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Chuck MacDonald

Chuck MacDonald is an editor, blogger and freelance feature writer whose writing adventures have taken him to 48 states and 10 countries. He has been the editor for magazines on pavement construction, chemicals, insurance and missions. Chuck enjoys bicycling, kayaking and reading. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. Chuck lives in Annapolis, Md. with his wife Kristen. They have seven grandchildren.


McCarthy Drives Piles for Solar Farm

Solar power, like other renewable energy sources, is big news these days. But for it to be truly useful to the power grid, solar power needs to be more than panels on the rooftops of a few homes. Solar power needs to be harvested on a massive scale....


Rebuilt Runway at Indianapolis Airport Good for Passengers, Freight, Environment

Reconstruction of the runway at Indianapolis International Airport will help passengers, enhance freight operations and benefit the environment. The environment is not usually seen as a beneficiary of airport paving, but in this case, the airport has partnered with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the Walsh Group to achieve those ends....


Broadway Curve Project to Reshape Phoenix

Phoenix, America's fifth-largest city, is being transformed by the Broadway Curve project. The job will reduce traffic congestion and improve travel times during peak hours through the I-10 along the Broadway Curve, a stretch of I-10 between Baseline Road and 40th Street....


H3C Breaks Ground in New Orleans

Affordable housing can be an elusive target, especially in these times of rising prices for housing and rental property. It requires the right financing with the right partners in the right location. And the right construction company must be in place to make it all happen....


Sully-Miller Battles Tides to Build Promenade

If Los Angeles were a person, the Port of Los Angeles would be the biceps. Or maybe the quads. The Port does a lot of heavy lifting with huge cranes constantly in motion loading and unloading container ships....


J3 Company, BGE Inc. Overhaul Robert S. Light Boulevard

Buda, Texas, in Hays County, has doubled in population since 2020; it is on pace to continue to grow rapidly as are other communities near the explosive expansion in nearby Austin. Congestion is bound to get worse as the number of semis rolling through town increases and the delays at the railroad crossings get longer....


Excavation Near Virginia's U.S. 58 to Pave Way for Safer Traffic

U.S. 58 in southwestern Virginia carries traffic through picturesque scenery, like Jefferson National Forest and topping Lover's Leap Mountain. Although the scenery can be impressive, the curving two-lane roads with steep downhills can test motorists' patience and nerves and is problematic for truckers....


Pittsburgh International Airport Undergoes $1.4B Upgrade

Years ago, Pittsburgh was "steel city" and known for its smoky skylines from the residue of the furnaces that turned iron ore into the steel that built America's railroads and cities. Over the years the city has transformed itself into a gleaming downtown anchored by banking, technology and world-class universities....


McCarthy Keeps Water Flowing in Desert

Clean water is important for any city. But it is especially essential for desert communities like Glendale and Peoria in the Phoenix, Ariz., metro area. When it came time to update and expand the cities' aging water infrastructure, they turned to contractor McCarthy Building Companies and engineering firm Black & Veatch....


Bizzack Construction Leads Vital Corridor Q Work

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is partnering with Bizzack Construction and subcontractors to build an updated road system that will improve regional connectivity and generate economic development in relatively isolated areas....


Atkinson Moves Mountains On California Highway Project

Motorists understand that it can be aggravating — and even dangerous — being trapped behind a line of tractor trailers going in the same direction. Caltrans and crews from Atkinson Construction are removing some of the aggravation and adding safety to a stretch of State Route 46 in central California....


Rebuilt Runway Highlights Expansion at Cincinnati Airport

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) has seen a buzz of construction projects recently. The airport continues to make waves in the area with an annual economic impact of $6.8 billion....


Granite Tackles California Congestion Issue With $700M '101 in Motion' Project

For more than 20 years, the Southern California cities of Santa Barbara and Carpinteria have endured a daily slog of congestion that spills over into these charming beach communities. U.S. 101 carries three lanes of traffic in each direction out of Los Angeles to all points northward....


Granite's Coastal Projects Help Prevent Disasters

Granite Construction is finishing two unusual projects this summer that showcase its engineering and construction chops. Both projects will provide safer access to locals as they access California's most prized possession — beaches....


