The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Construction is currently underway on the country’s first multi-modal bridge that bans private cars. Instead of carrying private vehicle traffic, the bridge will carry MAX light rail trains, Portland’s streetcar line, city busses, and pedestrian and bike traffic. The decision to ban cars was made mostly because there is not an existing roadway on either side of the bridge. City planners did not want to ruin the redevelopment occuring along the river by carving it up with a new freeway on both sides. The city looked into having the MAX trains travel on the existing Hawthorne Bridge, but decided against that option despite most likely being cheaper than building a new bridge. The bridge, known as the Tilikum Crossing, is being constructed in Portland, Oregon and will be completed next year. The bridge will open for one day in early August for the 19th annual Providence Bridge Pedal and Stride. It will then close again until its official opening on September 12th.

Friday, 15 August 2014 11:32

Historic Oregon Bridge For Sale

If anyone is in the market for purchasing an old bridge here is your chance. Multnomah county in Oregon has put the 88-year-old Sellwood Bridge up for sale until September 12th. The bridge is Oregon's only bridge with a four-span continuous truss holding up the roadway and the only known highway bridge nationally with such distinction. Despite not being listed on the register of the National Register of Historic Places, simply qualifying to be on the list is enough to force the county to put the bridge up for sale. The National Historic Preservation Act states that Multnomah county must seek out potential buyers before they can demolish the bridge.

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  • Date occured Friday, 15 August 2014
Monday, 28 July 2014 10:44

I-35W Bridge Beginning to Age

Seven years after the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse occurred, the replacement bridge is starting to age. Bridge inspectors recently found cracks in concrete girders, a clogged drainage hole, and rust above the bridge’s piers. The new I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River was built in 2008 after the after the old bridge fell into the river on August 1, 2007. The collapse killed 13 people and injured 145. Improperly designed gusset plates were ultimately determined to be the reason for the collapse. Federal regulators also discovered that the gusset plates were not given proper attention during inspections. 

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  • Date occured Monday, 28 July 2014

Workers began drilling piles for the Tappan Zee Bridge in March. Since then, equipment has slowly accumulated on the Hudson River in New York to help build the bridge. Perhaps the most impressive piece of equipment arrived last week though when a barge-mounted concrete production factory arrived on site. The barge is one of a pair that will make 300,000 cubic yards of concrete for the new bridge span. The two barges are expected to reduce costs throughout the length of the project and also will likely make the project run smoother as the concrete will not need to be transported to the site. Workers will not have to worry about the concrete getting delayed due to traffic or road hazards. Had the decision been made to make the bridge’s concrete at a regular production factory, the Tappan Zee bridge project would have added 30,000 trucks to the road to transport the concrete throughout the duration of the project. The 60 foot by 200 foot barge is capable of producing 125 cubic yards of concrete per hour and can test the concrete in a laboratory located on the barge.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Kentucky Department of Transportation has been trying to build a new bridge on I-69 over the Ohio River for many years. The bridge would link Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana. When the bridge was first being discussed a decade ago, a $1.4 billion price tag was the popular estimate for the bridge’s cost. This cost estimate proved prohibitive for any discussion of building the bridge as taxpayers felt it was going to be far too expensive to complete the project.  Now, however, a Henderson-Evansville I-69 advocacy group is presenting a modified vision of the project that would lower the cost to $800 million.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Many Cleveland residents were woken early on Saturday morning by the noise from the Inner Belt Bridge demolition. Controlled explosives were used to demolish five of the nine steel spans of the bridge over the Cuyahoga River around 6 a.m. local time. The Ohio Department of Transportation closed all roads within a 1,000-foot radius during the demolition. They also set up a viewing area for the public to watch the demolition nearby.  A video showing the span collapsing in a matter of seconds can be found here.

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  • Date occured Saturday, 12 July 2014

The $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project recently got underway in Long Beach, California. The project will replace the existing 46-year old bridge with a newer, wider bridge that will open in less than three years. The California Department of Transportation and the Port of Long Beach joined together to oversee the design and construction of a bridge that will not only improve freight movement into the port, but also relieve congestion and allow easier access for cars and trucks to the Port of Long Beach. According to Port of Long Beach officials, almost 15 percent of the United State’s waterborne cargo travels over the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Pulaski Skyway Bridge rehabilitation project will begin on April 12, and some New York and New Jersey Residents are already dubbing it “carmaggedon.” Once construction begins, 34,000 of the 74,000 cars that use the bridge to travel between Newark, Newark Liberty Airport, Jersey City, and New York will need to find alternate routes for their commute for the next two years. While the New Jersey Department of Transportation will increase bus and train services and recommend alternate routes, they do say these options will not eliminate congestion for commuters. The rehabilitation project will extend the life of the 82-year-old bridge by another 75 years.

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  • Date occured Friday, 04 April 2014
Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:41

Tappan Zee Bridge Funding Questions Remain

While the first three piles for the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York have been completed, there are still many questions remaining about how the bridge will be financed. The original three-mile long Tappan Zee Bridge was completed in 1955, and it spans the Hudson River at its widest point connecting Rockland County and Westchester County. Construction on the new bridge began last year after decades of debate over whether to repair the existing bridge or build a new one. Currently, only $1.6 billion, of the $3.9 billion it will cost to build the new bridge, has been committed to the project. New York Lawmakers and officials at the New York State Thruway Authority, the agency overseeing construction of the bridge, are trying to determine who will pay for the $2.3 billion gap in funding.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 27 March 2014
Monday, 24 February 2014 13:01

Brent Spence Bridge Project at Crucial Point

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray announced on Friday that the Brent Spence Bridge project is at a crucial point.  Currently, the state of Ohio has legislation allowing for the bridge to be built by a public-private partnership. A similar bill is being considered in Kentucky at the moment, but the project cannot move forward if it is not passed. The new Brent Spence Bridge will cost an estimated $2.6 billion to remove the existing bridge and construct the new version. 

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  • Date occured Friday, 21 February 2014
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