Monthly Archives: May 2013

Port of Baltimore Gears up for post-Panamax trade


The newly constructed Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore is fully functional, as giant Chinese-constructed cranes unload a constant stream of goods. The $250m project, funded by Ports America, has opened in anticipation of the expansion of the Panama Canal. The terminal will be operated under a 50-year lease, signed by the Port of Baltimore and the Maryland Port Administration.

The Port of Baltimore is currently one of only two East coast ports that can accommodate large cargo, or “post-Panamax”, ships, the second such facility being the Port of Virginia, in Norfolk. By 2015, however, the Panama Canal locks will have been expanded to manage longer and wider ships, opening the door to East coast ports and the Gulf of Mexico.

The dredging of Baltimore’s channel and construction of a 50-ft berth forms part of a ports “arms race” that has swept the country. Larger ships carrying more cargo lead to increased profits, and this large-scale expansion is seen as key to the port’s economic survival. Ports America Chesapeake president, Mark Montgomery, said: “It will allow a ship that is three times as big to come through the canal once the widening project is finished. It’s a significant change in maritime economics.”

The expanded capacity includes four new “super post-panamax” cranes, at 400-foot-tall, are considered the largest of their kind in the maritime industry, reaching 22 containers across on a container ship and lifting 187,300 pounds of cargo. These are in addition to Baltimore’s existing seven “post-panamax” 18 container cranes.

Forecasts of a manufacturing shift towards Southeast Asian states such as Vietnam and Cambodia will further change the field of play for port economics. James White, Maryland Port Administration’s executive director, said: “I think we’re probably going to see, within the next five to 10 years, most of the transits, if that continues, to come to the Suez Canal, with the Panama Canal getting maybe some overflow.”

Richard Greenan

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Buro Happold win Engineering on Riyadh Metro

700BH Riadh

UK based Buro Happold will provide the structural engineering, services and fire engineering  for the the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. London based Zaha Hadid is the architect behind the stunning design.

With over 5 million residents, Riyadh’s population has more than doubled since 1990. To serve its fast-growing population, the city will build a new public transport system.

The 20,434 sq. m. King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station will serve as a key interchange on the network for Line 1, as well as the terminus of Line 4 (for passengers to the airport) and Line 6 of the new Riyadh Metro. The local monorail can also be accessed from the station via a skybridge. With six platforms over four public floors and two levels of underground car parking,  the KAFD Metro Station will be integrated within the urban context of the financial district, responding to the functional requirements for a multimodal transport centre and the district’s future vision. The project extends beyond the simple station typology to emphasize the building’s importance as a dynamic, multi-functional public space; not only an intermediate place perceived through quick transitions, but also a dramatic public space for the city.

The design places the station at the centre of a network of pathways, skybridges and metro lines envisaged  by the KAFD master plan. Connectivity diagrams and traffic across the site have been mapped and structured to clearly delineate the pedestrian routes within the building, optimize internal circulation and avoid congestion. The resulting configuration is a three-dimensional lattice defined by a sequence of opposing sine-waves (generated from the repetition and frequency variation of station’s daily traffic flows) which act as the spine for the building’s circulation. These sine-waves are extended to the station’s envelope and strictly affiliated to its internal layout, translating the architectural concept to the exterior.

King Abdullah has instructed the new Riyadh Metro be completed in four years. Prince Khaled bin Bander, the governor of Riyadh, said the project is progressing to plan and the ArRiyadh Development Authority has released details of the city’s public transport plan including the six metro lines that will serve as the backbone for public transport in the city.

Michael Hammond

World Infrastructure News to Support Base London


We are delighted to announce our involvement with Base London the low carbon, built environment and infrastructure event on 11 July. Base London brings together an amazing list of the industry’s  Big Guns who share a holistic vision of a low carbon 21st Century City underpinned by an integrated, fabric of next generation infrastructure.

Michael Hammond Editor at World Infrastructure News comments, “This is great opportunity for us to get involved with this exciting initiative. We are totally behind the programme and our media partner involvement will enable us take the passion and inspiration from the event to the wider, Global Infrastructure community”

Andrew Dowding CEO of Base Cities commented: “We love doing business with young energetic businesses like World Infrastructure News, particularly one with such compatible views on future cities and their infrastructure. So we’re greatly looking forward to working together and accessing a great route to market and adding to the rigour of our content. ”

Programme details.

Big Data – Media hype or industry game changer? 1400hrs.

It’s been heralded as the onset of a whole new era of integrated cities, 24/7 data collection being run through algorithms and fed back into the city machine, making our lives more efficient, seamless commutes, travel disruption a thing of the past. We have been fed a vision of driverless cars, clean streets and a smarter way of living, but where are the facts; The case studies, the proof and of course the money?

