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Weekly Briefing: July 3-7, 2023

Week of July 3, 2023

California Transportation Commission Approves $4.3 Billion In Spending for Current and Future Projects

  • The California state agency allocated close to $2 billion in combined state and federal funds to support the state's transportation infrastructure, with $571 million stemming from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and over $257 million derived from Senate Bill (SB) 1, also recognized as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

  • $2.3 billion has been reserved for future projects coming from the $1.75 billion in SB 1 funds and $540 million dedicated to active transportation projects sponsored by local metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

  • Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom and the legislature agreed to a $310.8 billion budget agreement designed to streamline the permitting process linked to California's Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).


FHWA Announces Plan to Distribute Grant Funds for Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems

  • The FHWA has released a new initiative under the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program – which includes the distribution of up to $34 million in grant funds to state DOTs this year – to accelerate the use and deployment of Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems (ADCMS).

  • The funding program will continue through 2026, and up to $17 million each fiscal year will be available for projects between 2024 and 2026.

  • The FHWA announcement highlighted projects “with a focus on the integration of information from design to construction to asset management.”


University Engineers Have Developed a New Fast Test for Cement Durability

  • Engineers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new test using computer vision that can predict the durability of cement in minutes instead of the hours it takes using current methods.

  • The test will measure the ability of cement paste to absorb water by using a device that costs less than $200.

  • The test is far less tedious than the current ASTM method and can be performed on the fly in the field or in the lab.

  • The new testing method could help the cement industry both increase production of quality product and move toward rapid and automated quality control method for materials.

July 1, 2023

Bennett & Pless, a Georgia-based structural engineering firm specializing in projects throughout the Southeast, has merged with Hees and Associates, a Florida-based full-service structural engineering firm with expertise in commercial and residential structures, along with threshold inspections. This strategic merger aims to strengthen the teams’ ability to meet the diverse needs of their clients by providing enhanced structural consulting services and a wealth of experience in handling complex structures across Florida and the Southeast. Ed Gazzola, PE and CEO of Bennett & Pless, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, "Having collaborated with Hees & Associates on numerous projects over the past 7 years, we have come to realize that our shared culture, which centers around delivering an exceptional client experience, makes this merger a natural fit. Hees & Associates boasts a cohesive team of highly skilled professionals who have been with the firm since the start of their careers, placing immense value on the client experience and upholding it as a top priority to this day."


July 4, 2023

Core Design, Inc. (Core Design), a Washington-based engineering, surveying and landscape architecture design firm, has merged with REO Consultants, a Washington-based PM/CM services firm. The merger with REO Consultants will allow Core Design to broaden its range of services offered to clients by providing development management services, including project and construction management, cost analysis, and an extensive array of construction-related services. These newly integrated offerings will complement Core Design's existing land development consulting services, by streamlining projects seamlessly from the initial feasibility phase all the way through to construction.


July 5, 2023

CIMA+, a Canada-based consulting engineering firm, has acquired Écogénie Inc. (Écogénie), a Canada-based consulting engineering firm offering eco-engineering services and solutions. The acquisition will allow CIMA+ to add eco-engineering to its expertise and offer a complete range of environmental services to existing and future customers. Steeve Fiset, CIMA+'s Chief Strategy Officer, stated, “The practices and solutions developed by Écogénie to promote more sustainable development and greater respect for natural environments align with CIMA+’s values and reinforce the firm’s corporate strategy.”


July 6, 2023

DJ&A, P.C. (DJ&A), a Montana-based multidisciplinary professional services consulting firm, has merged with Woodland Solutions Group LLC (WSG), a Colorado-based provider of geospatial services and software. The merger with WSG will combine DJ&A's fifty years of experience in engineering, planning, surveying, and environmental services with WSG's geospatial capabilities, expanding its services in the asset management and geospatial realm.


July 7, 2023

SYSTRA Group (SYSTRA), a France-based engineering and consulting firm specializing in public transport and mobility solutions, has entered into an agreement to acquire the Scandinavian Engineering Services business of SNC-Lavalin, a Canada-based professional services and project management company. Through this transaction, SYSTRA will acquire the Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian entities of Atkins -- a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin -- which specialize in infrastructure design and project management consultancy, as well as its rail verification services in Denmark. The transaction also represents another step forward in SNC-Lavalin's strategy to reduce its risk profile, drive consistent profitable growth, and accelerate its ongoing transition to becoming a leading provider of professional engineering services and project management solutions in identified strategic areas.

CONSOR Engineers sponsored a community initiative organized by Stormwater Partners of SW Washington to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our waterways and ecosystems. The winners of the 2023 Students for Clean Water Video Contest have just been announced, featuring students from local middle and high schools who collaborated to create videos showcasing clean water actions and their connections to water.


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