Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.
Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.
“The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.
Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.
Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.
Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
Auburn University constructing $22 million Advanced Structural Testing Laboratory
Auburn University is taking a big step as a leader in structural engineering research and instruction through the construction of a $22 million Advanced Structural Testing Laboratory.
The 41,500-square-foot facility will include a high bay laboratory with specially engineered floors and walls capable of handling extreme structural testing loads; a geotechnical test chamber; a concrete materials research and testing laboratory; a wind testing facility, and faculty and graduate student spaces.
The 4,700-cubic-foot geotechnical test chamber is one of the few across the nation included in a university laboratory. It will allow students and faculty to conduct testing that has been possible only in the field until now on structures such as foundations, anchorages and towers. In addition, the wind testing facility will allow replication of the dynamic wind loads induced by hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme wind events on large-scale specimens. These unusual features, and many more, will accelerate research aimed at reducing the impacts during extreme events, and increase lifespan and safety of structures under all loading conditions.
“Auburn is at the forefront of engineering education, and by providing our students opportunities for experiential learning, we’re ensuring our graduates emerge as industry leaders,” said Auburn University President Steven Leath. “This outstanding facility enables our researchers to deliver innovative solutions to pressing industry demands — something Auburn does best.”
The laboratory will be near Auburn University Facilities Management offices on West Samford Avenue. The construction of the new facility will allow the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering to repurpose the structural laboratory space in the Harbert Engineering Center for other academic and research programs.
“When you combine the strong floor and strong wall with the geotechnical testing capability and all the other materials testing capabilities, we think this will be one of the best laboratories in the country — if not the best,” said Steve Taylor, associate dean for research in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “If I’m a civil engineering student who wants to be a structural engineer, this is going to be one of the best places to go to school in the nation.”