Branch Civil-Flatiron Leads Challenging Reversible HOT Lanes Extension Project

Over the past 10 years, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has presided over a congestion-relief strategy of building networks of high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes that double as free high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes....


Colorado River Constructors Rebuild U.S. 290 in $674M Job

According to the U.S. Census estimates, Austin showed one of the largest population gains of any metro area in the United States. The city grew by more than 53,000 people in a single year, representing the fourth largest increase in the country....


S.T. Wooten Makes Progress On I-95 Project

A map of the United States reveals that I-95 snakes its way from northern Maine all the way to southern Florida. This interstate is the major link between most of the cities on the eastern seaboard. With a length of nearly 2,000 mi., I-95 is the longest north-south interstate in the country....


Billion-Dollar Upgrades Press On at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Construction teams are making significant progress on the $1.3 billion upgrades to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston. The IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP) is the largest capital development program that the city has invested in the airport since it opened in 1969....


MDOT Rebuilds I-275 Near Detroit

I-275 is a major thoroughfare that skirts the western edge of Detroit and serves as a major north-south corridor for traffic flowing from Ohio to Metro Detroit and beyond. Several segments of the road are in their death throes....


McCarthy's Expansion of Port Houston Will Help Supply Chain Woes

Supply chain issues have been in the news these last two years like never before. Pictures of giant container ships getting stuck in the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere have appeared in the media....


Branch Civil Leads I-81 Project in Virginia

Framed by the Appalachian Mountains to the North and Smith Mountain Lake to the South, Roanoke draws visitors to southwest Virginia, generating some $920 million each year in business revenue for the region....


McCarthy Building Companies Constructs $310M Upgrades at Phoenix Sky Harbor

An airport is often called the city's main street. No wonder, in most cases, it is the most visited place in the metro area. Phoenix Sky Harbor is no exception. In 2019, the airport welcomed some 46 million passengers, the results of more than 438,000 takeoffs and landings....


J. McLoughlin Engineering Co., Sema Complete Southern California Highway Project

The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that over the next 25 years, the population in Southern California will grow by 25 percent, while freight will rise approximately 75 percent. The massive increase in freight traffic is related to more deliveries at the ports in San Pedro and Long Beach....


Ames Completes Critical $134M Arizona Project

If you like fresh produce, you are going to love this Arizona road-building story. Approximately 370,000 trucks crossed the U.S. border at Nogales in 2021, carrying some $30 billion in goods, including much of the winter produce consumed in the United States....


McCarthy Leads Construction of $616M Facility in St. Louis

Washington University School of Medicine's neuroscience research building, expected to be one of the largest in the nation, is taking shape in St. Louis. McCarthy Building Companies is the lead contractor for the $616 million research center construction....


Philadelphia Airport Uses Unusual Material in Paving Operation

Several million bottles were destined for a landfill when they hit a stop sign. The new destination was a manufacturing site where the bottles were transformed into a unique aggregate for a paving project at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)....


Sully-Miller Gets Job Done On LAX Runway

Officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are sticklers for quality runways. They have to be. As one of the busiest airport in the world, the facility served more than 88 million passengers in 2019 with an average of 700 daily flights to 113 destinations in the U.S....


Construction Crews Give Atlanta Motor Speedway Necessary Upgrade

The Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) has hosted racing events of all types for more than 60 years. But it was time for a change. The racetrack was last paved in 1997, so track officials decided to get radical....


$100M Chicago Bridge Flyover Project Enhances Downtown

Poking a half mile into Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of Chicago's most popular destinations for both visitors and locals. Throughout its history, Navy Pier served as a Navy training center during World War II; welcomed a university and its students; and was a shipping terminal and a tourist hotspot....


Jilk Heavy Construction Razes Fire-Ravaged Bridge, Granite Builds New Key Crossing

In the aftermath of a natural disaster like California's Woolsey Fire, shell-shocked residents wonder how they can restart their lives. Often roads, bridges and infrastructure need to be rebuilt for that to happen....


