Category Archives: infrastructure

How the MN Senate voted on Vikings Stadium Tuesday

MN State CapitolMN Senate, on a 38-28 vote, approved a measure to finance a new Vikings stadium. It moves to conference committee due to radical differences in comparison to the bill the MN House passed. Here’s how it broke down – with more Democrats than Republicans supporting the bill as it stood at the time of the roll call:  Read the rest of this entry

Canada pleased by pipeline progress

 Ogallala Aquifer MapTransCanada’s proposed changes draw praise

There’s momentum building in support of the new route for the Keystone XL Pipeline, as the editorial yesterday in Canada’s “Globe and Mail” highlights.

Approval was delayed when President Obama refused to be pressed into signing off on the project when Republicans tried to force his hand, noting that to do so before final decisions were made about the route would likely open up lawsuits that would possibly further delay the construction.

Meanwhile, TransCanada has quietly pressed ahead with plans to build “to the border” (without securing the politically volatile crossing permit) at the same time as they’ve been working with Nebraska to find a viable alternative route that protects the Sand Hills region of Ogallala aquifer. Click on the map to the right if you want a better view of the area in question. Read the rest of this entry

Pro-tip: Lowest Bids Don’t Lead to Great Results

A horror story from Kent, Ohio.

What would be worse than finding out your “low-bid-winning” contractor from out of state was relying on non-U.S.-citizens (in the country illegally) to maximize his profit margin on the job?

  1. Discovering the undocumented status of many of the workers on this project means they will not be paid properly and therefore the city will not capture the tax revenue their labor should generate.
  2. Worrying about the quality of the work being done, particularly since it was for student housing in this case
  3. Finding their foreman has a side-business to make a little cash by selling meth-amphetamine he’s making in his hotel room
  4. All of the above

Read the rest of this entry

Project Labor Agreements fuel success

Those “other” 49ers know how important quality work is.

There’s evidence accumulating nationwide that if you simply rely on old-school lowest bid contractors you end up going back in to fix things, which obviously drives up the costs as the video below documents.


Did you know that non-union workers participate under PLAs?

Project Labor Agreements not only provide a means to boost local hiring and career training, they’re designed to ensure the biggest, most complex jobs will get done on time, under budget, using trained, highly-skilled workers who do the work right the first time. Read the rest of this entry

Stillwater Bridge legislation clears Congress.

Local 49 logoKlobuchar’s Bipartisan St. Croix Bridge Legislation Clears U.S. House!

Local 49 members enthusiastically applaud the House of Representatives for passage of the common sense and long overdue St. Croix Bridge Legislation. This project is a much needed shot in the arm to an industry that has been devastated by the recession.

Our members desperately need the work, and it is encouraging to see a bi-partisan group of legislators come together to do something to make sure that they have opportunities to get back on the job.

We especially want to thank Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Governor Mark Dayton for putting partisan politics aside to come together to do what is right for Minnesota. We are hopeful that this kind of cooperation continues; Minnesota’s construction workers can’t afford inaction.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s bipartisan legislation to allow the St. Croix River bridge project to move forward passed the House of Representatives on March 1st, and will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Klobuchar led the effort to pass the bill in the Senate in January

The House version of the bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and supported by U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).

“After thirty years of debate and delay, we finally got it done,” said Klobuchar. “Today is a victory for the residents and businesses along the St. Croix River Valley who have waited long enough for a safe, new bridge. This effort is an example of what can get done when people put politics aside and do what is best for our state. I appreciate the work of my colleagues in the House and Senate as well as Governor Dayton who helped get this project over the finish line.”

Included in the legislation is a package of mitigation efforts to protect the St. Croix River that were developed by consulting the Department of Transportation and National Park Service in 2006 by the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources to help promote scenic and recreational values of the St. Croix River

As the bridge has aged, closings for structural and vehicle collision repairs and maintenance inspections have increased.

Glen Johnson says Local 49 is pleased Vikings stadium deal reached.

Improving the regional business climate fosters shared economic prosperity.

Minnesotans will benefit quickly from the work on this Vikings stadium project just as they would by working everything from highways and light rail transit projects to civic centers and educational facilities as proposed by Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal. Productive labor by workers in Minnesota will not only get money circulating – stimulating demand, growth and more hiring within our communities – but also set the stage for the future while helping the state budget by increasing near-term revenue without raising taxes, just by putting more Minnesotans to work.

Keeping the team here in Minnesota is a win for the players and the local economy. Thousands are employed working in the stadium, and we’re not only keeping their jobs in the midwest, Read the rest of this entry

Rep. John Kline (MN-2) not interested in job creation

John Kline, job killerKline flatly opposed creating jobs by repairing dangerous bridges and infrastructure

When asked by a constituent about a jobs bill during a Town Hall meeting on Monday, January 30, 2012 in Shakopee, MN, U.S. House Education & Workforce Committee Chair John Kline said he s didn’t agree with the President about jobs bills.

Rod Hunter of Red Wing, Minnesota, drew applause from much of the audience when he asked Kline to support an extension of unemployment insurance and support a jobs bill to get people back to work. “With millions of people unemployed still and their benefits going to run out at the end of February will you be in favor of extending them unemployment benefits for the rest of the year with no strings attached? Will you going to support a jobs bill to help people get back [to work]? Our infrastructure’s decapitated and with our highways and bridges there is a lot of work to be done.”

Representative Kline flatly opposed creating jobs by repairing dangerous bridges and infrastructure, preferring partisan posturing during an election year over the sort of leadership he could be showing in DC on behalf of his constituents, having attained influential position as a Committee Chair in the 2010 elections. Read the rest of this entry

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