The ultimate sustainability award at I-4: Envision® Platinum

Our I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project has won the prestigious Envision® Platinum award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). I-4 Ultimate, the reconstruction of 21 miles of roadway in Central Florida, stands to be the largest project certified by Envision to date. I-4 Ultimate is one of Skanska’s three public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the United States in addition to LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B in New York and the Elizabeth River Tunnels in Virginia. At Skanska, we are advocates for PPPs because they set the stage for successful sustainability planning by involving all parties – from the architects to the future operators – from day one.

“The entire I-4 Ultimate team is thrilled to receive this recognition for our efforts to protect the environment while creating a signature corridor for the entire region,” said Loreen Bobo, P.E. who is the I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation. “This award shows that sustainability goals are achievable alongside other primary missions of our agency to enhance the economic prosperity and preserve the quality of our environment and communities.”

Proposed rendering of the future SR 436 Interchange, which is currently one of the most congested intersections in Florida with more than 100,000 motorists traveling on it per day.

Our PPP team at I-4 Mobility Partners (I4MP) is doing more than building new infrastructure, it is also relocating protected wildlife such as tortoises and osprey, planting native trees such as elms and maples, and recycling 99 percent of the concrete and steel removed from roads and bridges.

Public spaces are being created to connect and engage the community through group sport activities, farmer’s markets, art fairs and parks. Residents will also be able to enjoy enhanced walkability, biking and public transportation options with connections to the SunRail commuter rail system and LYNX, Orlando’s local bus service. All in all, we are fully invested in improving the places where we work and live.

The proposed project design includes accent lighting, illuminated fountains, enhanced bridge architecture and architectural cladding.

“Since day one, our entire team has been committed to achieving the highest standards under Envision,” said Sal Taddeo, Chief Operating Officer East, Skanska USA Civil. “Our goal is to deliver one of the country’s most complex roadway projects while reaching a top level of sustainable infrastructure performance that can serve as a role model for other projects of its kind.”

The road to sustainable infrastructure

Created in 2012, Envision provides a framework for evaluating infrastructure projects similar to how the LEED® evaluation system works for building projects. The ranking consists of a broad range of criteria that address a project’s impact on the surrounding community and environment, technical considerations regarding materials and processes, and other critical choices spanning the project’s lifecycle. There are five categories measured: Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Risk.

I-4 Ultimate received high scores in three key categories:

Quality of Life: Central Florida’s local history and unique community character are being reflected in the design because there are hundreds of nearby buildings, districts and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several of these places are within the project limits, including the town of Eatonville, Griffin Park and the Holden-Parramore Historic District.

Founded in 1887, the town of Eatonville was the first incorporated African-American town in the US. The main road — Kennedy Boulevard which passes under the new I-4 project — once served as a wagon trail. Key landscape and historic features will be integrated into the bridge design at Kennedy Boulevard to honor the city’s history.

Leadership: To meet FDOT’s sustainability goals, an agenda was created early in the program to provide the project’s foundation. This includes social priorities such as health and safety, community involvement and business ethics; environmental priorities, including energy, carbon, materials, water and local impacts; and economic priorities such as project selection criteria, supply chain management and value added to society.

Natural World: A comprehensive Contamination Management Plan and Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan was developed to prevent pollutants from contaminating soils, surface water and groundwater. Four underground storage tanks and 145 tons of petroleum that impacted soils and debris have been removed from the project site.

Invasive species are being controlled by removing existing Brazilian Pepper trees and Tropical Soda Apple shrubs along the project’s right-of-way while including non-invasive plants for landscaping and maintaining wetland functions.

The native landscaping proposed for this project includes up to 14,225 trees, 9,825 palms and 65,900 native shrubs and grasses.

Setting new sustainability records

In the fall of 2016, our Expo Line 2 Light Rail transit project in Los Angeles received Envision Platinum certification, making it the first transit project to receive the certification. Skanska has been involved in Envision since its inception and we are proud to see that momentum continues to grow. We are a charter member of ISI and we have supported more than 60 employees in achieving the Envision Sustainability Professional designation.

Moving forward, all of our PPPs in the U.S. must be either Envision or LEED certified, and by 2020 all of our U.S. civil infrastructure projects will seek Envision certification.

This marks the first time a Florida project has been honored by the ISI and the second time a Skanska project has been honored.

