The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Seattle Tunnel Partners will begin digging a 120-foot deep pit this week to reach the front side of tunnel boring machine Bertha. The machine is the world’s largest tunneling machine, and it has been stuck underneath Seattle’s downtown waterfront since December 6, 2013. Bertha was built specifically for the Washington State Department of Transportation to work on the $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel project. The machine completed a little over 1,000 feet of the expected 9,000-foot tunnel before getting stuck.

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  • Date occured Monday, 12 May 2014

Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman recently stated that the two rail tunnels under the Hudson River in New York have less than 20 years left in their life expectancy before they need to be shut down. He states that he does not know the exact amount of time Amtrak has before the century-old tunnels need to close, but it could be less than 20 years. New tunnels will take approximately 7 to 9 years to complete once the project is officially agreed upon. Boardman would like to quickly resume planning for the multi-billion dollar tunnel replacements.

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  • Date occured Friday, 09 May 2014
Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:37

Tilt! Set To Open to Public on Saturday

Chicago’s newest tourist attraction is set to open to the public on Saturday. Tilt! is part of the newly redesigned John Hancock observatory, referred to as 360 Chicago for its panoramic views of the city. Visitors will be able to spend 75 seconds leaning up against the 94th floor windows as they tilt outward up to a 30-degree angle. The attraction will compete with the Willis Tower’s retractable glass boxes for the most nerve wrecking view of the city. The Skydeck boxes opened in July 2009 and they allow people to walk a few feet out of the skyscraper and look directly down at the street below. Tilt! is unlike any other tourist attraction in the world as it allows people to go from standing inside the skyscraper to leaning out over the street below and back. Most other observation deck attractions around the world are stationary and usually retract only to be cleaned or during bad weather.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 08 May 2014
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 12:12

All Lanes Reopen After I-15 Bridge Fire

Officials reopened southbound lanes of Interstate 15 in Hesperia, California on Wednesday morning after an overpass fire closed down the freeway for more than 24 hours. The northbound lanes were reopened on Tuesday around 5:30 pm. The fire caused 20-mile long backups in either direction on Monday along the popular route between Southern California and Las Vegas. Firefighters and crews worked around the clock to clear the debris from collapsed bridge to reopen the interstate.

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  • Date occured Monday, 05 May 2014

Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. received approval last Wednesday from San Luis, Arizona to build a $1.5 billion project that would use ambient desert air to create a draft and generate electricity in a concrete tower.  A picture of how the project will work can be seen above. Once finished, the 2,250-foot tower would be the tallest structure in North America.  The Solar Wind Downdraft Tower project would be able to generate power at an average rate of 435 megawatt-hours annually.  The tower would be able to generate close to 1,200 megawatt-hours during July and August due to the higher summer temperatures. 

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A new report released by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association states there are 63,000 structurally deficient bridges in the United States.  If one were to line up each structurally deficient bridge end-to-end and drive across, it would take a person 25 hours driving at 60 miles per hour to travel across them. Over 250 million drivers cross these bridges daily.  As the start of the 2015 fiscal year approaches (October 1), more and more people and interest groups are putting pressure on Congress to take action to avoid insolvency in the Highway Trust Fund.

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  • Date occured Monday, 28 April 2014

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and its goal is to help Manhattan’s underdeveloped West Side grow.  Once finished, the site will include more than 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space.  New York University is forming a partnership with Hudson Yard’s developers to collect data about the area’s residents and visitors. This will make Hudson Yards the first quantified community in the country. NYU would like to learn how New Yorkers interact with their urban environment in order to improve cities across the country.

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  • Date occured Friday, 25 April 2014
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:16

Harmon Tower to be Demolished Floor by Floor

The Harmon Hotel and Condominium Tower was supposed to be the centerpiece of MGM Resorts International’s $8.5 billion CityCenter development. Instead, the building stands unfinished on the Las Vegas, Nevada strip wrapped in a $1 million tarp designed to make the building look functional. All construction work on the inside of the building has been halted since 2008 as legal battles have been fought between the building’s design engineers, contractors, and owner. The Harmon’s $30 million floor-by-floor demolition received approval from a Clark County court in August 2013.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:43

Video: Milton-Madison Bridge Truss Slide

The Milton-Madison Bridge spanning the Ohio River and connecting Milton, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana made history last Thursday, as it became the longest bridge in North America to be slid laterally into place. Workers spent many hours on Thursday sliding the half-mile-long bridge into place from temporary piers adjacent to the permanent piers. The 30 million pound span was pushed 55 feet using steel cables and eight computerized hydraulic jacks.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 10 April 2014

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn unveiled his six-year, $8.6 billion infrastructure plan to improve roads and bridges throughout the state on Wednesday.  The six-year program allocates $5.82 billion for state highway improvements and $2.77 billion for local transportation. The Governor believes that his plan will “create jobs and build a 21st century infrastructure that will drive Illinois’ economy forward.”

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 09 April 2014
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