The World’s first Ferris Wheel was designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL in 1893 by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Since then, the wheels have been a staple of many state fairs across the United States and many other places throughout the World. Much like tall buildings, the past few years has shown us that having the tallest Ferris Wheel is a strong source of pride for a city or country. The current record holder for tallest Ferris Wheel is the High Roller in Las Vegas, Nevada, topping out at 550ft and opened in March of 2014. The record won’t last much longer as there are two Ferris Wheels currently under construction that will be taller: the Dubai Eye and the New York Wheel. The Dubai Eye, which is getting very close to completion, is planned to reach a staggering 850 feet tall (260 meters) and the New York Wheel is expected to peak at 630 feet tall (192m). The original wheel designed by Ferris Jr. topped out at 264 ft (80.4m).
Though the New York Wheel may not be the tallest in the World once it’s complete thanks to the massive Dubai Eye, it will still hold the United States record until the next competitor shows up. At 630 feet, it will surely give tourists and New Yorkers some excellent views of the iconic city. It also gives all of us construction nerds a chance to get a detailed look inside the construction process. In the video below, by silive.com, you’ll be able to see a continuous pour of more than 4,000 cubic yards of concrete across roughly 420 trucks. In addition to the concrete, the foundation has over 900 tons of steel reinforcement bars carefully placed throughout. That gigantic foundation will be expected to withstand the weight of two legs, which each weigh 110 tons on top of the weight of the wheel and the 1,440 person capacity. This project is being carried out by Gilbane Building Company and is expected to be completed in 2017.
Record breaking or not, this an impressive attraction. Enjoy the video below:
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.
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.
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.