Massive Construction Revamp planned for I-75

For almost 20 years, plans have been in the works for modernizing I-75 in Michigan, a well-travelled freeway built in the 60’s, encompassing approximately 18 miles of the freeway. Beginning at M-102 to south of M-59, the road experiences traffic volumes of 103 to 174 thousand daily. It is projected to allow for decreased congestion during travel time as much as improving the infrastructure of the existing road.

The fact that it’s considered such a critical structure and route is boasted by its number of commuters. It’s uses vary from local travel, commercial and freight use, and a local business route. The proposed improvements will ease congestion and positively modify safety, reliability and efficiency overall.

Many commuters have long-noted the deteriorating condition of the existing road, the gridlock experienced specifically around rush hour, and the need for improvement and are hopeful that these modifications will amend these key issues.
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), improvements are to include the following: “reconstructing the freeway, adding a lane to increase capacity with a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane that would operate as such, only in the peak hours of travel, bridge replacement, upgraded road design, interchange improvements at 12 Mile Road, 14 Mile Road and the Square Lake Road Business Loop, ramp enhancements at M-102 and I-696 and a new drainage system for the corridor.”
They will be including a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane to the far left to the three existing lanes that requires a minimum of two or more passengers during peak travel time (weekdays 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm). New carpool lots will be developed while existing carpool lots will be enhanced. All road and pedestrian bridges will be replaced while new drainage systems will be constructed. Asked in a forum was a question regarding the drainage system issue at Squirrel Road and if MDOT planned on addressing it and how, to which it was made known that they intended to construct a whole new system to handle was and drainage more efficiently.

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Update on Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma updates

Hurricane Irma has yet to dissipate and is now in Florida, but has been weakened to a tropical depression with sustained winds of 35 mph, thankfully, after it bounced between categories 2-5 for days. The highest wind reached was a minute long sustained 185 mph. The fatalities as of September 12 are marked at 49, but the $190 billion expected damage cost is, thus far, around $30 billion making it the 4th or 5th costliest hurricane on record versus the #1 place. Again, this is just an update, not a final report.
According to Wikipedia, the storm has caused catastrophic damage to Barbuda (3 reported fatalities), Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla (1 reported fatality), and the Virgin Islands (4 reported fatalities) as a Category 5 hurricane. Additional fatalities reported are 1 death in Barbados, 10 deaths in Cuba, 11 deaths in the French West Indies, 1 death in Haiti, 3 deaths in Puerto Rico, 4 deaths on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, and 11 deaths in the United States.

The New York Times reports Florida Governor Rick Scott as saying that over all, Irma’s damage to his state was not as bad as the direst forecasts had predicted, but that some areas were thoroughly brutalized. About 62% of residents remained without power. And northern Florida, including Jacksonville, was flooding. Many areas have suffered fuel shortages, downed power lines, and standing water.
The National Weather Service declared a flood emergencies and coastal flood warnings are in effect, some lasting until Thursday. They advise residents take appropriate actions to protect life and property. Areas impacted by this destruction are experiencing high levels of rampant looting, warning that the property they protect isn’t just due to forces of nature, but also by those who would take advantage of the situation. Police advise people to “choose wisely and stay home” and to “stay home and look after loved ones and be thankful they are all safe” instead of looting.
Bear in mind, the floods aren’t just affecting residential homes and their inhabitants, but also retail establishments and their owners. Property damages to local storefronts, due to flooding and wind demolition, also impacts the merchandise.

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Hurricane Irma bound for Gulf and East Coast

On the coat-tails of Hurricane Harvey rides Hurricane Irma, already the strongest hurricane ever recorded outside the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, nearing historical precedent and a theoretical limit for how strong it can get.

Irma is a category 5 hurricane with maximum winds reaching approximately 185 mph, surpassing the 157 mph requirement categorizing a standard cat 5 hurricane. Formed in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean near the Cape Verde Islands, these Cape Verde Hurricanes are known to have a tendency of becoming some of the largest and most intense hurricanes, such as hurricanes Hugo (1989, cat 5, highest winds of 160 mph, 107 direct deaths), Floyd (1999, cat 4, highest winds of 155 mph, 57 direct and 20-30 indirect deaths), and Ivan (2004, cat 4, highest winds of 165 mph, 92 direct and 32 indirect deaths).

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Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas

By now, we’ve all heard of the disaster of Hurricane Harvey and its affects on numerous southern states, specifically that of Texas. Record accumulation of rainfall is affecting south-east Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi while tropical storm force winds affecting primarily Texas and Louisiana has produced massive flooding throughout Texas.

Search and rescue by boat and air is underway, as there’s no end in sight of the floods and damage, as well as the residents seeking refuge from this catastrophic event. The National Weather Service forecast rainfall of 15 to 25 inches through Friday, with as much as 50 inches in a few areas stating that flooding is expected to continue for days. The NY TIMES reports a record 22 inches fell on the county in one day, while The Guardian states, “The sheer scale of Harvey – some parts of Texas may experience a year’s worth of rainfall in just over a week”.

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Flood Protection in Boise Idaho

Flood protection - Boise Idahol

Damitdams was contacted by the city of Boise, Idaho to supply cofferdams for flood protection for one of the city buildings that is uses for monitoring traffic control in the city of Boise.

The building is roughly 100 yards from the Boise River, which is a tributary for of the snake river.  The river, which  is 102 miles long, is expected to reach record levels this year. Damitdams Inc. supplied 4 cofferdams at a size of 4 feet tall by 200 feet long.

The cofferdams will be connected to surround the building, creating a water tight barrier against the rising waters of the river. It is Expected that the levels of water flooding the building will reach 2 or 3 feet within the next couple of days . A representative from Damitdams went to Boise to help install the cofferdam and help prepare for the flood. Once the flooding is no longer a threat, a DamitDams representative will return to remove the cofferdam.

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