April Newsline: Development Through Sewer Upgrades; Obama Proposes Infrastructure Bank and More

April 2009 Vol. 64 No. 4

National Grid, one of the nation’s largest electricity and gas delivery companies, has awarded new contracts with two joint ventures to help deliver part of its U.S. electricity transmission investment program. The contracts, expected to be finalized by April 1, will last an initial five years and deliver up to $1.7 billion of projects.
AMEC plc, Michels Corp., and R.G. Vanderweil Engineers are in a joint venture called NorthEast Power Alliance (NEPA) which will design and build substations and transmission lines in upstate New York. Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. and MJ Electric, LLC, a Quanta Services company will work on the New England infrastructure as New Energy Alliance (NEA)

To deliver the investment, the company is also bringing together most of its transmission project delivery resources into one team, adding internal resources and developing these long-term, collaborative supplier relationships. Marc Mahoney, National Grid’s vice president of Work Delivery, said, “Close collaboration is absolutely vital to these new contracts. We are currently working with NEA and NEPA to finalize the work planning process and contract terms, develop designs and agree on targets for 2009-10.”

In Memoriam

Pipe Line Contractors Association Honorary Member, Aubrey Kenneth Barlow, passed away Jan. 1, at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, TX. He was 92. Barlow was elected to honorary membership status by the PLCA board of directors in 1974. Barlow was retired co-owner of McVean & Barlow Pipeline Contractors Inc., a former regular member of the PLCA. He was vice president of the PLCA in 1973 and a member of its board of directors from 1960-64. Barlow is survived by his sons Bobby and wife Elizabeth; Don and wife Lisa; Tom and wife Carl; a sister and four grandsons.

Founder and former president of the Permalok Corporation of St. Louis, MO, Michael Argent passed away on Feb. 20. He was 54. The winner of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) 1992 Associate of the Year Award, he served for many years on NUCA’s board of directors and as chair of the Trenchless Excavation Committee (1988-90). Argent also was one of the founding directors of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology in 1990 and served on the board of directors for four years.

Serving as vice president of sales as Pittsburgh Pipe when he won the Associate award, he subsequently invented “permalok” – a steel pipe joining system for trenchless installation and rehabilitation (patent issued 1999) – and founded the Permalok Corporation.