The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

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.

A 73-story skyscraper will become London’s tallest residential building if it receives approval from the Tower Hamlets Council.  The 250-meter, 73-story skinny skyscraper will take the record from St. George Wharf Tower once completed (181 meters, 50-story). Foster and Partners submitted their planning application in April and expects to begin construction on the building and surrounding development by 2015.

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The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred 28 years ago on April 28, 1986. Construction is now underway on the New Safe Confinement shield, a movable structure that will cover Chernobyl’s Reactor 4 to protect the area from radiation. In the past, engineers had not been able to design a permanent way to contain the site’s radiation levels should the aging shelter collapse. The 32,000-ton arch being built will last for 100 years. The final stage of cleanup will begin once the shield is slid into place.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:53

Slideshow: Bird as a Structural Engineer

The photos in the image gallery below show two birds building a nest from scratch.  The birds seem to have a structural or material engineering background. The nest looks well made and the entrance design will protect them from wind and the elements. One can only imagine how many trips were needed to build a nest of that size. It's also pretty amazing to think they did all that work without any hands. Enjoy the photos!

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We are pleased to announce the 82nd issue of our newsletter !

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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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.