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:
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.
While placing concrete on the second floor of a future seven-story mixed use building in Oakland, California, the concrete forms suddenly gave way, sending around 20 workers 10 to 15 feet below with the wet concrete. News reports explain the job site went into a panic, understandably so, and co-workers rushed to the scene to help.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.