Michael Hammond editor at World Infrastructure News puts these questions and more to a panel of experts;

Panel confirmed so far:

Andy Stanford Clark; IBM
Parsons Brinkerhoff
Scott Cain; Future Cities Project Leader, Technology Strategy Board
Barry Hughes (HOK)
Charles Secrett; former FOE director and government advisor

Register now:


Written By admin 
May 17, 2013 10:06 am
Posted In Business

Mott MacDonald to design six stations for Gurgaon Metro Phase II, India

Mott MacDonald is to provide the detailed design for six new metro stations on Phase II of the rapid metro rail network in Gurgaon, India. The metro is being developed by Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon to help meet the growing transportation requirements between Gurgaon and Delhi.

Construction of Phase I, which comprises a 5.1km rail loop connecting Cyber City, NH-8 and Sikanderpur station on Delhi Metro Line 2, began in 2008. The INR1500 million second phase will see a 6.5km rail line extend the network southwards and include six elevated metro stations – DLF Phase I, Sushant Lok, Sec. 42 Crossing, Sector 54-53, AIT Chowk and Sector 55-56. The stations will be situated above existing carriageways and will include residential and commercial spaces.

Mott MacDonald will provide architectural, structural and building services design for the six stations. The project will seek to achieve LEED sustainability certification through the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power, energy efficient design and rain water harvesting.

Somnath Nandan, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Mott MacDonald has been involved with Delhi Metro for over a decade and we are delighted to offer our multidisciplinary consultancy services on the Gurgaon rapid metro development. Located 30km south of New Delhi, Gurgaon is the financial and industrial hub of the Haryana state. This project is an important step in providing a sustainable solution to the city’s traffic congestion by reducing dependency on cars, inefficient urban sprawl and increasing the use of public transport.”

Phase II is expected to be completed by late 2016.

Source: Mott MacDonald

WSP and OMA Win Doha “Airport City” Contract

doha wsp

Doha’s new city and airport expansion will be jointly developed by British engineers WSP and Dutch architecture firm OMA, it has been announced. OMA won an international competition to secure their share of the contract. The development programme, which extends as far as 2042, has been dubbed “Airport City”, and will cover 10 sq km of land next to Doha’s Hamad International Airport.

OMA have planned a “green spine” of gardens, plazas and public spaces which will run parallel with Airport City’s runways. This spine, formed of four districts, will connect logistics and business centres with residential and aviation zones, with housing alongside Doha’s new Bay Marina. The first construction phase is scheduled for completion in 2022, in time for Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup.

WSP contract takes into account transport and specialist aviation planning, security and engineering. The firm is also responsible for further airside and land airport expansions, as well as the design of a second passenger terminal. When Hamad opens in April it is already expected to handle 30 million passengers annually, with the figure rising to 50 million.

Graeme Power-Hosking, WSP’s project director, stated: “This is an extremely exciting project. With the FIFA 2022 World Cup putting the city on the world-stage, our aim alongside our client is to make it a world-class airport with world-class infrastructure. Our client is setting new benchmarks in design and uncompromising on quality and this raises the bar for us as well.”

Richard Greenan

Hochtief sells airports division for €1.1 billion

Hochtief’s AirPort division has been sold to Canadian pension fund PSP Investments German for €1.1 billion.

The German contractor holds stakes in Airports at Athens, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Sydney and Tirana which, combined, handle approximately 95 million passengers annually.

Recently appointed Chief Executive Marcelino Fernández Verdes aims to develop the business into leading global infrastructure provider. Commenting on the sale, he said the cash would help Hochtief climb out of debt and pursue its growth plans. “The transaction is the result of a very competitive tendering process,” he said. “We will use the released funds as planned to reduce debt and to invest in the operating infrastructure business. The transaction will further strengthen Hochtief’s financial and competitive position.”

BNSF wins in LA


BNSF Railway Company has won approval from L.A. City Council for the controversial  $500m railyard project near the neighbourhoods of Long Beach and Wilmington.

The new $500m rail yard on a 153-acre site, known as the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) will significantly reduce road traffic.

Proponents of the project, including business and labour backers, state that thousands of jobs will be generated by the railyard close to the Terminal Island Freeway. It is also argued that pollution in the area will be reduced by SCIG’s shortening of cargo truck trips to and from freight trains. Local council representative Joe Buscaino has declared that the railyard will be essential for the the Port of Los Angeles to compete with the widening Panama Canal.

Buscaino said, “With a $500 million investment, this is a good project from both an environmental and economic point of view.” He continued, “This will be the cleanest rail yard ever built in this country and will mean a reduction in air pollution through better cargo handling and eliminating 1 million truck trips a year on the freeway.”

