Monthly Archives: February 2009

Innovative Bridge

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.

Sketchup to Kerkythea to Photomatix to Photoshop

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.

STAAD vs SAP review

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.

West Point Bridge Designer free software

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!

West Point Bridge Designer

Sheffield Parkway footbridge

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!)

Sheffield Bridge - Tim Norland

Sheffield Bridge - Tim Norland

Calatrava Bridge in Venice

Interesting thread, in, 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

Constitution Bridge. Photograph: Manuel Silvestri/Reuters