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.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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