Wednesday April 16, 2014
The construction of the World Trade Center is facing some significant challenges due to its complex design by Santiago Calatrava. The main structure is over 365 feet long and includes more than 11,000 tons of structural steel. One of the most challenging situation is because of the geometry proposed and the amount of welding required to complete the installation of the massive steel structure. The entire structure was modeled to determine a carefully staged erection sequence. The hub is scheduled to open some time next year. The cost of the project has almost doubled from its original estimate to nearly $4 billion. Calatrava's design is intended to evoke a white dove taking flight.
However, this amazing transportation hub could face some competitors as a new design has been unveiled for the point in the Woodside section of Queens where the number 7 subway line and the Long Island Railroad meet. Designers Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles of AMLGM have named the project The Urban Alloy Towers, which they see as a mixed-use structure that combines the transit hub with retail and housing.
Photo Courtesy AMLGM
Sunday April 13, 2014
Transportation officials are convinced that the new era of safety devices will be key influencers on reducing the number of fatalities at highway construction sites. The new device, a highway speed bump, has been announced as part of the National Work Zone Awareness Week. The device, a portable rubber rumble strip, has been designed so drivers will get a distinctive rough surface that will eventually get their attention and will became aware of the construction site they are approaching. The rubber strip will be deployed in traffic lanes that are to be gradually closed off at construction sites. The safety device is only about an inch high so they will not create hazards to drivers and smooth enough to be able to switch lanes safely. The rumble strips will be deployed with new barrels topped with flashing, self-synchronizing flashing LED lights. There were 2,749 accidents in construction zones statewide last year, down from the 10-year high of 3,651 in 2011.
Wednesday April 9, 2014
The Milton-Madison Bride project is achieving a major milestone today. Walsh Construction Company who is in charge to build the new bridge, has started the process of sliding the bridge into place, the longer bridge ever slide into place in North America. The bridge will be moved 55 feet laterally onto refurbished piers and the new 40-foot-wide bridge includes two 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders -- twice as wide as the original bridge. The slide of the 2,428-foot truss (nearly a half mile) will be historic. The bridge will be moved by hydraulic jacks, each one of them about two feet in diameter. These jacks will be moving the bridge about 20 inches per pull, and the bridge will be moved a total of 55 feet to reach its final destination. Because there will be many stops along the way, the process will take most of the day. Once the slide is complete, it will take up to a week to complete the road connections to the bridge.
Tuesday April 8, 2014
Finally the $1 billion California high speed rail will get started. The 29 mile rail project will see its first major sign of construction now that the group who won the bid is starting a 2,000 feet viaduct over highway 145 and Raymond Road. The test piling will start in May and shortly after the contractor will start building the massive structure. The builder will also start a new bridge over the San Joaquin River, elevated tracks at the north and south ends of Fresno; a tunnel under Belmont Avenue and Highway 180, and a dozen street or road over- and underpasses. This portion of the project should be completed by 2017.
However the project has been under fire as legal battles are making this project even more challenging. The project is now on a difficult position that could eventually run out of money if this issues don't get resolved fast.