Road Repairs Due to Hurricane Ida Damage Nearing Completion in Louisiana

Hurricane Ida roared ashore on Aug. 29, 2021, in southern Louisiana, barreling through houses and businesses, ripping out chunks of roadway from Louisiana Highway 1 and scattering them in the nearby marsh....


Graniterock, Caltrans Partner On Recycling Project

As Pacific Ocean waves crashed in the background under sunny skies, Graniterock crews of Watsonville, Calif., enjoyed a picturesque day of work as they labored on an asphalt recycling pilot project with Caltrans....


Granite, NV5 Crews Rebuild Belle Terrace

It's not often that creativity and construction get to show up in the same sentence, yet contractors, utilities and the city of Bakersfield, Calif., teamed up to use creativity and sweat to handle more than 80 modifications to the original plans and successfully complete the Belle Terrace Operational Improvements Project with no citations or claims....


SSC Underground, Coffman Specialties Take On Massive Boring Project

Cave Buttes Dam is an earthen flood control dam built on Cave Creek Wash in northern Phoenix, Ariz. The dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1980 with the Flood Control District of Maricopa County serving as the local sponsor....


Suburban Maryland Eyes Major Metro Makeover

For decades, the New Carrolton Metro station in suburban Maryland has been a key transportation hub. Commuters can catch Metro trains to Washington, D.C., and Virginia, the Amtrak to New York City and Boston and the Greyhound bus to points all over the United States....


Michigan Paving & Materials, MDOT Use Design-Build Approach for $210M I-69 Rebuild

The Michigan DOT had a solid plan for rebuilding I-69 in the southern part of the state. The plan called for four separate projects to be designed and constructed within eight years. It was a good plan until the department made the decision to utilize its innovative contracting department and the design-build procurement method....


Southway Rebuilding Historic Lexington Market in Downtown Baltimore

Many city dwellers are challenged with where to buy groceries locally or where to relax under a tree and read a book. For decades, the answer to that question for residents of West Baltimore has been Lexington Market....


Historic Project Results in New U.S. 35

Experienced drivers in the East know that the winding two-lane roads in West Virginia can be a scenic wonder. It's a must to drive some of these roads with the windows down, view the fall colors and listen to John Denver sing "Country Roads."But drivers who need to reach their destinations promptly know that some of these roads can be a teeth-grinding experience....


ATS Construction's 72-Hour Paving Sprint Rehabs Kentucky's Blue Grass Airport

Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., plays a key role in the economics of the state. Located near the capital, the airport services a city that is home to the state's flagship university and is a center for horse racing and horse breeding....


Construction Team Transforms Congested Freeway in Northern Virginia

Motorists navigating the bustling 495 beltway around Washington, D.C., know they are taking their chances when they exit onto I-66 that services the growing cities of northern Virginia. Bottlenecks and slowdowns are commonplace....


Granite Provides Infrastructure for Massive Energy Project

Motorists traveling east from Palm Springs and Indio, Calif., on I-10 into the desert have been frequently known to mutter, "There's a whole lot of nothing out here." That conversation is changing to "there's a whole lot of something going on out here."Granite Industrial, a subsidiary of California-based Granite Construction Inc....


DSB Construction, Geneva Rock Products Upgrade Roads in Midway

A bird's-eye view of the Cascade Scenic Drive and Cascade Springs Road near Midway, Utah, revealed scenic grandeur that drew thousands to view the changing colors and majestic vistas. For the drivers, however, the experience was less pleasant....


Granite Construction, Mahaffey Drilling Fix Railroad Issue in Encinitas

People living on or near North Vulcan Avenue in the Leucadia district of Encinitas had a problem. This beachfront community in north coastal San Diego County is home to Coast Highway 101 and Los Angeles to San Diego (LOSSAN) railroad tracks, which carry 37 passenger and freight trains per day....


Infrastructure Bill: Is it Enough? What Do We Really Need?

President Biden announced in April a $2 trillion plan to transform the economy with special emphasis on jobs, infrastructure and green energy. The transportation piece of the proposal would direct $621 billion to roads, bridges, public transportation, airports and electric vehicles....


