For decades, many members of communities in the Owens Valley, Calif., suffered from health problems and high levels of pollution due to their proximity to dust-prone Owens Lake. In 2000, however, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) broke ground on a series of projects to address the problem by treating and stabilizing more than 30 square miles of the dry lakebed.

When the first multi-million-dollar electrical contracting job came to Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1970s, Baker Electric already stood apart from its competition as project owners’ local contractor of choice. “Owners lacked confidence that small local contractors could successfully complete it, ” Vice President Don Stockton says.

Shutting down one of the busiest runways in one the country’s busiest airports to widen and lengthen it can create a pressurized situation. The project requires strict adhesion to the tight construction schedule, which provides little room for error or mistakes. However, Tutor Perini, a civil construction company that thrives on pressure situations, took that challenge and even plans to finish the project early.

In this uncertain economy, many contractors are stripping their operations down to the bare essentials. For building material suppliers like Birmingham, Ala.’s Service Construction Supply (SCS), this is a double-edged sword. Not only are the majority of orders being slashed to the bone, but the expectations for service have risen to new heights. 

Without steel reinforcement, today’s towering concrete structures would not be possible. The continual strengthening of steel and the design of threaded reinforcing bars for concrete construction is replacing cages of rebar in geotechnical applications like caissons, piles or stress rock anchorages. But now SAS Stressteel’s products are not only the foundation for contractors doing excavation work, they are being used to reinforce the compressive members for upper levels of skyscrapers.

The old phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” could apply to Novak Construction Services’ way of doing business. With the lack of new construction jobs available, the 30-year-old company is focusing on remodeling and renovation projects.

In a fluctuating real estate market, flexibility is key. So when an aging office park was rezoned to mixed use with residential and office and the residential market suddenly disappeared in 2007, MidCity Real Estate Partners was ready with a plan B.

With concerns about Internet sec­urity and cyber-terrorism on the rise, Bossier Parish, La., de­cided to take advantage of its location along a fiber-optic speedway to create a facility that would be world-class in cyber and physical security. The result is the $53.7 million Cyber Inno­vation Center (CIC), which despite being built near Barksdale Air Force Base, had no committed tenants during its design phase. The CIC, a not-for-profit corporation, is the anchor of a planned 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park conceived as a way to lure high-tech jobs to the area.

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