In the middle of the 19th century, Chicago embarked on a quest to literally lift itself out of the mud. Water couldn’t drain from the low-lying city, so its streets became impassable swamps. The most reasonable solution, Chicago decided, was just to raise the whole goddamn city by 4 to 14 feet.
Last night, a DC subway station turned into a surprise water park ride. It wasn’t a huge deal—the station was closed for a few hours, the water drained, and service went back to normal—but it certainly looked like it. Seeing a timelapse of the whole thing from the station’s entrance shows how this happened.
After the full impact of the Flint water crisis was revealed, it was almost inevitable that more cities would start to see the same problems when it came to lead in their water supplies. Now it’s been proven that dozens of utilities are underreporting the amounts of lead in their water: 33 cities in the US have been…
After 17 years of construction, the Gotthard Base Tunnel opens today. This feat of engineering is a 35-mile high-speed rail connection beneath the Swiss Alps and is now the longest transit tunnel in the world. You better believe that Hyperloop engineers are paying attention.
One of the biggest disappointments in the automotive industry is in charging electric cars. A new report states that Apple is getting involved and it might just become even more of a shitshow.
Public infrastructure is known for being utilitarian, uninspiring, and downright ugly. But not always. At first glance, this giant water storage system under Houston looks more like the pillared nave of an ancient cathedral. Now the lost space that’s larger than a football field is open for visits.
The catastrophic collapse of Washington State’s Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 launched intensive research into the aerodynamics of bridge design. Now a team of South Korean scientists have identified a geometric structure that can better withstand the complicated aerodynamic forces at play—and they found their…
Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden, is sinking. In fact, by 2050, most of its structures will have collapsed into the iron mines below it. So engineers have embarked upon an ambitious project to move Kiruna—along with its 20,000 residents—two miles to the east. A new documentary explains exactly how they plan to…
There are few things on this planet I hate more than bottled water. Just the crinkling sound of someone wrapping their mouth around one of those squeaky garbage accordions fills me with rage. I stopped drinking it a long time ago—and you should stop drinking it, too.
In March, Flint, Michigan began the seemingly impossible task of replacing the pipes that delivered lead-poisoned water to its citizens. I say “impossible” because there’s no real way for the city to know with absolute certainty which pipes need to go. A team of data scientists from Google and the University of…
The most popular artificial material on Earth isn’t steel, plastic, or aluminum — it’s concrete. Thousands of years ago, we used it to build civilizations, but then our knowledge of how to make it was lost. Here’s how we discovered concrete, forgot it, and then finally cracked the mystery of what makes it so strong.
The World Trade Center Transit Hub—aka The (other) Oculus—has already gone down in history as the most expensive train station, ever. The grand total was $4 billion, about twice what it was supposed to cost, and more than the skyscraper adjacent to it. But there might be another record-breaking figure associated with…
If the ongoing Flint water crisis has taught us anything, it’s that providing clean running water to millions of people is an optional luxury. Wait, that’s not right.
The emergence of new automotive technologies and practices like ride-sharing, on-demand services, and the introduction of autonomous capabilities seems like it would have a diminishing effect on future automotive sales—but studies suggest we may actually see the opposite.
MIT’s researches have been fiddling with virtual models programmed to eliminate traffic lights at intersections with the introduction of fully-autonomous cars, and for the first time I can easily picture how terrifying flying through an intersection with no control just might be.
Four cities could exclusively use rainwater to flush their toilets. But by demanding drinkable water to be pumped to their houses, just so they can poop in it and throw it back out, they are burdening their infrastructure in two different ways.
The long journey to restore safe water to the city of Flint, Michigan has finally begun: The first lead service line was swapped with copper pipe today.
California’s high-speed train has just been delayed by three more years. The first leg of the state’s high-speed rail is now set to finish by 2025, not 2022 as planned. This could mean that Hyperloop—the Golden State’s other, even more futuristic transit plan—could beat the bullet train to the station.
Rivers have long been a center of human activity, but as the global population booms, our impact on these systems is becoming too much to bear. In fact, two-thirds of the 33 largest river deltas on Earth are sinking—some of them at a staggering rate.