WCOE Turning Point for 12/15

Happy holidays from WCOE!

A Holiday Message from Gilbane

WCOE WCOE Chicago Caucus Triumphs!

Mary Kay MinaghanBy Mary Kay Minaghan

Chicago's M/WBE Construction ordinance was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2015. The City's Law Department has commissioned a disparity study to assess M/WBE availability. This availability is used to determine the M/WBE goals going forward once the ordinance is re-authorized. The study that was commissioned, once again relied on economist Dr. David Blanchflower to identify M/WBE availability. Dr. Blachflower's report identified a weighted availability of 26.8% MBE and 7.3% WBE, yet recommended that Chicago's goals remain at 24% MBE and 4% WBE, which is what they currently are in Chicago. His recommendation to keep the goals the same was based on his decision to rely on data from Dun & Bradstreet. Dun & Bradstreet has historically been known to undercount M/WBE's. In fact, Dr. Blanchflower found in his 2009 report on Chicago's M/WBE Program that Dun & Bradstreet data considerably undercounted M/WBE's.

WCOE led a coalition of women's organizations to raise the WBE goal to more accurately reflect WBE availability. Since 2009 there have been three studies conducted and all had identified WBE availability at more than 10%. Dr. Blanchflower's latest study showed WBE availability at 7.3%, which is still considerably higher than the current 4% WBE goal. After the ordinance to extend the M/WBE Construction program to 2020 with goals of 24% MBE and 4% WBE was introduced by Mayor Emanuel, WCOE and its coalition partners began meeting with the 35-member Budget Committee. With the Thanksgiving holiday mixed in, meeting with all of them was a tall order to say the least, but our coalition was up to the task. Response from the Aldermen was overwhelmingly positive.

Thanks to Budget Committee Chairman Carrie Austin (34th Ward), Women's Caucus Chairman, Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) and members of the Budget Committee, WCOE was able to delay action on ordinance. At WCOE's request, the City Council approved a brief extension of the existing M/WBE Construction ordinance at the current goals of 24% MBE and 4% WBE until March 31, 2015. This will give WCOE, its Aldermanic partners, city departments and coalition partners the opportunity to review Dr. Blanchflower's 283 page study (released Dec. 3) to determine the most appropriate level for the WBE goal. Additionally, another study now underway for Cook County is expected to be released very soon and may shed further light on WBE availability that can be used to determine Chicago's WBE goal.

WCOE Margery Newman Honored in Super Lawyers Directory

Margery NewmanMargery Newman, attorney with Deutsch, Levy & Engel in Chicago and WCOE Board Member, has been named to Thomson Reuters annual directory of Super Lawyers Business Edition. The directory includes lawyers across the United States. Congratulations, Margery!

RI's Gilbane Is Front-runner for NY State Fair Contract

GilbaneThe Rhode Island-based construction company Gilbane is the front-runner to oversee the $60 million in improvements planned for the New York State Fair outside Syracuse.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that a state selection board has given Gilbane Building of Providence the highest score of the four companies bidding for a $4.5 million construction management contract for the overhaul of the fairgrounds in suburban Geddes.

The two-year contract must still be negotiated, then approved by the state's attorney general and comptroller before it's awarded. The state's plans for the fairground include demolishing one concert venue and rebuilding another, building a new midway and adding a new RV park.

CA Pipeline Ready to Transport Desalinated Seawater

The Carlsbad Desalination Project will transform seawater into clean and safe drinking water that will provide residents of San Diego County with a drought-proof, reliable, high-quality drinking water solution.

A key component of the project is the Carlsbad Seawater Conveyance Pipeline, a 10-mile-long 54-inch welded steel water delivery pipeline that connects the Carlsbad Desalination Plant to the San Diego County Water Authority Second Aqueduct Connection Facility. The pipeline is sized to handle 54 million gallons per day of desalinated seawater.

Tetra Tech, under contract with Kiewit Shea Desalination is responsible for pipeline design, coordination, flow regulatory structure, connections and construction engineering that required considerable planning, coordination and advanced technology to minimize community impact and meet tight schedule requirements.

NY May Rebid $1.2 Billion Project

Large power transmission lines are in the works to relieve congestion in the southeastern NY. A series of projects designed to resolve constraints between upstate and downstate power flows are underway. However, to cut costs, one of the previously accepted, $1.2 billion proposals may be scraped and new submissions sought from losing bidders.

