SOUTHWEST

The Trump administration announced April 26 that it plans to slap a roughly 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber imported from Canada, a move that would likely drive San Antonio's fast-growing home prices even higher. Lumber prices were already getting more expensive locally amid growing demand for new homes for San Antonio's swelling population, local builders and suppliers said.

Sterling Construction Company Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Denton, Texas-based Tealstone Construction for approximately $85 million, subject to specified post-closing adjustments. Sterling plans to finance the transaction through a combination of seller financing, common stock and new debt.

Texas City, better known for petrochemical landscapes than landscaped subdivisions, is poised for an unprecedented growth spurt as the region's residential boom continues its southward advance. The Houston Chronicle reports the transformation of a vast expanse of interstate-fronting prairie into a mixed-use commercial hub began with a fancy outlet mall and a sprawling Buc-ee's.

WhiteWater Midstream has commenced construction of the Agua Blanca pipeline, an intrastate natural gas pipeline in the Delaware Basin, Texas. This Agua Blanca pipeline will run from Orla, Texas, to Waha Hub and initially service portions of Culberson, Loving, Pecos, Reeves and Ward counties.

In the spring of 2016, West Texas Rebar Placers completed a small highway project for the Texas Department of Transportation just outside of Cleburne. The Dallas-based company laid nearly 85 ft. (26 m) of storm pipe, placed a new precast box culvert and poured headwalls.

Texas is closer than ever to building the first high-speed train in the United States, due to President Donald Trump's fascination with these transportation projects and a well-timed pitch to his administration. Now developers nationwide are looking to the privately owned Texas Central Railway as a test case of what can get done with Trump in the White House.

In the heart of this small town, on a patch of grass near historic homes and antique shops, is an old shipping container. It's like ones used in the Port of Houston, hardly a sight to behold. At least not yet. Within weeks, scores of volunteers will modify the container with things like insulation, air conditioning, electrical outlets, kitchen appliances and a shower and toilet.

A new $120 million engineering and science building — Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall — is being built on the San Marcos campus of Texas State University. Preparation work for the 166,851-sq.-ft. (15,500 sq m) building began in August 2016. Completion is slated for summer of 2018.

Ditch Witch of East Texas held an open house and customer appreciation day on March 23, at their new facility in Tyler, Texas. Nearly 200 people were in attendance, including customers, Ditch Witch of East Texas staff and other Ditch Witch personnel. Ditch Witch of East Texas president Paul Knuckley and wife, Susan, hosted the event.—CEG

As the Loop South Mountain Freeway moves toward completion in late 2019, a new flyover animation reflects updated plans for the 22-mi.-long corridor. The six-and-a-half minute virtual tour of the South Mountain Freeway, the largest single freeway project in state history, is available at SouthMountainFreeway.com.

Looking a bit like a colorful Stonehenge or large-scale modern art, a series of concrete columns and walls at a west Phoenix intersection may be a little puzzling to passers-by. They're actually mock-ups the Arizona Department of Transportation is using to test aesthetics, including paint colors, for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway.