The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Negotiations relating to a financial dispute on the Panama Canal Expansion project between the European building consortium GUPC, or Group United for the Canal, and the Panama Canal Authority, a government agency, broke down on Tuesday.  While it is unclear if work has completely stopped on the project, it is confirmed that the GUPC has reduced their work by at least 75 percent from when the consortium was working at full capacity.  Any delays to the expansion project will have far reaching economic impacts, particularly for ports on the Atlantic Ocean.  Many U.S. cities have already invested millions of dollars to increase the size of their docks in order to handle the larger ships passing through the expanded canal.  Liquefied natural gas producers from the Gulf of Mexico who are shipping their product to Asian markets must still travel around South America at Cape Horn, a two-week delay compared to crossing the Panama Canal.  Also, Panama will be able to increase its annual toll revenue from the canal from $1 billion to $4 billion once the project is finished.

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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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. 

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:51

Frankfurt Tower Demolition Video

The following video shows the 116-meter AFE Twoer in Frankfurt, Germany collapsing in just under 10 scond during a controlled explosion.  Over 950 kilograms of explosives were needed to bring down the 32-story, 50,000 ton skyscraper.  

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Monday, 03 February 2014 13:15

Melbourne Approves Skinny Skyscraper

The Melbourne Minister of Planning recently approved a 73-story, 230-meter skyscraper that will be just 12 meters wide at its narrowest point when finished. It will primarily be a residential building with 256 apartment units, but the tower will also feature a seven-story lobby that will attract local people to the landmark building.

The infrastructure and gridlock problems facing the city of Jakarta, Indonesia are expected to worsen this year. The Indonesian government expects 1.2 million new cars will be purchased in the country in 2014.  This fact, coupled with the Indonesian central government’s unwillingness to invest in new infrastructure projects, could result in “total gridlock” according to the executive director of the Indonesia Effort for Environment. 

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