Construction Management

Colorado Contractors Sue Denver Over Vaccine Mandate

Colorado contractors groups are suing the city of Denver over its mandate that workers on government contracts be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The federal lawsuit says the city’s order unlawfully requires contractors to enforce a government mandate and violates due process by commanding “a person to perform an impossible act.”

The order was issued August 2 by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock requiring city employees, along with workers on city contracts, to be fully vaccinated by September 30. Contractors could face fines of $5,000 a day, the suit says.

The contractors’ suit argues that up to half of the industry’s workforce is “vaccine hesitant” – “not because, as may be argued, they have some political opposition, but because the construction industry is largely made up of communities of color who are vaccine hesitant due to mistrust of the government.”

The contractors have offered financial incentives and paid time off to encourage workers to get vaccinated, as well brought in mobile vaccination services to worksites, the suit says.

It adds that the mayor’s order did not provide enough time for workers to become fully vaccinated, even if workers were not hesitant about the vaccine. Contractors are also under tight schedules and budgets on city government contracts “that will be impossible to meet if the contractors have to fire unvaccinated and unexempted employees or reassign them to non-Denver projects (if any exist),” according to the lawsuit.

It notes that contractors could be subject to liability against claims of employees rejecting the vaccine due to medical or religious exemptions. It adds that the order unfairly treats some contractors because it exempts those working at the Denver International Airport.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that contractors are not required to enforce the order and that the order is unenforceable against them. It also asks the court to prevent the city from enforcing the order on contractors while the case is pending.

The lawsuit includes comments from contractors who say that with large percentages of their workforce unvaccinated, and refusing to be vaccinated, they would not have enough workers to finish their city projects on time and on budget.

It notes, too, that other vaccine mandates, such as those recently announced by President Joe Biden, offer mandatory Covid testing as an alternative to vaccination, “showing that the public interest in preventing the spread of Covid-19 can be advanced without pushing people out of the workforce, imposing yet untold costs and delays to critical city projects, and inflicting loss and liability on private businesses.”

It notes that testing alternatives are also offered by multiple local governments around the country.

The contractors groups suing the city are as follows:

Colorado Contractors AssociationColorado Stone, Sand and Gravel AssociationColorado Ready Mixed Concrete AssociationColorado Motor Carriers AssociationColorado Asphalt Pavement AssociationHispanic Contractors of ColoradoRocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association

Michele A. Horn, assistant city attorney for the city and county of Denver, will represent the city and county, as well as Mayor Hancock and Robert McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, which are also named in the lawsuit. The City Attorney’s Office says it does not comment on active litigation.


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Construction Management

I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector Now Open for 290 Miles

Another link in the planned six-state I-49 has been completed with five miles of roadway opening between the Arkansas and Missouri border.

The project’s completion leaves a 290-mile interstate route from Kansas City, Missouri, to Fort Smith, Arkansas. The last five miles of the connector opened October 1.

The I-49 and I-29 corridor will also eventually pass through Louisiana, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota, stretching for 1,600 miles and connecting at I-29 in Kansas City. Plans are to add links to New Orleans area ports.

I-29 extends from Kansas City to Winnipeg, Canada. The eventual goal is to provide an uninterrupted Interstate Trade Corridor from Canada to New Orleans and into Central and South America to the Panama Canal, according to the I-49 International Coalition.

Transportation officials in Arkansas and Missouri say they have been discussing the connector for more than 25 years. Construction has progressed in phases.

Shaking hands, from left, are Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Missouri Governor Mike Parson at the ribbon cutting for the last section of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector.Missouri Department of TransportationThe final five miles were built between Pineville, Missouri, where construction ended in 2012, and the Arkansas state line.

The project involved building a four-lane divided highway west of Route 71. Access to the newly designated interstate section is only by interchanges. A new interchange was built at Missouri Route 90 west of Jane. Five bridges were also constructed.

The project’s estimated cost was $70.3 million.

“This high-quality roadway will help promote tourism, business investment and workforce opportunities between our two great states,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

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Construction Services

Case Unleashes Industry’s Largest Compact Track Loader, the TV620B

With an operating capacity of 16,100 pounds, Case’s newest compact track loader is now the largest in the industry, designed for size and power for residential construction and land clearing. The company unveiled its new CTL at The Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

Powered by a 114-horsepower engine, the TV620B provides 12,907 pounds of loader breakout force and 12,907 pounds of bucket breakout force. It has a rated operating capacity of 6,200 pounds.

Built on an extra-large frame, Case says, the TV620B isn’t just the big brother of the TV450; the machine was redesigned from the ground up.

“We talked to a lot of customers who were running larger CTLs and asked them what they’d like to see,” said George MacIntryre, product manager, Case. “We really focused on certain areas making sure that the frame was robust and could stand up to harsh conditions. A piston pump comes standard on this model giving customers the flow and pressure ratings they need to run big attachments. Lastly, we focused on the performance of the loader to be able to dump into high-sided trucks.”

More features now come standard on the TV620B, including:

Electro-hydraulic controlsHigh-flow hydraulicsAutomatic Ride Control and one-way self-levelingA programmable hydraulically reversing fanLED lightsThe new SiteConnect ModuleOne year of Case SiteWatch telematics

Electro-hydraulic controls allow the operator to set total machine responsiveness to low, moderate or aggressive, or independently set tilt, lift and drive speed, as well as loader arm and drive control to adjust to the demands of the job. This is set through the LCD multi-function display in the cab, which also comes standard, Case says.

“We are giving the operator more precise and intuitive control than they’ve ever had in a Case CTL and making the machine as simple to operate for as broad a range of applications as possible,” said MacIntyre.

