In today’s US construction news, read about how, in order to complete a $2.04 million road construction project, the U.S. 45 ramp leading to southbound Interstate 41 will be blocked for four months starting on Tuesday. Meanwhile, for the first time in more than 40 years, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has docketed this kind of application for a commercial non-light water reactor and accepted TerraPower’s building permit application for evaluation. On the other hand, for some people, a headache on the road is about to end. This week, work on the US-131 road will be finished. Lastly, leading global infrastructure provider Ferrovial said today that it has received nine new contracts worth a combined $1.2 billion through its construction subsidiary, Webber.

In Oshkosh, the US 45 Ramp to I-41 Will Close for Four Months Beginning on Tuesday

Original Source: US 45 ramp to I-41 to close for 4 months starting Tuesday in Oshkosh. Here’s how it could impact your commute.

A $2.04 million roadwork project will close the U.S. 45 ramp to southbound Interstate 41 for four months starting Tuesday.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reminded in a news release before the I-41 Lake Butte des Morts causeway restoration between State 21 and U.S. 45.

Construction should end in October, says the announcement.

Starting Tuesday, both directions of I-41 across Lake Butte des Morts will be reduced from three lanes to two, along with the U.S. 45 ramp shutdown.

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The renovation will be paused for EAA AirVenture from July 22-28, reopening all lanes and ramps.

Detour route: U.S. 45 to State 21 to I-41.

The project would replace structure approaches for I-41 bridges across Lake Butte des Morts’ main channel and relocate a 100-foot cable barrier on the west side of I-41 near the U.S. 45 interchange.

I-41 safety and weight enforcement facilities will also be replaced.

US NRC approves TerraPower’s Natrium Reactor Building Permit

Original Source: US NRC accepts construction permit application for TerraPower’s Natrium reactor

This is the first time in over 40 years that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has docketed a commercial non-light water reactor construction permit application. Terrapower applied in March. The application followed NRC’s new technology-inclusive advice to ensure non-light water reactor applicants’ evaluations are consistent, quality, and uniform.

“We’re excited to have our construction permit application docketed for review by the NRC,” said TerraPower director of external affairs Jeff Navin. TerraPower is demonstrating a more efficient way to licensing non-light water advanced reactors by applying the licensing modernization project framework.

In November 2021, Bill Gates’ TerraPower chose an old PacifiCorp coal plant in Kemmerer, Wyoming, for the Natrium reactor demonstration project. Natrium, a TerraPower and GE-Hitachi technology, is one of two competitively selected ARDP projects financed by the US Department of Energy. Natrium uses a 345 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt energy storage. To integrate variable renewable energy sources, the storage technology may enhance the system’s production to 500 MWe for over five and a half hours.

The demonstration project team includes PacifiCorp, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Bechtel, Energy Northwest, Duke Energy, and over a dozen other corporations, universities, and national laboratories.

The DOE has consistently supported TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR) project. TerraPower, Southern Company, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Vanderbilt University formed a new public-private MCFR project development collaboration in 2016 after DOE issued a five-year, $40m cost-share award for continuing R&D. TerraPower received $80m from DOE to demonstrate Natrium technology.

Southern Company and TerraPower are conducting an Integrated Effects Test (IET) to determine how MCFR technology will scale and behave at commercially relevant sizes. The IET began operating in TerraPower’s Everett, Washington, site in October 2023.

TerraPower’s Kemmerer demonstration facility will test Natrium technology’s design, construction, and operation. TerraPower delayed reactor startup by at least two years in December 2022. The business planned to commission the plant in 2028 utilizing Russian-supplied HALEU fuel to power the demonstration unit. However, the Ukraine war has rendered Russian HALEU deliveries improbable, and the US has yet to establish its own supplies. Commissioning is currently expected in 2030.

Construction on US-131 will Finish on Friday, but the Headache is not Quite Done

Original Source: US-131 construction to end Friday, but the headache isn’t over yet

Some road issues are resolved. This week, US-131 roadwork will finish.

“We’re on scheduled to open up by 3 p.m. Friday,” said MDOT spokesperson John Richard. 

Don’t get excited yet.

Richard suggests you may need to add time to your commute one more day.

He warned, “It’s going to be extra congested and hectic [Thursday] between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Richard explains that crews must close the southern ramp to eastbound and westbound I-196. To finish the project, eastbound and westbound I-196 ramps must be closed to southbound.

Richard stated, “Crews have to pick up traffic control, get equipment out, and make sure everything’s buttoned up and open before the holiday weekend.”

Richard adds the project is finishing two days early, which is perfect for the weekend.

Researchers want to rebuild the road, so construction may continue.

