The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

A decade after the identification of potentially vulnerable concrete school buildings across the state of California, a new report published by UC Berkeley based Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) brings attention back to the older concrete LA buildings. The list contains 1,454 buildings, including schools, offices, theaters, churches and many residential buildings. 

The Willis Tower Skydeck is one of the most popular and unique tourist attractions in Chicago. The Skydeck features four boxes known as The Ledge that allows visitors to step outside of the Willis Tower and look down at the street below. The view of the city from 1,353 feet is fantastic, and on a clear day one can see as far as the Wisconsin border. While the first steps onto The Ledge are scary and exciting at the same time, one California family had a bigger scare than usual when they first experienced the Ledge.  

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The $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project recently got underway in Long Beach, California. The project will replace the existing 46-year old bridge with a newer, wider bridge that will open in less than three years. The California Department of Transportation and the Port of Long Beach joined together to oversee the design and construction of a bridge that will not only improve freight movement into the port, but also relieve congestion and allow easier access for cars and trucks to the Port of Long Beach. According to Port of Long Beach officials, almost 15 percent of the United State’s waterborne cargo travels over the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

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Construction is about to begin on the first project in Vermont to use lateral slide construction. The project will build two new bridges over interstate 91 near Burlington, Vermont. The two bridges will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridges and then will be slid into their proper place to finish the project. This relatively new construction method is becoming increasingly popular in highway construction, and the record was recently set for the world’s longest truss slide.

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety ordered more seismic testing to determine if an earthquake fault line runs below the site for the Millennium Hollywood project located at the center of Hollywood’s historic downtown. The project’s developers hired geologists and engineers to perform testing, and their results did not agree with a 2006 map created by the California Geological Survey. The city geologist spoke with Millennium Hollywood’s developers and requested further trench testing. The developer’s engineers and geologists will conduct more testing and resubmit their findings to confirm that the project will not be built on a fault line.

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London’s 87-story skyscraper, The Shard, recently received first place in the Emporis Skyscraper Competition. The mixed-use tower beat out 300 entries from across the world to claim the prestigious prize. The Emporis Skyscraper Award has been awarded annually since 2000, and the winner is selected based on aesthetics and functional design.