High-flow auxiliary hydraulics and enhanced high-flow hydraulics are available options, delivering 3,450 psi and 4,100 psi, respectively, at 41.6 gallons per minute, making mulching heads, cold planers and grading blades ideal companions for this machine. An enhanced hydraulic cooling system maximizes uptime when using high-powered attachments. The TV620B also offers a selection of buckets, including a heavy-duty 84-inch, 1.25-cubic-yard bucket with SmartFit teeth.

One-way self-leveling and automatic ride control with adjustable speed settings reduce material spillage and deliver a smoother ride. Operators can adjust the foot pedal to serve one of three functions — accelerator (traditional acceleration), trans (reduces drive speed but retains rpm for loader arm functions), or decel (traditional deceleration).

The beefed-up undercarriage on the TV620B takes a nod from Case’s 650M dozer. “It’s much heavier-duty than the size class down from this,” said MacIntyre. “The idler ceiling on the TV620B is similar to the 650M dozer. The dozer components are a little bit larger than what we have on the CTL, but it’s really just a downsized version of what we have on the very reliable Case dozers.” Additionally, the 17.7-inch rubber tracks allow for minimal ground disturbance (6.1 psi) and enhanced performance on improved surfaces.

With a maximum dump height of 39 inches and 140.2-inch hinge pin height, the machine is well-suited for loading trucks. But MacIntyre says the loader arms will also look different from previous Case models. “We’ve gone to a straight-in-line loader arm linkage, giving great visibility down to the coupler and bucket area. It also allows the cab to be tipped forward with the loader arms in the down position to get even better access to all the components that are underneath the cab.”

Inside the cab, the TV620B features 360-degree visibility and an 8-inch split-screen display that simultaneously shows both the rearview camera and equipment information. A cab-wide rearview mirror gives visibility to the back of the machine. Large windows provide visibility to the front of the machine down to the attachments and optimal sight lines to the sides and rear of the machine.

Ground-level maintenance points allow for easy access to critical components. “The rear of the machine features an extra-large engine compartment so the components are easily accessible for daily checks,” said MacIntyre. “Our battery is located in a separate panel with the battery and master disconnect switch. It’s very easy to access – you don’t need to open up the rear hood for that.”

A combination of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies enables the machine to meet emissions standards. The TV620B features no diesel particulate filter (DPF) and requires no regeneration, reducing downtime. An adjustable hydraulically reversing fan minimizes the buildup of debris in the engine compartment.

Production of the TV620B is underway, and customers can expect to see it at dealers in Q4 2021.

Quick Specs 

Operating Weight: 16,100 pounds    

Engine Horsepower: 114

Rated Operating Capacity (50 percent tipping load): 6,200 pounds

Rated Operating Capacity (35 percent tipping load): 4,340 pounds

Hinge Pin Height: 140.2 inches

Reach at Maximum Dump Height: 39 inches

Loader Breakout Force: 12,084 pounds

Bucket Breakout Force: 12,907 pounds

High-Flow Auxiliary Hydraulics: 41.6 gallons per minute at 3,450 psi; 83.7 hydraulic horsepower

Enhanced High-Flow Auxiliary Hydraulics: 41.6 gallons per minute at 4,100 psi; 99.5 hydraulic horsepower

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Construction Services

Vanair Debuts EPEQ Battery-Powered Truck-Mounted Compressor Line

Vanair unveiled its new electric battery-powered product line for its truck-mounted air compressors and other equipment at this year’s Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

The new EPEQ equipment allows you to turn off the truck’s engine while running tools and equipment, releasing no emissions from the power source. Prior to the EPEQ debut, Vanair’s products have been PTO-driven off the truck’s chassis, hydraulic driven or they had their own combustion engine.

The heart of the Electrified Power System is the company’s new ELiMent lithium-ion phosphate battery. The system can be mounted on or within combustion-engine vehicles, electric vehicles and trailers.

Along with zero emissions, the EPEQ system reduces noise, heat and weight, while also reducing maintenance and overall vehicle costs, the company says.

The ELiMent battery system can discharge power at the same time it is being charged. ELiMent batteries can power electric-motor driven air compressors, electric-hydraulic power, AC power inverters, welders and electric-driven above-deck air compressors, among other devices.

The 48-volt battery system delivers 5 kilowatts of power. It is designed to be plug and play and mobile, as a 13-inch cube weighing 95 pounds versus a lead-acid battery setup of about 300 pounds and 3 feet. The company says it also plans to soon launch a 48-volt, 7.5-kilowatt version.

The Vanair EPEQ Air20 air compressor is powered by the company’s new battery and doesn’t use the truck’s engine to run.VanairAlong with the new battery system, Vanair displayed its new EPEQ Air20 reciprocating air compressor. The compressor produces 20 cubic feet per minute at 150 psi. It is designed to run such tools as an impact wrench. Vanair says it delivers a 20% efficiency gain for longer battery life.

Vanair also unveiled its EPEQ Air45 air-on-demand rotary screw compressor. It produces 20 to 45 cubic feet per minute for running a 1-inch impact wrench, inflating tires and similar functions.

The company also displayed a truck-mounted above-deck compressor powered by a 300-volt, 30-kilowatt ELiMent battery. The compressor produces 160 CFM at 250 psi.

Other products unveiled at The Utility Expo included:

An EPEQ welder with an integrated battery pack inside it. It weighs 33 pounds. A 48-volt, 5-kilowatt alternator, which allows you to charge the ELiMent battery while the battery is discharging. The alternator can be mounted under the vehicle.An EPEQ 3,000-watt inverter that can take a 48-volt input and put out 120 volts on the vehicle.An EPEQ 5,000-watt inverter that is stackable. So if you add two, then it can work like a 10,000-watt inverter and so on.

The company says all of these devices will communicate with its battery management system.





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