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:
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.
While being prepared for demolition, the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs, Colorado unexpectedly collapsed to the railroad tracks below. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the local police chief said that workers had to flee the scene once the bridge section started to fall.
If this video of construction worker’s chasing down an alleged tool thief and hanging onto the hood of his car wasn’t enough to convince you to not mess with construction worker’s things, then maybe this new video will be. Construction worker’s tools and trucks are their livelihoods, and they don’t take too kindly to people who don’t understand that.
Directional boring, or horizontal directional drilling, is a common method for installing underground pipe and conduits, among others. Its main benefit is that it minimally disturbs the areas around where your pipe or cable needs to be installed. Instead of cutting concrete, asphalt, or ripping up landscaping, the boring machine digs a tunnel underground and the installing material slides in after it’s complete.
That’s what it’s SUPPOSED to do anyway.
You may remember a story we shared at the end of June about a rescue of a construction worker who was dangling from a suspended scaffold 15 stories in the air. The Sarasota County Fire Department completed a very skilled rescue, in which one firefighter scaled down the side of the building to the trapped worker, attached him to a harness, and both men were hoisted back up to the roof. The cause of that failure was a snapped line. At that time, the fire chief mentioned that he rarely sees events like this and that only 5 or 6 rescues like this have happened in his 29 year career.
Smoke stack demolitions are always fun to watch because they typically stand much taller than the buildings surrounding them, giving cameras great views of the carnage. They don’t always go well, like when a 2.6 million pound brick stack fell directly on top of an excavator (the operator was fine, by the way), but they’re always dramatic.
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.