Monthly Archives: June 2010

New Pedestrian loads

With America having a growing weight problem, I wonder if states will have to modify the AASHTO code for pedestrian bridge loads?

For example, Mississippi rates 33.8% of their population as obese. So they should multiply the current load by 1.3….

My wife found it funny when she recently traveled to Germany. The hotel noted she was from America (she is Canadian) and said they had a bigger bed for Americans! (For the record she is thin and runs six miles every morning.)

(Photo source:ChinaDaily)

Des Moines Riverwalk Bridge opens today

The bridge is part of an effort to revitalize the river front.

From the Des Moines register.

The grand opening of the $72 million Principal Riverwalk’s signature attraction is set for today, marking a pivotal moment for the key downtown Des Moines riverfront project some eight years in the making. Business and civic leaders will cut the ribbon on the Center Street Bridge, a 400-foot, $12.5 million span usable by pedestrians and bicyclists that connects the east and west sides of the Des Moines River.

ARTURO FERNANDEZ/THE REGISTER

Devils Elbow Bridge

The Devils Elbow bridge is a two span truss over the Big Piney River in Pulaski County, Missouri. I found an old post about the bridge that contained some interesting inspection images. The pier containment jacket is certainly interesting…..

Hey its not current news but the pictures show how a bridge breaks down over time.

(C) 2006 by Conor Watkins

Wanna sell that Bridge?

As more cities face financial ruin, they are considering options to sell “public” assets. Meaning, they want to sell their infrastructure, built on public taxes, to private corporations.

Some have a problem with this idea, quote:

“You don’t sell your house in order to pay to go out to eat dinner, in order to take in a movie, in order to buy gasoline. The idea of a capital asset is that you protect it and save it,”

Average Faculty Salaries and ARC design competition

A roundup of average faculty salaries in four year universities. Engineering does rather well compared to the rest.

Check out a design competition for wildlife crossings, highlighted at the Happy Pontist.

Design teams must meet certain criteria in order to qualify. For example, they must include registered, professionally-licensed landscape architects, and structural engineers, and they may opt to include professional architects as well as other specializations. The expectation is that wildlife biologists, ecologists, transportation specialists and other experts will broaden the teams’ interdisciplinary design approach. In Phase Two, design teams must include at least one firm licensed to practice in the State of Colorado.

I want to sign up but at the moment I do not qualify. I have to find a registered, professionally-licensed landscape architect….

Photoshop Painting

I want to get back to learning to oil paint but I just don’t have the time. Soo, I tried photoshop painting. No mess and no cleanup but I have a long way to go. I took a picture of a local bridge on the way to work and thought I would start with it.

Here is my first ever, photoshop painting. It took me about an hour and it sucks but its a start.

Actual bridge.

Photoshop bridge – speed painting style. It needs more contrast on the left side.

Dammit Jim I’m an engineer not a doctor

Like doctor’s, engineers sometimes get asked for design help by their friends and acquaintances. Obviously the scale is different but I bet our responses are similar. You really should discuss that with your doctor engineer.

Liability is the problem because of all the possible safety concerns. One of the issues I get asked about, as a bridge engineer, is how to build a low cost bridge that a property owner can build to access their property. Typically these are short structures and the property owner may already have some materials on hand.

Designing for a highway is different than a two car a day bridge. But the liability could be higher on the small bridge because of the home built nature of the structure and the lack of professional builders.

So how do you handle request to design a “pond jumper bridge”? Do you have any good links you can share about building a small bridge?