I have been looking at a number of different bridges and bridge types instead of focusing exclusively on ABC. To be honest it has been a little difficult to find good ABC information. (Hey somebody should start a blog! Ha!) When I typed in “Innovative Bridge” in google, I found this pdf showing the new “innovative” Bridge over Pungo Creek in Beaufort County, NC.
The pdf gives an overview of the steps to building their new bridge. I think the computer graphics are pretty good and they are using post tensioned deck panels, so I think it qualifies as an ABC bridge.
One thing that amazes me is how different each State DOT is looking at Accelerated Bridge Construction. It all comes down to leadership of course. I met Mr. McMinimee at a conference in Iowa and he has really placed Utah at the forefront of ABC.
I tried a “photorealistic” rendering of my new ABC precast bridge. I drew it up in Sketchup (free!), then rendered it in Kerythea (free!), then tried a HDR kinda thing with Photomatix ($40 bucks with edu discount) and finally played with it in Photoshop (Expensive). I think it looks okay but I have a way to go.
The bridge is going to be let in April and I have hopes that it will be installed in 5 days or less. Single span, precast everything (etc steel barrier rails) on steel piles.
I use STAAD quite a bit in my bridge designs and in my reinforced concrete design class. Its easy to use (well, depending on how good you are with computers and structural analysis..) and in the past I was able to get an educational version for $50 dollars. The educational version had a limitation of 25 nodes but that was enough nodes for most problems. You may be able to get some educational software still, try here. (They do have the CAD program Powerdraft for free download)
I recently asked the company that makes SAP, another structural analysis package, for an educational verison of their structural software and I was informed that they did not have any. So I can’t really say how their product works.
Both structural analysis packages should have educational versions of their software available for University students. I would imagine that whichever package I used in my class would be ingrained in the students as the right one to use and would provide future sales for the companies. Right now that package is STAAD.
I reviewed the West Point Bridge Design software when it first came out. (long time ago) It is a great free software package that teaches kids ( of all ages) the basics of designing a bridge. Right now they have a contest going on to see who can design the best bridge.
I highly recommend the software for anyone who is interested in designing bridges!
What I like most about this bridge is that a) it was designed by a dane, Tim Norlund, (I’m also Danish) and b) it shows that competitions work and allow newcomers the opportunity to develop as designers. (Did it have to be an architectural student and not an engineering student…sigh)
Too often only the big players have the pull, time and money to develop concepts for a bridge competition. I wish we had more competitions here in the States. I would love to try and enter one. (So if you know of any, like me know!)
WSDOT has put together a paper outlining the steps required to implement ABC design. The paper is a first draft but I think it is significant that a DOT is starting to put the policy of ABC in writing.
Interesting thread, in wwww.skyscrapercity.com, about the Calatrava bridge in Venice. The thread has a good number of photos of the bridge and it looks like it could fit in the accelerated bridge construction column.
One of the questions about the bridge is the possible lack of wheelchair access across the bridge.
Constitution Bridge. Photograph: Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
Here is a quick view of the arch bridge I was going on about. Since the arches are so far outside the existing bridge, (The one with the ribs showing and no deck.) I would build the arch supports first, while allowing traffic to continue flowing.
This way you would minimize the closure time of the bridge replacement and take as much time as needed to finish the supports. (When working with limestone, delays are always part of the equation.)
Sooo, how should I feel. I designed two bridges in the article, won two awards, and provided information and a computer rendering for the article. I even sat for a new headshot and gave them my bio information.
Then my name is taken off the final paper, concerning bridges I designed. Gotta give them credit, literally…
Well I have been putting a lot of filler on this site because I have been busy with a number of projects. The county bridge (see pic) I designed has been handed into contracts and will be let in April. It is an all precast bridge 50′ center to center of abutment and has a thrie beam guardrail system. I am hoping it can be built in 3 days.
I have also been trying to change the direction of an arch bridge design. It is not my design but I worked on the initial planning and I think the new design has gone off course. (see previous posts)
One of the things I have noticed with bridge engineers, is the lack of flexibility. What happens, typically, is that when a design type is chosen, we will do everything necessary to make that initial design work. (Because it is so difficult to go back and redo all your calculations.) But what could happen, is you are stuck designing a lemon because it is too hard to go back and change the concept. That’s why I’m a huge believer in getting the initial design correct.
One of the ways to do this, is to have a 3D drawing of the proposed design (after making sure the member sizes shown will work) so that everyone knows how the bridge will look. That way, comments and corrections can be made before it is too late. This is why I started my www.3dbridgedesign.com company because the concept is really the key to success.
When I was working on the design of a local arch bridge, I wanted the sidewalks to be on the inside of the arches. The firm who has the job now is going with arches on the outside of the bridge. I think this is a mistake.
The best thing about canitlevered sidewalks are the unobstructed views (of the river in this case) by pedestrians. Having the arches on the inside also help with load distribution.
Anyway, I know enough sour grapes. Here is a link to a similar length arch bridge as the one I am talking about – the Damen Avenue Arch Bridge
A while back I was doing the preliminary planning for a new arch bridge. I suggested the best solution was a steel arch for the site and the cost would be near $5 million. I was told that was too much money and the job was put on hold. Recently, another firm has taken the job and they determined a steel arch bridge was the best solution but their cost was $11 million.
Its nice to be proven right concerning the best design type but its a shame that the extra money has to be spent.
You know how you can never quite get the same results in STAAD as you do from manual methods, such as moment distribution. STAAD takes into account shear deformations in its analysis while manual methods usually do not.
I made a short STAAD screencast showing the difference and how to use the SET SHEAR command.