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:
One of the challenges with construction is determining how your work can and will affect the existing conditions surrounding your job site. That’s why it’s increasingly important to not only perform proper due diligence procedures, but also react to the findings. That, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen and could potentially be what caused a massive sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan, last week.
There’s no doubt that Liebherr, the popular manufacturer of cranes used throughout the world, works on some of the coolest projects. Last year, the company shared a video of one of their cranes working 10,000 in the air on top of the Wetterstein Mountains, which also happens to be the highest point in Germany. They also created one of our favorite construction videos ever when they displayed one of their gigantic cranes lifting three other cranes at the same time. This time, Liebherr is showing off their swarm of 58 tower cranes gracing the skies of the new largest airport in the world in Istanbul.
Imagine working on a building for an entire year, only to come to your jobsite and find that it had burned to the ground. That was the reality for a construction crew in Oakland last week, when a massive five-alarm fire started overnight and completely destroyed all of their hard work.
We here at Construction Junkie headquarters enjoy a good demolition video. We’ve shared implosion videos, timelapse videos, and even demolition fails, but since our inception, we have yet to share a wrecking ball demolition video. Growing up, I thought my adult life was going to be littered with wrecking balls (and anvils, for that matter), because of all the cartoons I watched, but as our industry’s heavy machinery and explosives have become more precise, the need for wrecking balls has slowly diminished.
Construction work can unearth some pretty interesting items. Think about it, many project begin with a piece of previously undeveloped land or land that hasn’t been touched for decades. Sometimes the discoveries can be pretty awesome, like 1300 pounds of Ancient Roman Coins, but other times, the discoveries can be downright SPOOKY. Since today is Halloween, the spookiest of all the days, we’re going to take you through the 9 spookiest things found on a jobsite this year.
The SLJ900 was the 580 ton Chinese bridge girder erection machine that almost broke the internet in 2015. Videos of the massive piece of equipment have been viewed millions of times and the process has mesmerized viewers from across the globe. Now, the video has even prompted someone to build a working model of the machine.
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.