The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 13:17

Canada To Buy Land in US for NITC Bridge

Canadian officials announced plans last week to buy land in the United States for the New International Trade Crossing Bridge and customs plaza that will link Detroit and Windsor. They will do so without a guarantee from the United States that the U.S. will pay more than $200 million for a customs plaza. According to outgoing consul general Roy Norton, the project is too important to not move ahead despite doubts about U.S. participation. 

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 05 February 2014

The Blackfriars Railway Bridge in London, England is now the largest-solar powered bridge in the world.  Network Rail, the company in charge of London’s rail system, unveiled the bridge at a ribbon cutting ceremony last Wednesday.  The roof of the new bridge is covered with 4,400 photovoltaic panels.  The panels will supply half of the energy needed to run London Blackfriars station, and they will help to reduce the station’s carbon emissions by 511 tons per year.  By comparison the world’s only other solar bridge, the Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane, Australia, will save 38 tons of carbon emissions each year.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to replace 500 bridges in the state starting in 2015, and the majority of these bridges will be built under public-private partnership contracts.  Currently 4,200 bridges, or 18% of the state’s bridges, are structurally deficient. This figure is 11% higher than the national average.  This should not be too surprising, however, because the average age of a bridge in Pennsylvania is around 50 years old.  Also, the majority of the bridges listed as structurally deficient require only minor repairs, or they are deteriorating and might need weight restrictions in the future as a result.  All of the bridges are safe, but PennDOT has identified 300 bridges that they would like to use public-private partnerships to replace.  Under a public-private partnership, a private company or team must design, build, and maintain each bridge.  PennDOT will pay the team based on their performance.

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  • Date occured Friday, 24 January 2014

The icy temperatures sweeping across the United States have caused foundation work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge to come to a halt.  The frozen areas of the Hudson River in New York are preventing tug boats from being able to move around safely.  Project leaders are not sure how long the delays will last, but the forecast for the next week looks promising with every day’s high temperature well above freezing.  As soon as the large chunks of ice floating in the Hudson River melt, workers can get back to installing piles to support the bridge.  The project schedule includes a two-month period each year where crews will not be able to work on the Tappan Zee Bridge due to weather restrictions.  As a result, this delay is not expected to affect completing the bridge by 2018, and construction is continuing to move forward on land.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 09 January 2014

The Kentucky and Ohio Departments of Transportation announced that toll revenue would be required to fund the design and construction of a new Brent Spence Bridge. Current estimates place the cost of a new bridge at $3.57 billion.  The current Brent Spence Bridge is a double-decker cantilever truss bride that crosses the Ohio River.  It allows residents of Northern Kentucky to commute to Cincinnati, Ohio and vice versa.  The bridge was opened in 1963 and was designed to carry 85,000 vehicles per day.  As of 2007, 155,000 cars cross the bridge each day, and about 65% of the cars travel from Kentucky to Ohio.  In 2011, large pieces of concrete fell from the upper deck of the bridge onto the lower level, and the bridge was closed down for a day to repair the damage.  While it currently is considered to be structurally safe, many residents of Ohio and Kentucky have lost faith in the functionality of the original bridge.  As a result, the two states departments of transportation are currently studying the bridge to determine if it will be better to replace or rehabilitate the Brent Spence Bridge.

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  • Date occured Monday, 30 December 2013
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 13:41

Workers Delicately Fix Leo Fridge Bridge

On September 25, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation closed the Leo Fridge Bridge near Green Bay after noticing a two-foot dip along the bridge.  Work began Tuesday to fix the sagging pavement by raising up the concrete and steel pilings.  The damaged section of the bridge weighs approximately 1,600 tons and thus requires a delicate and tedious process to make the bridge operational.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A deal was finalized between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a team of private companies to replace and demolish the existing Goethals Bridge connecting Staten Island and New Jersey. The team, named the NYNJ Link Partnership, is comprised of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc., Kiewit Development and Infrastructure, Weeks Marine, and Massman Construction. This is the Port Authority’s first public-private partnership and will be financed through tax-exempt bonds, loans, and developer contributions. The NYNJ Link Partnership is responsible for designing, building, financing, and maintaining the bridge. The replacement  bridge will improve the existing bridge by having 6 12-foot wide lanes, interior and exterior shoulders, a pedestrian and bike path, and a lane to be developed for buses, HOV, or light rail in the future.

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  • Date occured Saturday, 09 November 2013
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