Monthly Archives: September 2013

World Infrastructure Awards 2013: Temporary Works category

borough market classic machinery

We are delighted to announce that as part of our ongoing programme to highlight innovation in engineering and construction, we are launching an award dedicated to temporary works.

The Costa Concordia tragedy has, through a sad twist of fate, managed to bring engineering skills to the public domain, an event that is all too rare. We aim to showcase other smaller but still vital examples of innovative engineering that are happening every day, but going unnoticed.


This initiative has been part inspired by the recent co-winner of the Transport Category, the Port Botany Expansion Project in Sydney, Australia by Baulderstone + Jan de Nul (Joint Venture) which impressed the judges with their contemporary construction process which implemented new construction methodologies, including production and transportation of the 640 tonne precast concrete counterfort units, setting a benchmark and establishing new technical standards in design and construction for future infrastructure projects.

04_Placement of first counterfort unit

This new category will encompass all the three main award sectors of Transport, Energy and Water and will get down to the technical details and ingenuity applied by engineers to enable their projects to get delivered on time and on budget.

The Temporary Works Award will launch on October 1st, when more details will be available on the website.

Michael Hammond

Footbridge Conference 2014

Footbridge Conference 2014

The deadline for submissions to the Footbridge 2014 Conference, which takes place in London in July, is fast approaching. The conference, which attracts participants from the world over, has established itself as an international conference highlight for anyone engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of footbridges.

This year’s theme is Footbridges: past, present & future, and is supplemented by the following topics:

• Historical and heritage structures
• Dynamic response and structural behaviour
• Inspirations in footbridge design
• Planning, design and construction of sustainable footbridges
• Advances in materials technology for footbridge construction
• Future directions in footbridge design and construction

The deadline for abstract submissions is September 30. The international scientific committee will review all abstracts and papers with a view to maintaining the high quality of presentations already established in previous conferences, and hopefully setting a new benchmark for future events in the Footbridge series.

To submit an abstract, visit the Footbridge 2014 website at:

Important dates:

• September 30, 2013, Deadline for submission of abstracts
• December 2, 2013, Notification of provisional acceptance
• February 3, 2014, Deadline of submission of full papers
• March 31, 2014, Notification of paper acceptance
• July 16-18, 2014, Conference

World Cities Network to host energy resilience workshop in New York

9. WCN

World Cities Network will gather leaders in New York on October 8th to support the work on improving the resilience of New York City. During a one day workshop facilitated by Capgemini, and supported by Buro Happold and HOK, projects and initiatives in the city and internationally will be shared to develop an action plan to accelerate improvements to the city’s power network and to the way buildings use and interact with the grid. The benefits will be felt by everyone in the city and will help to protect and enhance the attractiveness of the New York as a place to invest, work, and live.

Participants will be drawn from city and private sector leadership including NYC Department Design + Construction, NYC Department Citywide Administration, NYC Mayors Office for Long Term Planning and Sustainability, Capgemini, Con Edison, Buro Happold, Deloitte, HOK, IBM, Jones Lang LaSalle, Pace Energy, Polytechnic Institute NYU, Siemens, Skanska, Urban Green, and ULI.

For more information contact:

Written By admin 
September 26, 2013 15:48 pm
Posted In Uncategorized

Los Angeles: FCC begins construction work on $650 million replacement bridge

desmond bridge

Spanish infrastructure and environmental services group, FCC, has begun work to replace the historic Gerald Desmond Bridge in Los Angeles. Built in the 1960s, it currently carries more than 15% of the waterborne cargo traffic of the United States.

Upon completion, it will have the tallest span height for a cable-stayed bridge in the US. FCC workers are currently carrying out test piling on both sides of the existing bridge, and have demolished the Pier T Avenue – an auxiliary access ramp.

FCC was awarded the $650m (£400m) design and build contract in July 2012 as part of a joint venture with local group Shimmick Construction Company Inc (40%) and the Italian company Impregilo SpA (30 %). Employing over 3,000 workers, the full project will take four years to complete with the replacement bridge due to be completed in 2016.

The new bridge will be cable-stayed, 305 metres long, with 61 metres of vertical clearance above the Back Channel of the Port of Long Beach. The bridge will have three motor vehicle lanes in each direction, emergency lanes on both sides for additional safety, and cycle and pedestrian lanes.

The new bridge will improve traffic flow, increase safety, and have a highly positive impact on the economy of southern California. The replacement bridge will be built adjacent to the existing Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will remain open and in service until the new span is completed.

C. F. Møller develops Revsing Power Station

cf moller world  infrastructure news

C. F. Møller has created a new design concept for switchgear stations for the Danish energy infrastructure operator The first 400 kW station is now ready for operation.

