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Daily Drill: Nano & A Heck of A Place for An Airport


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Wild Environment Tests Airport Engineers

The place hits 11 degrees below zero and winds average about 90 miles an hour.  Where the ground isn't frozen rock-solid it has been reduced to icy, immobilizing mud. Polar bears roam the area like squirrels in a city park. Now imagine your company has the assignment to build something in this environment, and that something is an airport. Welcome to Iqaluit, on Baffin Island; just off the northern coast of Canada. Note to PM; bring hammer mittens. "Which one of you jokers put this bid in?"

Construction Workers Sue Project Engineers Over Lethal Accident

Two years ago, construction workers were pouring concrete on the center span of a new pedestrian footbridge on the campus of Wake Technical Community College, in Raleigh, N. Carolina. Suddenly the 140' center span "violently" came apart beneath them, hurling them 30 feet to the ground amid free-falling wood and steel. One worker was killed and three injured. Today's lawsuit (filed November 18) seeks monetary damages from the project's two structural engineering firms. 

NYC Mayor Fast-Tracks Hurricane Rebuild

Hurricane Sandy roared ashore in 2012, wreaking absolute havoc along the eastern seaboard, including New York City.  Four years later, renovations promised (and largely to be paid for) by the city government continue to plod along. Answering a storm of complaints about how long renovations are taking, New York's mayor has signed new legislation that aims to move things along by streamlining the process.

Brooklyn Bridge Repairs 60% Over Recent Estimate

Repairs to the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge will cost 60% more than estimated just last year, and New Yorkers are incensed. The Mayor’s Office of Operations is delicately citing “scope changes” and “unforeseen field conditions” as reasons for the readjustment in the estimate, from last year's initial $508M to the recently announced $811M. Why are New Yorkers so riled? They're on the hook for 54% of the repair costs. Uh...do we really need a bridge? Let's take a rowboat. Cheaper.

Roads and Bridges Go Nano

University of Delaware researchers think it's high time bridges were encouraged to announce their own impending structural failure. Is that so much to ask? It turns out all you need is a layer of carbon nanotube hybrid glass-fiber composite. But you knew that.