“We’ve studied this segment for years, considering what to do and what not to do. Yes, we’d like to update and rebuild 131 from 28th Street to downtown Grand Rapids, said Richard.

But don’t expect that project soon.

That work might cost $600 to $700 million and need many alterations that could affect the project’s location.

Richard recommends planning forward for two more days after this repair project finishes.

“If you’re late, stressed, and hit a jammed road. That merely raises your stress. “Looking before you go, especially the night before, really reduces stress,” said Richard.

Ferrovial Granted US and Canadian Infrastructure Projects $1.2B

Original Source: Ferrovial awarded $1.2B in infrastructure projects in the US and Canada

Ferrovial, a leading global infrastructure company, announced nine $1.2 billion contracts through its construction subsidiary Webber today. The work includes road improvements, bridge building, water treatment plant expansion, and road maintenance. Ferrovial signed its first Tennessee contract, expanding in the U.S., its largest market.

Ferrovial bought Houston-based Webber in 2005. Over the past 20 years, the firm has improved roads, bridges, and water infrastructure in over 10 states.

Projects granted

TexasDOT awarded the firm two projects to improve freight and heavy vehicle safety on high-traffic roads.

Randall County IH 27, $312.5 million

The 6.9-mile project adds a lane to IH 27 in Randall County. The project will serve freight traffic in the “Ports to Plains” route between Laredo, TX and Denver, CO. It includes the $69.9 million construction of US Highway 60 in Friona, Parmer County.

The 5.3-mile project includes acceleration and deceleration lanes, a bridge deck, and MSE walls. The significant volume of industrial and heavy vehicles in the area will enter US 60 safer with this project.

In Texas, PLW Waterworks won multiple contracts to increase water and wastewater treatment facility capacity and efficiency.

Walnut Branch and Geronimo Creek WWTPs, $178 million

One of Texas’ major waterworks building projects, it deconstructs and decommissions the Walnut Branch WWTP and expands the Geronimo Creek WWTP in Seguin. The Geronimo Creek WWTP is being converted to create a 12.0 MGD average daily flow to treat sewer water inside the city for years to come.

Nearly $90 million Paul Phillips Water Purification Plant

Weatherford’s Dr. Paul Phillips Water Purification Plant will be expanded from 12 MGD to 18 MGD under this Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) project.

Approximately $58 million for South Water Treatment Plant expansion

This CMAR project in Tomball will extend the treatment facility from 1.5 MGD to 3 MGD and replace it with an aeration basin system, which is more effective.

The Florida Department of Transportation awarded the corporation two projects to increase Pensacola roadway capacity, connectivity, and safety.

I-10/SR 95, Escambia County, $236.3 million

Realignment and expanding to add lanes, eliminating one roadway bridge, upgrading three, and building eight new bridges are part of the operation.

I-10 at SR 10 (U.S. 90A) in Escambia County, $55.5 million

The project will replace an SR 8 (I-10) bridge over SR 10 (U.S. 90A).

Tennessee’s Department of Transportation hired the business to maintain 286 Nashville centerline miles. This is the company’s first state contract. “It’s exciting to reach new communities and provide additional growth and development opportunities for people, businesses, and our teams,” said Webber CEO Jose Carlos Esteban.

Nashville, $66M

Maintenance and route management in Bedford, Cheatham, Dickson, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Marshall, Maury, Rutherford, Smith, Williamson, and Wilson counties are included.

The business won two Canadian contracts to support busy roads.

Niagara, $102M

Niagara Falls attracts 20 million people annually, with 7.6 million automobiles and 2 million commercial trucks traversing two border crossing bridges. Plan and execute quality, environmental, and safety management, incident response, traffic management, road patrol, roadway maintenance, and winter maintenance under the Ministry of Transportation Ontario contract.

Toronto, $102M

Webber maintains the 407 ETR in winter.

Summary of today’s construction news

In summary, a 100-foot stretch of cable barrier will be relocated on the west side of I-41 near the U.S. 45 junction, and the structure approaches for the I-41 bridges across Lake Butte des Morts will be replaced as part of the project.

Meanwhile, the goal of TerraPower’s demonstration plant in Kemmerer is to verify the Natrium technology’s operating properties as well as its design and construction. However, TerraPower decided in December 2022 to push back the reactor’s anticipated start date by a minimum of two years.

On the other hand, such work might run as high as $600–700 million and necessitate several modifications that might have an influence on the areas where this project is located. Richard explains that we have just a few more days to continue planning forward as this maintenance project comes to an end.

Last but not least, Ferrovial acquired Webber, a Houston-based construction company, in 2005. The company has expanded over the last 20 years to enhance water, bridge, and road infrastructure in over ten U.S. states.