Legions of catatonic organisms lie asleep in the matrix, waiting only for momentary exposure to water and oxygen in order to awaken — whereupon the organisms immediately germinate, grow and fulfill their destiny, sealing the cracks in the fabric of their universe before falling dormant once again.
Continue reading “It’s Alive! Self-Healing Concrete, Materials Science and Other Evolutionary Developments”
Situated on the northwest coast of Oregon, the resort town of Seaside — population 6,685 — seems an unlikely place for advanced seismic and tsunami simulations. But just offshore Seaside’s charming 1920s boardwalk and its broad, sandy beaches famed for razor clamming, the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is slowly sliding underneath the behemoth North American plate.
Continue reading “Little Locales Using Big Data to Prevent Bridge Failures”
Provisions of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure investment plan revealed by the White House this past February include $200 billion in federal spending to incentivize local governments, support existing infrastructure loan programs like the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), build projects of national significance, and provide rural block grants to states for investments into transportation, waste and power projects.
Continue reading “Jump Start: Where Infrastructure Spending Typically Goes”
Eighty-one years ago this May, traffic opened on a newly constructed bridge span between Marin County, California, and the city of San Francisco. At 4,200 feet long and with towers 746 feet high, the steel suspension bridge was the longest and tallest bridge of its time. Built at a cost of $35 million, held together with 1.2 million rivets, and painted international orange from end to end, the Golden Gate Bridge was an instant symbol not just of California idealism, but of American engineering and construction might.
While the Golden Gate is no longer the longest or tallest bridge in the world, its iconic status has endured. Named one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Golden Gate enjoys regular special attention from 13 ironworkers and 28 painters who replace corroding steel and rivets with high-strength steel bolts and constantly touch up the span with paint to prevent corrosion.
Continue reading “Better Engineering for Stronger, Longer-Lasting Bridges and Wastewater Infrastructure”