The project comes as a capital commitment plan pushes BNSF’s spending $450m higher than its capital spend total for 2012. As well as boosting BNSF’s presence in the area, the project will provide competition for a nearby railyard owned by Union Pacific. It is also progressing in tandem with a $137.7m intermodal railyard that will offer storage and staging for trains travelling between the port and the Alameda Corridor.

Environmental groups, community activists and regional air regulators oppose the project. A representative of the Natural Resources Defense Council has pledged the group will file a lawsuit to block construction of the railyard. Executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Barry Wallerstein, highlighted the number of nitrous oxide emitting trucks that SCIG will bring close to homes.

Richard Greenan


Written By infra2013 
May 13, 2013 16:55 pm
Posted In Ports, TRANSPORT

Parsons Brinckerhoff win in California

high-speed-rail la

Parsons Brinckerhoff, a division of Balfour Beatty, has won a two-year,  £78 million (US$120 million) contract extension for programme management services on the California High-Speed Rail project.

One of the largest, most ambitious public transportation programmes in U.S. history, the project will allow passengers to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour, making the trip in under three hours, compared to almost six hours by automobile.  The first phase of the planned 800-mile network will run from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area through California’s Central Valley, with subsequent phases connecting to San Diego and Sacramento.

“The California High-Speed Rail System will transform the way Californians travel while alleviating freeway and airport congestion, reducing carbon emissions, and enhancing the state’s economic competitiveness,” explained Andrew McNaughton, Balfour Beatty Chief Executive.  “With funding now in place, construction of the initial segment in the Central Valley is on target to proceed this summer.”

Parsons Brinckerhoff has served as the project’s programme manager since 2006 and is assisting the California High Speed Rail Authority with all aspects of the programme, including planning, environmental review, preliminary engineering, and testing and commissioning. Other key responsibilities include developing the criteria and technical standards that will define high-speed train systems, procurement of system-wide design-build contracts, and supporting the Authority on a range of project development activities, including economic impact analyses, business planning and grants.



Michael Hammond


UK clash over airport site

A report by the UK’s House of Commons Transport Committee published today has come out firmly in support of retaining and expanding Heathrow Airport in the West of London.

The 124 page report details the objections to the Mayor’s proposals for a new hub in the Thames Estuary and highlights cost and damage to wildlife habitat as key points.

Transport Committee chair Louise Ellman MP: “Research we commissioned made plain that building an entirely new hub airport east of London could not be done without huge public investment in new ground transport infrastructure.”

The MPs said a third runway at Heathrow was necessary instead, and even suggested that a fourth runway might be needed. Their proposal is to move the new runways three kilometres, to the west. Some 700 properties would need to be demolished to make room for additional capacity.

Richard Gammon from HOK’s global Aviation and Transportation Leader-ship team comments; “This report comes as very welcome news and suggests that the political tide may gradually be turning towards the only realistic, pragmatic and deliverable solution that will safeguard the future of Heathrow and London’s hub status”

The report puts the UK Government in direct conflict with London Mayor Boris Johnsons’ plans for a new four runway in the Thames Estuary.

The Government commissioned Davies Report will publish interim results later this year and its final verdict after the UK General election, around May 2014.

Michael Hammond

Richard Gammon is on the World Infrastructure Awards 2013 transport panel
Meet the Jury Panel



Gannett Fleming LEEDS the way in Phoenix


The PHX Sky Train™, one of the world’s most advanced and energy-efficient automated people movers (APM), has recently opened to public service at its first stage. This phase includes three elevated passenger stations and around 1.7mile of guide ways linking Phoenix’s Metro light-rail station with the airport’s economy parking structure.

Its design was the result of a cooperative partnership. “Gannett Fleming managed and guided the entire design process; HOK used its wealth of architectural design knowledge to formulate and develop the basis and architectural details of the station designs”, says Mark Pilwallis, project manager for Gannett Fleming.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport determined the need of a secondary ground transportation system, so as to deal with increasing passenger volume and prevent future curb and roadway congestion. After conducting a series of comprehensive studies, the APM type technology turned out to be the best long term solution in terms of life cycle costs, customer service, operations, safety and accommodation of expected airport growth.

The challenges of working within an airport environment have brought together owner and design team in regular workshops. With no initial pre-established criteria, the team developed an elevated track that would make it possible for a 747 plane to pass under.  A permanent joint project office was also created onsite to host the City Management staff, the design team and the Construction Manager at Risk. The latter was “procured at the 30% design level so that they could advise on constructability and design details”, Pilwallis explains.

The PHX Sky Train™ is the first ever driverless infrastructure rated as LEED-NC Gold. For Mark Pilwallis, it is “a great forward-thinking asset to the Airport and community”. “It will economically facilitate long term airport growth with a sustained high level of service”, he reckons.

Raquel Margarido


Written By infra2013 
May 09, 2013 14:26 pm
Posted In Rail, TRANSPORT