The New York Public Service Commission originally selected a proposal by the New York Transmission Owners, comprised of six state utilities, to resolve the power issues. The commission staff want to split the project into two segments and award to two unsuccessful proposers. However, the utilities say that the recommendation is inconsistent with the commission's clear direction and undermines the integrity of the bid selection process.

MD Light-rail Project Hits Milestone $2.16 Billion Proposal

Four engineering and construction consortiums have submitted technical proposals for the new $2.16 billion Purple Line light-rail project, which will span Washington D.C.'s northern suburbs in MD. Cost concerns had clouded the line's future until June, system modifications and increased local government contributions satisfied Gov. Larry Hogan of the reduced risk to the state.

Vegas Convention Center Pegged for $2.3B Makeover

Acquisition of the Riviera Hotel begins a four-phase, $2.3 billion project to renovate the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bought for $182.5 million, the Riviera is set to be demolished to make way for outdoor exhibit space, with construction of an $860 million exhibition hall to follow. The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee is considering a sports stadium and transportation options for the area.

Work Set to Begin on $2.5B LA Hotel Renovation

Work is set to start next year on a $2.5 billion project that will transform Los Angeles' Century Plaza Hotel and some adjacent property. The project will renovate the hotel, cutting the number of rooms from 726 to 394, and will add two 46-story residential towers. Construction should be finished by 2018.

2-tower Residential Project Planned in Silicon Valley

KT Urban is proposing a large residential project in San Jose, Calif., that would add more than 700 new units. The plan calls for two residential towers of 23 and 24 stories. The towers would be built on top of an underground parking garage, and the first floor would be reserved for commercial space. The site's tight space could make construction challenging.

Sacramento's NBA Arena Starting to Take Shape

Much of the work has moved indoors at the $507 million Golden 1 Center, the new arena in California for the National Basketball Association's Sacramento Kings, but installation of the metal-paneled facade continues. A time-lapse video shows a month's worth of work on the façade.

St. Louis Football Stadium Cost Rises to $1.01B

The estimated cost to build a new National Football League stadium in St. Louis, Mo., is now more than $1 billion. Site development and cleanup will cost more than initially anticipated, but a parking garage will cost less than estimated. Bonds, paid off by taxes on tickets, hot dogs, beer and other items at the games, would fund the increase.

Companies Propose 2 New LNG Facilities South of New Orleans

Two companies are seeking regulatory permission to move ahead with plans to build large natural gas export facilities in Plaquemines Parish, La., along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. Venture Global LNG seeks to build on 632 acres and Louisiana LNG Energy's site would use 190 acres, with both using existing pipelines and shipping liquefied natural gas overseas.

48-story Tower Planned in Seattle

Developer Martin Selig originally planned a 36-story office tower in Seattle but now has added 12 stories of residential space. The 664-foot mixed-use tower will incorporate the Federal Reserve Building, whose original elevator shafts can only accommodate 48 stories.

WCOE Coming Events

Save the Date!

WCOE 2016 Annual Leadership Conference – April 3–5

The Willard Hotel, Washington DC

Associated Builders & Contractors

1/12/2016 2:00PM ET 2016 January Webinar: The War for Talent Drives Construction Pay Higher: Pay Trends in the Construction Industry
1/14–16/2016 2:00PM ET ASA Mini-Committee Week: Executive and Finance Committee and Rap Council Meetings – Jan. 2016

American Subcontractors Association

1/12/2016   2016 January Webinar: The War for Talent Drives Construction Pay Higher: Pay Trends in the Construction Industry
2/9/2016   2016 February Webinar: Negotiating Retainage
4/12/2016   2016 April Webinar: The Payment Dance in the Construction Industry
5/10/2016   2016 May Webinar: Websites, Email, Social Media and Your Domain Name
6/14/2016   2016 June Webinar: Damages For Lost Labor Productivity

California High Speed Rail

12/2015   No events scheduled


1/13/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
2/10/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
3/16/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
4/13/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
5/18/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
6/15/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
7/13/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
8/10/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
9/14/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform
10/12/2016 2:00–3:00PM ET Online Tour of the ConsensusDocs Cloud-Based Platform

WCOE Chicago Caucus Meetings

We have scheduled dinner meetings for the following dates in 2016:

1. February 11

2. May 12

3. August 11

4. November 10

WCOE will grow your contacts, contracts and bottom line.


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WCOE grows your contacts, contracts & bottom line