Business news 9/7/18

Sept. 7, 2018

Testing begins at world's first 'emission-free' quarry

Aug. 29, 2018 —Swedish companies Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) and Skanska are turning the quarrying industry upside down in a groundbreaking study to create the world’s first ‘emission-free’ quarry. Drawing on the electromobility and automation expertise of the Volvo Group, the research project, dubbed Electric Site, aims to electrify each transport stage in a quarry – from excavation to primary crushing, and transport to secondary crushing – although a negligible amount of diesel power will still be used. The system’s efficiency, safety and environmental benefits are set to impact both customers and society at large. Volvo CE and Skanska began testing the Electric Site concept on 29th August at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry near Gothenburg in Sweden, which produces aggregates for construction purposes as well as for asphalt and cement. Production will run for 10 weeks and has been designed to achieve the same output as Skanska’s usual equipment but, crucially, with up to 95% lower carbon emissions and up to 25% lower total cost of operations.

RoadSafe Traffic Systems acquires Optim Earth

Aug. 28, 2018 —RoadSafe Traffic Systems, the nation’s largest provider of traffic control and pavement marking services, announced today its acquisition of Optim Earth. Based in Reno, Nev., Optim Earth provides customers on-demand access to accurate 3-D subsurface information required to plan and build structures, roads, bridges, tunnels and pipelines. Optim Earth represents the third add-on acquisition for RoadSafe since ORIX Capital Partners acquired RoadSafe in 2016 in partnership with Aperion Management. The founder and president of Optim Earth, Bill Honjas, will remain in place and continue to handle daily operations among his team, while also providing strategic direction alongside RoadSafe. Optim Earth utilizes GroundSCOPE technology, which provides a comprehensive 3-D working view of the Earth’s subsurface, from utilities to project depth. This helps avoid design conflicts before construction starts.

City of Boise, Idaho, and Pierce County, Wash., public works projects judged the nation’s best

Aug. 28, 2018 —The American Public Works Association (APWA) has announced the winners of its 2018 Public Works Projects of the Year competition. The awards program promotes excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance among the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant, and their cooperative achievements. This year’s award winners were recognized during APWA’s Public Works Expo on August 27 in Kansas City, Missouri. Within the environment category, two water projects were deemed best-in-class: More than $75 million: Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion (Pierce County Planning & Public Works); and $5 million, but less than $25 million: Dixie Drain Phosphorus Removal Facility (City of Boise Public Works Department). Treating 130 million gallons of water daily (MGD), the $21 million Dixie Drain Phosphorus Removal Facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. and considered a model facility in watershed-based approaches to meeting total maximum daily load limits. Located 34 miles downstream from Boise’s primary water renewal facilities, the facility collects ground and surface water from agricultural operations in the lower Boise River watershed, removing 140 pounds of phosphorus per day (10 tons annually). The facility yields significant environmental benefits as it collects 50 percent more phosphorus downstream from the Boise River. For every pound not removed at an upstream water renewal facility, 1.5 pounds are removed downstream. The result is a better quality of water flowing through the Boise and Snake rivers.

PPRA launches, industry-leading site for pavement preservation, recycling and network management

July 27, 2018—The Pavement Preservation and Recycling Alliance (PPRA), comprised of leaders at industry associations AEMA (Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association), ISSA (International Slurry Surfacing Association), and ARRA (Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association), aims to bridge the gap between interest and successful use of progressive treatments within the asphalt industry. The group has just launched, a digital hub offering more than 500 pages of accurate information about pavement preservation, recycling, and optimized network management. compiles relevant information with a standardized technical menu on 18 pavement preservation, recycling and emulsion treatments, alongside useful network comparison calculators. The site allows users to learn and explore freely; applying concepts and strategies to their own pavements and networks, and giving users a chance to see first-hand how progressive network approaches can impact taxpayers, pavement conditions, and the bottom line.