The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Construction has finally begun on the 709-foot, 61-story skinny residential skyscraper located at 610 Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The tower, originally proposed in 2005, was delayed due to the recession in 2007 and eventually put on an indefinite hold in 2009. In March 2012, developer RFR Holding LLC regained control of the site and announced their plans to complete the project.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 06 March 2014

The United States Department of Transportation released its biennial conditions and performance report last Friday. The report stated that all levels of the country’s government must spend between $123.7 billion and $145.9 billion per year to maintain and improve the conditions of the United State’s roads and bridges. The report analyzed data from 2010 and found that the U.S. spent roughly $100 billion on infrastructure that year including $12 billion provided by the stimulus package to help the economy during the recession. The U.S. DOT strongly encourages spending increases to avoid any further deterioration to the country’s roads and bridges.

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  • Date occured Friday, 28 February 2014

Irish Developer Garrett Kelleher announced on Thursday that he has found an investor willing to pay his company’s creditors.  He hopes that this news will allow construction to resume in the near future on the Chicago Spire. The Chicago Spire project began in 2005, and the tower’s design would make it the largest building in the western hemisphere once completed. The 2,000-foot, 150-floor skyscraper was planned to include 1,193 luxury condominiums. The building was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and was developed by Garrett Kelleher’s company Shelbourne Development Group, Inc. The project’s primary lender faced financial problems in 2008 caused by the United State’s recession and housing market meltdown, and construction was suspended on the site. Since 2008, Shelbourne Development has continued to try to find financing for the project, but legal actions taken by Anglo Irish Bank caused the Spire project to be handed over to a receiver. The 76-foot by 110-foot hole in the ground along Lake Michigan where the Spire was supposed to be built has not been touched in the last six years.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 06 February 2014

Construction is currently reaching over 600 feet on the 432 Park Avenue residential building in New York.  Once the 1,396-foot, 89-story structure is completed it will be the tallest residential building in the world and the third largest tower in the United States.  The building will actually be taller than One World Trade Center if the height of each building were only measured from the ground to their roof.  Developer CIM Group bought the Drake Hotel in 2006 for $440 million and demolished it to begin construction on the tower.  Rafael Vinoly from SLCE Architects designed the building, and WSP Cantor Seinuk provided the structural engineering services for the project.  Construction began in September 2011 and will finish in mid-2015.  Residents will begin moving in sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.  No details have emerged about the cost of the project.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 06 February 2014
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 13:17

Canada To Buy Land in US for NITC Bridge

Canadian officials announced plans last week to buy land in the United States for the New International Trade Crossing Bridge and customs plaza that will link Detroit and Windsor. They will do so without a guarantee from the United States that the U.S. will pay more than $200 million for a customs plaza. According to outgoing consul general Roy Norton, the project is too important to not move ahead despite doubts about U.S. participation. 

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 05 February 2014
Monday, 27 January 2014 12:32

Minneapolis Green Line Nearly Complete

The 26.8-mile METRO Green Line project, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, is nearly complete.  Construction on the $957 million light-rail line started in 2010 and is now 98 percent finished.  The line will open for service on June 14th.  In the mean time, the Metropolitan Council will begin testing the new train cars and training 61 operators during the weekdays.   Siemens Industry Incorporated has already delivered over half of the line’s 47 cars.  The cars cost around $3.3 million each, with a total contract value of $153 million.  Siemens is also delivering 12 new cars for the Blue Line, the cities’ other light-rail line.  The Siemens LRVs will be the second generation of light-rail cars that the Metropolitan Council has purchased, and the cars will allow higher capacity trains to run at a greater frequency during rush hour.

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  • Date occured Monday, 27 January 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to replace 500 bridges in the state starting in 2015, and the majority of these bridges will be built under public-private partnership contracts.  Currently 4,200 bridges, or 18% of the state’s bridges, are structurally deficient. This figure is 11% higher than the national average.  This should not be too surprising, however, because the average age of a bridge in Pennsylvania is around 50 years old.  Also, the majority of the bridges listed as structurally deficient require only minor repairs, or they are deteriorating and might need weight restrictions in the future as a result.  All of the bridges are safe, but PennDOT has identified 300 bridges that they would like to use public-private partnerships to replace.  Under a public-private partnership, a private company or team must design, build, and maintain each bridge.  PennDOT will pay the team based on their performance.

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  • Date occured Friday, 24 January 2014
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 12:35

4 Dead in Oklahoma and Nebraska Plant Blasts

Two people died on Monday morning when an animal feed plant in Omaha, Nebraska collapsed and burst into flames.  Seventeen other workers were injured, including four who are in critical condition.  Two other people died in a seperate incident when a furnace exploded at a steel plant in Madill, Oklahoma later in the day.

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  • Date occured Monday, 20 January 2014
Monday, 20 January 2014 12:45

Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project Underway

Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group officially broke ground on the Hudson Yards redevelopment in New York City in December 2012.  The West Side Yard, commonly referred to as Hudson Yards, opened in 1987 and is located on the West Side of Manhattan between West 30th street, West 33rd street, 10th street, and 12th street.  The rail yard stores commuter trains that operate through Penn Station.  The first phase of the plan to redevelop the 26-acre plot of land is building a platform over the eastern side of the yard to seal off the current train storage area.  This part of the project will begin this month.  The platform will take two and a half years to finish and cost $750 million.  It will take 300 caissons weighing between 4 and 60 tons, as well as 25,000 tons of steel and 14,000 cubic yards of concrete to complete the platform.  Once finished, two new skyscrapers will be able to be built on the platform.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 16 January 2014

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts unveiled on Wednesday the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center that will be built in downtown Philadeliphia. The 59-story tower will cost around $1.2 billion to build, and it will be home to 4,000 Comcast employees primarily focused on software development and business services.  The skyscraper will also house the area’s local NBC and Telemundo affiliates.  The 1.5 million square foot building will be a joint venture between Comcast and Liberty Property Trust with Comcast controlling 80% of the venture.  The company’s current home, the 58-story Comcast Center also located in Philadelphia, was finished in 2008 and it is currently the 17th tallest building in the United States and the tallest American building outside of New York and Chicago.  Daniel Safarik, editor at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, believes it is likely that the new Comcast tower will surpass the Comcast Center as the largest American building outside of New York and Chicago.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 15 January 2014
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