With the Danish Government eager to give the power grid an aesthetic upgrade, has decided not to construct a large open-air switchgear station in Vejen, Jutland, but instead a gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) station. A key concept has been to give the technical enclosure of the station, placed in the open landscape, a distinct architectonic profile, while maximising future flexibility.

The new Revsing Station is a nerve centre of the Danish power grid, through which increasing volumes of sustainable energy – mostly wind power – will be transported. The GIS station comprises 175 kilometres of the new 400 kW high voltage cable that runs through central Jutland. This new link will represent a massive upgrade to the Danish grid, and will ensure that power from Danish wind farms is transported efficiently to the necessary areas.

The Revsing station is designed as a series of modules arranged in series, which create a transparent gill-like envelope with triangular openings. This structure allows ample daylight into the interior while offering glimpses of the GIS units at the heart of the building.

cf moller world  infrastructure news 2

City Airport set for £200m expansion by 2023

city airport world infrastructure news

London City Airport will expand to double its passenger numbers by 2013, it has been announced. The owners of the East London airport, American infrastructure fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), are seeking planning consent to build an extended terminal and new parking stands and taxi ways for larger aircraft.

These facilities would see the potential number of take-offs and landings at City Airport more than double from 50,000 to 120,000 – providing services for an extra six million passengers. GIP plans on utilising larger aircraft to increase peak hour capacity and better serve the airport’s predominantly business-centric clientèle.

Concerns have been raised over the consequences the expansion may have on local air and noise pollution, and GIP have been pressurised by local campaigners to ensure the project generates growth and local jobs on the same scale as a project such as the Royal Albert Dock – the £1b investment in which has generated 20,000 jobs at the “Asian Business Port”.

GIP Chief Executive Declan Collier stated: “Today we are presenting the detail on how we propose to build the infrastructure for 50,000 more flight movements a year to 120,000 by the mid-2020s. The timing is right as everyone knows that London is moving to the East so our catchment area is growing. Sixty per cent of our customers are business passengers and the economy is growing so the potential is great.”

Despite the Olympics helping to create an influx of three million passengers last year, GIP is still yet to profit from the £465m acquisition of City Airport in 2006.

Speaking of the new Bombardier C Series aircraft fleet that would serve the airport, Collier added: “The aircraft that will serve the airport will be quieter and cleaner and we will put in place enhanced noise mitigation; all our modelling shows the noise increase will be negligible.”

Richard Greenan

Concordia Parbuckling Operation a Success as Stricken Liner Righted

concordia world infrastructure news 1

In a “parbluckling” operation of unprecedented scale, Italian and American engineers have succeeded in bringing the stricken Costa Concordia cruise liner to a fully upright position where it ran aground off the coast of Giglio.

It took US firm Titan Salvage and Italian engineering company Micoperi all of Monday and most of Monday night to bring the ship to “degree zero” using cables and metal flotation tanks, whereupon it rested onto six underwater platforms constructed 30m below sea level.

Both the size of the Concordia and the fact it had come to rest on an underwater precipice made the operation the most difficult of its kind to date.

concordia world infrastructure news 3

As the Concordia was rolled in the water the massive damage dealt to its starboard side during the capsizing was laid bear. The parbuckling was declared complete shortly after 02:00 GMT on Tuesday. The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Authority, Franco Gabrielli, announced the Concordia is now sitting on a platform constructed on the sea bed.

Franco Porcellacchia, leader of the Costa Cruise technical team, said it was “a perfect operation, I must say.” There was no detectable pollution from the ship, he added, keeping the operation on course to preserve the beautifully clear waters off the Giglio coast.

concordia world infrastructure news 4

With a schedule to refloat and remove the Concordia from Giglio’s waters some time in 2014, Titan Salvage and Micoperi will have to now assess the condition of the side of the ship before deciding how to proceed over the coming months.

The attachment to the hull of several large “sponsons” – steel tanks for the eventual refloating – is testament to the extent of the damage. See some fascinating timelapse footage of the parbuckling below.

Richard Greenan

Written By admin 
September 17, 2013 22:17 pm
Posted In Ports, TRANSPORT

Water, water everywhere in Kenya’s baking north!

turkana villagers kenya

News has just broken that large underground water reserves containing a minimum of 250 billion cubic meters of water have been found in Turkana, one of Kenya’s driest and poorest regions.

Both shallow and deep aquifers were surveyed across northern and central Turkana County by natural resources exploration firm, Radar Technologies International (RTI). The work was conducted for the Kenyan Government on behalf of the UN in an effort to identify supplies to combat drought and water scarcity for the 2 million people living in the region. Most are herders who inevitably suffer when drought hits.

Judi Wakhungu, Kenya’s environment minister said at a UN meeting on 11 September, “This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole. We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations.”

