Let’s state the obvious: trains in america are awful. They’re slow, expensive, and not very reliable. And there are a few, largely unsolvable reasons why that’s the case.
A crane collapsed across the span of New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge today, blocking traffic and wreaking havoc on the state’s longest bridge.
The smell hit me as soon as I opened my car door—like rancid milk mixed with dog shit. I gasped for breath as humid air descended, filling my pores with the putrid odor.
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.
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.
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.