News Article | April 22, 2017
‘Passengers awaiting the 2026 fast train to Birmingham: your service is on its way. Honest.” If this announcement has left the public sceptical after seven years of relaunches and debate, there are signs that HS2 is starting to carve its first marks on the landscape. Is anything now stopping the £55.7bn high-speed rail scheme from becoming physical reality? Royal assent in February gave HS2 Ltd the full legal, financial and planning powers to build the first half of a railway that the government claims will transform travel between London, the Midlands and, eventually, the north of England, create 25,000 jobs and help rebalance the UK’s precarious economy. Yet controversy over contract awards, and now the calling of a snap election, has threatened more uncertainty and delay. Last week, a Commons select committee was told that a whistleblower’s intervention had led to the overturning of a £170m HS2 contract award to CH2M, the engineering consultancy which has had executives seconded, then hired, to run HS2 Ltd itself. Rival bidder Mace had threatened legal action over conflicts within the bid team at CH2M, which was aided by HS2’s former chief of staff. HS2’s chairman, Sir David Higgins, and the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, denied there was any advantage or wrongdoing, although new procedures to scrutinise bids are to be put in place. But the controversy shone an uncomfortable light on HS2, which is “fishing in a small pool”, as Grayling put it, of highly paid executives from engineering firms, with £8.6bn of major civil engineering deals about to be doled out. Two miles north and a world away from Westminster, Brian Battershill, 71, is looking out of the fifth-floor Camden flat he has called home for more than 40 years. Orphaned and homeless as a teenager, he speaks warmly of the community and friendship he found in the Silverdale block north of Euston station. “I was sitting here one evening, with this lovely view, thinking how lucky I was. Next morning, in the letter box, HS2 told me we’re demolishing your flat for high-speed rail. I was torn apart.” The most concrete signs that HS2 is happening can be seen on the fringes of the London terminus: nine new blocks of flats, paid for by HS2, are taking shape to rehouse displaced residents, nearly all within 10 minutes’ walk of their old homes. But, points out Battershill, the construction is squeezed into the spaces between existing blocks, and even above school buildings. More building work will take place all around them: an estimated 800 HGVs could pass daily along the roads lining the estate. Fading flowers tied in memorial to the lights of a crossing on the busy Hampstead Road outside, where a pedestrian was recently killed by a lorry, testify to the danger. And, Battershill says: “Babies born here will be breathing these toxic fumes and dust until adulthood.” Across the road, the Victorian-era Temperance hospital has been partly demolished for an HS2 work site. Adjoining is St James Gardens, whose closure will remove another green space, including dozens of majestic London plane trees, some festooned with colourful scarves and sheets by protesters to highlight their fate. “It’s a real shame to lose it,” says Paul Gibson, 47, who has walked his dog here for 13 years, “it’s a nice serene place.” Once a burial ground, the gardens contain the remains of an estimated 60,000 people – all to be exhumed and reinterred in the months ahead. Discussions continue with the Church of England over exactly where the bodies are to be buried, according to HS2. Even the residents who escape rehousing will face enormous disruption because of the reconstruction of Euston – a project that may be prolonged because of Network Rail’s own uncertain ambitions for a station that could also incorporate the proposed Crossrail 2. Camden council says it has secured a package of more than 100 pledges and assurances on air quality, replacing open space, and construction noise, with hopes that more spoil can be removed by train to limit lorry numbers. But it admits: “Now it is a question of holding HS2 to account.” Campaigners, meanwhile, are focusing the fight on Phase 2b, where HS2’s tracks extend beyond Birmingham and Crewe to Manchester and Leeds, via the East Midlands; legislation is two years behind schedule. Their hope that the entire scheme could be dropped is not entirely extinguished: Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, points to the coalition deliberations in 2010 over whether Crossrail should be scrapped, even after all legislation was passed. A new election means Theresa May is no longer wedded to her predecessor’s manifesto, while previous parliamentary champions have left the stage, and parties such as Ukip and the Greens actively oppose HS2. Gaines says: “We’ve got questions over the amount of commitment within May’s government, and we’ve heard that people in the Treasury aren’t very happy. I don’t think anyone’s expecting it to come in at £55bn.” A critical report by cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood in 2016, yet to be made public, could give leverage for a future U-turn, she believes, while the reality of construction could yet galvanise people. As well as St James Gardens, dozens of mature trees will be felled in front of Euston – and the Woodland Trust has again raised concerns that the damage to ancient forests along the route is being underplayed by HS2. “I think the kind of people who will lie down in front of bulldozers will come out. Once that sort of damage starts happening, there will be people who haven’t noticed who will come into action.” Preparatory works, including geological surveys, have also provided physical signs around