I did a talk to our graduates recently on pavement design with a construction director, I did the technical bit he did the money / risks bit. Directors don't get to be directors in a LTD company without merit. For those of you mentally compiling a list of¬† directors without merit,¬† just ask yourself if they were good for the company, ie made money? So there are certain learning opportunities watching a director who has had training and experience that I will never have. It was a complete focus on "where's the money?" " and how can you lose it?"…
These sand martins have found a sand pile between two piles of crushed concrete, on the site of the M74 extension. Is this a statement of desperation for nesting sites? I believe this is the case, should not parks, national trust ground and other publicly held ground not erect artificial nest sites? see links http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/advice/sandmartins/index.asp http://www.users.freenetname.co.uk/~sandmartin/page2.html Needless to say the birds have been protected by those cuddly construction chaps. David Welsh, I know you are a busy man, but the artificial site on concrete legs would be an easy construction project using mostly spare materials. If you…
http://www.ukmotorwayarchive.org/ I had forgotten about this site above, for those of us who have constructed a few of these it is a nice trip down memory lane. In those days the testing consultant was appointed by the client and under the control of the consulting engineer. Staff for the summer was the staff for the winter, difficult to find work for ten techs in the middle of winter. In the 70's and up to the middle 80's there was no computers either, so no¬† reports could be complied. We had to do the end of contract reports calculating standard deviations…
My Palestinian pal has been given his letter for his finalisation of employment, and has had his final redundancy meeting which I attended.¬† Bassam Haj Ibrahim (Bass or Baz) is our QA and environmental manager and a casualty of our recent round of redundancies. A man, given his Palestinian background, who needs luck now, more than ever. He has an obvious advantage in Middle East employment as Arabic is his first language, so I hope his work search in that direction goes well. Inshallah. Although retrenchment is a tool to use in times such as these, you do wonder at…

Jul 5th by Ian under Materials and Construction

Tags: Nae tags again!

In the old Morrisons (just a bit before my time) when we were owned by the Morrison family there were two Ian Raes, one was sales and one was techy. I never knew this appellation applied to Ian Rae (techy) until a few months ago when I visited a Tarmac quarry that Morrisons used to own and I was having the crack with the guys. Well Ian Rae (techy) hung up his boots at the end of June 09 (metaphorically), as Ian will wear them till they have holes in them, not that he is tight, it's just to get…
I was in good time, having left Whitelee wind farm at 12.30 where for you road techies we are laying blacktop on a floating road, designed by several heads and road note 29, yes road note 29. Without fuss or hindrance got back to the m74 to travel south to Locherbie, when after junction 6 met solid traffic doing that stop starting shuffle. Radio Scotland informed me there was a breakdown on the south bound and traffic was building up, aye, right it was, 4/5 miles of it! there was several breakdowns in the hard shoulder, probable over heating as…
Our, not design and build,¬† A7 project is nearing completion, and I have to do falling weight defectometer (FWD) top of base and top of binder for designer validation. The design is HD 26/01 and uses figure 2.2, so the design is material choice and thickness. Not stiffness, so how does the designer validate his design? and how does he validate his design on a part built pavement that generally is still warm, but below 30 degrees C? It also occurred to my "catch up brain", that the temp is recorded by drilling into the pavement to 100mm. I do…

Apr 25th by delboy under Materials and Construction

Tags: Nae tags again!

Believe it or not I captured these images on the site of the new M74 at Polmadie, although I suspect the wildlife at night may be somewhat different.…
I was at a pavement meeting this week for a road tender project. These meetings never used to happen, as the choice was blacktop of what thickness (except DBFOs) and the market place used to sort that out, usually after an award. As the rules are new in HD 26/06 and the now much clearer IAN 73/06, 2009 update, there is a part of the meeting that is educative. It's not that its complicated to understand as you still end up with thicknesses of layers, it's the choice that complicates. In this choice matrix are grey areas, the largest is…
Well you must have come across them, the criticisers, those who have a knowledge of the rules but not the activity. Usually they are in the control line, the purse string command line. As I referred¬† golden rule in a previous post, he who has the gold, rules. They're not really "jobs worths" usually well meaning, even thoughtful, helpful when it suits but lapse to criticism when the rule book cannot be obeyed. And sometimes it cannot be obeyed. Because the rule book does not apply to a current problem or covers all aspects of problems that it should. English…
I like Oman, and it's people, even though when I had to leave within a month when my work permit was not granted, I had 5mins left on my visit visa, at the airport, Mr jobs worth said, your lucky, another five mins and we would have to jail you. Back to Dubai I went. I was subsequently jailed, but that's another story. Anyway I loved Oman, real people, real links to the history of their land, settled they were. I could sense the difference between Dubai, Saudi, Bahrain, and Oman, settled, the folks there had been there a while…
At the moment the biggest inland windfarm in Europe, built by a JV of Morrison Construction and Balfour Kilpatrick, for the client Scottish Power.¬† There was a talk about it in the Teacher Building in St Enoch square last night. I wasn't there but it prompted me to google "whitelee windfarm" to see how we were beating our chests at having nearly completed this huge prestigious project. Ten pages later in google, nothing, nada, ziltch. Every man and his dog is featured including a video of a quarry blast on U tube. My involvement (unknown to me at the time)¬†…
The standard of detail is appalling and the bulletin issues never help as it is just overload, then as you find apparent mistakes and dichotomies and TQ them, it jams up the system. Much time is spent not in producing solutions but trying to understand what the client requires.
The pavement's weakest link? I think so, a survivor from Macadam?, seems to have been around so long that we have become complacent. Before stiffness measurement, performance was a particle size distribution (PSD), frost heave, and the quite strict laying and compaction specification. I should say here to foreign visitors, wish I had some!!, that I refer to the specification for highway works. A monumental work from the UK's government engineers, a species not often seen walking on subbase, it is written to protect the client (well they write it?) and provide the tax payer with a good for value…
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