When Florida pioneer and rail baron Henry Flagler pushed his Florida East Coast Railway south to Key West in the early 1900s, his engineers and laborers gave little thought to the environmental impact of their dredging and filling. That wasn’t the approach taken by the engineers and contractors now punch-listing a seven-mile-long reconstruction of a stretch of what became the Overseas Highway. They went out of their way to protect many species of aquatic life, taking care, among other things, not to rock the world of the crocodiles that inhabit the waters. Slide Show Photo: Granite Construction The new roadway
Federal funding for surface transportation projects should migrate from the traditional petroleum fuel-based tax to a mileage-based user fee by 2020, according to a 15-member commission appointed by Congress two years ago. The bipartisan group released its final report Feb. 25 with recommendations for overhauling the highway trust fund, which is due for reauthorization later this year. The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission includes financial experts, lawyers, politicians and transportation industry leaders such as Elliot Sander, chief executive officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Jeffrey C. Crowe, chairman of Landstar System, Inc. “We were charged with
For years, a higher-speed rail route between Chicago and St. Louis "has been a construction season or two away from reality," says Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. Pleasantly surprised by the $8-billion pot created in the final stimulus package for high-speed rail, he says, "Hopefully this will put it over the edge." Photo: California High Speed Rail Authority High-speed rail projects get $8 billion, up from zero in the House version of the bill. High-speed rail is the surprise winner in the $787-billion package, which includes $48 billion for transportation infrastructure. "It was a
Bart Ney gets concerned calls from people just about every day. They see the steel trusses starting to cross San Francisco Bay between Yerba Buena Island to the west and the new 1.2-mile-long precast concrete Skyway to the east, alongside the existing eastern steel truss span of the old Bay Bridge. They wonder why the trusses don’t look at all like the striking self anchored assymetrical suspension span they saw in the renderings. Slide Show Susan Lohwasser / ENR A temporary bridge will take shape this year to carry segments of new self-anchored suspension span until cable arrives. Related Links:
Hundreds of dinosaur tracks and fossils estimated more than 120 million years old have been discovered during construction of a mining road in the highlands of Central Peru. Officials with the Antamina mining company announced the find last week. Photo: Compañía Minera Antamina S.A. Dinosaur footprints discovered during road construction in Central Peru. The discovery was originally made in 2006 during the construction of a road by the company between a crossroads at Conococha and the Antamina’s Yanacancha camp about 250 miles northeast of Lima. A preliminary examination of the site - since dubbed Cruz Planta - uncovered dozens of
With just two months until scheduled completion, contractors at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., are putting finishing touches on the U.S. Navy’s largest hangar, which is being built to make room for five squadrons coming from Maine under the government’s Base Realignment and Closure program. Slide Show Photo: Mortenson Construction Co. Setting times for the clear-span box truss sections improved with repetition. Photo: Mortenson Construction Co. Five squadrons will move from Maine to Jacksonville, Fla. Mortenson Construction Co., Minneapolis, is the design-builder for the $127.7-million project under a multiple award construction contract with the Navy. The scope of
With the help of special skids and common soap, an Oregon contractor has replaced two bridges in two weekends as part of a $46-million design-build project for the Oregon Dept. of Transportation. Slayden Construction Group Inc., Stayton, broke ground on the project in June 2007 and wrapped it up in January, replacing a total of five 80-year-old bridges along Highway 38 between the towns of Elkton and Drain. Photo: Slayden Mammoet’s system allows new span in Oregon to slide sideways into place atop new bents. The project’s biggest challenge arose on two bridges known as Crossing 3 and Crossing 4.
New York state’s Dept. of Transportation is bringing science to snowdrifts. The agency last month presented “SnowMan,” software for optimizing snow fences on existing roads and for designing highways to reduce drifts, at a conference of the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board. Stuart Chen, a professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, who designed the software with Michael Lamanna, a former graduate student, says it can reduce whiteouts and pavement icing and the “extra costs” of snow plowing and deicing salts. Photo: Darrell F. Kaminski, NYSDOT Ten-foot-tall
Quick thinking and a unique construction solution allowed crews to repair a burned wooden trestle on the southern approach of the 72-year-old Pattullo Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia, in eight days rather than the anticipated six weeks. The compression-arch, suspended-deck bridge caught fire Jan. 18. As firefighters battled the blaze, Mark Smith, vice president for Surespan Construction, North Vancouver, B.C., hustled his family into his truck and drove to the site. After surveying the charred timbers, Smith called Buckland and Taylor Ltd., the local bridge design firm hired to design a replacement for the wooden structure, to devise a solution.
Bong-Hyun Cho, manager of the immersed tunnel site for the $1.8-billion Busan-Geoje fixed- link project, finally can get some sleep. Six of 18 concrete tunnel elements, 180-m long and 45,000 tonnes, have been towed successfully from a dry dock 35 km away, sunk into the turbulent depths of the Pacific and placed atop specially designed gravel beds with tight tolerances. "If the gravel beds fail, the project fails," he says. "I was so anxious." Slide Show Photo: Halcrow Korea’s 8.2-km-long sea link will connect the mainland to Geoje Island through three islets. After a rocky start with glitches in the