the country: drilling machinery parked in peaceful fields in Staffordshire is a harbinger of the enormous construction site to come next year. The first of 7m trees to screen the tracks and construction are being planted. HS2 has promised to create 650m hectares of woodland along the route, to replace the 250m which will be lost. Badgers, newts and other protected species are already feeling the long arm of HS2 lifting them to new habitats away from the tracks. A year of detailed design work lies ahead before the major construction of bridges, tunnels, embankments and reshaping of the land between London and Birmingham begins. Seven packages of work contracts, all worth around £1bn each, will be awarded this summer. A £2bn competition to build stations has opened, while the train contract competition launched this week, to design, build and maintain the first 60 HS2 trains, is worth £2.75bn – a prime target for manufacturers in this country, perhaps to maintain the future of the Bombardier factory in Derby or expand the scope of Hitachi’s assembly plant in County Durham. Grayling said this contract alone would create 300 jobs and “leave a legacy for this country, boosting skills, generating employment and strengthening the manufacturing supply chain”. The money points to it happening – with deals in the air that make CH2M’s single aborted contract look puny. While the select committee wanted to assure itself of the probity of HS2’s procurement, the last set of questions from a northern MP, Graham Stringer, were telling. “What interests me, as a Manchester MP, isn’t the commercial details but whether it will delay stage 2b. Will it?” The prize for the north, a completed high-speed railway to its major cities that will underpin politicians’ “powerhouse” aspirations, remains at least 16 years away. But the long, painful gestation is about to start.
News Article | April 25, 2017
DENVER, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CH2M, a global engineering and consulting firm and leader in the delivery of sustainable development solutions for infrastructure and industry, has developed a new online Environmental Health and Safety publication titled EHS CHeck to provide a high...
News Article | May 4, 2017
A contract worth up to $220 million to help manage development of the U.K.’s next 335 kilometers of high-speed rail has gone to San Francisco-based Bechtel Inc. The firm placed second in bidding on the estimated $32-billion project but won the prize when Denver-based CH2M Inc. pulled out during a review of an alleged conflict of interest. In its new role as development partner, Bechtel will support government-owned High Speed Two Ltd. (HS2L) as it prepares for legislation to authorize construction of the HS2b line to start after 2020. It will extend from near Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester. Work on a first phase, from London to Birmingham, starts this year. Bechtel will manage three newly named teams handling $450 million of design work for HS2b’s draft legislation, set for parliamentary ratification in 2019. CH2M withdrew from the role of development partner one month after securing the contract in February against competition from Bechtel and MACE Group, U.K. Rather than rebid the contract, HS2L chose Bechtel. Its offer was 15% more economical than MACE’s, and its technical submission was “marginally” better, says David Higgins, HS2L chairman. CH2M’s exit came weeks after a whistleblower informed MACE that a design-firm manager involved in the bid had formerly been assigned to HS2L, said Higgins in testimony to a parliamentary committee. The manager, Christopher Reynolds, was chief of staff to Alison Munro, a former HS2L CEO, from 2011 to 2013, during preparation of draft legislation for the line’s first phase, from London to Birmingham. He had two more roles until June 2016. When questioned on Reynolds’ role, CH2M insisted he had no confidential information and had been only minimally involved in the development-partner bid, said Higgins. “However, [Reynolds] was going to be used [on the contract] if they were successful in the tender,” he added. Higgins’ team found the response unsatisfactory. “He should not have been involved in their tender preparation …because he was too close to us,” Higgins said. With lawyers advising both sides, HS2L posed numerous questions to the design firm to establish whether Reynolds had held any material “that could have been considered confidential,” said Higgins. But before the process ended, CH2M withdrew, “despite demonstrating appropriate measures taken to ensure integrity in the process,” says a firm spokesman. “We made the decision to alleviate further political speculation and delays, as well as associated costs, placing this critical national infrastructure project at risk.” The episode has prompted HS2L to change its vetting system. Identifying potential conflicts traditionally has been the contractual duty of bidders. In the future, companies also will have to identify individuals involved in bids, allowing HS2L to check their work histories. The turn of events is a setback to CH2M’s growing role in HS2. The firm leads a three-firm consortium that is the engineering delivery partner on the London-Birmingham line under a 10-year, $450-million contract, awarded in March 2016. It also formerly employed HS2L’s new CEO Mark Thurston, appointed in January. Thurston replaces another CH2M executive, Roy Hill, who was appointed temporarily to the role last year. For Bechtel, the contract is a first step into HS2, having led the project management team on the London-Channel Tunnel HS1, completed in 2007. The firm also is short-listed for a construction contract worth up to $1.2 billion for 30 km of the line.
