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Geotechnical Experts on site Today Developing a Plan at Wildcat Creek Bridge

August 8, 2015 Geotechnical Experts on site Today Developing a Plan at Wildcat Creek Bridge TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. – Geotechnical experts observed conditions at the I-65 northbound bridge over Wildcat Creek today and are working to test and analyze the soils and develop a detailed plan to address and prevent further pier settlement. INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson briefed Governor Mike Pence by phone today and he is monitoring the situation. What happened Structural engineers monitoring the I-65 northbound bridge over the Wildcat Creek noticed movement in the riverbank pier and ordered the bridge closed Friday afternoon.  An estimated reopening date for the bridge will not be known until soils testing and analysis is completed.  INDOT will work to provide updates as new information is available. Detour I-65 northbound merges to one lane and is diverted onto U.S. 52 at Exit 141 north of Lebanon. Follow U.S. 52 north for nearly 17 miles, then turn left at State Road 28. Follow S.R. 28 west for about 10 miles, then turn right onto U.S. 231. Follow U.S. 231 north for about 33 miles until it intersects I-65 again in White County. INDOT thanks the motoring public for their patience while engineers and other experts work to safely reopen the bridge.  INDOT is installing temporary traffic signals at the S.R. 28 intersections with U.S. 52 and U.S. 231.  Until those are completed late on Sunday, INDOT and law enforcement staff are helping to direct traffic. INDOT engineers are monitoring traffic flow on U.S. 231 signals and adjusting timing patterns.  INDOT has asked contractors to suspend work where the official detour rejoins I-65 in White County. Message alerting travelers of the closure are posted on dynamic message signs as far south as the Louisville metro area. INDOT is working to identify and clear alternate routes [...]

California highway landslide leaves vehicles buried – video

Aerial footage shows work crews clearing mud and debris following flash floods that left nearly 200 vehicles stuck in up to 5ft (1.5 metres) of mud. The Leona Valley, about 20 miles north of Los Angeles, saw extensive downpours on Thursday, with 3.58 inches (9 cm) of rainfall during a 30 minute period. Elsewhere in southern California, several roads were washed out and there were reports of motorists having to be rescued from torrential flooding  

Discovery hinders Indianapolis transit center construction

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Work has halted on part of a new downtown Indianapolis transit center after workers discovered an old building foundation several feet below ground. IndyGo spokesman Bryan Luellen says the foundation might date as far back as the late 1800s. He says workers also found objects including pieces of glass, flatware and chunks of vases that were left behind when the building was demolished. Construction has stopped on the part of the site where the foundation lies. Luellen tells The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1cDdYSP ) that the transportation agency has hired architects to determine whether the foundation is historically important. The $20 million transit center could still open partially finished and on time later this year.

Pence signs bill repealing Indiana construction wage law

A Republican-backed measure that will repeal Indiana's law setting wages for state and local government construction projects has been approved by Gov. Mike Pence. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Pence signs repeal of IN construction wage law A Republican-backed measure that will repeal Indiana's law setting wages for state and local government construction projects has been approved by Gov. Mike Pence. Pence signed the legislation Wednesday and says it will allow the free market to determine pay scales rather than government boards. Supporters estimate the change will reduce project costs by as much as 20 percent by allowing more contractors to pay wages below union scale. Opponents dispute such savings will occur and say it will open the door for low-paying, out-of-state contractors. The measure sparked controversy during this year's legislative session, including a rally that brought thousands of contractors and union members to the Statehouse lawn in April. The repeal takes effect in July.

Chicago-Detroit high-speed rail plans outlined

(right to left) Ken McMullen (MDot), Matt Webb (HNTB Consultant), Mohammed Alguhurabi (MDot) and Tom Walls (City of Ft. Wayne) look over plan specifics in Gary on October 30, 2014. | Jim Karczewski/For Sun-Times Media The Michigan Department of Transportation is overseeing the project alongside agencies in Indiana and Illinois. The plan considered using existing Amtrak lines between Chicago and Porter, Indiana, but none would allow for more trips per day or the high speeds that are necessary. Currently, Amtrak offers three round trips daily between Chicago and Detroit. Officials discussed four routes that would require capital investments ranging from $2.3 billion to $3 billion and annual maintenance of about $155 million. Two of the routes might have an impact on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and all would require construction of bridges and other structures to avoid freight traffic in Northwest Indiana. All but one of the possible routes would stop at the Hammond/Whiting and Michigan City stations, but project officials said there is talk about building an additional station in Northwest Indiana. No likely candidates have been named, but several attendees mentioned a stop near the Gary/Chicago International Airport as being ideal. The Rev. Asher Harris of the Northwest Indiana Interfaith Alliance said a connection between passenger rail and the airport makes sense. “There should be something happening, particularly with the possibility of passenger airlines,” Harris said. “We certainly need a connection.” Harris said a project of this magnitude also could spur economic development in Gary. “We don’t want our citizens left behind,” he said. “There must be jobs.” Dennis Hodges, of Gary, vice president of business relations for the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, said the airport always has been envisioned as transportation hub for the region. Miller resident David Chary said the corridor is great idea to [...]

