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Travellers suffer as contractors continue to delay maintenance of Putalisadak and Chabahil-Jorpati-Sankhu roads

KATHMANDU, Oct. 12 — Travellers have been suffering because of the sorry state of the major road segments in the Putalisadak and Chabahil-Jorpati-Sankhu areas of Kathmandu. The roads in these areas have remained pathetic for months now, posing serious problems to commuters.

These road segments have remained in dire straits for a long time despite the commitments expressed by the government authorities to accomplish them in the prescribed deadlines. The delay has been blamed mainly on the negligence of the contractors, lack of coordination among the government authorities, the rainy season and the pandemic.

Of these, the contracts for the maintenance of the segments that connect Putalisadak-Kamalpokhari and Gaushala-Chabahil had been issued last March, with the target to complete the projects by August. However, the busy roads are still in a pathetic state.

The Road Division Office awarded the contract of the Putalisadak-Kamalpokhari segment to PR Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. The agreement to complete the reconstruction of the 1,250 meter long City Center-Star Mall-Putalisadak-Shankar Dev Campus road was signed for a cost of Rs 119.40 million.

Almost every year during the rainy season, the road segment remains waterlogged due to the drainage problems. Although the maintenance of drainage has been completed on time, the construction company has been delaying the road repairing works citing the coronavirus pandemic.

Keshab Sharma, director general of the Department of Roads (DoR), said the maintenance of Putalisadak road has been delayed due to the rainy season, pandemic and lockdowns.

Site In-charge, Engineer Umesh Raj Subedi said they had asked the contractor to complete the blacktopping of the 700 meters of Star Mall-Putalisadak segment by Dashain, which will be starting from Saturday. According to him, the construction company has already laid a drainage pipe of size 1,200 millimeters along the road between Shankar Dev Campus and Star

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Maryland takes over hundreds of Purple Line contracts to continue construction

It is PLTP’s construction contractor, a joint venture led by Texas-based Fluor, that quit over the cost overruns. Maryland officials said they are continuing to negotiate with PLTP over whether the project’s larger $5.6 billion partnership can be saved.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater said the state “officially took over the day-to-day management” of the 16-mile light-rail project through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties Sept. 28. Matthew Pollack, the state’s Purple Line project director, met with subcontractors Sept. 30 “to outline the next steps,” said Erin Henson, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Henson said it then took time to figure out what work could continue. Most new construction stopped in mid-September, after a Baltimore judge ruled that the contractor had a legal right to quit.

The contracts that the state has assumed include the manufacturing of the light-rail vehicles, the eventual operations and maintenance of the rail line, and 233 design and construction contracts and other agreements.

Under state management, work will continue on erosion and sediment control, relocating overhead electrical wires and underground utilities, and some final design work, Henson said.

“While the state is committed to ongoing negotiations, we have to continue to deliver the Purple Line for the citizens of Maryland and protect the state’s interest, which includes ensuring construction continues,” Slater said in a statement.

Maryland transit officials have said they will decide in the next four to six months whether they will continue managing the project, seek a new construction contractor or procure another public-private partnership if the agreement with PLTP dissolves.

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Searching for your dream home? 2020 Parade of Homes to continue through this weekend

The Home Builders Association of Dayton wants to give homeowners the ability to find their dream home in the Miami Valley virtually or in person.

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The 2020 Parade of Homes continues through this weekend and features 22 homes, available for purchase, from across the Dayton region from Lebanon to Tipp City. Those interested in these brand new homes will be able to view them through a 3D Matterport tour by Dayton Home Photo and video tours on buildingdayton.com, and through in-person tours from 4-8 p.m. every Wednesday through Friday and noon to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday until Oct. 11.

The events are free and feature homes built by Diyanni Homes, D.R. Horton, Fischer Homes, HBS Development, Justin Doyle Homes, M/I Homes, Oberer Homes, Peebles Homes, Ryan Homes and Simms Development.

The prices of these homes range from $190,900 to nearly a million dollars and are move-in ready.

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LGI Homes (LGIH) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

Shares of LGI Homes (LGIH) have been strong performers lately, with the stock up 9.9% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $127.59 in the previous session. LGI Homes has gained 78.6% since the start of the year compared to the -16.5% move for the Zacks Finance sector and the -17.7% return for the Zacks Real Estate – Development industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn’t missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on August 4, 2020, LGI Homes reported EPS of $2.21 versus consensus estimate of $1.49 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 4.3%.

For the current fiscal year, LGI Homes is expected to post earnings of $9.16 per share on $2.12 billion in revenues. This represents a 30.63% change in EPS on a 15.28% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $10.24 per share on $2.4 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 11.78% and 13.13%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

LGI Homes may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. Investors should consider the style

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Mortgage rate forecast Q4: Will the low rates continue? | Money

However, Ken H. Johnson, a housing economist at Florida Atlantic University, is less optimistic about a quick economic recovery. “Rates will remain low for at least another year,” he says. “I just do not see full or near-full economic recovery until COVID-19 no longer or minimally impacts the economy.”

— Economic recovery could boost rates

Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, sees rates holding steady in the coming year. “Mortgage rates will remain at historically low levels and in no way be an impediment to well-qualified borrowers, but they won’t be quite as low as what was seen in the summer of 2020,” he says. “A refinance fee taking effect in Q4 2020 and further economic improvement will push rates a bit higher.”

Audrey Boissonou of Guarantee Mortgage in Walnut Creek, California, says the direction of the economy will prove crucial. “I’m locking people in in the high 2s right now,” she says. “I am seeing nothing that makes me think rates will go up. Of course, it all depends on what happens in the next few months. It can all change on a dime.”

Predicting rates is always a challenge, as Boissonou notes. But if the Fed’s attitude is any indication, then rates could remain low over the next year.

The Fed has set a pattern of keeping long rates low in challenging times, says William Emmons, the lead economist at the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “The demonstrated willingness of the Fed is to do the old cliche of ‘whatever it takes,'” says Emmons, who adds that he doesn’t state the Fed’s official position. “That’s pretty widespread, the belief that the Fed will do whatever it takes.”

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