NEWS BRIEFS

August 11, 2010

  • NYC eyes Stock Exchange tower.

Left without a developer, the city of New York may serve as project head for a new, 1.3-million-sq.-ft. tower intended to keep the New York Stock Exchange from moving to New Jersey. Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the $650 million project would feature a "sky lobby" and relatively small, 35,000-sq.-ft. floors. City officials had hoped that a developer would build the tower on a purely speculative basis; none did.

  • P.E. licensing controversies. Professional engineers (PEs) face erosion of their legal authority on many fronts. In Puerto Rico, PEs are fighting a bill that would eliminate the exam requirement for licensure. In California, a bill would restrict the use of engineering titles, in part a response to the casual appropriation by computer programmers of the title "engineer." In related news, Mississippi passed a law requiring continuing education among PEs for licensure renewal; now PEs must study for renewal in 17 states nationally.

  • $99 million verdict in crane collapse. A Milwaukee County Circuit Court jury last month awarded $99.25 million to widows of three construction workers killed in July 1999 when a roofing section being lifted into place fell during construction of the Miller Park baseball stadium. The verdict was against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America, the stadium's roof contractor. The jury concluded that Mitsubishi was 97 percent negligent and Lampson International, the manufacturer of the crane, was 3 percent negligent.

  • Pennsylvania Avenue reopening proposed. A plan to reopen Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, which was closed in 1995 following the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, has been developed by the New York City office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The plan, sponsored by the Washington-based Federal City Council, includes the construction of two pedestrian bridges with a clearance of only 7 feet, restricting trucks but allowing cars to pass underneath.

         
 

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