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Weekly Grind: Disco Cement Truck and Disaster Dam

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Imminent Catastrophic Failure of Iraqi Dam Compared to Nuke

An Italian engineering firm, after making hurried logistical and security preparations, has rushed in to shore up the Middle-East's 4th largest dam. It was a faulty dam when it was brand new, and that was 35 years ago. Since then there has been a war, an occupation by ISIS (during which much of the heavy construction equipment needed for repair was stolen or destroyed), and the ongoing lateral movement of underlying bedrock. A professor of environmental engineering familiar with the project sums it up. "It is just a matter of time. It will be worse than throwing a nuclear bomb on Iraq."

Disco-Ball + Cement Mixer =  Very French Construction Site

French artist Benedetto Bufalino has done it again. Dome what, exactly? He has created an art installation on a construction site that intermingles two culturally unrelated objects to create an indescribable effect. And there may be no two objects less frequently paired than a disco ball and a cement truck. 

New Hampshire Neighborhood Rocked By Construction Blasting

Several homeowners in Manchester, NH neighborhood have been rattled by 41 controlled construction explosions in the nearby town of Londonderry. No surprise there. The drilling contractor was welcomed to the area, and folks understood what they would be doing in the vicinity.  Manchester residents were even grateful for the jobs Green Leaf Construction pumped into the local economy. But that was before they noticed hairline cracks in the walls of their homes.

Deadly Fire Blamed Partly on Oakland Housing Market

As investigators and journalists sort through the ruins of the tragic Ghost Ship fire, it is suggested that Oakland's inattention to a housing imbalance is, at least in part, fostering the climate in which such illegal firetraps flourish. 

Atlanta Residents Stunned: Builders Doing What They Promised

In the city of Atlanta it's typical for a grandly announced construction project to take years to begin. So it stunned the city's citizenry when, right on the heels of approval, the site of "Atlanta's tallest downtown building in decades" was surrounded by a construction barrier, indicating actual work may soon commence. The little fence is being greeted with an excitement the finished building can only hope to match.

Colorado Roadside Memorials Removed to Make Driving Safer

Families of loved ones whose highway deaths have been memorialized by roadside signage have mixed feelings about the memorials' removals, even though the removals are being done to accommodate construction that will make the 8-mile stretch of freeway safer for drivers.

Train Tunnel Under Hudson River Won't be Derailed

NY/NJ political infighting won't delay construction of the all-important Gateway project, local players have assured. The project includes a tunnel under the Hudson River separating the two states and massive improvements to NYC's Penn Station. A proposed $7.5B bus terminal in Manhattan that was slowed to a standstill by bickering between the two states has Gateway advocates scared of a similar fate for their crucial rail project.

Santa Monica Building Will be Greenest in CA History

The 50,000 sq foot city services building, slated for completion in 2020, will align with the dauntingly stringent Living Building Challenge. The building will be a net-zero energy and water structure that generates its own power, treats its own water, and is beautiful to look at. Sharpen your pencil, Santa Monica.

'Architectural Technologist' is the New Draftsperson

Calling themselves "CAD Monkeys," a new vanguard of architectural draftspersons combine computer assisted design (CAD), deep building code knowledge, and construction science to offer more to the AEC process than their predecessors did.

Pipeline Ruptures Near Embattled Dakota Access 

The heated arguments for and against the Dakota Access Pipeline project have just been enlivened by a substantial oil leak 2.5 hours away. The rupture in an oil pipeline unrelated to Dakota Access has spilled about 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a creek and surrounding countryside.  

Congress Approves but Doesn't Fund Waterway Infrastructure

Congress has approved the overhaul of aging locks and dams on the Ohio River, and those who rely on that commercial water transport are applauding the move. Lawmakers did leave out one crucial element out of the legislation, however: a funding mechanism.


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