And a train was actually hit! Fortunately it was stationary on the tracks, but it crushed the side panel of the driver’s carriage. Neither the driver nor any passengers were injured in the incident. The drill rig was drilling to install ground source heating or geothermal heating for a hotel when at a depth of 20 to 25 meters (65 to 82-ft), the drillers noticed that they lost resistance when they punched through the subway tunnel. Upon withdrawing the drill stem, they were missing the bottom 2.5-m according to a local police official. Story at The Local. (Photo of N.Y. Subway from runnx)
April 7-11 is National Workzone Awareness Week (NWZAW) which draws attention to the hazards roadway construction crews face from motorists not heeding safety warnings. For 2006â€”the last year for which data is availableâ€”more than 1,000 died in work zones. Figures for 2007 will be released by the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse later this year. Motorists are also at risk for not following work zone safety precautions. They may face damage to their vehicles, injuries, and loss of life. For 2006, 614 motorists died in work zone crashes. (Graphic by Caltrans)
Below are a few items to think about the next time youâ€™re driving through a workzone taken from a Caltrans fact sheet. More after the break (sorry for the â€œDuhâ€ ones, but I didnâ€™t write them). As someone who occasionally works on the road and knows many more people who do, please, please remember to slow down!
- Most injuries and deaths in the Cone Zone are from rear-end collisions.
- If you slow from 65 to 55 mph for one mile, you only lose 10 seconds on your travel time.
- The first cause of death for people aged 16 to 20 is car crashes. Even if you don’t lose your life causing a car crash, it could still cost you your license or a heavy fine.
- If a car’s speed is doubled, the stopping distance is doubled twice over. For example, if a car traveling at 30 mph requires 100 feet to stop, the same car at 60 mph takes not 200 but 400 feet to stop.
- At 60 mph, you’re traveling 88 feet per second. A lot can happen in one second, so give yourself plenty of room to stop in case of an emergency.
- For the 15,000 miles of California highway Caltrans maintains, it must buy 120,000 new cones every year to replace ones run over by careless drivers.
[Updated November 17, 2009] A few new posts from Ontario-geofish [/Updated]
Those with interest in rock mechanics and tunneling might be interested in this project. The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) company is the owner of a $600M (Canadian) construction project to create a third hydro power tunnel under Niagara Falls. Apparently the project is having all kinds of problems with overbreak in some very difficult tunneling conditions which means very slow progress and big $$ overruns. (Photo from niagarafrontier.com)
I’ve been meaning to post something on this project for some time. I admit that my perspective is biased by the viewpoint you can find on the Ontario-geofish blog. I’ve mentioned Harold Asmis before, he’s the owner of the OG blog, and a former OPG employee if I understand correctly. He left OPG for a career doing geophysics and earthquake engineering for the Nuclear Power industry in Canada. I highly recommend his blog, he has great insight into tunneling, earthquakes, siting of nuclear power plants not to mention opinions on all kinds of other things. His writing style is very colorful and entertaining as well.
So, Harold has written a whole series of blog posts on the Niagra Tunnel project, including a 5-part series entitled "The Disaster of the Niagara Tunnel" and a 4-part series called "Niagara Tunnel: doing it Right". He is not directly involved with the project, but his long career with OPG and related disciplines gives him some great insights. I’ve collected a list of some of his blog posts on the Niagara Tunnel project as well as a few other links about the project. Click through for the good stuff.