2006: The Year in Construction

Engineering News-Record has released its "Images of the Year" – and some of them are really fantastic.

[Image: Merle Prosofsky, Edmonton, Canada; "Backlighting diffused by early-morning fog dramatizes the beginning of the five-hour erection of a 310-tonne vacuum distillation tower. The 37-meter-long, 8.5-m-diameter tower will extract oil for OPTI Nexen’s $3.6-billion Long Lake steam-assisted gravity drainage project from northern Alberta’s oil sands." Via ENR].

[Image: Timothy J. Gattie, Boise, ID; "The $330-million Otay River Bridge in Chula Vista, Calif. rises into the morning mist. 'As the sun peeked through the fog, I couldn’t make out the bridge,' says Gattie, area engineer for Washington Group. 'So I put the sun behind the columns, and the picture came out.'" Via ENR].

[Image: Leah C. Palmer; "The scaffolded 'village green' of the recently completed St. Coletta School charter school in Washington, D.C., felt like the belly of the beast to Palmer... Palmer, who studied architecture, is fascinated by the framework of buildings." Via ENR].

[Image: Brian Fulcher, Walnut, CA; "A tunnel construction enthusiast, Fulcher took this shot of workers on the Gotthard Base Tunnel, Sedrun, Switzerland, a Bilfinger Berger-led joint venture. The crew is installing steel support ribs which, with the shotcrete applied to the tunnel’s forward wall, prevent collapse. This portion of the tunnel was bored through 'squeezing ground, which pushes in on the tunnel walls,' Fulcher says. 'It’s very dangerous work.'" Via ENR].

I've only uploaded four of my favorites; go to ENR for two dozen or so that I didn't choose. Many of the images are like photographic updates of Fernand Léger and his Constructors, including this bizarre sky bicycle, or these two guys with their roped bottles of water.

All rights belong to the photographers credited above.

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Anonymous leah said...

this contest could have a great awards ceremony. i wonder what the trophies would be: a miniature golden tunnel digger? a silver crane?

and while on the subject of construction, a head's up to the crazy chase scene near the opening of the latest james bond movie. that crane-to-crane leaping was totally unbelievable!

December 29, 2006 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the chasee in that was sebastien foucan, the founder of parkour/freerunning. that sequence was one of the better incorporations of a sport into film i've ever seen.

December 30, 2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger Barrie said...

I live in Edmonton, the city mentioned in the first picture you posted... nice to see that construction insanity going on here is being reported. Some areas of the city, and around this city and to the north, are not so much inhabited by people as they are by these lumbering, huge steel trusses and tubes and tanks. Gigantic cranes erect them at an almost religiously feverish pace. Not to mention the highways being taken up regularly not by cars, but by gigantic trailers hauling enormous horizontal contraptions packed with pipes, valves, turning wheels, and tanks. It's almost surreal.

January 02, 2007 3:02 AM  
Anonymous patrick h. lauke said...

i was going to try and email you, but can't seem to find any address...so, related to the tunnel construction shot, i was intrigued to read about the elevator they're planning to deploy by 2016. see http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,454843,00.html for details.

January 04, 2007 3:26 PM  
Anonymous cenoxo said...

The Gotthard Base Tunnel shot looks like a Stargate in the early stages of construction.

January 05, 2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Wired says the same thing: "Did they find a Stargate?"

And that elevator project is unbelievable - I love it.

January 05, 2007 1:22 PM  
Anonymous cenoxo said...

Partick,

In summer at least, the Gotthard Base Tunnel elevator would seem like a near-death experience. Out of the underworld into heaven: the mountain town of Sedrun.

(Hmmm... I think I'd prefer upwards.)

January 06, 2007 12:29 PM  

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