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April 10, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

It Takes Brains and Brawn to Get Big Things Done Fast

It should come as no surprise to many Americans that our stock of infrastructure is in need of serious attention.

It should come as no surprise to many Americans that our stock of infrastructure is in need of serious attention. Whether you drive, take mass transit, fly, bike or walk, much of the infrastructure you rely on needs some maintenance. Nobody knows this better than people travelling through New York’s LaGuardia airport. Almost 15 million passengers moved through LaGuardia’s terminals last year. Many of those traveling likely noticed crumbling terminals along with chronic delays as runways were built for a previous generation of air travel.

New York Governor Cuomo announced a plan to invest $8 billion to remake LaGuardia airport and ensure that its infrastructure meets modern demand for air travel while also making the airport one of the engineering marvels of the world. Completing this massive project on time to minimize travel delays and generate revenue will take a massive fleet of diesel powered equipment. 

Engineers on the project should look to another massive airport renovation project to learn how to complete mega-projects quickly. City managers in Istanbul, Turkey were faced with similar problems – how to expand an aging airport to meet growing demand for air travel. Leaders in Turkey decided to build one of the largest airports in the world from scratch and do it in only 42 months!

The project when finished will have moved 70 billion cubic meters of material over a 30 square mile worksite. To get the job done, will take an estimated 400 pieces of diesel-powered equipment working around the clock. Coordinating all of this equipment will require the latest advanced technologies including telematics and autonomy. While it’s a diesel engine under the hood, a connected network and worksite make the most of this equipment to ensure that graders get the job done in one pass, trenchers move material with precision and other equipment is used with utmost efficiency.

Coordinating the movement of 400 pieces of equipment around the clock is very much like choreographing a ballet. To make sure that this massive inventory of machinery is operating where it is intended, safely, and in conjunction with other equipment takes a lot of computing power to make the connected job site deliver the project on time.

Learn more about how America’s equipment giant Caterpillar is getting one of the world’s megaprojects done with advanced technology.


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Ezra Finkin
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