A new bridge project began last month in Fairfield, Vermont that uses new technology to reduce construction time, save money, and help the Vermont Transportation Agency start more projects that are backlogged across the state. The ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology is part of Vermont’s accelerated bridge program that incorporates quick building design and other innovations to speed up the bridge building process. The system was developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in response to Tropical Storm Irene that hit the region several years ago. Vermont engineers found themselves unable to quickly repair or replace the many bridges that were damaged by the storm. Rather than taking months to complete a bridge using conventional methods, the ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology allows a new bridge to be finished in weeks.
Shatin to Central Link (SCL) is a major infrastructure investment currently under construction in Hong Kong and aims in connecting a number of existing railway lines passing through different districts of the island. The line passes through already developed urban areas, encountering different topography and geology conditions, which require not only the application of different construction methods, but the use of different types of the same equipment as explained by two of the leading companies in the tunneling construction industry, having undertaken the construction of specific tunnel sections.
Measurand's ShapeAccelArray instrumentation system is used in the case of the structural monitoring of the Mactaquac Dam Generating Station, located in Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick, Canada. Alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) has led to concrete expansion and the observation of substantial deformation at the Dam.
An earthquake-detection system developed by the University of California Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory performed well during the recent earthquake that struck the Napa Valley region on August 24. The system was able to produce a warning message 10 seconds before the magnitude-6 temblor struck. "It was definitely a great proof-positive that the system works just like we'd hoped," says Jennifer Strauss, the lab's external relations officer. "One of the things the Napa quake did show us is you need to make sure there are enough sensors," says Strauss. One member of the lab even stated the warning could have gone out 2.5 seconds earlier had the lab received more funding to install more sensors in the area. California unanimously passed a bill last year that would create a state-wide early detection system. Funding for such project, however, has yet to be found.
This past summer, a step forward was taken for the realization of the Trans-Afghan natural gas pipeline project, also known as TAPI. TAPI is an ambitious $7.5 billion project, that aims in trasferring natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. Even though it has to overcome many obstacles due to the unstable political and economic conditions in the involved countries, TAPI can have major geopolitical effects in the area.
Skanska stopped work on the world’s tallest modular building last week over a dispute with the project’s developer Forest City Ratner. Skanska feels that the delays to the project have resulted from the modular designs for the buildings. They feel that Forest City Ratner should be held responsible for the cost overruns. Richard Kennedy, co-chief operating officer of Skanska USA, told the Wall Street Journal, “it [the design] just doesn’t work the way it was sold to work. It was represented to be a complete and buildable modular design,” he said. “That simply was not the case and that’s what we’ve been struggling with.” Forest City Ratner, however, stands by their design and believes the dispute is based on financial reasons.
SURE Architecture unveiled plans this week for a futuristic skyscraper that could house thousands of people and have its own ecosystem. The Endless City proposal has already won the Skyscrapers and SuperSkyscrapers Competition. The firm believes the skyscraper would be a great space saver for densely populated cities because it will allow them to expand upward instead of outward. Although still in the planning stage and without any guarantees it will ever be built, SURE has earmarked a plot of land just north of the City of London to build the vertical city. If completed, the Endless city could be as tall as 300 meters, close to London’s tallest building the Shard, and take up an area of 165,000 square meters.