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     Friday Jun 8 10:49 AM



An extravagant engineering mistake or a monument for Japan's new millennium? The debate over the world's first airport built on reclaimed land rages seven years after the sprawling complex opened on a skinny island off Osaka, Japan's second city, and then shocked the world by slowly starting to sink. Kansai International Airport, seen in a 1994 file photo, has sunk 40 feet since construction began in 1987.



  Friday Jun 8 11:01 AM

Didn't they put up something to keep the water out, like walls, or have some sort of flood control?

Y'know, the mind wanders to that one guy that built an island using millions of old plastic soda bottles to keep it afloat. I wonder if Japan ever thought of something like that?

~Mike



  Friday Jun 8 11:44 PM

THe Japanese are world leaders in this kind of construction, i'm sure *someone* and i figured out waht to do by now. IF worst comes ot worst it make a good port.....



  Monday Jun 11 10:40 AM

Deja Vu

Turns out Memphis, TN has a similar problem. The city built a pyramid shaped basketball arena on the bank of the Mississippi, and it too is sinking into the water. The debate right now is what to do? Scrap $50 million? Or kludge some sort of fix? I am told that the city was warned by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers that this would happen. But did they listen?

Well let us just say that it stands, but not for long ;-), as yet another example of more pride than brains.



  Monday Jun 11 07:07 PM

The discovery channel recently ran a special on this. Of note:

Engineers predicted the land-fill island would sink either 19 or 27 feet. The problem was they'd never estimated compression of the deep clay present three miles out. They knew this was a risk, but these were the best estimates they could make. The contractor(government?) made a bet on the cheaper 19' estimate. After the landfill was mostly done, it had already sunk more than those 19', whoops. They had to add an extra 15' of fill (the numbers were all kind of hazy and it should be underwater by 2007 or so if accurate).

Anyway, the bigger problem was the concourse building which is too long (over a mile) and sinks at different rates due to variences in the foundation. The solution was real-time monitoring of the stresses and shimming the structural supports as necessary (a constant, daily, process). Without shimming, the structure would rip apart.

In short, they knew what they were doing, but someone made a cost-based decision and doomed the airport. Of course, at some point the sinking should stop. Question is: When?



  Tuesday Jun 12 01:50 PM

Re: Sinking airport

[quote]Originally posted by stmfreak
Engineers predicted the land-fill island would sink either 19 or 27 feet. The problem was they'd never estimated compression of the deep clay present three miles out. They knew this was a risk, but these were the best estimates they could make. The contractor(government?) made a bet on the cheaper 19' estimate. After the landfill was mostly done, it had already sunk more than those 19', whoops. They had to add an extra 15' of fill (the numbers were all kind of hazy and it should be underwater by 2007 or so if accurate).
[quote]

Of course this does not include the effects of Global Warming. The British recently discussed a coastal area devestated by a 1953 hurricane. Engineers recommended that the ocean flood plain not be rebuilt. Politicans knew better. The area is now home to 40,000 and now is also subject to problems associated with global warming.

Why do they mention globabl warming? Get outside the US and it still discussed weekly - without mentioning the name of the man they most associate with the problem - George Jr.



  Tuesday Jun 12 01:58 PM

Re: Deja Vu

Quote:
Originally posted by Degrees
Turns out Memphis, TN has a similar problem. The city built a pyramid shaped basketball arena on the bank of the Mississippi, and it too is sinking into the water.

What happens when you build on soft, wet soil and an earthquake occurs? America's worst quakes are not in CA. The New Madrid quake, a century event, is long overdue. Memphis is right in the area. The last New Madrid quake was so violent that it rang church bells in Boston and toppled scaffolding around the Capitol dome in Washington DC. So instead they say - its can't happen here? Who do they use to make decisions fundamental underlying decisions - the US Supreme Court?

They built on the flood plain, they failed to build into virgin soil, and they constructed in a way that the stadium would collapse and kill tens of thousands during the expected earthquake.

Oh, I forgot. Building stadiums is the best thing for the economy - especially when the politicans can do the important work for less leaving more money for kickbacks - sorry - political campaign contributions.



elSicomoro  Tuesday Jun 12 09:11 PM

Re: Re: Deja Vu

Quote:
Originally posted by tw
What happens when you build on soft, wet soil and an earthquake occurs? America's worst quakes are not in CA. The New Madrid quake, a century event, is long overdue. Memphis is right in the area. The last New Madrid quake was so violent that it rang church bells in Boston and toppled scaffolding around the Capitol dome in Washington DC.
11 years ago, a geologist by the name of Iben Browning said that there would be a 50/50 chance of a strong to severe earthquake striking the New Madrid during the first week of December 1990. St. Louis and Memphis both lay directly in its wake.

So what happened? People freaked out. Thousands showing up for earthquake preparedness classes, people pulling their kids out of school. Near-pandemonium. December 3rd and 4th came and went--nothing. Only a mild tremor in late November. Browning died in mid-1991.

In any case, when the New Madrid Quake strikes (and for reference, the three big ones that struck in 1811 and 1812 would not have registered on a seismograph and made the Mississippi River run backwards), it will simply be devastating--particularly for Eastern Missouri and St. Louis. Most of Southeastern Missouri used to be lead mines, hence many of the areas are caves. St. Louis is also built over caves. While the majority of newer buildings are earthquake-safe, I fear that half of my beloved city (including my parents home, which was built on an old landfill, I believe) will crumble.


  Wednesday Jun 13 06:16 AM

Remind me of my own city, Melbourne, our oh-so-smart engineers build a bloody great Casino on the bank of a river (the entire of Melbourne is pretty much built on mud) and now the entire thing is slowly sliding into the river. I have to admit i'm not exactly fussed, itís a damn eyesore but..Now they plan to build the WORLDS TALLEST BUILDING on a SWAMP...smart eh...



Daveman  Friday Jun 29 01:25 PM

They must have expected something...

They must have figured this was going to happen to some extent. The fact that it has already sunk forty feet and isn't completely under water yet tells me that they expected this to happen. Probably just not this much.



elSicomoro  Friday Jun 29 03:21 PM

Re: Deja Vu

Quote:
Originally posted by Degrees
Turns out Memphis, TN has a similar problem. The city built a pyramid shaped basketball arena on the bank of the Mississippi, and it too is sinking into the water. The debate right now is what to do? Scrap $50 million? Or kludge some sort of fix? I am told that the city was warned by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers that this would happen. But did they listen?
The Grizzlies are supposed to be moving to Memphis, and will be playing in the Pyramid until a new arena is built. Now, the Griz do not want a new arena because of this mess...but b/c the NBA says the Pyramid is not up to NBA standards. Now wait...this building is 10 years old, and will not be paid off for 15 more years...yet it is sinking AND not up to NBA snuff? Geez...


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