Elizabeth River Tunnel Opens Early – Again!

For the second time this year, a critical stage of our Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia has hit a deadline early, this time opening the second lane of the newly-built Midtown Tunnel (MTT) to traffic on Friday, August 26, a full four months ahead of schedule. This follows the opening of the first lane to traffic back in June, six months early.

“It encourages the movement of goods and services and economic development. And let’s be clear, that’s why we build these transportation assets is for economic development,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane.

The first vehicles drive through both lanes of the Midtown Tunnel for the first time on Friday, August 26, 2016.

The first vehicles drive through both lanes of the Midtown Tunnel for the first time on Friday, August 26, 2016.

It’s also another victory for the public private partnership (P3) model, in which private developers and operators invest their own equity – alongside government – to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain critical infrastructure projects for the public good.  The $2.1 billion ERT project is Skanska’s first major infrastructure P3 in the U.S., alongside the I4 Ultimate in Florida and New York’s LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal.

Project benefits at ERT are numerous: drivers will enjoy reduced emissions and congestion, as well as shave as much as 30 minutes a day off their average round trip commute. For more on the benefits of P3, check out our previous blog post here.

Improved safety features are also a key element in the MTT’s design. For example, the tunnel has a unique, pressurized emergency exit tunnel that allows people to escape the tunnel if needed.

“If an event happened in the tunnel – smoke, fire, if there was an accident – and you couldn’t get out of the tunnel in your vehicle, you could get out of your vehicle, and you can safely [leave] the tunnel,” said Wade Watson, project director for SKW Constructors, ERT’s design-build joint venture partnership of Skanska, Kiewit, and Weeks Marine.

The ERT project is divided into four sections:

• Rehabilitation, life-safety improvements, and maintenance of the existing westbound and eastbound Downtown Tunnels (completed in August 2016) and the existing (now eastbound) Midtown Tunnel (projected for completion May 2018);

• Construction of a new two-lane, unidirectional Midtown Tunnel adjacent to the existing Midtown Tunnel under the Elizabeth River (opened to one lane of westbound traffic in June 2016, and opened to both lanes of traffic in August 2016);

• Interchange modifications at Brambleton Avenue and Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk at the approach of the new Midtown Tunnel and the exit of the existing Midtown Tunnel (completed in August 2016);

• The extension of the Martin Luther King Expressway from London Boulevard to Interstate 264 in Portsmouth (projected for completion in December 2016).

Full completion on the project is expected in August 2018.

To celebrate the completion, runners participated in a 5k run/walk through the tunnel on Saturday, August 27.

To celebrate the completion, runners participated in a 5k run/walk through the tunnel on Saturday, August 27.

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.

More Posts - Website

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.”

2016-06-17 PHOTO-MidtownTunnelOpening-ERTCrewGroup-Above-smaller

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.

2016-06-17 MAP-ERTPRoject2

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.

More Posts - Website

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.

2016-06-14 PHOTO-LGAGroundbreaking-CuomoBiden1

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.

2016-06-14 PHOTO-LGAGroundbreaking-Group2-ViggianoKennedy

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.

More Posts - Website

Building the Future at LaGuardia Airport

This is a bright moment in the history of Skanska.

Today we take pride in announcing that we — as member of LaGuardia Gateway Partners — have become the official redeveloper for LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building in New York City. It is our largest global project ever, at approximately $4 billion, and the largest public-private partnership in the United States.

1_LaGuardia Central_Aerial Rendering_APPROVED-smaller

The importance of this project cannot be overstated, and will have a positive impact on air travel in the United States, with a ripple effect that will be felt around the world. It’s also terrific news for the local New York City community, which will benefit from the jobs created building and operating the new terminal.

The vision for the new LaGuardia is exciting, with the world’s first dual pedestrian bridges spanning above 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.

