The Best Tool for Tracking Our Crumbling Infrastructure Is In Orbit

The sad state of America’s bridges is a perennial topic amongst engineers and a regular talking point for politicians, all of whom have a plan to fix them. An interesting post from the European Space Agency shows how one of the best tools for repair is actually hanging out in Low Earth Orbit. » 5/18/15 12:03pm Monday 12:03pm

This Is How They Test Crash Barriers On Bridges

Ever stare at the barest pieces of concrete and metal preventing you from veering off a bridge and plummeting hundreds of feet to your watery grave below, and wondering how they test all that? Me neither, let’s be honest. But if you did, it’s exactly how you think they’d do it. By crashing big stuff into it. » 5/06/15 5:00pm 5/06/15 5:00pm

The Secret Lives of NYC Mega-Projects, Revealed By One Photographer 

The sprawling construction sites buried below NYC are carefully regulated places, inaccessible to the public. But one photographer has been exploring these caverns and tunnels for 15 years at the MTA’s request—and his work paints an amazing picture of life underground.
» 4/15/15 7:10pm 4/15/15 7:10pm

​Our 'Smart' Cities Are Ridiculously Insecure

Cities from Los Angeles to Seoul are pouring billions of dollars into smartifying infrastructure, networking everything from traffic lights to waste management systems. But just like most tech-focused public works project lead by underfunded or clueless (or both) bureaucrats, even basic security measures are being… » 4/09/15 5:30pm 4/09/15 5:30pm

A Simple Design Tweak May Keep Drunk People From Falling On Train Tracks

The number of deaths linked to drunk passengers who wander off the platform and onto the tracks has steadily increased over the years. But a new study of these falls shows that many of them occur in the same way—and that there might be a few simple ways to prevent some of them. » 3/30/15 11:26am 3/30/15 11:26am

This 370-Mile Highway Made of Ice Stretches Through Canada Every Winter

For vast majority of the year, the only way to reach remote but lucrative gold and diamond mines in Canada's northwest is by air. But every winter, something crazy happens. A 370-mile long highway is built almost entirely on ice—and it's strong enough for 70-ton trucks laden with fuel and supplies. » 3/24/15 3:16pm 3/24/15 3:16pm

John Oliver Makes America's Crumbling, Underfunded Infrastructure Sexy

America's roads, bridges and dams are slowly crumbling on top of us, and there's no longer enough funding for routine inspection, let alone maintenance, of all this unsexy infrastructure. Enter John Oliver, who tried Sunday night to do for infrastructure repairs what he did last year for net neutrality. » 3/02/15 5:19pm 3/02/15 5:19pm