Some say the news is all doom and gloom, and, for the most part, they’re right. People respond to controversy and negativity, but there is always room to highlight the positive things in the world. Throughout the year, we’ve compiled a list of positive stories that prove that construction workers aren’t just the cat-calling, hard headed men that we’re so often portrayed as.
If you know of any others, please share with us in the comments!
1. They Stop People from Being Killed
In November, the University of California, Merced Campus was under attack by a man wielding a knife. Four people were stabbed in the attack, and many say that Byron Price, a construction worker remodeling a waiting room at the college at the time, saved one of the victim’s lives. When he heard yelling, CBS news reports, he ran toward the commotion and when he got there, the suspect attacked him and ran away before being able to do anymore damage to the first victim. All four of the victims were treated at local hospitals and survived, but the suspect was later killed by police.
Here’s an interview with Price from NBC News:
2. They Save Kittens from Dumpsters
When construction worker Kelly Goranson heard some meowing coming from a nearby dumpster, he found a roughly six week out kitten that couldn’t move due to hardened paint and concrete. Goranson was then able to get enough concrete off of the kitten’s paws in order for little Kelly, the name given to the kitten, to walk again. She was then taken to a vet to be treated and is now with a foster family until a permanent home can be found.
News story from KVV 11 in Fargo North Dakota
3. They Help Their Neighbors in Need
Ken and Susan Sylianou, longtime restaurateurs in Michigan who fed thousands of needy people over the years. After a tree had fallen on their restaurant the previous spring, their roof had still not been fixed, which caused roof leaks and mold growth in the restroom. When Greg Tittle, owner of Tittle Construction, saw the damage, he couldn’t walk away from it. He completely remodeled the restroom for no charge.
Full story from The News-Herald: Construction company helps out well-known Flat Rock couple in need
4. They Stop People from Committing Suicide
After reportedly having an argument with her husband, a Chinese woman decided that she would end her life by jumping off a roof of a building. Just before she jumps, several construction workers grab her and pull her away from the ledge to safety. It gets a little intense, as she’s just dangling over the edge for a while as the workers try to pull her up. It’s an incredible video.
5. They Support Sick Children
A 2 year-old named Vivian in St. Louis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia earlier this year. Every day, she would look out her hospital window and wave until one of the construction workers that were working on a renovation across the street would wave back. One day, Vivian didn’t have to wait for a wave back, when a couple of iron workers wrote her a note in a steel support beam. Sometimes little messages can make all the difference in the world.
Full story: Construction Workers' Sweet Note To Sick Tot Is The Strongest Support Beam | Huffington Post
6. They Help the Police Subdue a Suspected Larcenist
After a suspected larcenist tried to flee from a police officer, two Boston construction workers helped bring the man into custody. Ned Flood and Robert Doyle were later given an honor by the Boston Police Department for their heroics in the arrest. The arrest was captured on CCTV footage, which you can watch below:
The NFL is a cash cow and nothing makes that more evident than the soaring costs to build the newest NFL stadiums. The past four stadiums to open were the Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium (watch timelapse here), the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, the New York Jets/Giants’ MetLife Stadium, and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. All four surpassed $1 Billion in construction cost. The first stadium to open after the Millennium was the Cincinnati Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium, which only cost a miniscule (relatively) $455 million ($626 million in 2016 dollars) to build. The oldest stadium still in use by any NFL team is the Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum, which was completed in 1966 and cost $25.5 million ($186 million in 2016 dollars). That stadium also spent $200 million ($302 million in 2016 dollars) in renovations in 1995 and 1996. As you can see, dollars spent on NFL stadiums have increased significantly in the past few decades and there’s no end in sight.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
“They don’t build ‘em like they used to,” as people love to say. That phrase could definitely be applicable to the 93 year old Broadway Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas, that refused to fall even after it was lined with explosives. This certainly isn’t the first time a demolition has failed and it’s probably not the last.
The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.
Habitat for Humanity is one of the construction industry’s favorite volunteer organization and for good reason. Over the past 40 years, the non-profit builder has helped construct, rehabilitate, or preserve over 800,000 affordable houses for families in need. It’s truly an area that construction workers throughout the world can showcase their skills and donate their time, in order to give back to their community.
It’s not often that a gigantic pack of construction vehicles are seen on the same site together, been when they do, it’s pretty memorizing. Some of our favorite construction videos of all time involve more machines than you would think could fit in one space, like this 10 hour demolition of a Canadian Overpass or this video of 116 excavators working side-by-side in China. Very few jobsites have the luxury of throwing a bunch of machines and labor on a project, but, if performed correctly, it can get a job done pretty quickly.
Just because construction work happens every day, doesn’t make it any less thrilling of a job. Some people like to climb mountains, others like to climb building that are under construction and bridges that need maintained. Some people don’t like looking over balconies a few stories off the ground, yet many times construction and maintenance workers have to actually do work while dangling 500 feet up in the air.
Decades in the making, The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) officially opened its doors to the public on September 24, 2016. Contained inside are over 36,000 artifacts that document and promote the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history and is “the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture,” according to the museum’s website.
The Onion, the fake news site known equally for its amazing funny satire as its poignant social commentary, has been entertaining people and confusing others into thinking their content is real since 1988. In recent years, the Onion has evolved from simply print media, to audio and visual content, as well. In one of their recent series, Sportology, which parodies ESPN’s Sport Science, the company absolutely skewered the reported terrible working conditions that Brazilian construction workers faced while completing the venues for the 2016 Rio Olympics. 11 workers were killed over the course of the projects and there were many infractions reported that some workers had 23 hour shifts or worked 25 days straight.
Last year, we shared a video of 6 Scottish high rise buildings that were imploded simultaneously, which was one of our favorite demolition videos of 2015. The problem, however, was that only 4 of them actually fell completely, causing delays as crews had to use high reach machinery to complete the job.