Thank you to our teammates at I-4 Mobility Partners

Our I-4 Mobility Partners team is designing, building, financing, and operating the project through a 40-year P3 concession agreement with a total design and construction cost of $2.323 billion dollars. We have two roles: one as an equity member through our Infrastructure Development group and a second as part of the SGL Constructors (SGL), which is the Skanska-led joint venture with Granite Construction Company and the Lane Construction Company.

Other members of the I4MP team include John Laing Invesments Limited; Design Joint Venture – HDR Engineering and Jacobs Engineering Group; and Infrastructure Corporation of America.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Building Bridges, Connecting Communities

With our joint venture partners, Kiewit and ECCO III Enterprises, Skanska is building the new Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City, with construction of the first of the two 275-foot towers that will support the main span complete.

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The first of two towers for the new Kosciuszko Bridge, next to the existing bridge. An identical tower will be constructed on the opposite creek bank and the roadway will run between them. At right, one of the two bridge approaches is also visible.

This will be a busy summer of work on the project. Installation of the steel girders for the main span’s new roadway deck and the cable stays that will attach the roadway is underway.  The portions of the bridge in Brooklyn and Queens that lead to the main span (the approaches) are nearing completion. And construction is ongoing on the sections of the bridge in Brooklyn and Queens that will connect the existing Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) to the new BQE, which will cross over the creek.

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A rendering of the new Kosciusko Bridge.

The Kosciuszko Bridge in New York is one of the city’s oldest bridges, constructed in 1939 and spanning the Newtown Creek, linking the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. As a critical artery for intracity traffic – the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) runs over it – the new bridge will carry traffic between Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn and the Long Island Expressway Interchange in Queens, requiring the team to reconstruct and realign more than 11 local streets in Brooklyn.

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At left, the northbound approach to the new Kosciuszko Bridge will provide a less-steep grade that allows traffic to maintain more even speeds.

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The majestic new cable-stayed Kosciuszko Bridge will transform the skyline between Brooklyn and Queens. It will also feature wider travel lanes, standard shoulders and a reduced roadway incline, enabling trucks to maintain a consistent speed on the bridge. New parks and open spaces in the local communities and improved waterfront access will also be part of the project.

For additional information on the project, visit www.dot.ny.gov/kbridge.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Road Trip! Midtown Tunnel Opens To Public Ahead of Schedule

Six months ahead of schedule, the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project opened one lane of its new Midtown Tunnel to traffic on Friday, June 17, marking the first time the public could use the new passage under the Elizabeth River connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia.

In a show of pride, Skanska employees, along with our JV partners from Kiewit Construction and Weeks Marine, Inc., walked through the nearly one mile length of the tunnel in the morning, surveying the fruits of their hard work.  In the afternoon, cars queued up on the westbound side and at 1:40 p.m. proceeded through, signifying the tunnel had officially gone into operation.

To execute the opening, crews shifted the single lane of U.S. 58 West Midtown Tunnel traffic, which carries traffic from Norfolk to Portsmouth, into the new Midtown Tunnel. The existing Midtown Tunnel will continue to carry eastbound traffic in a single lane from Portsmouth to Norfolk.  The single lane configuration in each tube makes it possible to conduct rehabilitation of the existing Midtown Tunnel ahead of schedule and finish construction in the new tube. In order to advance completion of both Midtown tunnels, construction will continue in one lane of each tube.

“This is a terrific day for this project and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Wade Watson, ERT Project Director for SKW. “Four years ago when the project began, the team set an aggressive schedule. Opening six months early speaks to quality of team, attitude, planning and efforts to make this come together. More than 50,000 man hours of training and more than 4.4 million man hours of work went into this.”

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CREW’S ALL HERE: The team gathers in one of the approaches to the Midtown Tunnel before the official public opening. Credit: Skanska USA.

The $1.5 billion project is Skanska’s first major infrastructure public-private partnership (P3).

The project is divided into four sections:

• Construction of a brand new, two-lane tunnel under the Elizabeth River, adjacent to the existing Midtown Tunnel
• Extending the MLK from London Boulevard to Interstate 264 with an interchange at High Street
• Minor modifications to the interchange at Brambleton Avenue/Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk
• Maintenance and safety improvements to the existing Midtown & Downtown Tunnels

The project is remarkable from a technological perspective, being only the second all-concrete immersed tube tunnel in the United States and the first deep water all concrete immersed tube tunnel. Historically, tunnels in the US have been built with steel.

