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Florida leads ABC Merit Shop index as Michigan climbs, California swoons

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The Sunshine State tops the ABC 2018 Merit Shop Scorecard, vaulting from ninth last year on the strength of free enterprise principles, open-competition approach to the construction sector, increased career and technical education opportunities, and job growth rates. Michigan saw the biggest year-over-year improvement in its ranking, rising from 24th to seventh after the repeal of its prevailing wage law, which will foster greater competition and lower construction project costs. 

Read more: Florida leads ABC Merit Shop index as Michigan climbs, California swoons

Texas lawmaker looks to supersize batch plant, community buffer zones

Sources: Office of Texas Senator Donna Campbell, Austin; CP staff

The recently filed Senate Bill 208 seeks to amend a State of Texas Health and Safety Code section governing concrete batch plant and concrete recycling sites, whereby new facilities would be required to have a minimum distance of 880 yards, or .5 mile, from existing homes, schools or houses of worship—double the present requirement. 

Read more: Texas lawmaker looks to supersize batch plant, community buffer zones

Lehigh Hanson builds ash capacity through second Prairie Province station

Sources: SaskPower, Regina, Saskatchewan; CP staff

Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. has entered a 10-year agreement to market fly ash from the SaskPower Shand Power Station, boosting annual supply potential from the province to 215,000 tonnes. A supply contract follows a similar 2012 agreement covering fly ash from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station.

Read more: Lehigh Hanson builds ash capacity through second Prairie Province station

Major underwriter seeds Connecticut foundations repair fund

Sources: The Travelers Companies Inc., Hartford, Conn.; CP staff

A $5 million Travelers Cos. fund will assist Connecticut customers whose homes exhibit concrete deterioration associated with expansion attributed to pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide-bearing compound identified in aggregate from a Willington, Conn. quarry. The voluntary Travelers Benefit Program offers up to $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, to current and past policyholders whose repair costs exceed awards from the recently launched Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company (CFSIC). 

Read more: Major underwriter seeds Connecticut foundations repair fund

Court fines ex-Universal Concrete QC manager $700K for falsifying records

Sources: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria; CP staff

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia has obtained a $700,567 judgment against Andrew Nolan, a former quality control manager for Pennsylvania-based Universal Concrete Products Corp. The fine follows an August 2018 agreement in which he pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud by falsifying air content test results on the federally funded Dulles Metrorail Project in northern Virginia. 

Read more: Court fines ex-Universal Concrete QC manager $700K for falsifying records