Alabama

Mercedes Benz US International (MBUSI) is expanding in Alabama, bringing with it a new facility at its Vance campus, as well as new jobs to aid in the production of electric cars. MBUSI is partnering with Birmingham development company Graham & Company for the $53.6 million project.

The new Julia Tutwiler Hall is rising on the campus of the University of Alabama at the corner of 12th Street and 10th Avenue. The $145 million project will replace the existing Tutwiler Hall, which was constructed in 1968. The new dorm building, which will house more than 1,200 female freshmen students, will have four wings surrounding a central courtyard.

Alabamians began paying an extra two cents per gallon for gasoline beginning Oct. 1 when the second installment of the state's 10-cent tax increase went into effect. The state's share of taxes on gasoline rose to 26 cents per gallon, which includes eight cents under the 2019-passed Rebuild Alabama Act (RAA) and the 18 cents that existed before the new law was passed.

JM Wood held a four-day auction from Sept. 22 to 25 at the company's Montgomery, Ala., headquarters facility. There were a total of 4,013 lots, worth $46,239,320 sold across the ramp. Slightly more than $16 million ($16,441,285) of inventory was sold online (121 states, countries, territory/provinces registered to bid online).

Construction crews in Birmingham, Ala., are working to complete a facility designed to better serve local veterans. The Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center mental health clinic will combine services into one location when it opens late next year.

The City of Oxford, Ala., is preparing for a new entertainment center that will attract visitors to the area and create jobs. According to promoters, it also will be the only one of its kind in the area. "We are thrilled to have Big Time Entertainment coming to our city," said Oxford Mayor Alton Craft.

Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), a distributor of specialty foundation equipment, has seen continuous expansion at its Green Cove Springs, Fla., branch since opening the location five years ago. This location serves Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Caribbean.

Alabama Associated General Contractors offers more than just a construction community and membership program. Jointly with CompTrustAGC, Alabama AGC is one of the chapters across the nation that hosts RiskCon — an event designed to benefit anyone responsible for the administrative risk and risks experienced on construction job sites across the state.

Coastal Alabama's Jack Edwards National Airport will see big changes over the next 12 months. The Airport Authority of Gulf Shores held a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 8 for the airport's new air traffic control tower facility. The much-needed tower will help with directing air traffic and increase safety at the second busiest airport in Alabama.

A $450,000 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grant was awarded to the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning & Development Commission to fund a technical and feasibility study of two Wiregrass Region highway projects. Alabama's Wiregrass Region is named for the warm-season grass that dominates other wild grasses in the area.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recently announced plans to move forward with state leasing of three privately built mega prisons that would begin construction next year. She described the move as a step toward overhauling an understaffed and violence-plagued prison system beset by years of federal criticism.