June 2009 – State & Province News
Approximately 200 Grove City residents gathered to hear Olen Corp’s proposal that would provide Columbus with a free reservoir — worth more than $130 million — to feed the rapidly growing city. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Olen Corp. would like to pump out an old pit, sending water into Columbus well fields and a local river, and then mine limestone for area construction projects. When the mining is complete, Olen would let the pit fill with rain and groundwater and repeat the process in three neighboring pits. In all, the project would span 70 years. While the proposed reservoir could hold 10 billion to 20 billion gallons, an administrator of the Columbus Division of Water acknowledged residents concerns that it could impact their water supply.
A backlog of big projects now underway is drawing attention from contractors throughout the state. Jack Ramage, executive director of the Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the number of bids for private projects has risen about 30 to 40 percent in the past six months. A spokesperson for the state Department of General Services said he has seen the number of bids double during the past six months, even on small projects.
Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) officials said federal stimulus dollars are contributing to what’s shaping up to be a record year for highway construction in sheer number of projects in play. The Deseret News reports that Utah obligated more than half its allocated $215 million by late April. “This is the very largest construction program that we’ve ever reported,” said Jim McMinimee, UDOT’s project development director. “We have 169 projects currently under construction…over $2 billion worth of work out there.” He reported that as he reviewed bids on the state’s last 30 projects, contractor bids came in at 30 percent under engineer valuations.
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