News Article | May 4, 2017
The Tennessee Valley Authority is working to determine what caused the structural supports of a refurbished condenser to fail and how best to repair the damage at the newly commissioned Watts Bar 2 nuclear unit on the Tennessee River. Repairs on the condenser, original to the mothballed nuclear plant, will be a logistical challenge, TVA spokesman Jimmie Hopson says. “How do you get steel into a sealed metal box?” The owner hired Chicago Bridge & Iron to manage the repairs. The federal power producer notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 23 that the unit was shut after the main condenser lost vacuum as it was starting up from an outage. The failure was on the generation side of the unit, not the nuclear-reactor side, says Hopson. The condenser sits under the turbines and cools the steam, condensing it to water. The unit was at 16% power when the waterbox, which contains cooling water from the river, “experienced a structural failure, causing the loss of the main feedwater pump and an automatic turbine trip,” TVA said in a report to NRC. The failure allowed steam to enter the main turbine building, resulting in the closure of the main steam isolation valves at the unit, TVA noted in the report. When the structural members collapsed, it caused a “hole” in the vacuum, Hopson says. The condenser must handle the vacuum and process 140,000 gallons of water a minute. The structural failures were in structural steel, the steel plates and the welds, Hopson notes. It is not yet clear whether there is damage to the 25,000 tubes in the condenser. TVA engineers are assessing the damage and performing a root-cause analysis to see whether the failures were a design issue or a construction issue. The 150-ft by 350-ft condenser is three stories tall. The assessment is being performed slowly, section by section. TVA began construction of Watts Bar 2 in 1973 but put it on “deferred construction status” in 1985. A decade later, it ended its plan to complete the unit, about 80% complete at the time. TVA’s board of directors in 2005 authorized the completion of the 1,150-MW unit, which, after numerous problems with cost and schedule, came on line in October 2016. TVA opted to refurbish the Westinghouse-designed condenser, which had been installed during the original construction period, decades ago. Equpment—and other things—tend to fail at the beginning or end of their life span, which is known as the “bathtub curve.” By refurbishing the condenser, TVA tried to turn back the clock from an end failure, but that carries its own risk, says Dave Lochbaum, director of the nuclear-safety project for the Union of Concerned Scientists. By putting the condenser back into near-pristine condition, TVA might have moved it into the early-failure time frame, says Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer. “Or it could have been totally random,” he says of the failure. Lochaum does not blame TVA for the choice it made or the failure. It appears that the quality-assurance process failed during the refurbishment, Lochbaum says, adding, “TVA ought to look at that process to see where it broke down.” Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, worries about the unit’s pattern of nonperformance since it began operating in October. “The trend line is very concerning,” he says. The unit has been off line three times: Besides the shutdown due to the condenser failure, a switchyard transformer fire put the unit off line for several weeks and a hotwell pump in the feed- water system caused an automatic turbine trip in March. TVA took over the management of the unit’s reconstruction from Bechtel in 2011 and renegotiated its EPC contract. Bechtel was not meeting TVA’s established level of productivity, and completion slipped to 2013 from 2012. Bechtel retained the technical portion