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Skydance Bridge design

This article was posted on and here a few days back. It seems a signature bridge will be scaled back in the final design to keep under budget.

I love this

City officials originally said the bridge would keep its cables, but they would be decorative rather than load-bearing. Assistant City Manager Jim Thompson said Wednesday that will not be the case.

“It will be just a free-standing structure,” Thompson said. “It will still look similar to the original design.”

Except for the fact the first concept was a cable stay bridge and the new version is a truss. I understand budgets matter and I don’t think this is the cities fault. I think it the designer’s fault.

I had this discussion with the Happy Pontist over a year ago. I asked him/her (Batman!) if it was better to win a design concept with a bridge you know cannot be built for the money so that you can win the competition. Then you are happily employed doing the redesign. Plus you get the credit for the fabulous original concept! Double win!

Here are my original questions to HP.

“The chances of winning an open competition seem very low, do you:

1) Try to win with an “extreme” or “practical” design

2) Try to be vague or detailed?

3) Develop the concept as a portfolio piece and forget about winning?

4) Forget to mention your an engineer

5) Change my name to Frank Lloyd Calatrava

PS Hey Mark Y, you still out there?

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Our town is a little strange, they plan a beggars night that is never on Halloween night. In Canada we always went out on Halloween night no matter what night of the week it was…Oh well, when in Rome.

Some more image play. I tried to add a pedestrian on the bridge concept I posted a few back.

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Live blogging concrete exam 2!

I just gave out test 2 for my concrete design class. It is a night exam, 90 students, four rooms and me. (Or is that I?)

I had four questions but I crossed one out at the last minute. One about T-beam analysis. It is a fairly easy question but I didn’t think they could do the four questions I wrote in the two hour time frame. So they are left with a double reinforced beam, a cantilevered singly reinforced beam design and a slab design.

I took the test earlier to see how long it would take me. Right around 40 minutes which means it would take them between 120-160 minutes. (Figure around 3-4 times my time for the students.)

One of the frustrating things about a huge class is the amount of time I get to spend with each student. (very little) Coupled with the fact that I only know about eight student names.

I have tried to engage other instructors so I could learn their secrets for handling a large class. Best advice so far, get a smaller class!

Bonus Image. A quick bridge study I did on break today.

Update: I have been asked some really, lets say, worry some questions about my test. It is always a struggle to create an exam that can  test the brightest and the people who “have” to take this class to get a degree.  Oh well thats why they pay me the moderate bucks to teach!

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The Traffic Bridge – Saskatoon, CA

Update: You really should check out the link below to the Traffic Bridge website. I think the City of Saskatoon is doing a good job answering questions about the project and they even have a forum for comments and suggestions. Go Saskatoon!

I used to travel to Saskatoon (in Saskatchewan) to play in volleyball tournaments.

Well they want to rehab or replace the Traffic Bridge.

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Code City

I have to agree that codes should be open and accessible to anyone. For example, you cannot get the AASHTO code for free. How can a public person actually see the code and see how we design bridges?

Free the CODES!

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Survey follow-up

Well I didn’t get very much feedback from my survey (see post below) but I received some…thanks for that!

One reader wrote the following:

More videos like the one for the STAAD assignment, or similar ones for the 3d renderings you do. That would be really useful.

I would appreciate more discussion on the process of coming up with a bridge design, not just engineering/aesthetic considerations but also environmental, social, constraints, …

I will try to post some more STAAD tutorials. (my students really need them.) I also want to get back to modeling in sketchup, so I will post my progress with that as well!

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Keosauqua Bridge – TBG Video Podcast 2

Okay I recorded this early in the morning and my narration is kinda, sorta, boring BUT I will work on the tone. (I really need a video editor. Suggestions for a cheap software package would be appreciated.)

This is about a bridge I designed and I wanted to see how a powerpoint presentation would work in youtube. It seems to work fairly well (It can be watched at full screen and 720p.) The pictures look clean and clear.

Listen for the mistakes (lots), and now on to the show!