2_LaGuardia Central_dual bridge view_APPROVED-smaller

3_LaGuardia Central_bridge taxiway circulation_APPROVED-smaller

4_LaGuardia Central_retail setting in concourse_APPROVED-smaller

We’re excited to start work on the new LaGuardia Airport right away, with most of the new terminal opening in 2020 and substantial completion during 2022.

You can read more about the project here and at the LaGuardia Gateway Partners website here.

Renderings credit LaGuardia Gateway Partners

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.

More Posts - Website

Building What Matters: From “Grand to the Sand” in Los Angeles

We talk a lot about “Building What Matters” at Skanska. For me, nothing drives this home like seeing the Expo Line light rail pull into the new Downtown Santa Monica station at 4th & Colorado.

Anyone who has driven the 10 freeway between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica knows it can be like a night at the casino: some days it goes really well… and some days you wished you had just stayed at home instead of even trying.

As an Angelino, I know how it has become second-nature for us to schedule around the traffic that has become a hallmark of the city. A lunch meeting in Santa Monica could mean not even going into your downtown office at all that day. Lakers or Dodgers tickets almost always mean getting inland before 4 p.m. if you want to see the whole game. We all know this because we’re accustomed to the hours of time looking at the taillights in front of us.

On May 20, the Expo Line will make its first public run from downtown to the coast, a trip that will take less than an hour, creating new possibilities for everyone. A commute home to Santa Monica from downtown (or vice versa) on the train might mean knowing you’re home in time for dinner. It’s little things like that which are life-changing – and when we build things like Expo, those outcomes are front and center.

2016-05-18 PHOTO-MikeAparacio-EXPOLine1

Mike Aparacio on one of the EXPO Line platforms waiting for a test run of one of the new trains.

Aside from personal benefits, Expo is also an example of how well a construction project can function. The design-build approach helped make sure that the construction authority, project designers and our construction team were always in lock step – and if we weren’t, the close collaboration made it easy to solve problems. More than anything, it meant delivering a project within the expected budget, a key responsibility on a publicly-funded project. In this case, that funding came from Measure R, where Los Angeles voters elected to tax themselves to fund transit projects. The public has a stake in the success of a project like Expo and it matters to them that public agencies and the designers and contractors they hire can deliver as expected.

Our larger community commitment goes beyond just being good custodians of public dollars to build the project. I am tremendously proud of efforts made by our joint venture team to involve local small businesses on the project and to patronize local businesses throughout construction. Making sure construction dollars have a tangible outcome for local businesses is a vital part of making sure that communities truly do benefit from our work.

13-2366_map_Project_Expo1+2_Jul13REV.inddThe dotted line at left shows the Expo Line Phase 2 expansion that opens on May 20. More at http://www.buildexpo.org/

All this comes together to reinforce what and how we build matters. I’m proud of the possibilities that Expo’s completion creates: new opportunities for how people go about their daily lives, new potential for small businesses that got their start working on segments of the Expo extension, and a city that can see that meaningful transit connections have the ability to change the way a city not only gets around, but thinks of itself.

Together, we’ve created these new opportunities and, as people begin to ride this weekend, we can all celebrate together.

Editor’s note: for more on what the Expo Line will mean to Los Angeles, check out our infographic on Measuring the Impact of Light Rail in More Ways than One

 

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.”

2016-04-28 PHOTO-Wade Watson

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.”

2016-04-28 PHOTO-ERT-Foodbank

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.”

2016-04-28 PHOTO-ERT-Construction

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.

More Posts - Website

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.

Ivanhoe__Night_09022014_00000

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

More Posts - Website - LinkedIn

Leadership lessons from Skanska USA’s new president and CEO

RichCavallaroHorinzontal

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.

More Posts - Website

Our top 10 blog posts of 2014

Between the MetLife Stadium we constructed hosting the Super Bowl, completing a Santiago Calatrava masterpiece and making major progress on one of the largest U.S. public-private partnerships, it’s been an exciting year for us! As we close out the final days of 2014, we’re taking a look back at our ten most popular posts here on Constructive Thinking. We can’t wait for what 2015 will bring.

