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Weekly Briefing: November 13-17, 2023

Week of November 13, 2023

Congress Passes Temporary Spending to Keep Federal Programs Active as Shutdown Approaches

  • With a possible federal government shutdown midnight Nov.17, Congress has passed a temporary spending bill that will keep federal programs running.

  • The current resolution has a two-track deadline mechanism for the 12 individual bills, each covering one or more federal departments and agencies.

  • The largest project allocation is $4.7 billion to replace the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, which has long been a bottleneck that requires trains to slow to 35 miles per hour.

  • A deadline of January 19 has been set for most bills funding major construction and infrastructure projects. This includes the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Departments, energy and water programs, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture. The second deadline will be February 2. This will cover some construction programs.

  • So far, three of the 12 fiscal bills have been approved by both the House and the Senate.


Biden Administration Releases Fifth National Climate Change Assessment Alongside Resilience Investments

  • The Biden Administration released the Fifth National Climate Change Assessment in advance of COP28 which will be held Nov. 30 in Dubia, UAE.

  • Though the United States has made progress reducing emissions levels, threats continue to grow without global reduction and strong adaptation. Currently, extreme weather events cost the U.S. $150 billion each year with a billion-dollar disaster taking place every three weeks on average.

  • Though 80% of new energy generation came from renewable resources in recent years, global emissions must decline to net-zero levels to stop global temperature rise.

  • Alongside this latest climate report, the Biden Administration has announced an additional $6 billion in funding to improve climate change resilience including flood risk, water infrastructure, and electrical grid resilience.

November 16, 2023

Bowman Consulting Group (Bowman), a Virginia-based engineering services firm delivering infrastructure solutions to customers who own, develop, and maintain the built environment, has acquired High Mesa Consulting Group (High Mesa), a New Mexico-based surveying, mapping, and geospatial services firm. The acquisition expands Bowman’s geographic reach into new markets. Gary Bowman, chairman and CEO of Bowman, said of the transaction, “High Mesa is a great addition to Bowman…their focus on educational and healthcare institutions, utility and energy clients, and public sector customers throughout the Southwest is highly complementary to our existing footprint and suite of services. The core skills of their professional workforce are well aligned and highly consistent with our culture of work-sharing and utilization optimization”.


November 16, 2023

NV5 Global, Inc. (NV5), a Florida-based provider of technology, conformity assessment, and consulting solutions, has acquired Technology Design Services, Inc. (TDSi), an Illinois-based provider of technology infrastructure design and consulting services. The acquisition expands NV5’s data center and technology design sector capabilities and bolsters relationships with top clients in the aviation and government sectors.


November 15, 2023

Woolpert, an Ohio-based architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG), and strategic consulting firm backed by MSD Partners, has reached a strategic agreement with Allvision, a Pennsylvania-based geospatial analytics and asset management company. The agreement will combine the AI, machine learning, and deep learning technologies of Allvision with Woolpert’s lidar and imagery collection and processing expertise to develop new and enhanced geospatial solutions for clients worldwide.


November 14, 2023

Stantec, a Canada-based sustainable design and engineering firm, has acquired ZETCON Engineering (ZETCON), a Germany-based infrastructure planning, inspection, project management, and construction management services firm. The acquisition of ZETCON gives Stantec a strong platform focused on infrastructure and expands Stantec's operating footprint in the German and surrounding European markets. “ZETCON gives us a significant foothold in Germany, a large economy with massive infrastructure needs over the coming years,” said Gord Johnston, President and CEO of Stantec. “Expanding our presence in Europe has long been an ambition for Stantec, and this acquisition will set us up for long-term growth in the region.”


November 14, 2023

Barge Design Solutions, Inc. (Barge), a Tennessee-based architecture and engineering firm, has acquired Environmental Consulting & Design, Inc. (EC&D), a Florida-based consulting firm specializing in environmental permitting, land planning, mitigation banking, land management, and geospatial services. The acquisition expands Barge’s environmental capabilities and its presence in Florida. Bob Higgins, President and CEO of Barge, commented on the acquisition, “The state of Florida has been recognized as a national leader in enhancing and protecting its natural resources. EC&D is a highly respected firm in the state providing those services. Our coming together is significant I that it will allow their influence to expand over Barge’s entire footprint and improve upon our ability as a team to strengthen our ecology and environmental position across the Southeast”.


November 13, 2023

Bowman Consulting Group (Bowman), a Virginia-based engineering services firm delivering infrastructure solutions to customers who own, develop, and maintain the built environment, has acquired Blankinship & Associates (Blankinship), a California-based environmental sciences and engineering firm that specializes in water resources services, natural resource management services, permitting and compliance services, and specialized training. The transaction expands Bowman’s suite of services and expertise as the entire Blankinship team is set to join Bowman post-acquisition. Mike Blankinship, founder and President of Blankinship, commented on the transaction, “Gary and the Bowman team share our desire to create common sense solutions that address complex environmental challenges. I believe our team will make great contributions toward helping Bowman clients tackle their environmental and natural resources issues through consultation, innovation, and simplification”.

Arup, in partnership with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), has developed a Bridge Visualization Tool to address the critical issue of rural isolation in East Africa and Central America. The tool is a significant advancement in the field of rural infrastructure development, as it provides a practical solution to the challenges faced by local communities in constructing bridges. These bridges are vital for these communities, providing safe access to essential services such as hospitals, schools, and local markets. The tool creates 3D models of trailbridges, detailing each construction stage, and is now incorporated into B2P’s training program for local construction teams. It simplifies bridge design and construction concepts for a non-technical audience and has been tested on seven bridge construction projects in Rwanda. It is now freely available for all B2P projects and will also be used in the pre-construction phase to support B2P in negotiating proposed bridges with key stakeholders and during construction for more efficient operation.


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