On Tuesday, July 19th, a crane, with its boom extended 25 stories high, buckled and collapsed onto the active Tappan Zee Bridge in New York. Thankfully and amazingly, no one was killed and only a couple people sustained minor injuries, but traffic on the bridge was stopped for hours. All but one lane was re-opened on the bridge within 8 hours of the collapse. After the collapse, work began to try to determine the cause of the accident.
Three different investigations are currently underway, led by the New York State Police, the State Labor Department, and OSHA. The fallen crane’s black box has been recovered in hopes of revealing any information that could be useful, just like in airplanes. In cranes, the black box records valuable data, including weight distribution and boom angles. Interviews have also been conducted with the operator of the crane.
At the time of the collapse, the crane, a Manitowoc lattice-boom crawler crane (according to the New York Times), was positioned on top of the new and adjacent bridge under construction. Working in tandem with an operator of a remote-controlled vibrating hammer, the crane operator was tasked with driving steel piles, some as large as 300 feet long and 6 feet in diameter, into the Hudson River bed below, when something went wrong.
The New York Times spoke with Jeff J. Loughlin, a representative of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137, and he remains confident that this collapsed was not caused due to operator error. Wind has also been ruled out as a cause, as it was very calm that day. Laughlin theorized that the collapse could have been caused by the pile finding a soft spot in the river bed, causing the hammer to drop rapidly. But, that’s only a theory, for now.
The most sobering thought of this accident was that the pile driving procedure was extremely routine at this point of the project. Around 1,000 piles have been driven into the river bed already, but this is the first time a crane has gone down. It’s a strong reminder that no matter how routine we think our work is, it’s still construction work and it’s still very dangerous.
Full story: Investigations Into Tappan Zee Crane Collapse Ask How a Routine Job Went Awry | New York Times
The earth can be a sort of an unmarked time capsule in many areas. It holds secrets of the past, some of which were hoped to never be found, but others that people dream of finding. Almost every project requires excavation or demolition in some way, so keep your eyes peeled for the next great discovery!
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.
In general, we don’t celebrate the good deeds and accomplishments of our friends, family, and co-workers enough. The fact is, there are plenty of people in this world who spend plenty of their hard earned time, money, blood, sweat, and tears making a difference in peoples’ lives. Many of those people happen to be construction workers and this 2016 countdown will hopefully serve as inspiration to our reader’s to go above and beyond and use your skills to enrich someone else’s life.
Many construction projects involve clearing heavily wooded and untouched areas, which can cause many complications, including interaction with unknown wildlife. It’s important for all companies to understand the impact their construction work can have on wildlife, not only to avoid costly issues with government regulations, but also be good stewards of the environment. Below are 12 stories from 2016 where construction projects interacted with wildlife and how each situation was handled.
Last year, a devastating crane collapse killed more than 100 people and injured more than 200 others in Mecca, located in Saudi Arabia. Reports indicated that, at the time of the collapse, the boom was erected approximately 620 feet (190m).
If you were out looking for elves, the first logical place you’d look would be the North Pole, but that may not actually be the easiest place to find them. According to a couple news stories from this year, elves can wreak some serious havoc on construction projects in Iceland, if they’re unhappy.
As the construction labor shortage rages on throughout the industry, there have been concerns of how overworked employees or undertrained staff may affect job site safety. Although there’s no definitive proof that this problem is causing an increase in construction deaths and injuries, recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows trends pointing in the wrong direction.
2016 has been a tough year for people that live in ocean-near luxury high rise condos. The Millennium Tower in San Francisco, California, which is home to many of the city’s rich and famous residents, has found itself in the middle of several lawsuits after it was determined to have sunk around 16 inches since its opening in 2008. Now, it appears that it’s not the only luxury tower in America with foundation issues.
You did it again...you waited too long to start Christmas shopping. Have no fear, Construction Junkie's got you covered with more great gift ideas for the hard working person in your life. Better yet, if you're in the construction industry yourself, here's some gear you could use no matter what time of year!
Construction document control is the hot item right now with regards to industry technology. With several leading tech companies working tirelessly to convert all contractors from hard copy drawings to digital, the race is on to see who will emerge victorious. Not only are technology companies seeing opportunity in plan management, their also seeing opportunity with the new Windows platform. The Surface Pro tablets and Surface Book laptops have given Apple products a run for their money recently for jobsite use, after jumping 20% in use in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to a new construction technology survey.