Ending a 15-month investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of last year's fatal bridge collapse in Minneapolis was the failure of gusset plates due to a design error and the bridge's increased live and dead loads caused by earlier upgrades and the traffic and and construction materials and equipment on its deck at the time it fell. Related Links: NTSB Blames Minn. Bridge Collapse On Gusset Plate Design Error See all past coverage in ENR's Bridge Collapse Update Center Thirteen people were killed and 145 injured on Aug. 1, 2007, when most of the
A change in presidential administrations brings new opportunity to garner support for infrastructure investment, including waterways and flood-control improvements, says Steven Stockton, civilian director of civil works for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Infrastructure investment is the economic stimulus the nation needs, he says. Engineers and public-works officials must convey that message to the new administration, Stockton advised the National Waterways Conference’s annual meeting in New Orleans on Nov. 6. Stockton cited statements made by President-elect Barack Obama during the campaign as demonstrating Obama’s recognition and support for infrastructure improvement. “I think, from the Corps of Engineers’ perspective, Obama
A proposal to build a 42-mile long, 400-ft-wide water conveyance canal soundly rejected by California voters in 1982 is rising from the mists of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta again. It is driven this time, in large part, by a heightened appreciation for risk and the physical fragility of the state�s water supply. Consider it a legacy of Hurricane Katrina. California Dept., of Water Resources Delta�s maze of tributaries and sloughs is major source of water Tom Sawyer / ENR When levees breach in the delta, islands disappear. A bypass canal would ensure a stable water supply. �Not long ago, risk
Louisiana has secured a $1.5 billion, 30-year loan from the federal government that will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to bring the $14.3-billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) to 100-year levels by 2011. "While most Corps Civil Works projects are cost-shared, because of the special circumstances facing Louisiana after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, we were able to take advantage of a rarely-used law that allows the United States to pay the full cost up front, giving the state 30 years to repay their share," says John Paul Woodley, assistant secretary of the Army for
Any money from a stimulus package will mostly fund bridge upgrades and repaving projects in Pennsylvania, along with expanding variable message signs and traffic management systems. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation released Jan. 16 its $1.5-billion wish list of highway and transit projects, just days after the House Appropriations Committee released its $775-billion draft proposal. �While the economic recovery bill is not yet enacted, we believe its primary thrust will be short-term improvements and the candidate list is in line with that assumption,� stated Allen Biehler, PennDOT Secretary. Related Links: Questions Swirl On Stimulus Plan Mong the largest projects on
As a sweeper playing defense on North Carolina State University’s soccer team, Lewis E. “Ed” Link Jr. had a knack for pattern recognition and teamwork. “I could anticipate. I could see the pattern, the big picture, and go to where the ball was going to be,” he says. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America thought he had a special talent, too: It named him an All-American in 1967, his senior year. His success on the field, Link says, came from playing with the strengths he had, rather than from trying to shape his style after an inappropriate model—like some
The pace of contracting for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds is picking up in the highway and transit sectors. A new House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee report on the economic-stimulus legislation shows that 2,901 highway and transit projects, valued at almost $10 billion, have been put out for bid in 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia as of April 30. Related Links: State by State Project List It adds that 1,099 of those projects, totaling $3.5 billion, are under contract. The committee report, released May 21, says that work has started on 545 projects, totaling $2.1 billion.
Call them Millennials, Generation Y or Generation Next—all these names are used—but demographers interviewed by ENR and many Millennials themselves agreed the names all try to classify a distinctive group of Americans born after about 1980 who are part of a wave that continues today. Each year, this rising generation of construction professionals and craftspeople gets more relevant not only because of its growing numbers in the workforce but because of the singular qualities it brings. One key quality of Millennials is that they are digital natives—they barely remember the era before computers. Millennials told ENR they want two things
The first of nine potential geothermal powerplants being developed by Reno, Nev.-based Gradient Resources will be built by McLean, Va.-based Science Applications International Corp.’s design-build subsidiary, Benham Constructors LLC123. Construction of the 60-MW powerplant at Gradient’s Patua site, near Fernley, Nev., will begin the second quarter of this year, with commercial operation expected in the third quarter of 2017. No contract value was given to the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the estimated $270-million project. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District already has contracted for a portion of the plant’s production. SAIC will use TAS Energy technology for the project.