3.1 miles of bridge does not equal 3.1 miles of on grade highway. In fact, it’s not even close. In order to build the new New York Bridge, which is replacing the existing Tappan Zee bridge that crosses the Hudson River, 14 miles of main span cables, 50 miles of foundation pilings, 300 thousand cubic yards of concrete, and 220 million pounds of steel are needed to complete the structure. Oh, it’s also going to take another 2 years to build, on top of the 3 they’ve already been working on it.
The existing Tappan Zee Bridge was built in 1955 and handles around 138,000 vehicles per day. After realizing that, it’s even more amazing that no cars were hit when a crane, which was working on the new bridge adjacent to the existing, collapsed onto the existing bridge back in July. Without the added danger of nearby construction, the Tappan Zee was already a hazard by itself. According to the New NY Bridge’s website, that stretch of road was the scene of an average of twice as many accidents as the rest of the NY Thruway system, which is a collection of highways. It has narrow lanes and no emergency shoulders, which can be a recipe for disaster.
The new bridge will contain 8 wider lanes for safer and quicker traffic, not including the emergency lanes, and has also been designed to handle a future commuter rail. Pedestrians and bicyclists will also have their own lane to cross the river safely. In total, the bridge will cost almost $4 billion dollars (3.98 to be exact) and will finish sometime in 2018. We’re sure the NY drivers can’t wait until it’s complete.
Many companies were involved in the design and construction of this bridge, which together are known as the Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC. Companies in the group include Flour, American Bridge, Granite, Taylor Bros, HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS, and GZA.
The video below was shared by the New NY Bridge on Youtube:
Tracking your construction project’s submittals and their approval status can be a tedious and frustrating process, but thankfully several project management applications are helping solve that issue with technology. At the beginning of this year, PlanGrid announced the release of an automatic submittal log creator tool, which scans through your project’s specification book and creates a trackable log of each submittal. The company has recently added several new features to make the Submittal platform, which allows users to manipulate the submittal log, even more useful.
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I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
Arizona’s cost of living is 3.5% below the national average, according to MERIC, which helped them jump about 7 spots in the rankings after adjustment. There are two professions ranked in the top 10, including security and fire systems installers at #2 and solar panel installers at #5. The lowest ranked professions in the state are insulation workers at #40 and crane operators at #38.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
Last week, we shared some newly updated Trenching and Excavation safety information from OSHA, which was part of their priority goals for 2018. Those updates included a public service announcement and updated online resources. The administration has just announced the update of their National Emphasis Program (NEP) on trenching and excavation safety, which features a period of education and prevention outreach.
A construction crane that was working on a highway widening project in St. Martin Parish in Louisiana collapsed onto the adjacent roadway last week, injuring one driver.
The first state to be on the right side of our countdown is the Centennial State: Colorado. It received it’s nickname after becoming an official state 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Demolition by implosion videos are always fun to watch. Adding an element of water makes them even more dramatic, though it’s probably not great for the ecosystem. Late last week, a one mile long, 23 year-old bridge in China was imploded in front of a crowd of spectators and caught on camera.