The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 06 November 2017 01:00

40 years after Kelly Barnes dam failure

On this day in 1977, a small embankment dam located above Toccoa Falls Bible College in Georgia failed, releasing a wall of water that killed 39 people. This dam failure along with several others in the 1970s brought drastic changes in dam safety, such as the establishment of the National Dam Safety Program and many relevant state programs around the country. There are more than 90,000 dams in the US, out of which more than 15,000 are classified as high-hazard-potential structures, meaning that their failure would likely cause loss of life.

Its construction took 7 more years than originally planned and cost 10 times the initial budget, but it was worth it. Elbphilharmonie – Hamburg’s new concert hall that opened last January, is an architectural gem.

Last Tuesday, October 17th, the Netherlands inaugurated the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists. The bridge, which crosses a canalized river in the southeastern town of Gemert, is made of 800 layers of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete with a steel cable running through it to handle tensile stress. Constructed in Eindhoven by the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Dutch construction company BAM, it is 8 meters long by 3.5 meters wide and it took around three months to put together, while its life cycle is estimated at 30 years at least. “The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology. The new bridge is part of the Noord-Om project, a new section of ring road around the village of Gemert linking the existing routes N605 and N272, and hundreds of cyclists are expected to ride over it every day.

The Treetop Experience, an elevated walk through Glisselfeld Kloster in Haslev, one of Denmark's preserved forests, is scheduled to open next year. The 600-metre-long treetop walkway, together with a 45-meter-tall observation tower, promises breathtaking 360° views over the forest canopy. 

On the afternoon of October 16th, the roof of Douglas Community School’s PE hall in Cork, Dublin City in Ireland was ripped off by the extreme winds of storm Ophelia. Being a hurricane as it crossed the Atlantic, Ophelia has reached the UK and Ireland yesterday, exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 that killed 18 people. It was anticipated to be the worst storm to hit the country in more than half a century, so many schools were closed and troops were placed on standby.

The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) is a 72km-long light rail system, with over Rs 15,000 crore in capital investment and the largest project under Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the country. The project’s first phase is expected to be operational next month.

The panels, spanning over an area of 65,000ft2, cover roughly half of the building’s power consumption

‘Dubailand’, an entertainment complex currently being built in Dubai, is a vivid example of the city’s vision to not only attract millions of tourists, but also offer its residents a world-class recreation experience. Announced in 2003 but put on hold for a long time due to global recession and Dubai's financial crisis, the project is one of the most ambitious leisure developments ever proposed anywhere in the world. It will host various residential, sports, leisure, entertainment and shopping attractions, some of which are already operational, while the whole complex is expected to open before Expo 2020

The US Geological Survey predicted up to 1,000 fatalities will come from the earthquake, and an economic impact of between US$1bn and $10bn.

The aim is to develop the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) as a “Global Manufacturing and Trading Hub”, featuring  24 industrial regions, 8 smart cities, 5 power projects, 2 airports, 2 Mass Rapid Transportation Systems (MRTS) and 2 logistics hubs. With an estimated investment of US$100 billion, the project is expected to fuel India’s economic growth for the next 20-30 years, facilitating businesses and providing cheap, fast and efficient transportation to ports and the rest of the nation. Phase I (8 of the 24 investment regions) is estimated to be completed by 2019.