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Drivers will benefit from reduced emissions and congestion and shave as much as 30 minutes a day off the average round trip commute. Full completion on the project is expected in August 2018.

Click here for more on how this amazing tunnel was built.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Breaking Ground at LaGuardia

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Vice President of The United States Joe Biden, and a host of officials gathered at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday to mark the start of construction of the Central Terminal Building – a key milestone for the project that is expected to help grow the airport into a world-class “front door to New York City,” according to the Governor.

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Vice President Joe Biden and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo share the stage at the official groundbreaking for the new LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Project on Tuesday, June 14. Credit: Michael Benabib.

LaGuardia will be our largest global project ever, with a 70 percent share of the $4 billion contract, worth about $2.8 billion, and the largest public-private partnership in the United States.  As part of LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), Skanska will help to finance, design and build a piece of this critical air hub, which is on pace to set a record in excess of 27 million passengers this year with 34 million anticipated by 2030.

“LaGuardia is a key driver of New York’s economy and transportation network, but for far too long it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State,” Governor Cuomo said at the announcement.  “Today, we are not just breaking ground – we are building an entirely new LaGuardia and transforming it into a world-class transportation gateway for the 21st century. This state has always been built to lead and now that legacy continues with this unprecedented project that will drive growth and generate continued prosperity for generations to come.”

See new renderings for LaGuardia on the Governor’s flickr site, here.

The vision for the new LaGuardia includes the world’s first dual pedestrian bridges spanning active aircraft taxi lanes and connecting the terminal to concourses A and B.  The plan also includes a new 35-gate Terminal B, Central Hall, West Garage and related roadways and supporting infrastructure. The more than 1.3 million square feet of the new Central Terminal B is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification for sustainable design, a designation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Vice President Biden explained how the project exemplified what the United States needs the most at the moment – a reinvestment in critical infrastructure to fuel the economy. “The greatest city in the world needs the greatest infrastructure in the world. We rank 26th in the world in transportation infrastructure. How can that stand? New York will make an enormous difference in our economic resurgence.”

The Vice President also lauded the economic activity that will be created by the project – both temporary and permanent – including the union workers that will build the project, which is predicted to generate $1.3 billion in wages and $5.2 billion in regional economic activity, according to PANYNJ.

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Skanska’s Mike Viggiano, Richard Kennedy and Magnus Eriksson (5th, 6th and 8th from left, respectively) participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking for LaGuardia’s new Central Terminal Project on Tuesday, June 14. Credit: Michael Benabib.

“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to a modern, 21st Century Central Terminal at LaGuardia carries on the legacy of the airport’s namesake,” said Richard Cavallaro, President and CEO of Skanska USA. “Much like Mayor LaGuardia, who pushed for an airport in the city, the governor’s vision for building a modern facility at LaGuardia through a public-private partnership model not only will make getting to New York City easier for millions of people every year, it is a blueprint for how to smartly rebuild our country’s infrastructure. Skanska is honored to be part of the consortium that is financing and rebuilding an essential part of New York City’s transportation network.”

During construction, the existing terminal will remain fully operational and flights will not be affected. New facilities will begin opening in 2018, with scheduled substantial completion in 2022.

You can watch the entire ceremony here:

 

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Good Tunnels Make Good Neighbors

Skanska is currently hard at work finishing construction and development of the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) project with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Skanska’s first US P3 project, ERT encompasses the construction of a new Midtown Tunnel and MLK Extension, the rehabilitation of three existing tunnels, and the development of an efficient connected transportation network. Constructive Thinking recently sat down with Wade Watson, ERT Project Director for SKW (the Skanska, Kiewit, Weeks Marine construction joint venture), and talked with him about ERT and its “Building What Matters” impact on the Hampton Roads region.

Constructive Thinking (CT): “How is Skanska Building What Matters at ERT?”

Wade Watson (WW): “A second Midtown Tunnel [at the bottom of the Elizabeth River between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk] will provide several benefits for the region. First, it will reduce traffic congestion on U.S. 58 by providing extra travel lanes, and enhance driver safety by having one tube for eastbound traffic and another tube for westbound traffic. The project has also created construction-related jobs.  According to Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC*) data, 500 direct and 1,000 indirect construction-related jobs were created. Finally, we expect the tunnel to enhance the general quality of life for Hampton Roads’ residents and visitors.”

