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NCE FOR IN DEPTH NEWS AND FEATURES

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NCE Live News Updates Wednesday 5 March: Transport for London names 50 junctions improvements

Key London junctions, such as the roundabouts at the Imax in Waterloo and at Elephant and Castle, are to be remodelled in a £4bn initiative.

5.15pm: Mace is among seven firms shortlisted to build the UK Pavillion at next year’s Milan Expo.

The Shard contractor will compete against Nussli UK; GL Events Owen Brown; and Pico In-Creative for the prestigious job.

Cooperativa Muratori & Cementisti – CMC di Ravenna; Impresa di Costruzioni Ing. E. Mantovani S.p.A; and Stage One Creative Services make up the shortlist.

A total of 20 million visitors are expected at the Expo which will run from May to October next year.

 

5pm: Civil engineering activity has grown at its sharpest rate in more than 15 years, according to research.

The Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index posted its highest civils reading in February 2014 since it began in 1997.

Construction firms told report authors Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply they had seen greater spending from local authorities on capital projects and maintenance, particularly in response to recent flooding.

The positive news for the industry comes after yesterday’s announcement from economics unit Glenigan that civils work was at its highest since its records began in 2006.

 

3pm: The longest bridge in South-East Asia has been officially opened.

The 24km Second Penang Bridge links Penang Island with the Malaysia Peninsula.

Aecom partnered with China Harbour Engineering Company to deliver a structure designed to withstand a 1-in-2,500-year earthquake.

“The Second Penang Bridge is subject to the merciless forces of nature, such as earthquakes, potential tsunamis, and wind, to name a few; and is exposed to a hostile marine environment,” said Aecom global long-span and specialty bridges director Robin Sham.

“These challenges were overcome through meticulous planning and design, and the result is one of the world’s largest sea-crossing projects in recent years.”

 

2.30pm: The campaign to extend HS2 to Liverpool is to be taken to Downing Street.

Business leaders on Merseyside want the £43bn rail scheme to be extended to the city to allow better connections from its port.

Phillip Blond, director of think tank ResPublica and supporter of the 20 Miles More campaign, said it was aiming to get key government figures onside.

“We will soon be paying a visit to transport minister Baroness Kramer and Downing St to present the merits of a direct link to one of the country’s fastest growing economies,” he said.

“There is a compelling case for an HS2 connection to Liverpool, and that is widely recognised across the political spectrum.”

 

2pm: Highways contractors have called for extra funding for repair work following the wet winter.

Met Office figures show that more rain fell on England and Wales in the last three months than in the same period of any year since records began in 1766.

Membership body the Road Surface Treatments Association said the cost of repairing roads and bridges was £12.5m in Surrey alone.

Chief executive Howard Robinson said: “The impact of the widespread flooding on the road network is considerable and will only become really apparent as the flood waters subside. The road foundations will have been undermined while the road surface will be damaged.”

Robinson said council budgets were stretched.

“The Government must make funding available for flood repairs,” he insisted.

 

12.30pm: A group of 15 councils in the West Country has committed to delivering cost effective roads projects.

The South West Highway Alliance was launched this week in Exeter.  

Its members will collaborate with each other when commissioning highway services in a bid for economies of scale and reduced administrative costs. 

Alliance manager Emma Cockburn said: “I think it’s fantastic that all the highway authorities in the South West have signed up to become members of the alliance, and I’m really looking forward to working with them to deliver a number of exciting projects.“ 

 

11.45am: Network Rail is to start on a £20M scheme to improve the railway in Southampton.

The number of journeys on the South West main line has increased by a fifth by 2008 and new equipment is needed to improve the reliability of services in and out of the city.

More than 30 sets of points and associated equipment will be replaced over eight weekends, requiring 40,000 man-hours of round-the-clock work.

Work will begin on 15 March and finish on 4 May.

 

11.30am: Transport for London has set out details of 50 projects underway to transform road junctions in the capital.

Iconic road systems being reworked under the £4bn initiative include the Imax roundabout at Waterloo and the northern roundabout at Elephant & Castle.

The announcement comes after the Mayor’s Roads Task Force unveiled a vision to improve London’s roads and public spaces last summer.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said today: “We’ve been hard at work putting the bold and imaginative blueprint of the Roads Task Force into practice and we’re now seeing the fruits of that labour at key locations across the capital.”

 

11.15am: Bechtel is to work on the project to create the largest deep water port in the US.

The engineering giant will provide management services for the pre-construction of the Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal.

Client LIGTT Project Company expects the port to generate more than 33,000 jobs.

LIGTT principal Patrick Harvey said: “This terminal will increase America’s shipping efficiency by accommodating the larger vessels to come through the expanded Panama Canal, as well as the even-larger Super Post-Panamax vessels currently in operation.” 

 

11am: Carillion’s revenue fell by 7% last year, it has revealed.

The construction and support services giant had income of £4.1bn in the 12 months to 31 December 2013; down from £4.4bn the previous year.

Its pre-tax profit was cut by 13% to £175m over the same period as Carillion rescaled its construction business.

The firm said its performance was in line with expectations.

Carillion chairman Philip Rogerson said: “In 2013, Carillion has continued to respond decisively to challenging market conditions, including completing the rescaling of its UK construction activities and the restructuring of its energy services business, which are now aligned in size to their respective markets, while continuing to develop and strengthen its positions in new and existing markets that offer good opportunities for growth.

“We expect market conditions to remain challenging in 2014, but with a strong order book, good revenue visibility and substantial pipeline of contract opportunities the group is now well positioned for the future.”

 

9am: Almost half of built environment professionals hope to change company this year, according to a poll.

Recruitment firm CareerStructure.com surveyed more than 2,000 workers in the sector for its Salary Benchmarker study.

It found that 58% were unhappy with their current salary; 60% were dissatisfied with their benefits; and 59% were disillusioned with their promotion prospects.

This resulted in 47% suggesting they were looking to leave their current employer in the next year - and just 9% planning to stay in their present job for longer than two years.


8.45am: Part of the Nottingham Tram construction site has been cordoned off after bones were discovered.

Workers constructing a line in the Dunkirk district found the remains – which may be human or animal – shortly after 5pm yesterday.

The bones, which remain partially uncovered in the ground, will be examined by forensic experts in daylight hours today.

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