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Boston's Big Dig: An Engineering Tragedy?

09/05/2006 2:53 PM

The collapse of the roof in sections of Boston's Central Artery Tunnel Project has become one of engineering's biggest controversies. Is the fault in the design or in the installation? Following the incident, structural engineers have offered their comments of the bolt and epoxy assemblies used to anchor the concrete blocks to the tunnel ceiling.

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from the September issue of Industrial Automation, a new newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Industrial Automation today.

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Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boston Massachusetts U.S.A.
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#1

bolt epoxy

09/05/2006 3:25 PM

Did anyone look at the epoxy itself ,were the temperatures critical were the batch numbers ever anylized for effectiveness .Or were the same standards applied as was the concrete.

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Associate

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Mexico
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#2
In reply to #1

Re:bolt epoxy

09/06/2006 3:20 AM

Maybe the solution is not hang 12 ton slaps above highway tunnels, is there one reason for them to be up there in the first place? besides for looks seems to me gunite would be the simple and cheap solution.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re:bolt epoxy

09/06/2006 7:24 AM

That is exactly my argument. …and wouldn't the cheap and easy (also safe) way to fix it be to use the existing brackets and replace the 12 ton concrete slabs with much lighter fiberglass. This is what I see as being a common future in engineering, bureaucracy and corruption driving the projects, not the engineers. We had a family of "big dig workers" move into our neighborhood a mere 150 miles outside of Boston. 1 or 2 of them would head to the job site for a few hours everyday. The rest would stay at home and work on fixing up the house they lived in so they could flip it and move on to another. The local media recently exploited big dig workers who put their children on the payroll. The simple fact that so many people stole from this project should make them 100% responsible for fixing it. Thousands of people became millionaires off the big dig and all that cash should be taken back.

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Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boston Massachusetts U.S.A.
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#4
In reply to #3

Re:bolt epoxy

09/06/2006 3:53 PM

I thought there was some reason the cielings needed to be strong enough to allow a big airflow to run through maybe fiberglass couldn't handle the job .Although I'd guess the choice of concrete had more to do with someone making some more money and the added benifit it gave the workers a great place to hide so they wouldn't have to do much .

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