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Wade Watson at the ERT worksite.

CT: “How have SKW Constructors (construction joint venture of Skanksa Kiewit Weeks) and the ERT Project Team worked with the community?”

WW: “The design-build phase of the ERT project has a number of positive impacts on the local community. We’ve awarded more than $310M in contracts to DBE (disadvantaged business enterprises) and SWaM (small, women-owned, and minority-owned) businesses. That’s incredibly important to us as a company; that we’re contributing to the local economy in a tangible way. We’ve also operated an On-Job Training (OJT) program that has provided construction-related skills training – everything from a field office clerk to a mechanic to an electrician – and project employment opportunities for 80 people.  It’s resulted in graduates being trained in a craft and having a better paying job. In addition, we’ve provided more than 40,000 hours of training to our project’s skilled craft and staff workforce.”

CT: “Why is supporting the community on this project so important to Skanska?”

WW: “Skanska believes deeply that every project has a personal impact on everyone it touches.  And with long-term projects like our P3s and ERT, our workers become part of the community, if they’re not already coming from the local workforce. So supporting local educational and community service organizations through things like food drives for Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Portsmouth Area Resources, and Oasis Social Ministry are critically important.  I’m especially proud of our toy and financial resource drives, where we collected more than $25,000 in combined cash and gifts like toys, electronics and gift cards and donated them to Edmarc, a Portsmouth-based hospice for children, Wounded Warriors, and Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD). Community outreach initiatives like these make a difference to so many people who don’t even play a direct role in the project. But if we can do it, we will.”

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CT: “You’ve also focused on similar efforts for the environment, correct?”

WW: “We are among one of the first US construction firms to have all our operations ISO 14001 certified. ISO 14000 is a set of environmental management standards that help companies minimize their negative impact on the environment, comply with applicable laws, and continually improve operations. We have also participated in events like Earth Day celebration and Clean the Bay Day, where our employees and family members helped to remove trash from the shores and waters of the Elizabeth River and the Chesapeake Bay. We also brought more than 100 local Cub and Boy Scouts together for the Scouting the Midtown Tunnel event, to introduce them to civil and environmental engineering and construction management and help them earn their engineering merit badge. ”

CT: “How is sustainability factored in to the ERT?”

WW: “We started out with the aim to deliver not only a high quality finished product but to deliver an outstanding environmental project – to improve the local environment.  To help us with this objective, we hired Carissa Agnese as our project’s environmental manager, and we challenged her to design and implement an innovative, cost-effective, and efficient environmental management system.  Through her environmental leadership, the SKW project team developed several environmental best practices, wrote and publicized environmental reports and case studies  (to help share our project’s knowledge and best practices with other companies in the construction industry), and received several local and state-level environmental awards including the Virginia Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) Award. We are now working to have the ERT project undergo the accreditation process and designation as a sustainable infrastructure project by Envision.”

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CT: “How is ERT a personal project for you?”

WW: “During my 37-year career with Skanska, I’ve worked some large, complex projects, and I have learned a few things along the way.  We have to be good neighbors, we have to know what the community thinks, and we have to do our work, day in and day out, in a conscious way that minimizes the short-term impacts of the construction activity as we communicate the long-term benefits of the project. We have to take care of the communities in which we are working, to help them in whatever ways we can, whether that’s providing contributions or manpower to local charitable organizations, or providing educational opportunities to local school and university students, or helping to improve the environment around the project.  We need to be proactive at sharing our project with the public.  Projects of this scope, scale, and technical complexity are interesting to the public and serve to engage the community at large.”

Wade Watson is a Vice President of Operations with Skanska USA Civil SE and Project Director of the ERT Project with SKW Constructors (a joint venture of Skanska USA Civil SE, Kiewit Infrastructure, and Weeks Marine)

*ERC is the joint venture of Skanska Infrastructure Development and Macquarie Group for the purpose to finance, deliver, operate and maintain ERT

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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By the Numbers: How We Built the WTC Transportation Hub and Oculus

The New York City World Trade Center Transportation Hub and winged Oculus that sits atop it was incredibly complex to build.

