Nobody likes traffic, especially when lane closures and construction are involved. Construction zones are prone to increased accidents, which also put construction workers in extreme danger. The best way to reduce traffic, accidents, and worker injuries is to reduce the on-site schedule, but how do you go about doing that?
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) needed to overhaul its highly trafficked Route 8 in Bridgeport, CT which included several bridges. The bridges, which were built in the 1970s, handled over 88,000 vehicles per day and had degraded to a point that the CDOT determined the bridges had reached the end of their useful life. The original estimated schedule for the bridge overhaul was 2 years, which officials determined would be way too long to displace that amount of traffic, so they looked for alternative methods. In the end, the CDOT opted for a Design-Build concept with Manafort Brothers, Inc. and Parsons Brinkerhoff which would ultimately reduce the total on-site work schedule to two 14-periods over the summer of 2016.
The $35 million project not only used Design-Build to shorten the schedule, but also employed the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technique. To further reduce the schedule, the ABC method utilized Prefabricated Bridge Units (PBUs), which were large sections of the bridge that were fabricated off site. Once substantial completion of the PBUs was reached, the on-sire work began. Each 14 day period wound up closing one direction at a time, which shifted traffic to the opposite side. The new bridges are close to being complete now, with a finish date set for September 2016 and the DOT is hoping that maintenance of the new bridge will be significantly reduced compared to the old bridge. According to the website set up for the Route 8 construction, the bridge design incorporated “modern weathering steel beams that require no paint or maintenance over their anticipated 75 year lifespan.”
While it’s not quite as fast as this this multi-lane overpass that was removed and replaced in 43 hours in China or this 230 foot long tunnel installed under a highway in the Netherlands in just 3 days, it’s definitely a step in the right direction for improving contractor efficiency and public safety.
You can watch a timelapse video of the demolition of the old bridges and the construction of the new, uploaded to Youtube by CME Associates, below:
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.
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.