The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.
Proper retaining walls are expensive to build, which is a big reason many have failed throughout the country. Soil type, wall thickness, water drainage, and tie back reinforcements are major factors in the design of retaining walls, so just throwing some large rocks against some dirt won’t always do the trick.
In the video below, uploaded to Youtube by Today’s News, you’ll see the collapse of a large retaining wall in Turkey, approximately 100 feet in height, crumble under the weight of the soil it’s attempting to shore. Oddly, several people at the bottom of the pit seem to be aware of the issue, as they can be seen pointing cameras at the wall. As it collapses, they slowly move away, narrowly escaping being buried. The bottom of the retaining wall is the last place I’d want to be if I knew there were issues.
In January of 2018, ten construction workers were killed and another eight were injured when a bridge spanning the Chirajara canyon in Columbia partially collapsed. That collapse has since been blamed on a poor design, reports have stated. Last week, the remaining sections of the bridge were demolished in dramatic fashion.
A 47 year old crane operator is facing charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident after driving a truck mounted crane into several vehicles on the Long Island Expressway in New York.
A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of the 100 tallest buildings to ever be demolished. One of the most interesting things that I learned while researching for that article was that although Detroit’s Greater Department Hudson Store was not the tallest building on the list (it was #21), it was the tallest on the list to actually be imploded.
One thing’s for sure, the only thing better than one structure being demolished is two structures being demolished at the same time. Late last week, a decommissioned Florida Power Plant saw to the implosion of two 462 feet tall cooling towers in spectacular fashion.
Construction crews were preparing to replace window glazing on the 47-story tall Wellhouse na Leninskom tower in Moscow, Russia, when a cable snapped just as the window was about to reach the top of the structure
It’s a tale (tail) as old as time: a horse walks into a construction trench, gets stuck, has to be lifted out of it by a helicopter. The trench didn’t appear to be that deep, so I don’t think OSHA is going to need to get involved with this one.
For the third time in a year, construction workers have had to be rescued while dangling mid-air by fire rescue teams in Southern Florida. Last year, there were two incidents in Sarasota, Florida that involved failed suspended scaffolding in as many months. Just last week, another incident in Palmetto Bay required the Fire Department to intervene.
Demolitions by implosion seems like the easiest way to knock down a structure, but there is so much preparation that goes into it that even the slightest mistake can have a huge impact. When smokestacks are demolished correctly, it can be a thing of beauty, like when these two silos in Scotland hit each other midair or when this asbestos filled stack was precisely demolished to fall into a pool of water. Things didn’t go so smoothly for demolition crews in Denmark last week, however.
Crane collapses on construction jobsites are usually pretty terrifying, especially when the jobsite is full of workers. A construction site in St. Petersburg, Florida got extremely lucky when a large construction crane collapsed and narrowly missed several running workers.
This video is a bit of a throwback, but I recently came across it on the interwebs for the first time and thought it was worth a share.