5

Here are those posts, in order of popularity:

1.  Ever wonder how an underwater tunnel is built? Check out this step-by-step guide to the process currently underway at our joint venture’s Elizabeth River Tunnels P3 in Hampton Roads, Virginia: How we’re submersing 16,000-ton segments to create Virginia’s newest tunnel.

2.  This year’s Super Bowl saw the Seahawks and Broncos face off in MetLife Stadium, which we completed in 2010. The Seahawks took home the Vince Lombardi trophy inside one of the nation’s most technologically-advanced and energy-efficient stadiums. Here’s How to build a stadium that can tackle the Big Game.

3.  Before we could immerse the tunnel tubes for Elizabeth River Tunnels, first we had to float the 16,000-ton hollow concrete segments 220 miles down the Chesapeake Bay. We recapped the incredible journey in photos: Virginia’s latest highway tunnel begins with a trip down the Chesapeake Bay.

4.  Our high-stakes concrete pour at Miami’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science required 25 hours of non-stop placement to complete the suspended, martini glass-shaped 500,000-gallon seawater aquarium tank without any cracks. Gizmodo was impressed by our team’s precision. Watch teamwork in action in a stunning time-lapse: Our team was neither shaken nor stirred on this epic concrete pour.

5.  The Calatrava-designed Innovation, Science and Technology Building at Florida Polytechnic University is one of the most striking and challenging buildings we have built. This fall the university, the first STEM-focused college in the Sunshine State, welcomed its inaugural class of students. You don’t want to miss these pictures: This Calatrava masterpiece comes to life exactly as envisioned.

6.  At Skanska, we’re engaging with our clients to find ways to use building information modeling to improve the whole life cycle of buildings, not just during design and construction. For a facility owner, utilizing BIM for operations and maintenance uses can have substantial benefits. Here are Five ways virtual modeling can improve facilities management.

7.  Airports play an essential part in our economy and our lives. And yet, in the U.S. many of our airports have gone decades without major upgrades. MacAdam Glinn, national director of our Aviation Center of Excellence, examined the economic and consumer forces shaping our airports in the infographic The evolution of airports: trends in aviation construction and on NPR.

8.  Public-private partnerships are becoming increasingly important financing solutions for the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. While much attention has been focused on how P3s can help cities and states move forward on transportation projects, there’s growing interest in using P3s to improve such social infrastructure as courthouses and hospitals. Learn more in P3s aren’t just for transportation – here’s how they can help with public buildings too.

9.  As we work toward an Injury-Free Environment®, it’s essential to understand the potential hazards and the kinds of behaviors that can lead to harm. For Safety Week 2014, we crafted a visual reminder of what is at stake and what can be done to prevent accidents: It’s work, not war: How to prevent deadly harm in construction.

10.  From tunnel-boring machines to laser scanners, our teams get to build with some rather incredible equipment and technology. In downtown San Francisco, for example, we’re using two giant crawler cranes to assemble 24,000 tons of structural steel for the Transbay Transit Center, known as the Grand Central Station of the West. That steel weighs about the same as 111 Boeing 747-400s! Learn more in: Get to know the newest additions to the San Francisco skyline.

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.

More Posts - Website

P3s aren’t just for transportation – here’s how they can help with public buildings too

The University of California, Merced is the newest campus in that state’s higher education system, and yet already it needs to grow: It has an ambitious plan to double its size over the next six years, with a building program that involves some 1.9 million square feet of academic, housing and research uses.

The size and scale of U.C. Merced’s program is emblematic of what is happening on many college campuses. Fueled by the recent surge in attendance, American universities have been expanding and upgrading their footprints and facilities to meet this demand, be more competitive and adapt to changes in technology and academic focus areas.

But what is different about Merced’s 2020 project is how the school plans to fund the expansion – using a public-private partnership, or P3.This is the largest so-called social infrastructure P3 project in the U.S., with a client-estimated value of about $1.2 billion.

