5 Construction Projects You Wish You Were Working on in 2021 (Part 2)

Andrew G. Roe imageAndrew G. Roe  •  

Construction Generic Like many other industries, construction has experienced a bumpy ride in 2020-21. Uncertainties from COVID-19 and political shifts led to project delays and other challenges for contractors in the U.S. and across the globe. Nonetheless, numerous notable projects have powered forward and maintained optimism in the industry. Here is a sampling of active projects representing recent landmark wins for contractors. Check out Part 1 here

Buildings 4/5/6 - Facebook Data Center Los Lunas, NM

Facebook1 Image credit: Fortis Construction Inc.

  • Project cost: $800 million
  • Description: Data center with three buildings, 2.8 million square feet
  • Estimated completion date: 2023
  • Owner: Facebook
  • General contractor: Fortis Construction Inc.
  • Architect: AlfaTech

With the fourth of six buildings complete, Portland, Ore.-based Fortis Construction Inc. is churning forward with Buildings 5 and 6 at Facebook’s Los Lunas, NM, data center. The data center acts as storage for Facebook’s social media sites, such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. In addition to the Los Lunas work, Fortis has been general contractor for Facebook’s data centers in Prineville, Ore.; Forest City, NC; Fort Worth, Tex.; and Lulea, Sweden. Greater Kudu, LLC., a subsidiary of Facebook, and the village of Los Lunas are also reportedly moving forward with a second set of industrial revenue bonds to build another series of six buildings in Los Lunas. Facebook also has data centers under construction in Georgia and Virginia.

Northwest Water Treatment Facility, Wichita, KS

Wichita 2 Image credit: City of Wichita

  • Project cost: $524 million
  • Description: 120 MGD water treatment plant
  • Estimated completion date: 2024
  • Owner: City of Wichita
  • Design-build contractor: Wichita Water Partners
  • Key subcontractors: Burns & McDonnell, Alberici Construction, HDR, Wildcat Construction, UCI, Dondlinger Construction

The city of Wichita is replacing its 80-year-old water treatment plant with a new state-of-the-art facility capable of treating 120 million gallons per day. The new plant will greatly increase capacity in the Wichita service area, which has had peak daily demands approaching 85 million gallons per day in recent years. The new plant will also allow blending of various sources to improve efficiency and provide drought resiliency.

The city entered into a contract with Wichita Water Partners in 2019 to complete the first phase of the project, which included developing a 30-percent project design, finalizing the maximum price and preparing loan applications. Wichita Water Partners is a joint venture led by engineer Burns & McDonnell and contractor Alberici Construction. The team broke ground in 2020 and anticipates the new facility to be operational by the end of 2024. 

LACMA Building for the Permanent Collection, Los Angeles, CA

LACMA1 Image credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

  • Project cost: $650 million
  • Description: 347,500 square foot museum
  • Estimated completion date: 2024
  • Owner: Los Angeles Museum of Art
  • Contractor: Clark Construction
  • Architects: Atelier Peter Zumthor/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

This curvaceous building will replace four aging buildings and span Wilshire Boulevard, providing 3.5 acres of new park and outdoor space in the process. Concrete walls were designed to give the building a sublime aesthetic character. A new parking structure will replace an existing surface parking lot.

Of the $650 million budget, the total construction cost is approximately $490 million, approximately $1,400 per square foot, below new museum construction in major metro areas is $1,250 to $1,800 per square feet. The project is funded through an unprecedented public-private partnership involving the County of Los Angeles and private donors.

I-35 Northeast Expansion (NEX), San Antonio, TX

I35 NEX2 Image credit: Alamo NEX Construction

  • Project cost: $1.59 billion
  • Description: 9.5 miles of urban highway improvements
  • Estimated completion date:
  • Owner: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contractor: Alamo NEX Construction
  • Key subcontractors: Ferrovial Construction, Webber LLC, CONSOR Engineers LLC, OTHON Inc., Cintra

Alamo NEX Construction will design, build and maintain a challenging 9.5-mile stretch of improvements along I-35 in the San Antonio area, under a $1.59-billion contract awarded by TxDOT in April. The project will elevate main lanes from the I-35/I-410 North interchange to FM 1518, and add a host of other improvements in the congested corridor.

The Alamo NEX team is led by Ferrovial subsidiaries Ferrovial Construction, Webber LLC, and Cintra. The team is aiming to meet DBE participation goals of 20 percent for design and professional services and 13 percent for other construction-related services and other work. Ferrovial-led teams have constructed over $6 billion of roadways in Texas over the last decade.

Hurontario LRT, Toronto, ON

Hurontario city-centre-stop-aerial Image credit: Metrolinx

  • Project cost: $4.6 billion
  • Description:
  • Estimated completion date: 2024
  • Owner: Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario (IO)
  • Contractor: Mobilinx
  • Key subcontractors: Astaldi, Hitachi, Amico, Bot Construction Group, Salini Impregilo, IBI Group, Morrison Hershfield, Arcadis, PCL Construction

Canadian consortium Mobilinx will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Hurontario LRT project, in one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Ontario. The 18-km line will feature 19 stops, travel through two urban growth centers and connect to other transit systems in the Toronto area. The line will have its own dedicated lane from Mississauga to Brampton along the Hurontario Street corridor, one of the region’s busiest roadways.

Design work is underway with construction soon to follow. Mobilinx anticipates completing the project in fall 2024 and will be operating and maintaining the line for a 30-year term. The project is anticipated to reduce traffic congestion, including the number of buses travelling along Hurontario Street, and revitalize development along the corridor.

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