May 2012

DJC profiles AGC award winners

Some of the state’s top projects were showcased last night by the AGC of Washington during its 2012 Build Washington awards banquet in Seattle.

Advanced American Construction took home top honors in the construction category for its work on the John Day Lock and Dam gate and sheave replacement. Centennial Contractors Enterprises won the grand award for safety.

The DJC also held a Q-and-A session with John Hayduk of JTM Construction and  Dan Esparza of Sealaska Constructors.

Check out all 31 award winners in the DJC’s special section.



Tacoma road project info just a click away

Ever spot a street or utility project while driving around that you wanted to know more about? Well, your thirst for information is about to be slaked by the city of Tacoma and its new website called City Projects.

You can type in an address to find details about work going on at that location, or you can click on highlighted areas of a map for the same information. Projects can be searched by address, business district, City Council district or neighborhood district.

“This new tool offers an easy way for people to find out details about a project, how long it will be under construction and what other projects are scheduled to happen in the near future,” said City Councilmember Ryan Mello in a statement.
Check it out at

NWCB showcases walls, ceilings


First we got some cool award-winning concrete projects from WACA to check out, now we’ve got the region’s top wall and ceiling projects.
The DJC is publishing a special section covering the Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau awards. It profiles 14 projects in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, including the Swedish Issaquah campus, which was recently voted the top project of 2011 by DJC readers, and the Consolidated Rental Car Facility at Sea-Tac Airport, which also won a concrete award and was the subject of another DJC special section last month.
One of my favorites was the Rental Car Facility’s ceiling, pictured above, which curves in three directions.

WACA showcases concrete







Concrete projects were once again in the spotlight, as the Washington Concrete & Aggregates Association held its annual awards banquet Wednesday night in Seattle.

This year there were 13 projects recognized, with the Vancouver Community Library taking the Grand Award. Indicative of past top winners, the library used concrete as both a structural and design element. It has post-tensioned slabs supported by columns and two core walls at each end of the building. From the street, concrete columns are on display behind the building’s glass facade.

As one of the judges for the awards, it was easy for me to single out the library as the top project. But, there was one set of project photos that impressed the heck out of me — the before and after shots of 139th Street East in Pierce County. As you can see above, the use of pervious concrete to replace the old asphalt street made a huge difference for homeowners, who sometimes were forced out of their homes for weeks when the street flooded.

Check out our Building with Concrete special section by clicking here.

Conferees Set for Highway Bill

Two members of Washington State’s congressional delegation — Reps. Doc Hastings and Jaime Herrera Beutler — have been appointed to the conference committee charged with hammering out a consensus highway bill.

For what seems like forever, Congress has been unable (well, unwilling) to pass an updated and long-term extension of the Surfact Transportation Act, relying instead on a series of short term extensions of current law.  These short term extensions create a long litany of negative impacts on state DOTs as well as the construction industry: no long-term planning by DOTs, reduced bid lettings, extreme competition at bidding table resulting in unrealistically low prices, work force reductions, reduced worker training, workers leaving the industry and deferred investments in new equipment.

Passage of something in both the House and the Senate and the naming of the conference committee to hammer out the differences is a big step.  But by no means is success assured, as there are MAJOR differences between the House and Senate versions.  For example, the House extension is for 90 days while the Senate’s is for two years; the House bill is mostly a mere extension of current law with some evironmental permit streamlining while the Senate’s is a comprehensive two-year package;  the House bill approves the Keystone pipeline while the Senate’s does not.

As the two conferees from this state, Reps. Hastings and Herrera Beutler would surely like to hear from local contractors and others impacted by the highway bill.  You can reach them at:

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler:







Rep. Doc Hastings:


NLRB Quickie Election Rule Now in Effect

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule on representation case procedures went into effect April 30, 2012. The NLRB rule, also known as the “quickie election” or “ambush election” rule, would expedite the union representation election cycle to as little as 14 days. It is bad for both employers and employees.

While the rule doesn’t require any immediate action by employers nor will the rule effect any cases filed prior to today, employers should still continue to develop internal procedures in the chance of an organizing campaign. The outcome of the rule will require swifter action by employers to educate employees during an organizing campaign.

AGC of America opposed the rule since its consideration because it effectively limits workers’ access to information and an adequate opportunity to consider information, about whether they want to be represented by the union seeking to represent them. The rule will have a particularly difficult application and detrimental impact on the construction industry due to the complexity of identifying the appropriate bargaining unit and of determining voter eligibility in the industry, and due to the decentralized nature of construction workplaces operated by the same employer.

AGC of America is a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) which has filed a lawsuit against the rule. The court is expected to issue a decision on the merits by May 15.

A congressional resolution that would have nullified the rule was defeated last week.

For more background on the rule and AGC’s concerns, click here. For more information on the rule from the NLRB, click here.