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BUSINESS NEWS FLUOR JOINT VENTURE BEGINS WORK TO RECONSTRUCT CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY’S NORTH MAIN CURVE TO SPEED SERVICE Fluor Corporation and its joint venture partner Walsh Construction Company broke ground to rebuild and straighten a section of Chicago Transit Authority’s North Main Line Red and Purple Line track structure, a portion of track on the historic Red and Purple Modernization Phase One Project that has been slowing traffic for more than a century. When the North Main line was constructedmore than 100 years ago, the tracks were built around the Vautravers building, a historic greystone built in 1894, creating a curve in the tracks that slowed train speeds for millions of riders over the years. In late 2021, the joint venture raised and moved the entire building about 30 feet so the tracks could be straightened, thereby marking a significant step in major revitalizations to the CTA’s rail system. When completed, the new track will be able to accommodate more trains and passengers per hour and allow for increased train speeds.

“As was shown with the recent passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, existing American infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and upgraded, not just repaired,” said Thomas Nilsson, president of Fluor’s Infrastructure business. “That is exactly what our team is doing with the RPM project. Design- Build solutions will be an ideal project delivery method going forward. We are working collaboratively with CTA to make sure that the Red and Purple lines remain in operation while at the same time making this vital upgrade that will improve safety, operations and speed up service across the entire transit system.” Along with removing the curve in the tracks, the Fluor joint venture will build a new closed-deck track structure with sound walls on the North Main line that is expected to reduce train noise for residents and pedestrians in the neighborhood, which includes Wrigley Field. The new elevated tracks will create a brighter, cleaner, safer pedestrian environment at street level. As part of the RPM project, the Fluor joint venture is also installing a new

signal system on 23 track miles that will improve train flow and service reliability. The RPM Phase One Project is the largest reconstruction in CTA history, modernizing and replacing 100-year- old rail structures and rebuilding four stations. The project will improve access by creating American Disability Act- compliant platforms and stations as well as increase capacity, rail reliability and service for riders throughout the entire system. Theproject is scheduled tobecompleted in 2025. Fluor Corporation is building a better world by applying world-class expertise to solve its clients’ greatest challenges. Fluor’s 44,000 employees provide professional and technical solutions that deliver safe, well-executed, capital-efficient projects to clients around the world. Fluor had revenue of $14.2 billion in 2020 and is ranked 196 among the Fortune 500 companies. With headquarters in Irving, Texas, Fluor has been providing engineering, procurement and construction services for more than 100 years.

amount of time the typical firm principal spends working on billable projects. While I don’t have the exact data here in front of me, I have worked in this industry for 42 years and would guess that principals are about half as billable now as they were when I started out my career. Some people may think that’s great and that we have come a long way. I see it as the opposite – principals are getting further and further away from what their firms actually do for their clients, and that does not bode well for the future. What I am suggesting is you take a good hard look at what everyone in your business is doing for you. That includes adding up all of their costs – not just for labor, but also benefits, computers, space, etc. – and comparing that to the revenue they bring in (that the firm wouldn’t have gotten otherwise), and the money they save for you that you would have otherwise spent. If there isn’t a positive difference, you may want to consider dealing with the problem(s) before we find ourselves back in the midst of a slowdown. While I am VERY bullish on the long-term future for companies in this business, I’m not sure we won’t have periodic recessions to contend with. Rising interest rates, reduced consumer confidence, lower tax revenues, supply chain woes, and wars, could all contribute to creating another recession that will affect us. I hate to give up any ground taken during the good times just because we didn’t plan for the not-so-good times! Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

MARK ZWEIG, from page 11

skilled marketing coordinators who can write, edit, and make documents and presentations look good. Now it seems like everyone employs full-time social media managers, full-time videographers, full-time podcast producers, and full-time CRM system managers. It’s $70K here, $95K there, and then another $125K or more annually for the manager who corrals all these people and attempts to get them to do their jobs. “Sometimes, when companies find themselves with more business than they can handle and more profits than they are used to making, they will look for ways to spend it on things they think they “should” be doing.” And there are many other purely overhead jobs larger firms have created in this industry over the past several years. Heads of strategic planning. Special IT people who are supposed to train design and technical staff on how to use the latest software. Facilities people who manage furniture purchases and field complaints about the HVAC. “Director of special projects” has always been one of those titles for people you don’t knowwhat to do with, but don’t want to fire, either. Don’t even get me started on the insidious erosion of the

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