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. These performance-based contracts have proven highly effective and valuable in dozens of countries, including Canada, Chile and the U.K., as well as in the U.S. Here, P3s have typically been used to finance and develop large-scale infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges. For example, Virginia’s Elizabeth River Tunnels and Florida’s I-4 Ultimate are two of the biggest such undertakings. To date, 33 states have approved P3 approaches for transportation infrastructure.

p32

P3s transfer significant risk from the public sector to private sector

Like our roads and bridges, America’s social infrastructure – public buildings, from schools to hospitals – are also in dire need of investment. Lacking the funds to make the needed improvements, government entities – and even such universities as U.C. Merced – are increasingly considering P3 models for their projects. Social P3s have lagged behind transportation projects because until recently, ample capital and low interest rates made it relatively easy for public bodies to get approval to build, said Larry Casey, Skanska senior vice president. But as that capital flow has become scarce, municipalities, universities and state governments have been forced to look elsewhere to fund these projects.

For social infrastructure projects, the funding model that U.C. Merced and a growing number of other facility owners are using is the concession-availability model. Often used for transportation P3s, this approach has the facility owner contracting with a concessionaire – the contract holder – to develop, design, finance, build, operate and maintain the project. California’s Long Beach Courthouse project is the first U.S. social infrastructure project under a concession-availability model. Beyond U.C. Merced, three other major social infrastructure P3s are currently in development: the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building Replacement in New York City, the Indianapolis Justice Complex and the City of Houston Justice Complex.

Demonstrated success

While U.S. social infrastructure P3s are gaining traction in the U.S., internationally these kinds of P3s have been successfully implemented on a broad range of projects. The largest P3 in Sweden is a university hospital: the New Karolinska Solna, a Skanska project and also one of the largest P3 hospitals in the world. In the U.K., our teams are delivering, maintaining and operating the Barts and the London Hospitals P3. This project has transformed two hospitals, the historic St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London, into state-of-the-art healthcare centers. Also in the U.K., we’ve used P3s to redevelop secondary schools in Essex as part of the U.K. government’s former Building Schools for the Future program. The U.S. can learn from these successes.

“Once completed, New Karolinska Solna will be one of the most sustainable hospitals in the world and the first in Europe to reach LEED Gold certification – this is one of many benefits in using P3s,” said Karl Reichelt, Skanska executive vice president. “This method also ensures high safety performance, minimization of long-term lifecycle costs and a high-quality project that is delivered on time and on budget with little risk to the owner.”

P3 advantages

The benefits are clear for using P3s for public buildings. They allow owners to:

Transfer project risks to the private sector:  The private partner takes on the financing risk and risks associated with designing, constructing, maintaining and operating the building. This alternative delivery approach advances projects that would otherwise be stalled due to lack of funding, or that are of a size that would normally require multiple phases to complete. By utilizing P3s, municipalities can more quickly green light projects that might otherwise take years to begin, creating jobs and boosting local businesses in the process.

Minimize lifecycle costs: Eighty- to 90 percent of a building’s cost over its lifetime comes from operations and maintenance. Yet, when facility owners consider social infrastructure projects, too frequently much of the discussion focuses on up-front costs and selecting the lowest bid. P3s are designed, built and maintained in a holistic way that focuses on ensuring a high-performing facility throughout the concession period, and returning the asset in the specified condition at the end of the contract.

“P3 delivery is not privatization but a partnership between public agencies or institutions and private sector businesses,” Casey said. “The approach needs to be thought of as ‘responsible’ asset development and management because the intent of P3 is to instill innovative design and operating methods that create value, such as energy savings and healthier work environments, and facilities that maintain their aesthetic characteristics and optimal performance for 35 or more years.”

Achieve projects on time and on budget, with any overages borne by the private partners: The transfer of project risk and investment means that the private partner is responsible for delivering the project on-time and on-budget regardless of externalities such as weather, construction costs or material availability.

 

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.

More Posts - Website