The aquifers were detected using the WATEX System, RTI’s space-based exploration technology. According to the company, two major aquifers have now been recorded and proven by drilling.

The large Lotikipi Basin Aquifer is estimated to store 207 billion cubic meters of water, the same volume of the nearby Lake Turkana and estimated to be enough to keep Kenya in water for 70 years. About the size of the US state of Rhode Island, the aquifer replenishes at a rate of 1.2 billion cubic meters a year. This paleo lake could be part of the “Land of Marvels”, the ancient sources of the Nile that were explored by Queen Hatshepsut some 3,500 years ago.

The Lodwar Basin Aquifer, is situated within a short distance of Lodwar town and Turkana’s oil reserves. It is fed by the perennial Turkwel River and has an estimated reserve of 10 billion cubic meters.

RTI recorded three other large structures – Gatome, Kachoda and Nakalale – which could prove to store a combined 30 billion cubic meters once confirmed by drilling.

In addition to deep reserves, RTI also mapped 2 billion cubic meters of water passing only a few meters under the ground and easy to reach, significantly raising the prospect for local agriculture activities.

Written By admin 
September 16, 2013 10:46 am
Posted In Business

UK Planning Inspectorate starts its examination of Thames Tideway Tunnel plans

thames tunnel

Last Thursday, 12 September, the UK Planning Inspectorate – the government body responsible for national infrastructure planning – began looking into the feasibility of London’s proposed new ‘super sewer’, the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The owner and operator of London’s existing sewers, Thames Water, has claimed that, although sound, the Victorian system is now simply too small to transfer the Capital’s waste to its treatment works for processing. It reports that, as a result, around 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage flushes into the Thames in a typical year.

The scheme has its share of vociferous opponents, with concerns that the scale of the disruption involved in creating what would arguably be Europe’s largest sewer system would devastate local commerce and ruin residents’ quality of life. Suggestions include the creation of ‘living walls’ and roofs that send rainwater straight back into the ground rather than down into the sewerage system.

However, Thames Water is adamant that having looked into all the possible solutions over the past 13 years, the Thames Tideway Tunnel is the only viable way forward.


Should it be given the go-ahead, Thames Water’s website states that the tunnel would be “between 6.5 and 7.2 metres in diameter, 66 metres underground at its deepest point and 25.1 kilometres (15.6 miles) long – making it one of the largest and deepest tunnels under London”.

It explains that, in general, the tunnel needs to follow the route of the River Thames so that it can be connected to the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that are located along the riverbanks, adding, “Following the route of the river also means that we can make use of the River Thames itself to transport materials and minimise the number of existing buildings and structures that the tunnel will pass beneath.”

Written By admin 
September 16, 2013 10:25 am
Posted In Business

Risky uprighting of Costa Concordia set for 16 September, weather permitting…

costa concordia uprighting world infrastructure news

A team of 500 engineers and divers from 21 countries is in the final preparation stages of a nail-biting marine salvage operation of unprecedented scale and difficulty.

On Sunday, if the authorities in Giglia, Italy are satisfied that weather conditions are safe, head of operations, Franco Gabrielli will order US salvage company, Titan, and Italian marine contractor, Micoperi, to start parbuckling (uprighting) the stricken Costa Concordia passenger ship at 6am local time (4am BST).

The 114,000-tonne vessel ran onto rocks off Giglia in January 2012, killing 30 with two missing, presumed dead. It has since lain on its side, perched treacherously on a precipitous underwater slope between two spurs of granite rock.

The delicate process is expected to take between eight to 12 hours, and this will be the one and only chance to get the righting right. If the ship buckles, all is lost, including the two bodies still believed to be inside it.

Computer-operated strand jacks will be used to tighten the cables and slowly return the Concordia to a vertical position, resting on a huge underwater platform. The plan is then to tow the vessel from protected Tuscan waters intact. It cannot be broken up in-situ because of the risk of environmental damage to the richly biodiverse waters in which it lies.

Nick Sloane, Titan’s senior salvage master told The Guardian that if given the go-ahead, pre-tensioning the ship would start on Sunday night to help prepare it for the lift. He added that some weaker parts of the ship would fracture, but that was expected and not necessarily a problem and that if you “put it back again then that’s it, you’ve lost the chance. You only have one chance from the start.”

The salvage operation has so far managed to secure the ship using giant cement sacks and custom-made metal platforms. Sloane also told The Guardian that “such is the incline that anyone who goes on board has had to take a climbing course beforehand”. The drilling of holes into the granite rocks was another major challenge.

The total cost of the salvaging is tipped at 600 million Euros (£505 million), the most expensive ever recorded. Fingers crossed for everyone involved.

Gail Taylor

Written By admin 
September 13, 2013 14:43 pm
Posted In Ports, TRANSPORT