The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Two California state agencies announced actions last Friday that will help advance the California high-speed rail project. The state Water Resources Control Board announced they had approved an environmental permit that will allow construction to begin on a 24-mile stretch of track between Madera and Fresno. The state Public Works board also announced resolutions declaring a public need to condemn nine properties in downtown Fresno that the California High Speed Rail Authority needs for right of way for the project. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014 11:33

First Gallery of Louvre Abu Dhabi Completed

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has completed the construction of the first gallery of Louvre Abu Dhabi. The building will open its doors at some point during the fourth quarter of 2015. The museum is being hailed as the first universal museum in the Muslim world.

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:02

South Korea’s Invisible Skyscraper

Rather than try to build the world’s largest tower, hotel, or other type structure, South Korea has approved the world’s first invisible skyscraper. The 1,476-foot Tower Infinity will use cameras to capture real-time images of the surroundings and then process and display those images in a way to make the tower seem invisible.

United States transit officials warned lawmakers last week that the lack of funding for the Highway Trust Fund and threat of insolvency by 2015 could delay many summer infrastructure projects. The transit officials would like Congress to quickly approve billions of dollars in new funding to avoid these costly delays. If the Highway Trust Fund does not receive additional funds, hundreds of thousands of jobs could be affected and the current project backlog will significantly increase.

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A new study published, by the New London Architecture think tank on Wednesday, found that there are currently 236 towers proposed, approved, or under construction in London.  The report defines a tower as a building with 20 or more stories. Of the new buildings, 80 percent will be residential and the rest will either be office space, hotels, or mixed-use. Also, 33 of the 236 new buildings are between 40 and 49 floors, and 22 are taller than 50 stories. Peter Murray, Director of New London Architecture, believes the skyscraper boom is the result of increased pressure on the Greater London Assembly to build more housing. London Mayor Boris Johnson announced last year, as part of his housing plan, that London would need to add 42,000 new houses each year to meet the country's housing demands. 

The Center for an Urban Future released a report yesterday titled Caution Ahead: Overdue Investments For New York’s Aging Infrastructure.  The 68-page study estimates that New York needs to spend $47 billion over the next four to five years to improve its failing infrastructure to a state of good repair. The report states that while Superstorm Sandy brought attention and some much needed funding to certain parts of New York’s infrastructure, there are still many other infrastructure vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

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The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system expansion project is a full year ahead of schedule due to a lack of rain over the last two years. The $3.2 billion project will extend the line by 16 miles from the San Francisco, California area to southern Freemont, Milpitas, and San Jose. The extension to Beerysea was supposed to be finished in 2018, but now Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) officials expect it to be completed by late 2017.