Five Cities Turning Ugly Overpasses Into Vibrant Parks

Expand It seemed like a good idea at the time, right? We'd build vast, multi-lane roads slicing through the center of our cities, bulldozing our most historic architecture and displacing tens of thousands of residents at a time, all in the name of progress. 50 years later these genius improvements have severed our neighborhoods, ruined our air, and may not even have helped that much in the way of traffic. So why have a freeway exposed like a gaping, oozing urban wound when you can put a park on it? Freeway cap parks (or highway cap parks, or turnpike cap parks, depending on your preferred regional dialect and/or toll system) are the hot new way for cities to dial down the noise, pollution and blight that come with those pesky interstates. Facing rapidly growing populations as more people move back into urban areas, many cities across the country are looking at them as a way to quickly reclaim valuable public space. Expand It's not a new idea, of course. Freeway cap parks have been around for as long as freeways. Technically, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where the BQE tucks under a pedestrian walkway, is a freeway cap dating to the 1950s. Seattle's too-aptly-named Freeway Park (above) was constructed in 1976 as a Brutalist wonderland where the sound of waterfalls (almost) drown out the 5 Freeway below. In Phoenix, the 10 Freeway was routed into a tunnel when it was built in 1990 and Margaret T. Hance Park was built on top. Expand Boston's elevated freeway, the Central Artery, was replaced by an underground freeway with a greenway at street level But freeway caps have come a long way in the last 2o years. Capping, or adding "decking" to the freeway, can be more time- and cost-effective than other redevelopment plans [...]

How to Go About Burying 16,000-Ton Tunnel Segments Under a River

Throughout the summer, six large barge-like vessels floated out of Baltimore's harbor. These weren't boats, they were giant concrete tubes, destined for a tunnel in Southern Virginia that will expand a busy subterranean highway that connects two parts of the state. This week, those tunnel segments will start to be installed under the Elizabeth River and engineering firm Skanska has released detailed information about how exactly they are burying those 16,000-ton tunnel segments below a muddy riverbed. The Elizabeth River Tunnels is a transportation project launched in 2011 to double the capacity of the existing Midtown Tunnel, which connects the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia by car. It's one of the largest infrastructure projects currently happening in the U.S. But it's also in an extremely sensitive ecological region—the Elizabeth is the same river that's part of a larger restoration program to clean and repair the watershed that I've written about before. The project needs to have as light a touch on the surrounding environment as possible. Expand Since the tunnel segments were cast in Baltimore, the first step for the journey was to transport those segments almost 220 miles away. Obviously the 350-foot-long concrete tubes were far too heavy (and inefficient) to haul via truck, so engineers used the river's natural transportation power. The segments were closed off on one side so they could float like barges, heading out the Chesapeake Bay and back up the Elizabeth River, where a trench awaited the segments' arrival. Expand The rest of the action goes on underwater, so Skanska created an infographic to illustrate the process. First, 40,000 tons of aggregate and sand are dropped into the trench, where they're graded down to a tolerance of one inch by a kind of sand-plow device suspended from above. Then, the actions used to [...]

Geotechnical Engineer, Indianapolis Indiana

MALEK M. SMADI, PH.D., P.E. Principal Engineer GEOTILL Inc. Strategic Management, Harvard University, 2012 Ph.D., Civil Engineering , University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2001 Dr. Smadi provided geotechnical engineering services for over 27 years on projects in Indianapolis, State of Indiana and other States which include airport facilities, stadiums, embankments and levee evaluations and designs, multi span and long span bridges, highways, railroads, industrial plants, high rise and commercial structures, water and wastewater treatment plants, power generating stations, hydropower structures and dams, waterfront and docking facilities including the hydrodynamic pressure resulting from earthquakes, slope stabilization and retaining structures. Dr. Smadi's research and professional interests include foundation engineering, construction problems, numerical techniques, granular soils subjected to earthquakes, ground modification technology, and underground construction. In addition to the work as practitioner engineer and researcher, Dr. Smadi worked at Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) in teaching geotechnical engineering and related areas such as soil mechanics and foundation engineering.   msmadi@geotill.com Or (317) 449-0033 Ext. 101