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)
The planning board for transportation improvements along the I-70 corridor in the Denver area of Colorado is pondering some improvements that, if implemented, could rival Boston’s "Big Dig" for cost. A high-speed train is being considered which alone could run $12 billion.
"A high-speed train is really the long-term solution, and . . . part of America’s long-term future is getting people out of single-occupancy vehicles," said Penny, Frisco town manager and head of the I-70 Coalition. He added that an I-70 project could outstrip Boston’s $14.8 billion "Big Dig."
Thanks to approximately $100 million from President Bush’s proposed 2009 budget, the $1.8 billion project creating a light-rail line from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington is likely to break ground some time this year. The project will involve twin bored tunnels on the order of 3 miles in length. It is scheduled to open for use in 2016.
There is another notable tunnel project associated with the Seattle Light Rail, known as the Beacon Hill tunnel which I have blogged about before.
As I’ve reported previously, the State of Utah is in the process of adopting ordinances regulating the development of land that is susceptible to landslides and other geologic hazards. A new bill has been introduced in the Utah House that would give developers a recourse for appeal if they don’t like the decision of a local jurisdiction. More at the Salt Lake Tribune.
A colleague of mine (thanks Jamie!) sent me an email with this intriguing title. I have no idea where it originated, but it is an interesting compilation of some amazing photos and short descriptions of various natural and man-made "holes". A few sinkholes, glory holes, and of course open pit mines. By the way I didn’t write (or edit) this, just some minor formatting updates. Check it out.
The Kansas Geological Survey has some interesting seismic equipment that they have used on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to look for drug tunnels along the US-Mexico border. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The sensors all appear to be placed within an old fire hose and mounted onto a Bobcat Toolcat utility machine. On the front of the vehicle is a cyllinder with a 60-lb weight that gets dropped. Read on. (Photo by Richard Gwin, LJWorld.com)
The downloads page at ADAMA Engineering lists an update (Number 1) for ReSSA 3.0. I have not even heard anything about the release of version 3.0, and even other pages on their website only mention ReSSA 2.0 as the latest version. As soon as I hear anything about the new version and its additional features, I’ll be sure to post the info here. ReSSA is software for the design of reinforced soil slopes or RSS.
An update for the MSE wall design software MSEW was also released recently. This update is number 8.1 and primarily updates the way reinforcement database files are referenced, allowing the location of the database file currently in use to be stored in the project file. After recently completing a major MSE wall review using MSEW, all I can say is halleluia! I had to manually locate the database file for every single one of my old runs. This should be a nice fix.