Top construction news stories of 2021
By Jenny LescohierDecember 20, 2021
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 has reported on a wide range of topics as they relate to the construction industry. Infrastructure funding never left the radar for our audience in 2021, but there were definitely some surprises as well. Take a walk through the events of the past year - and what a year it was!
Following are news stories ranked in order of audience popularity, starting from 10th leading up to first:
10. Record jump in materials prices and supply chain disruptions threaten vital projects - An unprecedented leap in the price of construction materials, as well as supply chain disruptions, created hardships for contractors and slowed down projects, prompting industry officials to urge the Biden administration to end a variety of tariffs and quotas on imported construction inputs.
9. John Deere strike continues, affects supply chain issues - More than 10,000 workers at John Deere went on
strike for better pay and benefits on Oct. 14, causing a work stoppage that meant less access to replacement parts for John Deere machines in the agriculture and construction industries. The result played a role in exacerbating challenges to the nation’s supply chain.
8. Congress passes $1.9-trillion stimulus with eye on infrastructure - Congress gave final approval to President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion stimulus package, a move met with approval from construction industry officials looking forward to the shot in the arm it might give to U.S. infrastructure.
7. Kobelco to lay off 75% of its workforce at South Carolina excavator plant - Kobelco Construction Machinery announced plans to
lay off 75% of its workforce at its Moore, South Carolina excavator plant, and suspend production of all seven of its hydraulic excavator models. The move stemmed from issues with Kobelco’s engine supplier, Hino Motors.
6. Komatsu excavator helps dislodge Suez Canal blockage - The Ever Given, a 220,000-ton container ship, blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week and drastically affected the world’s economy earlier this year by clogging one of the busiest shipping passages. The vessel was finally freed through a combination of efforts from tugboat crews, several logistics strategies and one Komatsu excavator.
5. John Deere and Hitachi end manufacturing, marketing agreements - John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery will enter new license
and supply agreements which will allow John Deere to continue to source, manufacture and distribute the current lineup of Deere-branded excavators in North and South America.
4. Construction jobs lost over Keystone XL pipeline cancellation - Approximately 1,000 construction jobs were reported to be eliminated as work was halted on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, following President Joe Biden’s revocation of the project’s presidential permit.
3. Design flaw in foundation eyed as cause of Florida building collapse - A problem located at the bottom of a 135-unit condominium
complex in south Florida might have caused the 40-year-old building to suddenly collapse on June 24, utlimately killing 98 people. Reports said faulty construction of the pool deck could have ultimately led to the destruction of a portion of Champlain Towers South, located in Surfside, FL, just north of Miami Beach.
2. Construction industry reacts to U.S. House passing $1-trillion infrastructure bill - The U.S. House of Representatives voted 228-206 to pass President Joe Biden’s $1-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which the White House says is a “once in a generation investment” in the nation’s infrastructure.
1. Elon Musk completes construction on Las Vegas Convention Center Loop - Elon Musk, renowned entrepreneur and co-founder/CEO of Tesla, and his venture, The Boring
Company, completed construction of the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, a 1.7-mile subterrranean transportation system utilizing Teslas to take people from end to end of the sprawling complex in as little as two minutes.