Snow and ice on roads is an expensive and dangerous problem, not only for cities, but for motorists and businesses. The cities have to pay for a fleet of trucks to dump salt and other chemicals on roads, as well as plow. Motorists get into an increased amount of traffic accidents in poor driving conditions and also have to deal with the after effects of all of that salt destroying the undercarriage of their cars. Businesses suffer legal claims from not being able to keep their sidewalks clear or increased costs from plowing and shoveling.
Because of all those costs, it’s no wonder why scientists have been working on a solution to reduce ice and snow build up on rows. Just recently, we learned about Turkish scientists who developed an additive for asphalt roads that would slowly release to the surface and melt ice. Now, it appears another group of researches want to electrify concrete in order to melt snow.
Professor Chris Tuan, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), has been researching and developing his solution for years and is now close to a breakthrough. Tuan’s electrified concrete is currently being tested by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on tarmacs, which, they say, could potentially greatly reduce weather related delays for airlines.
The formula for conductive concrete is pretty simple, it’s 80% standard concrete mixture and 20% metal fiber and carbon particles. Add a little electricity and you’ve got the makings for an ice and snow free surface. The big hurdle that Tuan and his creation will face is cost. Though over time it could save cities tons of money, the initial cost to tear up roadways and re-pour would be extremely cost prohibitive. Tuan’s concrete has actually been used on the 150-foot long Roca Spur Bridge for the past 14 years, since it’s completion in 2002. In total, the bridge has 52 conductive concrete slabs, which Tuan told Phys.org cost $250 in electricity over a three day storm. That $250 is several times less than what it would cost trucks to dump chemicals on the bridge.
It would certainly be interesting to see what else could be accomplished with electrified roads…could they possibly charge electric cars? We could let our imaginations wander for hours, but for right now, Tuan wants to focus on specific areas, like intersections, exit ramps, driveways, and sidewalks.
The story below from WOWT 6 News, includes an interview with Tuan.
Scissor lifts are on most typical construction job sites and they’re an often overlooked hazard. Too often, liberties are taken with the lifts that create unsafe conditions, which can cause injuries and deaths. OSHA recently released the results of their investigation of 10 fatalities and 20 injuries involving scissor lifts and released their findings in what the organization refers to as a “Hazard Alert.”
If you’re into heights, then China may be the place you need to be. The country recently unveiled the world’s highest and longest glass bridge and, as scary as many tourists may find that, it was way more dangerous while it was under construction. New footage of another construction site in the Laowang Monutains is giving that bridge a run for it’s money.
Since Construction Junkie was conceived in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of construction equipment flip for some really stupid reasons. Like this crane, this other crane, and this third crane dropping a bulldozer. Those are just some of the ones caught on video and they should be enough to convince you not to go out of your way to do dangerous things with a crane.
A portion of the Skagit River Bridge, located in Mount Vernon, Washington catastrophically collapsed into the water below after a semi hauling an oversized load clipped a cross beam in 2013. Luckily and amazingly, no one was killed by the incident, but 3 people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries as several cars fell into the river. It took over 3 years to determine a cause and the report states that there were several causes. First, below is security camera footage of the collapse, uploaded to Youtube by newschannel500, in which you can see just how quickly the collapse happened.
Cranes are a staple of many construction sites throughout the world, but they’re susceptible to damage caused by sudden bursts of high wind. Winds were blamed for the collapse of the New York City crane collapse that killed one man and injured 3 others in 2016 and again for the devastating crane collapse in Mecca, which killed over 100.
Much like the stories above, a crane collapsed last week in Dubai, UAE, after sudden heavy winds burst through town.
Tragedy struck a Florida construction company last week after 3 construction workers passed away while working underground below a newly paved road. Another volunteer firefighter is in critical condition, and possibly in a coma according to WSVN Miami, after entering the manhole trying to save the victims.
No matter how fun demolitions and demolition videos might be, there’s an inherent danger to performing them that cannot be overlooked. Just last year, a different parking garage collapsed during a demolition in Houston, Texas, which landed on one of the excavators performing the work. Thankfully, no one was injured in that collapse, but it could have been much worse.
The following is a guest post written by David B. Lever.
When construction sites are safer, then productivity increases as well as profits. More construction safety means less time lost due to accidents, lower insurance premiums, and less money spent repairing damaged equipment.
Jobsite pressures, such as time crunches and monetary issues can quickly tempt otherwise good people into making some pretty poor decisions. There are also others who use their construction business as a front for other illegal activities. Many people were arrested for a variety of reasons in 2016 and the list below should serve as both a reminder and a warning for those considering making bad decisions.