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.
The most popular method of demolition these days is by implosion, but not always welcome in certain areas or situations. The use of explosives can greatly damage neighboring buildings and spread hazardous materials over a large radius, which is why a cooling tower at the Mülheim-Kärlich power plant in Germany had to be slowly dismantled from the top.
After causing devastation in the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian worked its way up the U.S. East Coast last week and eventually made its way up to Nova Scotia, Canada as a Category 2 storm. The storm left more than 369,000 without power in the Canadian Region, according to CBC, but also caused a tower crane to buckle and collapse in the city of Halifax.
While placing concrete on the 7th floor of a new hotel in Houston, TX, 16 construction workers were suddenly sent falling to the 6th floor below, sending 9 of them to the hospital, according to local news reports.
As a storm blew through the Dallas, Texas area on Sunday afternoon, a tower crane standing near an occupied apartment building collapsed causing at least one fatality and 6 injuries.
Completed in 1976, the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada held the record for the tallest freestanding structure in the world from 1975-2007, until it was supplanted by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. At its highest point, the CN Tower, which is mainly used as a communications and observation tower, reaches 1,815.4 feet (533.33m). Last year, the tower underwent a $16 million renovation and Priestly Demolition shared a fascinating, in-depth video for how they took care of the demolition of the interior space and walls.
Cranes collapsing on-site are serious business, especially since many of them resulted in the loss of life. A recent crane collapse on a construction site in Alpharetta, GA was caught on camera after it caught fire, but luckily no one was injured.
There are a lot of different specialty construction contracting sectors within the industry and cruise ships are definitely one of them. There are plenty of unique challenges when dealing with a moving ship versus a static building. A recent accident highlighted the challenges when a crane collapsed on a cruise ship under renovations, injuring 8 people.