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Future Of Hyperloop In Missouri Is Highlighted During Freightweek STL Conference

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

As excitement continues to grow for the transformative Hyperloop ONE project and prospective locations throughout the world that can bring this innovative technology to life, members of Missouri’s Hyperloop Coalition updated attendees at the inaugural FreightWeek STL conference on the steps they are taking to help bring the Hyperloop to Missouri.

The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition is a public-private partnership of several civic organizations and the Missouri Department of Transportation. The Coalition has taken the lead in coordinating a major engineering feasibility study of the Hyperloop technology, as well as the proposed route. Missouri is among the top five sites in the world under consideration for the first inter-city route. The technology combines two types of technologies that already exist – Maglev trains, which use magnetic levitation to move vehicles, and vacuum tubes. These two technologies create a coasting effect that would allow for the movement of people and goods at 700 miles per hour. The proposed Missouri route would run between St. Louis and Kansas City along Interstate 70.

Tom Blair, MoDOT’s District Engineer for St. Louis, and Andrew Smith, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, are members of the Coalition and provided an update May 22 on this innovative project.

Blair has played a crucial role in bringing the concept of Hyperloop to Missouri. In 2015, he led MoDOT’s Road to Tomorrow team, exploring innovations that could generate new revenue for transportation in Missouri. The effort received national recognition by AASHTO. He spoke about many of the innovative concepts that have come out of Road to Tomorrow, including the discovery of Hyperloop, which would create a lucrative revenue stream from the energy created with air traveling through the Hyperloop tube.

“I got the chance to go to Los Angeles to the headquarters of Hyperloop One, and I walked in somewhat as a pessimist,” noted Blair. “I didn’t think a new mode of transportation could be created. But I also walked in optimistic because of my work leading the Road to Tomorrow initiative. After I spent a half a day with the Hyperloop team at their headquarters, I was excited to come back to Missouri and convince my leadership team that we need to figure out how to partner with this Hyperloop team.”

From there, Hyperloop One, now known as Virgin Hyperloop One, created a global challenge to bring awareness to the project and form partnerships that would help bring this project to life. The Missouri team applied to participate in the challenge and was initially selected as a semifinalist for its proposed St. Louis-Kansas City line but not a finalist. Hyperloop was still impressed by the KC-Stl route proposal, and after further collaboration and discussions, the route is now among the top five in the world to potentially be built.

Andrew Smith, the co-founder of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition, has become a leading advocate for ultra-high speed transportation in the Midwest region as a means to spur innovation and economic development. He is working to not only bring Hyperloop technology to Missouri but is also with the departments of transportation from several states to promote a “Heartland Hyperloop” route that would ultimately connect Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus and Pittsburgh. He spoke at the conference about why the Hyperloop technology made sense for our region.

“We believe the next big mode of transportation is Hyperloop,” Smith said. “We are more than just a nation of city and states, we are a nation of megaregions. Kansas City and St. Louis are strategically located megaregions. Imagine what we can do if we can connect these two megaregions. And that’s essentially what Hyerloop is doing. It’ll allow you to travel between downtown KC and downtown St. Louis in under 30 minutes.”

Smith pointed out that Hyperloop would make St. Louis the 9th largest economic development mega region in the country. It would be bigger than Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Minneapolis or Seattle. St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia would be able to combine workforces to attract development in the state, which would help strengthen our position as a global leader.

Both Smith and Blair touted the advantages Missouri has over the other proposed routes that include paths through Denver, Texas, Dubai, India and one connecting Chicago to Pittsburgh. Missouri offers a straight route to enable the highest speeds, would connect two major metropolitan regions with demand for shorter commute times, low land cost, a favorable regulatory environment, significant engagement from both public and private sectors and an ideal central location to begin construction of transcontinental route.

Smith pointed out that every milestone has been met or surpassed so far, including endorsement from MoDOT, support from the Missouri Department of Economic Development and full engagement with Hyperloop One. Currently a feasibility study is being completed byengineering firm Black and Veatch, which is based in Kansas City, at no cost to tax payers. Among the items being studied are precise route/alignment along I-70, land issues that will be encountered (i.e. tunnels, bridges, etc.), regulatory frameworks that will allow the system to be built, cost, economic and social impacts and the ability to run profitably. The study will be complete in September or October.

“We believe that Virgin Hyperloop One is going to be able to successfully commercialize this technology,” Smith said. “The world is only becoming more competitive, and Hyperloop One is a transformative economic development project. It’s about jobs, talent attraction, investment, innovation and showing global leadership.  There is a real opportunity to bring this technology here, and we would love to be the first place in the world to have Hyperloop One.”

For more information on the project, visit https://hyperloop-one.com/.  To see a full schedule of events for FreightWeek STL, click here. For detailed descriptions of each of the Education Sessions, click here. To learn more about FreightWeek STL, or register to attend, visithttp://freightweekstl.thefreightway.com/.

The Waterways Journal, Inc., is a full-service media company that produces trade magazines, trade shows like IMX, directories, websites and related communications. It is a family owned business operating in St. Louis, Mo. since 1887. Through its division, Ripple Custom Media, it also produces consumer titles and provides custom publishing services. 

The Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies (ITTS) is a multistate research institution formed to assist member states on understanding the relationship of transportation needs to international and commercial traffic.  ITTS is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in the State of Louisiana. Current membership consists of the State Departments of Transportation from the following States: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia and West Virginia. ITTS’s mission focuses on providing research data and expert opinions to its Members concerning the effects of commercial freight movements on domestic and international activities, with reference to infrastructure and transportation needs and safety implications.   

The St. Louis Regional Freightway is a Bi-State Development enterprise formed to create a regional freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in Illinois and Missouri which comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area. Public sector and private industry businesses are partnering with the St. Louis Regional Freightway to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States through marketing, public advocacy, and freight and infrastructure development.  To learn more, visit thefreightway.com.

McGrath Completes Construction of Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Progress West Hospital in St. Charles County, Missouri

in Companies/News

McGrath & Associates has completed construction of a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) within the Childbirth Center at Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon, Missouri. The eight-bed NICU will allow the hospital to care for premature babies born as early as 32 weeks. The architect for the project was Fox Architects.

The new NICU features eight newborn intensive care beds throughout a special care nursery, procedure room, and baby nursery. Each bed includes state-of-the-art technology in a unique, family-centered layout with accommodations for an overnight guest. The space was completed with high-end finishes, with features such as brightly colored accent walls, glass-fronted maple supply cabinets, and frosted-glass and maple room dividers between the suites.
McGrath implemented strict isolation and infection prevention measures during construction to ensure a clean and safe environment for patients and staff.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983.

Allegro Expands Senior Living Business with New Community in Richmond Heights, MO

in Companies/News

Allegro Senior Living, a leader in managing senior communities and St. Louis based company with headquarters in Clayton, began construction on its 12th community. In conjunction with IronRock Investments, Allegro jointly funded the project located on Bellevue Avenue near the SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital campus. This will be the 1st community in St. Louis for Allegro who operates 11 other properties throughout Florida and Kentucky. The Richmond Heights community will contain 87 units within 91,000 square feet offering premier Assisted Living and Memory Care services to the area’s seniors. First occupancy is expected in the fall of 2018. When complete, Allegro anticipates creating 80 permanent jobs in addition to 75 construction jobs to build the project.

Allegro is a well-respected leader and expert in the senior living industry with a long-standing reputation of efficiently managing senior communities. Allegro’s most recent development is opening this fall in Winter Park, Florida near Orlando. The company is proud to have a development opportunity in the St. Louis area, home to its headquarters.

“We are grateful to Lawrence Group, IronRock Investments and Commerce Bank, who helped make this project possible,” says Larry Schiffer, Chairman & CEO of Allegro Senior Living. “Allegro has a strong brand in senior living and we are proud to finally introduce our brand to the home of our corporate headquarters.”

Lawrence Group, also headquartered in St. Louis, is providing architectural design and construction management services.

The new 4-story Allegro will primarily cater to Assisted Living residents with the 4th floor dedicated to Memory Care services. Luxury accommodations will include a bistro and bar with outdoor balcony dining, stadium theater, fitness center, full service salon & spa and therapy services. The community will represent the latest best practices in programming and design, following up on the successful resort-style approach of other Allegro communities.

Financing for the project was provided by Commerce Bank.

Work Begins On 103,000 Square Foot Facility In Union, MO

in Companies/News

The Korte Company has begun working on a new manufacturing facility in Union, Missouri for Spray Dynamics, a subsidiary of Heat and Control, Inc. The 13.3-acre site will soon be home to Heat and Control’s newest facility. Washington Engineering & Architecture (WEA) was named the project’s architect and engineer.

Since 1952, Spray Dynamics has developed applications for a wide range of products, both food and non-food, and has served the snack industry since 1970. Spray Dynamics engineers and manufactures applications for oils, seasonings, vitamins, tack and release agents, chocolate, syrups and candy coatings, anti-oxidants, polishing wax, and anti-clumping agents.

The new facility offers the latest in manufacturing capabilities, testing rooms and includes a trial center able to provide comprehensive testing capabilities across the company’s wide range of products. A temperature control system is capable of simulating plant conditions during product trials.

The facility is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2017 and will initially employee 50-60 personnel with the ability to expand to over 100 employees.

The Korte Company, founded in 1958, is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Highland, Illinois; Norman, Oklahoma; and Las Vegas, Nevada. The company manages, on average, an excess of $250 million in annual construction volume.

The Korte Company’s project expertise includes building for federal, state and local government agencies as well as the design and construction of healthcare facilities, medical office buildings, warehouse/distribution centers, religious facilities, commercial buildings, schools, recreation centers and office complexes.

Holland Construction Services Breaks Ground on New Apartment Complex in Maplewood, Missouri

in Companies/News

Holland Construction Services, Inc. (Holland) recently began work on Sunnen Station Apartments in Maplewood, Missouri. This new $31.5 million apartment complex, being developed by the Sunnen Family, in conjunction with Cozad Commercial Real Estate, will be the first new apartment construction in the city of Maplewood in several years.

The new four-story complex will contain 174 units comprised of studios, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments, featuring a variety of floor plans.  The 186,402 square-foot facility will also feature a swimming pool, sun deck, barbeque patio, a sport court, and a gated parking lot.

Forum Studio out of St. Louis, Missouri, is the architect on the project.  Work on the new complex is scheduled to be complete December 2017.

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, IL.

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