We developed this infographic to explain just how our workers did it:

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Check out the story of the construction – in our employees own words – here.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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A worker’s perspective on the Oculus and PATH Hall at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Over the last six years, our project team of 5,000 workers has logged more than 600,000 hours to complete the Oculus World Trade Center transportation hub, which opened March 3 in downtown Manhattan. We are so grateful to everyone who worked around the clock, seven days a week for their hard work and dedication to complete an iconic new structure connecting 11 subway lines, PATH rail system, Battery Park Ferry Terminal, the WTC memorial, WTC Towers 1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as the World Financial Center and Fulton Transit Center.

Watch to hear more from the team who built the Oculus and PATH Hall.

Here’s a perspective on the project from the people who built it, in their own words:

Paul (1)

 

“What Grand Central is to midtown, the Oculus is to downtown. It’s in the heart of the Financial District and will connect all the downtown workers to the rest of the tristate area.”

—Paul Orso, Senior Engineer

 

“The Oculus was a tough job to work on, but the challenges are what made it great. My family worked on the original Twin Towers so I was proud to be part of the next generation of construction workers building at the World Trade Center.”

—Steven A. Koch, Project Manager

 

“Downtown Manhattan was strictly business. Now it is becoming more residential and tourist focused. The World Trade Center is becoming a more central point and tying everything together adds to the area’s rejuvenation.”

—Steven Rosen, Office Engineer

 

 

“The Oculus is special to me because I worked at the World Trade Center doing the clean up after the towers dropped. I’m proud I was able to be part of rebuilding and bringing it back up.”

—Jimmy Beckett, Iron Worker

 

“I am so proud I had a part in building the Oculus. I always tell the team they should be proud of the project, their kids will be proud of it, and their family and friends will be proud of it.”

—Bobby Fennell, Iron Worker

 

 

“For a lot of the people that live in New York City, especially that were hit so hard by the tragedy that happened on 9/11, it’s great to see that New York City has come together to build something new here. To me this project says, ‘you could hurt us as much as you want but we’re gonna come back stronger than last time.”

— Hayden Weschler, Assistant Superintendent

Ryan Hirce

 

“I think a lot of people didn’t know what we were building at the World Trade Center because they couldn’t see, but as it’s opening up now, they’re saying, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’”

— Ryan Hirce, Superintendent

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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From the State of the Union: a brighter light for U.S. infrastructure

U.S. infrastructure, from our roads and bridges to our courthouses and water systems, is in great need of investment. So the White House’s recent effort to increase private sector participation in public infrastructure projects through Build America, a government-wide initiative to increase collaborative infrastructure investment and economic growth, is an encouraging step towards increasing public-private partnerships in the U.S. – and I’m looking forward to further P3 announcements that I’m expecting President Obama to address tonight during the State of the Union address.

As you may know, in a P3, public money is leveraged with private investment to fast-track critical projects, for which the long-term responsibility to maintain that infrastructure falls to private partners.  Skanska is currently working on two of the nation’s largest P3s – Elizabeth River Tunnels in Virginia and I-4 Ultimate in Florida. Both these projects will help transform transportation and accessibility in their respective regions, while generating many well-paying jobs. P3s are a leading way to get major infrastructure done in our country today.

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The Skanska-led consortium behind Orlando’s I-4 Ultimate public-private partnership project will widen and reconstruct 21 miles of interstate highway, greatly improving that region’s mobility.

Initiatives like Build America are a positive indication that the federal government supports states, municipalities and private enterprises that work collaboratively to create partnerships that benefit the American public by improving core infrastructure. In a fact sheet released on Friday that previews some of what President Obama might address in his State of the Union address tonight, the White House laid out new steps that federal agencies are taking to bring private sector capital and expertise to help improve U.S. roads, bridges, ports and drinking water systems. These steps include a new Water Finance Center at the Environmental Protection Agency, driving the Rural Opportunity Investment Initiative at the Department of Agriculture and leveling the playing field for municipalities seeking P3s by proposing the creation of a new kind of municipal bond, Qualified Public Infrastructure Bonds, so that governments can more easily work with the private sector to advance the public interest. All these efforts will go a long way to helping get more P3 projects off the ground.

Now and into the future, P3s will be essential for fixing our crumbling infrastructure. There is such a tremendous need for repair and little public money to pay for it, and meanwhile there’s plenty of private money on the sidelines waiting to be invested.

