One of the largest highway and infrastructure projects underway in the province of Alberta, Canada, is ahead of schedule. Work on the twinning of a 240-kilometer stretch of Highway 63 between Fort McMurray and Grassland in northern Alberta began in 2006 and was fast-tracked in fall of 2012.

As of the end of September, an estimated 168 kilometers of expanded roadway was fully opened to traffic. The project is projected for completion in 2016. “We’re managing risks and dealing with construction issues well and are ahead of schedule,” says Rizwan Hussain, construction manager for Alberta Transportation, the provincial entity responsible for maintaining the route.  “Our goal is to get as much highway twinned as possible before the snow flies.”

People often look at Dan Jones cross-eyed when he talks about parks as infrastructure. But as the chairman and CEO of Louisville, Ky.’s 21st Century Parks, Jones understands the expensive consequences of city planning that neglects public space. 

In 2009, McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, issued a report titled “Preparing for China’s Urban Billion.” The report created a blueprint for how the Asian giant could create the infrastructure needed to accommodate 350 million more urban residents by 2030. In more than 500 pages, the report never once mentions public parks. Jones questions the quality of life those billion urban dwellers will have, pointing out that every great city of the world has an equally great park system. 

When seeking new drilling rigs – or refurbishing or repairing existing equipment – speed and accuracy are everything, especially in the energy industry. That is what Watson Inc. provides to its customers. Its drilling rigs are sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico directly to customers, and Watson’s sales representatives are full-time employees.

Watson designs and manufactures drill rigs for drilled shaft (bored pile) construction and for drilled piers, augured piles and caissons. Its rigs can be used by the energy and infrastructure industries for transmission, utilities and energy distribution. Whether drilling shafts for the pilings to hold electrical transmission lines or using Watson’s “rathole” drillers for the oil and gas industry, the company says its units can be built to meet customers’ particular needs and specifications.

Providing a reliable water source to an island nation with few fresh water resources is a daunting task, but one the Water Authority of the Cayman Islands has successfully undertaken for the past 31 years. Piped water is currently available to nearly all residents on the main island of Grand Cayman. After decades of building up the infrastructure, the public agency now provides piped water to around 40,000 residents on Grand Cayman and is in the early stages of expanding the water system on the smaller sister island of Cayman Brac. Cayman Water Company, a private company, provides water to West Bay Road, where most hotels are situated, and the district of West Bay.

When the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is complete in early 2019 it will open up underserved portions of the Los Angeles region to new public transportation options and bring light rail closer to the Los Angeles international airport. “It’s very important for the residents of Crenshaw and Inglewood to connect to this network,” says Jim Gardner, senior project manager for Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors.

Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors is a partnership between Walsh Construction Company and J.F. Shea Construction Inc., both of which have an extensive history of completing mass-transit projects. The collaboration began in 2011 when Walsh-Shea bid on the $1.3 billion construction project for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The total cost of creating the route is $2.058 billion, including property acquisition, and the project is one of 12 developments  being paid for through a half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

There are many challenges associated with the Antlers Bridge replacement project in Northern California, but perhaps the biggest hurdle is the remote location of the job. “It’s in the middle of nowhere,” according to a company spokesperson.  

Tutor-Saliba Corp. is the general contractor on the $126 million project, which calls for the replacement of Antlers Bridge on Interstate 5 over the Sacramento River arm of Shasta Lake near Lakehead, a town of fewer than 500 people. The nearest large city is Redding, a community of approximately 90,000 people about 30 miles away, a spokesperson says.

When Detroit hosted Super Bowl XL in 2006, it was a major event for the city, but it also made it clear to civic leaders that the city’s public transportation infrastructure would be severely tested by such an event. In order for the city to accommodate another even of the magnitude of the Super Bowl as well as the day-to-day traffic that moves through the city’s center, Detroit’s leaders in the public and private sectors were determined to create a new, more reliable transit alternative for the downtown and other key areas of the city. 

By 2008, the vision these business and civic leaders developed finally took shape as the M-1 Rail streetcar project. The 3.3-mile streetcar runs along Woodward Avenue between Congress Street and West Grand Boulevard in the heart of Detroit. The project represents an unprecedented partnership between public and private entities, as local businesses and philanthropic organizations have teamed with city government, the state of Michigan and the federal Department of Transportation to bring this idea to fruition. 

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