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Head to the future news (edition 25-5-2020)

UK: £161m north London housing scheme approved

Developer Countryside, housing association Home Group and Brent Council are working together to deliver 308 homes, of which 41% will be for affordable housing – including shared ownership and social rented homes.

ARAB EMIRATES: $4.9bn for Ethiad Rail

Al Marzouqi told the UAE’s Emirates News Agency (Wam) that Etihad Rail has begun construction of Phase 2 of the rail network from Al Guwaifat bordering Saudi Arabia to Fujairah and Khor Fakkan on the eastern coast, which is 605km-long.

Stage A extends 139km to link Ruwais with Al Ghuwaifat at the border with Saudi Arabia; Stage B covers 216km from Tarif to Seeh Shuaib; Stage C runs 94km from Jebel Ali to Sharjah; and Stage D runs 145km from Sharjah to the ports of Fujairah and Khor Fakkan.

Etihad Rail is also manufacturing a new fleet of locomotives and increasing its fleet size to 45, in addition it is establishing a major operations and maintenance centre in Al Fayah, Abu Dhabi, which is managed by a coalition led by the French company, VINCI Construction.

Cameroon: new road contract for 20 years

A partnership contract has been signed between TOLLCAM (a 50/50 subsidiary of Razel-Bec and Egis) and the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cameroon for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of 14 toll plazas on Cameroon’s main roads.

Cameroon-based company TOLLCAM will be in charge of the execution of this contract over a period of 20 years.

This project will provide the Cameroonian State with modern and secure toll facilities on its road network. The works to build the new tolling facilities will start as soon as the financing is in place and are anticipated to be completed in 2022.

Vermeer: a significant increase in the demand on digital infrastructure

“Every day our directional drills and our utility trenchers and our utility plows will doing network build-outs, maintenance, creating new connections and adding on new capacity,” he said.

“We’re proud of our dealers – who are also deemed to be an essential business – because they are figuring out how to operate in this new normal to keep our customers going. More than ever, the uptime of the equipment is so critical to get this work done. Our dealers are focusing on that to make sure our customers have the parts, the service and the support they need to continue to run and maintain the critical infrastructure that we so depend on in our daily lives.”

United States: new megaproject to adapt to the challenges brought by the health crisis


Present day poses incredible challenges to billion-dollar developments, with a second quarter economy that looks more like 1939 than the 21st Century, local pandemic-response regulations, disrupted supply chains and unpredictable workforce availability. Even so, some of the country’s largest commercial projects are powering through.

Europe is breaking borders

Germany will reopen borders that slammed shut to stop the spread of the coronavirus, a critical step in re-establishing the free flow of people and countering the threat the pandemic poses to European integration.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government aims to return to normal operations at its land boundaries by June 15, as long as the spread of the disease remains under control, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday. While air travel will remain restricted for now, crossings with Luxembourg will already be lifted on Saturday, and similar unrestricted passage could soon be revived with Denmark, he said.

Update: Machine activity rises


From the Downtime Index Blog: From week 19 to week 20, we see an increase in the downtime of 5% from 84.4 to 88.9. The construction site activity is therefore now globally at 11% less than expected – measured as pre-COVID-19 level of week 4 in 2020. Also, if we compare to last year, we see a 11% underutilization of global construction machines in the off-highway segment.



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