The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 00:00

17 Die in India Building Collapse

A five-story structure collapsed on Sunday in Goa, India and 17 people are confirmed dead.  At least 22 people were rescued from the wreckage by late Sunday.  Rescue workers continue to dig through the rubble in hopes of finding other workers trapped below debris from the fallen building, but had to halt efforts Monday when the two next-door buildings started developing cracks.  Police are currently investigating the cause of the collapse but they have not been able to locate the project manager.  As a result, they are relying on eyewitness accounts to estimate how many workers were on-site at the time and how many might still be trapped in the rubble.

The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has had an up and down year.  They successfully awarded a $985 million design-build contract for a 29-mile section of track connecting Madera to Fresno.  The company that was awarded the contract expects to begin pre-construction work in August.  The CHSRA was also able to add more qualified individuals to its staff and filled all of their top positions.  Another highlight was reaching an agreement with local farmers to mitigate the impact of constructing the high speed rail project on agricultural operations. 

The StructuralEngineer.info News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):

Monday, 06 January 2014 00:00

Panama Canal Expansion May Face Delays

Spanish construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso announced Wednesday that the Panama Canal Authority has 21 days to pay for the nearly $1.6 billion in cost overruns on the canal expansion project.  Pananma’s President, Ricardo Martinelli, tweeted that he will reject the company’s ultimatum, and he plans to travel to Spain on Thursday to demand that Sacyr and Impregilo (Italian construction company) honor the original terms of the contract.  If the two sides cannot reach an agreement by January 20, the canal expansion contract states that the two parties must head to a Paris-based arbitration court.

The Kentucky and Ohio Departments of Transportation announced that toll revenue would be required to fund the design and construction of a new Brent Spence Bridge. Current estimates place the cost of a new bridge at $3.57 billion.  The current Brent Spence Bridge is a double-decker cantilever truss bride that crosses the Ohio River.  It allows residents of Northern Kentucky to commute to Cincinnati, Ohio and vice versa.  The bridge was opened in 1963 and was designed to carry 85,000 vehicles per day.  As of 2007, 155,000 cars cross the bridge each day, and about 65% of the cars travel from Kentucky to Ohio.  In 2011, large pieces of concrete fell from the upper deck of the bridge onto the lower level, and the bridge was closed down for a day to repair the damage.  While it currently is considered to be structurally safe, many residents of Ohio and Kentucky have lost faith in the functionality of the original bridge.  As a result, the two states departments of transportation are currently studying the bridge to determine if it will be better to replace or rehabilitate the Brent Spence Bridge.

The StructuralEngineer.info News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):

Monday, 30 December 2013 11:30

Florida SunRail Phase 1 Almost Completed

Phase 1 of the Central Florida SunRail project is almost finished and service on the route will begin once all 12 stations are completed.  Construction began on the 32-mile route connecting Volusia County to Orlando in January 2012.  The rail line is expected to cost $615 million to construct and $432 million to buy the right of way and tracks.  The federal government, the state of Florida, and the three counties that the rail line passes through are financing SunRail.  The federal government is paying for half of the project through a federal transit “New Starts” grant, and the state of Florida and the counties will each par for 25% of the project.  SunRail was originally approved in July 2007, and it took over four years to plan the route and receive funding.  This period included a six-month freeze on all contracts and a legislative review ordered by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Thursday, 26 December 2013 13:58

New Tech Company Headquarters Built in 2013

Many technology firms started designing and building ornate headquarters from the ground up this past year. These companies are straying from the normal office building and designing them to enhance performance in the workplace. NPR details several companies’ new designs, including Apple, Google and Amazon. Click here to listen about the futuristic buildings.

The StructuralEngineer.info News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):

We are pleased to announce the 78th issue of our newsletter!