These latest initiatives to boost P3s hopefully generate many critical projects and elevate the conversation in Washington to find creative, alternate solutions to simply raising taxes or doing nothing.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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Leadership lessons from Skanska USA’s new president and CEO

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On January 1 Rich Cavallaro became Skanska USA’s president and CEO, replacing Mike McNally who retired after 16 years with us. A New York City native who grew up with five brothers, Cavallaro graduated from the City College of New York and, after some stints elsewhere, joined Skanska in 1996 as an estimator. His first major field assignment was on the $1.2 billion AirTrain to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. From there, he worked his way up to be the CEO of Skanska USA’s civil business unit, which specializes in large infrastructure projects and projects in the power and industrial sectors. During the five years he held that position, Rich brought our regional civil operations together to work as a unified national contractor, enabling us to best pool our resources to execute the most challenging projects, regardless of location. Now, Rich oversees collaboration between our U.S. construction and development units and the operations of those construction units, both building and civil.

Here, he discusses the power of teams, why our values are so important, and that achieving zero lost-time accidents is within our grasp.

What’s your leadership style? I’m definitely a team builder and a cheerleader. I completely believe in the power of teams, as there are so many examples of teams delivering remarkable results that could never have been achieved individually.

What’s a key leadership lesson you’ve learned? One of the key things I’ve learned is that as a leader, you need to have a steady hand. You shouldn’t overreact to ups and downs, because they’re always part of the business. Another valuable lesson I’ve learned is that you should never play the blame game. Problems come to you all the time but it’s important to get the team focusing on the solution, instead of trying to assign blame.

What trait do you admire most in other people, and why? Selflessness and loyalty. Selflessness refers to the team being more important than the individual, and when people act that way you get a more powerful result. Sports have millions of examples of this. Take, for example, the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team: they were basically a bunch of kids playing professionals from the Soviet Union. How the U.S. beat them nobody can explain, but everybody did what they needed to do to deliver for the team – they put that ahead of their own needs.

What can employees expect from you? I’ll do whatever I can to help individuals succeed. I’ll be a steady influence. I’ll be a team builder. I’ll be loyal to a fault. Those are the kind of things people can expect from me.

What do you admire about Skanska as a whole? I admire the way we do business. The Five Zeros is our North Star, as it guides decision making. Having this tremendous foundation of safety; ethics; sustainability; diversity and inclusion; quality; and profitability really separates us from most of our competitors.

What are your top priorities? We’re going to continue stressing safety, ethics, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability – all the things that McNally has been emphasizing. A really big priority for me – and the one we have the most work to do to achieve – is to become better integrated to deliver even more powerful solutions for clients. While we’ve made strong progress toward being One Skanska, we have further to go.

Looking ahead, what are Skanska’s greatest U.S. opportunities? Public-private partnerships will be huge in the U.S. There is such a tremendous need for infrastructure repair and little public money to pay for it, and meanwhile there’s plenty of private money on the sidelines waiting to be invested. What better place to invest your money than in U.S. infrastructure? Also, low-cost energy in the U.S. will accelerate and create significant opportunities for us. Healthcare continues to grow at a rapid rate, so it’s great that we’re so strong in that market. And there’s much potential to expand our work in commercial development.

How do you see Skanska in five years? We should be larger, we should be more profitable, and we should be even more of a leader in safety, ethics, sustainability and diversity and inclusion. Achieving those will require us to be a more integrated organization that can better take advantage of all our strengths.

What advice do you have for a new college graduate starting out with us? Knowledge is power. We do so many really interesting projects that offer such tremendous opportunities to learn. Soak in that knowledge as part of your job, and later put it to use. I guarantee you that will advance your career.

 

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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What you missed from the Build America Infrastructure Investment Summit

American infrastructure is in great need of investment, and it will take strong political leadership to make meaningful improvements. As one step toward that larger goal, it was great that the Obama Administration on October 9 hosted the Infrastructure Investment Summit to rally support for the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide effort launched in July to advance the U.S. market for public-private partnerships. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew were among those who spoke at this D.C. event to an audience that included leaders from state and local governments and businesses, including Skanska.

While this entire event was great, our favorite part was directly related to Skanska’s latest P3, the I-4 Ultimate project for which our I-4 Mobility Partners team is providing finance, design, construction, operations and maintenance services to reconstruct and widen 21 miles of Interstate 4 through Orlando, Fla. Before the crowd, Foxx announced a $950 million Transportation Department loan to help pay for this project. This is the largest loan that the U.S. DOT has awarded to a public-private partnership, and is a significant step forward for P3s in America.

In case you missed this event, below is the conversation about it from social media.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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