of the contract, leading a team comprising Washington Group and Sergeant & Lundy. Siemens and Westinghouse provided the nuclear steam supply and turbine generators. Smith questioned TVA’s decision to hire Bechtel, saying the decision was flawed because Bechtel provided cost estimates that proved to be wrong. TVA took the blame for the miscalculated $2.5- billion original estimate, saying there was not a complete understanding of what work was needed. The plant eventually cost $4.7 billion. Click to read "Bechtel Wins UK High-Speed-Rail Bid After CH2M Pulls Out in Conflict Issue"
News Article | April 26, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized, full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that the Sellwood Bridge Replacement project (Sellwood Bridge) in Portland, Oregon, has received an Honor Award in the 2017 Engineering Excellence Awards competition of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). TYLI served as Prime Consultant, Final Design, on the fast-track project, working closely with the Project Owner, Multnomah County, design subconsultant CH2M, and Construction Manager/General Contractor, Slayden/Sundt Joint Venture. The 2017 Honor Award was presented to the TYLI team at the ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on April 25, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The Sellwood Bridge across the Willamette River opened to traffic on February 29, 2016, and replaces a deteriorating fixed span structure built in 1925. The 1,976-foot-long bridge, 1,275 feet of which is a steel deck arch, features three arch spans that support the 63- to 90-foot-wide deck of the main river spans. The new, seismically resilient bridge carries two 12-foot-wide vehicular lanes, two 6.5-foot-wide bike lanes/emergency shoulders, and two 12-foot-wide shared-use sidewalks. TYLI also designed the bridge to accommodate future streetcar service. The bridge replacement project also included modernization of the Highway 43 interchange and stabilization of a hillside located west of and above the bridge and interchange. The locally preferred alternative for a steel deck arch, combined with a landslide condition for the west abutment of the bridge, created a unique engineering challenge. The TYLI team developed an advanced solution that combined geotechnical design with a foundation design for the stability needed to found the deck arch against the west hillside. “Few landmark bridge projects, if any, have dealt with the threat of landslide movement by utilizing a true arch bridge design solution,” said David Goodyear, P.E., S.E., PEng, TYLI Senior Vice President and Chief Bridge Engineer. “T.Y. Lin International is very pleased that the American Council of Engineering Companies has recognized the Sellwood Bridge as one of the year's most outstanding engineering accomplishments.” Another significant aspect of the project was the active participation of local communities in every phase of the project. In addition to ensuring that public input was reflected in the final design of the signature bridge, TYLI also reduced the final Sellwood Bridge footprint significantly from early concepts, reducing project costs and minimizing environmental disturbances. In January of this year, the Sellwood Bridge was also honored with the 2017 Engineering Excellence Project of the Year Award and the 2017 People’s Choice Award from ACEC Oregon. Founded in 1954, T.Y. Lin International is a globally recognized, full-service infrastructure consulting firm committed to providing innovative, cost-effective, constructible designs for the global infrastructure market. With more than 2,500 employees working in offices throughout the Americas and Asia, the firm provides support on projects of varying size and complexity. For more information about the company, please visit www.tylin.com.
