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:
Contact with overhead power lines is a major hazard when working on most construction sites and especially when working from elevated platforms or with heavy machinery.
When construction workers cut through nature and dig in the ground, it shouldn’t be a surprise when wildlife is encountered, although some are a little bit more frightening than others. Last year, crews had to help free a giant bear that was stuck in a cesspit and the bear was happy at all about it.
As annoying as it may be to deal with sometimes, there is a good reason why trucks carrying oversized loads have spotters and flaggers. We’ve seen the worst of what can happen when the spotter fails to alert truck drivers in time, like the one that caused a 2013 Washington State bridge collapse, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Residents living near a Jersey City, New Jersey construction site were frightened as they watched “explosions” of smoke coming out of holes in the ground.
For almost 80 years, the Old Kosciuszko Bridge connected Brooklyn and Queens in New York. Much like many other bridges its age, it is being replaced due to capacity issues and deterioration. When it was completed in 1939, it was built for 10,000 cars per day. Unfortunately for the people who needed to use that bridge that past few decades, around 180,000 cars used it.
Smaller heavy construction equipment is the most likely to be stolen on a jobsite, but most of the time the thieves try to sell the equipment for money. On rare occasions, the thief just takes the machine out on the town for a joy ride and leading the police on some pretty frustrating pursuits. Early last year, a man in Florida stole a backhoe and lead police on a wild 3 hour chase as the hammer attachment drug along the asphalt throwing sparks the whole way. Just last week, police dash cam footage showed an 18 year old backing over a police cruiser, with an officer still inside, and then leading several other officers on a slow chase.
As we saw after the Lake Oroville Dam in California collapsed earlier this year, dam failures can have sudden and devastating effects. Recent footage showing raging muddy waters swallowing a construction site in a matter of seconds has been shared after river dam in Thatom, Loas failed.
Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and landed in South Florida a little over a week ago, sadly killing at least 50 people in Florida and causing plenty of property damage. High winds that accompanied the storm also caused the collapse of 3 construction cranes – two in Miami and one more in Fort Lauderdale. The crane in Fort Lauderdale was recently dismantled and the action was caught on video.
As if the high winds and heavy rains weren’t enough of a safety hazard for the people of Florida, citizens who are staying in the area also need to be concerned about the dozens of tower cranes that are still erected throughout downtown.
New demolition videos are always fun to watch. You know what’s even better, though? A bunch of demolitions all at once.