Sound Transit Light Rail to Cross I-90 Floating Bridge

The I-90 floating bridges in the state of Washington carry the interstate across Lake Washington between Seattle and Mercer Island. Innovative engineering by Sound Transit will enable its light rail trains to travel across Lake Washington on the floating bridge when East Link opens in 2023 (see above image, courtesy of Sound Transit). The first-of-a-kind achievement involves the development of a “track bridge” that will compensate for six ranges of lake motion.  Popular Science Magazine recently named the technology one of the most important engineering innovations of 2017.

The flexing track connection uses earthquake science to move trains across the floating bridge.  The challenge was for the bridge to remain buoyant while 300-ton trains pass each other.  The most difficult task was adapting the rails to the movements of the bridge—there was no room for error. Continue Reading…

Watch the HAKS 2017 Holiday Animation

The temperature is dropping and the chatter of what gifts people will be getting their loved ones is on the rise. This, of course, can only mean one thing… it’s the Holiday season! In case you missed it, last Friday we unveiled a special animated video over on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. This year, we really wanted to create something special to show appreciation to our clients and HAKS employees. The result was our spin on the traditional “Holiday Card”. In conjunction with Vedia, we decided to use our very own New York City as inspiration for the backdrop of our latest video. Watch as you are taken across a wintery cityscape in motion, equipped with rotating cranes, expanding bridges and even some ice skaters in the park. We wish everyone a wonderful Holiday!

13 Things We’re Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and we thought the perfect way to celebrate would be to put together a list of all the things we’re thankful for here at HAKS!

1.Husam Ahmad, PE, Chairman and CEO: HAKS is extremely thankful to all its customers for giving us an opportunity to serve them during 2017. Happy Thanksgiving!”

2.Paul Hoffmann, SVP Special Inspections and Material Testing Department: “Friends, family, my dog Finnegan and great sushi!”

3.Wioleta Zieja, Senior Billing Specialist, Admin Department: “I am thankful for my daughter. She is super awesome and I am blessed to be her mommy!” Continue Reading…

Elon Musk Is Innovating Change in Space and on Earth (1 of 2)

In the first installment of a two-part blog series, we take a look at one of the most innovative minds in the world today: Elon Musk. The PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX polymath has been moving forward with visionary plans, including utilizing a revolutionary new rocket design both for interplanetary exploration and high-speed suborbital travel.

At the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia last week, Musk announced that SpaceX planned to send unmanned cargo ships to Mars by 2022 and human explorers by 2024 (Pulse, 10/3/17). This is going to be possible, according to Musk, by utilizing a new rocket, called the “BFR,” that is even larger than NASA’s Saturn V that carried astronauts to the Moon during the Apollo program. Furthermore, SpaceX is no longer going to put resources into its current line of Falcon 9 rockets (which are being used to carry satellites into orbit and to ferry cargo to the International Space Station) or its larger, next-generation Falcon Heavy (the Verge, 9/30/17). Instead, all resources will go into developing the new spacecraft, which will carry a payload of 150 tons and of which Musk reportedly hopes to begin construction “within the next six to nine months.” Continue Reading…

The New Tappan Zee Bridge’s Smart Technology Makes It Built To Last

One of the most technologically advanced bridges in the U.S. opened to traffic shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, partially replacing the old Tappan Zee Bridge, New York State’s longest bridge.

The Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is on schedule to replace the entire Tappan Zee Bridge when its second span is completed later this year. Once both spans are open for traffic, the new bridge will have eight lanes, including four for breakdowns and emergencies, bicycle and walking paths, and a future mass transit crossing. ENR reported in its March 20/27 issue that the new $3.98 billion bridge is designed to use smart technology systems to keep it operating smoothly and safely for the next 100 years—without needing any major repairs. Continue Reading…

A Grand Feat for Lower Manhattan

HAKS led the REI joint venture for this ambitious $40 million public works project that reconstructed water mains and utility infrastructure along Grand Street, from Broadway to Essex.  Subsurface challenges included active subways, non-functioning water main valves, active steam lines, underground building vaults extending into the street, and a high density of secondary electrical and communication lines.  Abandoned, heavily reinforced trolley track foundations also interfered with the work.  Continue Reading…

Drones Set to Take Off

Drone-4Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones, were originally designed to carry out military missions that were deemed too dangerous for humans or for which manned aircraft were impractical. What we would recognize today as drones were jointly developed by Israel and the US during the 1980s and deployed against Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and have since become a staple of modern warfare and antiterrorism activities. However, due to ongoing improvements in technology and miniaturization and decreasing costs, the use of drones has since expanded far beyond the military sphere to many other applications, including science, recreation, aerial photography, product delivery, agriculture, law enforcement, surveillance, and even protecting elephants from poachers. Continue Reading…

Eco-Friendly Cooling from an Innovative Metamaterial

services-762103_960_720Conventional air conditioners are energy hogs. According to the US Department of Energy, air conditioning in the United States accounts for 117 million metric tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere every year. Air conditioning is expensive, too—according to the Texas utility Austin Energy, households in warmer regions of the country can expect cooling their homes to account for 60 to 70 percent of their summer electric bills. Continue Reading…

Action Steps to Improve Your City

As we begin 2017, HAKS would like to share Curbed New York’s suggestions on initiatives we can launch to improve our cities.  We have culled a small number from the list; you can access them all at 101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City. Continue Reading…

2017: The Year of the Commuter

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we would like to highlight some projects that will reshape area transportation and ease the way for thousands of commuters.  One improvement will be ready for use as early as January 1st, when the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway opens.  Others should be evident a little later in the year—emotive lighting on bridges and tunnels and the north span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.  One change is already in place—remnants of a World Trade Center passageway dating to the 1970s.

The HAKS Family wishes you and yours a happy and healthy 2017. Safe travels.
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