The four-year-old $14.8 billion Big Dig in Boston is up to its old tricks of behaving like a 70-year-old tunnel. The problem this time around are leaks, which are up 18% over last year after Massachusetts officials pledged to reduce them to a trickle, according to the Boston Globe. Every months, the Big Dig pumps out 2 million gallons of water. In late 2004, the Globe reported that Bechtel officials said the leaks were "normal" and would take a few months to fix. The Globe’s story yesterday shows a partially flooded roadway in the tunnel whose 6-8 lanes wend there way under downtown Boston for about two miles. The leaks relevation comes just after lawyers for the family of the late Milena Del Valle rejected a settlement offer from a mediator representing 15 companies that design, managed and built the Big Dig, the largest highway project ever in U.S. Riding as a passenger, Del Valle was crushed by a suspended concrete ceiling panel that fell on car on the evening of July 10 last year. The project’s main contractor is Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff.
As for the leaks, they’ve been reduced from 3,500 to 800 since 2004, but in some cases, the grout patches keep re-opening. It’s amazing they can’t get this given that the project was projected to cost $2.85 billion in 1985.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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