How ironic. Just last night I posted photos and descriptions of 7 Amazing Holes I received as an email forward from a colleague. Today one of them is in the news. The "Big Hole" in Kimberley, South Africa is making city officials nervous. Apparently some new cracks have formed in the pit walls or somewhere, and officials have decided to shut down traffic on Bultfontein Road that passes within 18-m of the pit. Read on for Google Map and more details. (Photo by No One Nels)
That is the title of a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on post-Katrina levee issues in New Orleans (by way of ASCE Smart Brief). I think the article is somewhat sensationalized, but they do cite some interesting parallels between the levee reconstruction efforts made after Katrina and the levee construction/reconstruction that occurred after Hurricane Betsy in 1965.
The article also discusses a recent US Army audit with some disturbing although not unexpected findings:
An initial September 2010 target to complete the $14.8 billion in post-Katrina work has slipped to mid-2011. Then last September, an Army audit found 84 percent of work behind schedule because of engineering complexities, environmental provisos and real estate transactions. The report added that costs would likely soar.
A more recent analysis shows the start of 84 of 156 projects was delayed – 15 of them by six months or more. Meanwhile, a critical analysis of what it would take to build even stronger protection – 500-year-type levees – was supposed to be done last December but remains unfinished.
As 33 trapped miners waited more than 2,000-ft underground for their rescue, a whole team of Chilean government officials, mining engineers, equipment manufacturers and of course drillers came together get the job done. Jeff Hart, a driller from Denver, Colorado was one of the stars of the day. Hart was in Afghanistan drilling deep water wells when he got the call and hopped on a plane. He works for Kansas-based Layne Christensen, and along with 3 other Layne employees, he manned the Schramm T130 drill rig that was part of “Plan B” that eventually became the shaft from which the trapped miners were rescued.
On the drilling platform overseeing the drilling was James Stefanic of Layne, and crew members Matt Staffel, Doug Reeves and Jorge Herrera. The rig and I presume some of the support equipment was owned by Layne’s Latin America affiliate, Geotec Boyles Bros, SA. The drill bits were from Center Rock, Inc. of Berlin, Pennsylvania. The Center Rock CEO, Brandon Fisher, was on site throughout the operation as well.
Read on for more info, photos, video and links on the drilling, drillers and geology of the Chile Mine rescue.