Tunnel Paving Project Finishes in Record Time in Virginia

Virginia's Hampton Roads metro area consists of Newport News, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and surrounding areas, with a metro population of 1.6 million people. The region embraces significant water access to the Atlantic Ocean and straddles the James, Nansemond and Elizabeth rivers....


Wiregrass Uses Spray Paver to Expedite Freeway Work

Have you ever wondered where the water goes when you are driving in the rain on the freeway? When driving on a similar rainy day on city streets and county roads, drivers often experience considerable splash, spray and sometimes hydroplaning....


Granite Makes Major Repairs on Interstate 5

A driver traveling north on I-5 from Seattle toward the Canadian border might note the variety of transportation arteries that surround this busy interstate. The heavy truck traffic rolling out of the Port of Seattle carries cargo out of container ships docked from around the world....


Concours Club in Miami Shows Importance of Speedway Paving

For many people, from teenagers to senior citizens, the idea of tromping the accelerator of a hot car and going as fast as possible is invigorating. Perhaps just going fast is not enough. Showing off your skills might be even better....


Speed Vital to Completion of Louisiana's French Branch Project

For years, the confluence of I-10, I-12 and I-59, the French Branch Bridge and West Pearl River Bridge has enabled drivers to get where they needed to go in the New Orleans metro area. Motorists and residents alike were wary about the announcement of extensive reconstruction coming on these essential roads....


Paving in the Extremes

Across the country, road builders confront tight deadlines for completing their projects. Often construction teams face the end of the paving season knowing that challenging weather lies ahead. This scenario was especially true for projects in two contrasting environments, one completed at the "North Pole" and the second in the California desert....


State-By-State Breakdown: Paving Industry Responds to COVID-19

It's business as usual in the paving industry — almost. Construction and infrastructure work, which includes paving, have been classified as essential services. Only two states, Pennsylvania and Washington, have put this work on hold....


Innovation, Speed Sets Standard in Paving Projects Across United States

During the last two weeks in August each year, the population of Williamsport, Pa., doubles as fans flock from across the country — many from outside the United States — to see the Little League World Series....


Recycled Pavement Find New Home in Highways, County Roads and City Streets

The future of asphalt pavements in America could be decided in the rolling hills of eastern Alabama at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). There, on a closed 1.7-mile track, five heavily laden semi-trucks rumble around the road to simulate the stresses placed on today's interstate highways....


Rubblization Gives New Life to Dying Roads Nationwide

Industry outsiders might think that a man breaking up a concrete pavement with a sledgehammer is destroying public property; however, if industry insiders were to see this act or a machine rhythmically crashing huge hammers onto a roadway, they would instantly recognize this process as rubblization....


Keeping Work Zones Safe in the Tech Age

Drivers need to see the work zone not as just another delay in their workday or as a slowdown on their trip to a favorite vacation spot, but as an alarm bell alerting them to be cautious. Almost always work zone activities have been carefully organized, but drivers are often not as cautious....


City's Growth Spurs Creation of Atlanta's First Dedicated DOT

Experts predict that Atlanta's population of almost 500,000 will more than double in the coming decades, with the metropolitan area adding 2.5 million people by 2040. This increase is similar to moving the entire city of Charlotte, N.C., into the metro borders....


South Carolina's Booming Paving Industry Creates 1,000 New Jobs

A partnership is a great concept, and when it works it's almost magic. That magic is happening right now in the South Carolina asphalt pavement industry. Like many states, South Carolina faces crumbling infrastructure due to years of neglect....


ATS Construction Takes on Asphalt Work in Lexington

There comes a time when you just have to give up on a road. That was the case for the concrete freeway where I-64 and I-75 split north of Lexington, Ky. Numerous patches and diamond grinds had been unsuccessful....


Porous Asphalt Lots Solving Problems in Pa., Iowa

Parking lot owners often face the problem of needing to squeeze as many cars as possible into a limited area. Porous asphalt lots are providing solutions by maximizing parking through eliminating the need for detention basins....


Portland Praises Porous Asphalt Lot

The Port of Portland in Portland, Ore., had a problem with a 45-acre (18.2 ha) gravel-covered lot. Located next to the Columbia River, the lot was used as an offloading site for cars manufactured in Asia that were waiting to be shipped throughout the United States....



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