Monthly Archives: March 2009

Concrete Repair

I have been spending some time researching concrete repairs, specifically repairs of structural members. Meaning, the concrete patch is not only intended to protect the steel but it has to attain the member’s previous structural strength. Iowa DOT has a paper on the subject, “Effective Concrete Repair

I have also been reading about using fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) to wrap members to contain the concrete and preserve the compressive qualities of the concrete.

In addition, I have been reading about cathodic protection sytems….so I’m thinking, place the cathodic protection, cover with concrete and wrap with FRP.

Famous Bridge Engineers – Robert Maillart

I can probably name more famous architects than I can engineers, so I will try to improve my education.

Robert Maillart
born Feb. 6, 1872, Bern, Switzerland.
died April 5, 1940, Geneva

Swiss bridge engineer whose radical use of reinforced concrete revolutionized masonry arch bridge design.

Using very simple construction concepts, Maillart produced some of the most beautiful structures of the twentieth century.

Maillart’s major new forms, the open three-hinged, hollow-box arch, the mushroom slab, and the deck-stiffened arch illustrate at least three of the fundamentally radical ideas he expressed about twentieth century structures.

Salginatobel Bridge

Credit for Engineering work

Architects are highly protective of their work. The American Institute of Architects lays out their ethical guidelines for attributing credit for an Architect’s work.  Here is an engineering version.

Architecture is a profession in which design capability is prized and intellectual property is the most common proof of worth, in terms of talent and of experience.

Engineers, not so much. Structural engineers typically don’t seek the limelight, instead believing their work speaks for itself. I believe engineers would be better served (and the profession) if they stood up and demanded the same level of credit, for their work, as Architects.

I think this would raise our profile in the eyes of the general public and increase competition between engineers. Competition may force engineers to greater heights and to raise the bar in designing bridges. I want to be the one given credit for designing a bridge, not the guy who worked on the bridge designed by an Architect. I want the cool guy to be an engineer on that television sitcom instead of an architect…..

San Diego Convention Center Bridge

Since I used to live in San Diego and worked on the convention center, I thought I would post their new pedestrian bridge.

It looks like a single tower cable stay / suspension bridge, over Harbor Drive. (a very busy street)

It also looks like they have an elevator on one end to meet ADA requirements.

Zaha Hadid – glass fibre reinforced concrete bridge

Well you don’t see this kind of bridge very often.

The British star architect Zaha Hadid has chosen glass fibre reinforced concrete from the Austrian company Rieder to envelope the 275 meters long, “Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion“, the new symbol of the Expo 2008 in the northern Spanish Zaragoza: she has covered the outer skin of the building with 29.000 triangles in different grey shades out of fibreC.

AASHTO’s Technology Implementation Group

AASHTO has a technology website dedicated to:

The purpose of the TIG is to identify and champion the implementation or deployment of a select few proven technologies, products or processes that are likely to yield significant economic or qualitative benefits to the users.

I’m not sure what they actually do but there are some videos on the site showing self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) technology.

New Oregon bridge over Willamette

A new bridge is being considered to carry pedestrians and a light rail system across the Willamette river. Three concepts are raising to the top. (See concepts here)

they have ruled out any bridge type that cannot provide a 600-foot-wide space for barges and stay within the $84.2 million high mark for the budget.

Chicago Green Bridge

June 2008 article, in Ecoble, about a proposed 2 mile “green” bridge, that will act as a breakwater in the Monroe harbor. The price tag is around a billion dollars!

“The bridge’s design is a product of the Chicago based, and world-renowned design firm AS+GG.”

Pawtucket Bridge

I was looking around the web for interesting bridges and I saw this story on the new Pawtucket bridge in Rhode Island.

The only picture I could find is this little rendering.

A) I hate it when little pictures are used, I think it misleads the public as to what the bridge really looks like, and B) I am always disappointed when an Architect designs a bridge. Bridge designers should step up and start providing some interesting designs.

The architecture firm who suggested this design only has houses and building on their website! How can they pivot and become a bridge design firm?

Norway Bridge

Found this on the internet. I can’t believe its real but I like it.

I spent another day looking at bridge problems. Bad backwalls, joints, decks, rails, slope protection, and more. Its amazing how much work is out there.

Bridge Repair – ABC style

I spent the day driving around and looking at bridges. Specifically, bridges that need repairs. (get ready to spend money)

The biggest thing I noticed beside how hard repairs can be is how much traffic there is!

Try running out on a bridge and taking pictures! (The bridges did not have sidewalks.)

A couple of the bridges will require new decks and I’m not sure it is possible to shut down a bridge for a full construction season.

That’s where the need for ABC components comes in…maybe precast deck panels and a prefabricated barrier rail?

Joints were also a big problem. How about prefabricated joints?

How about a website that shows the details!

Accelerated Bridge Construction

I just wanted to thank the visitors to this site. On average we get about 15 visitors a day with some peaks. I hope to put more ABC details on this site but as you probably know, they are difficult to find….

Thanks for visiting!