You know the classic excuse that “the dog ate your homework,” but it sounds as though that old saying is getting a bit of an update. Move over, Pizza Rat, the next big thing is “Blueprint Mice.”
Like many bridges and other infrastructure throughout the world, the underground concrete tunnels of Brussels, the Capital of Belgium, are crumbling. There are currently roughly 7.1 miles of tunnels in the city and lawmakers are currently working on a plan to repair the damage. The only problem is, they can’t find the original plans to repair the damage that were created almost 30 years ago, in 1989. The city is blaming the tunnel mice for feasting on them.
Peculiarly, the department that handled roads for the city didn’t have an office back when the original plans were completed, so they just stored the plans under the viaduct that connected the Liege motorway and the boulevard Reyes. In 2009, twenty years later, when the department finally sent someone to look for the plans, they were nowhere to be found and their only explanation is that they were eaten.
The residents of Brussels are not pleased with the department, because they are feeling the wrath of the traffic jams caused by the lack of available tunnels. Without those old plans, officials think the renovation project will delayed for a long time. Total project costs to fully repair all of the tunnels are estimated to be North of $1.12 billion (€1 billion).
I guess this is just one more reason to start moving to electronic construction documents. Laptops and tablets probably don’t digest as smoothly as delicious paper.
Rowlett, Texas was hit hard by a tornado in 2015 and the city is still dealing with the effects of it. In the horrible storm, 13 people were killed and over 400 buildings were damaged or destroyed, according to CBS DFW. In a story we covered last year, one Rowlett woman also had her house mistakenly knocked down by a demolition company when addresses got mixed up after the tornado.
In an incredible fight for his life, excavator operator Daniel Miller, of Australia, spent 2 long hours trapped by his excavator with only his nose and forehead above water. Amazingly, the man survived and his wife says it was due to his sheer mental strength and will to survive.
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.
You might be operating some big machines on your construction site, but, chances are, none of them can come close to the Bagger 288 bucket wheel excavator. There’s probably an excavator on your job site right now, but imagine the work you could get done if you have a machine with 18 buckets, each with a capacity of 6 tons. That’s the capacity of the massive 30 story tall ThyssenKrupp Bagger 288 bucket wheel excavator.
We saw some pretty awesome demolition videos in 2016, like this super slow motion bridge demolition and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish an overpass overnight, but this new video is already on top of the leaderboard for best demolitions of 2017.
Steel rebar, the world’s favorite reinforcement material for concrete, greatly increases tensile strength in concrete. Due to concrete’s rigidness and tendency to shrink and expand, reinforcement is necessary in many cases to reduce cracking and slow structural failure. This material is elementary to most of throughout the construction industry, but what you may not be familiar with is how much stress steel rebar must be under before it completely snaps in half.
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.
Construction sites can be a difficult place to work, for more than one reason. There are plenty of job site hazards to avoid on a normal project, but those issues are compounded when your co-workers are acting recklessly. As smartphones have become commonplace on site and in public, job site videos have also become increasingly available. Many of these videos below can raise awareness for how not to act, especially when heavy equipment is involved.
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters, obviously. But, If there’s a large animal stuck in the ground, who ya gonna call? Construction workers. Earlier this year, construction workers were able to rescue a small deer that had gotten stuck in some pretty deep mud with an excavator, but just recently construction crews were called in to rescue a much more terrifying animal: a gigantic bear.
Last week, there was a giant hole in the middle of a Fukuoka, Japan street, spanning 98 feet long by 88 feet wide by 50 feet deep, due to underground subway work causing a sinkhole. Less than 7 days later, all the utility lines were repaired, the hole was filled, the asphalt laid, and the road is back open. It was a true testament to what a considerable amount of manpower and money can do in a short period of time.