News Article | May 3, 2017
"We already are realizing benefits from steps taken last year to substantially improve overall profitability and cash flow, and are looking forward to a much stronger year in 2017," said CH2M Chief Financial Officer Gary McArthur. "This new funding mechanism provides access to additional capital as a prudent safety net for our liquidity." McArthur added, "Although at a higher cost, the fixed-rate notes strengthen our financial foundation while the Company continues to improve its operating results and strategic position for a brighter future." For more details including terms of the agreement, please refer to today's Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. About CH2M CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients needing world-class solutions in environmental; industrial and advanced facilities; transportation; and water markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World's Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook. Forward-looking Statements This release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined in U.S. Federal and certain foreign securities regulations, related to our anticipated future operational and financial results. Although CH2M's management believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, these assumptions are subject to a wide range of economic, business, regulatory, technical, legal, and other unforeseen risks which may cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by these forward-looking statements. With regards to funding arrangements, factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others, risks involving our needs for additional capital to grow our business, our ability to maintain compliance with the covenants under such arrangements, our ability to maintain the liquidity necessary for our operations, and the overall economic and credit market conditions. We encourage you to consider the additional detailed Risk Factors discussing uncertainties that could cause actual operational and financial results to differ from those described in such forward-looking statements that are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), available as described below. We undertake no duty to update any forward-looking statements made herein. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this earning release. This communication should be read in conjunction with all the other information included in our most current prospectus and European prospectus, which are filed with the SEC and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), respectively, and, for our stockholders outside of the U.S. and the European Union, similar documents filed with local securities regulators, where required. All documents required to be filed with the SEC and other regulators are available via the investor relations website at ir.ch2m.com and on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ch2m-refinances-debt-and-increases-borrowing-capacity-300451119.html
News Article | March 2, 2017
PHOENIX, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Valley Metro Rail selected Hill International (prime) and CH2M (principal sub-consultant) as program and construction management consultants on its future high-capacity transit projects in the nation's 12th largest metropolitan population area....
News Article | February 15, 2017
AquaBlok, Ltd. is proud to report that another successful Battelle Sediments Conference was held last week in New Orleans, LA. In addition to being a sponsor and exhibitor, the company authored and co-authored four platform and poster presentations, and its materials were featured in 18 others. AquaBlok President John Hull and COO John Collins also served as co-chairs for two platform sessions: “Cap Design and Modeling” and “Successfully Combining Remedies.” The 18 AquaBlok-related presentations were authored or conducted by a number of well-respected entities in the environmental industry, such as Arcadis, CH2M, Geosyntec, the U.S. Navy, and Tetra Tech. These technical presentations showcased successful contaminated sediment remediation projects, pilot studies, and testing that used a range of materials supplied by AquaBlok. A major theme at the conference was the increased use and positive results obtained from application of a variety of amendments, and particularly, activated carbon. Because of this, as well as the company’s strong presence at the conference and the recent ESTCP Project-of-the-Year award, the company experienced a significant interest in AquaGate+PAC, their powder-activated carbon treatment material. "The focus on amendments is a reflection of both the successful application of our materials, as well as an industry that is moving forward and becoming more open to different management approaches for remediation of contaminated sediments," said Mr. Collins, who also spoke at the conference. Mr. Collins’ platform presentation, titled "Active Cap Material Placement at East Branch Grand Calumet River: Quality Control and Evaluation of Sorption Characteristics," demonstrated another AquaBlok treatment material, AquaGate+ORGANOCLAY™, and its use on the East Branch of the Grand Calumet River. This presentation focused on the important role that post-installation quality control and verification of material properties can have on project planning and economics. AquaBlok also presented two posters. The first, titled "Machado Lake Ecosystem Rehabilitation," highlighted in-lake improvements, such as dredging lake sediment and capping the bottom with AquaBlok's bentonite-based material. The second, "Modeling and Construction Overview for Active Cap at Passaic River Mile 10.9," showcased AquaGate+PAC and its use to cap 5.5 acres of contaminated sediment in the Lower Passaic River. About AquaBlok, Ltd. AquaBlok, Ltd., based in Swanton, Ohio, is a manufacturer of a range of patented composite particle materials that enable a low permeability, thin capping products for the management, isolation and treatment of contamination in sediments and sealing in a wide range of geotechnical applications. Descriptions and detailed profiles of AquaBlok technologies can be found at http://www.aquablok.com.
News Article | February 28, 2017
DENVER, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Trinidad, Colorado, City Council approved a 5-year contract with CH2M to manage the city's 18-year-old wastewater treatment plant. The Trinidad city council recognized a need for help maintaining and operating the facility's quickly-aging...
News Article | February 15, 2017
BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Providing teachers with world-class training in southern Louisiana is the newest way that Dow and CH2M are helping local students become the foundation of the future workforce. Committed supporters of STEM (science, technology,...