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Steel Shots: Prize-Winning Bridges
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 18, 2014 at 8:28 AM.

The Shenandoah River Bridge Delta Frame in Jefferson County, W.Va., is a Prize Bridge Major Span award winner in NSBA’s 2014 Prize Bridge awards program. To accommodate increasing travel demands, the West Virginia Division of Highways initiated a project to improve West Virginia 9, including a new bridge across the Shenandoah River. The design team developed a steel delta frame design that delivered significant savings compared to proposals for more traditional designs. The resulting signature shape of the Shenandoah River Bridge is as pleasing to the bottom line as it is to the eye. Photo: Keith Philpott


Every other year, NSBA’s Prize Bridge Awards recognize the most innovative and significant steel bridges constructed in the U.S. and is the highest honor bestowed on steel bridge projects by the U.S. structural steel industry.


This year’s 13 Prize Bridge winners were announced at the combined 2014 World Steel Bridge Symposium and NASCC: The Steel Conference last month in Toronto. The awards were presented to winners in a variety of categories covering an array of project types including: Major Span; Long Span; Medium Span; Short Span; Moveable Span; Reconstructed; and Special Purpose. Recognition was also given to projects that best exemplified Accelerated Bridge Construction and Sustainability.


Winning projects were selected based on innovation, aesthetics, and design and engineering solutions by a jury of engineering and construction professionals.


You can view this year’s winners in NSBA’s press release, and all of them will be featured in the June issue of Modern Steel, with detailed project descriptions and photographs of each.


To learn more about the Prize Bridge Awards, visit

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First World Steel Safety Day Set for April 28
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 16, 2014 at 4:20 PM.

The World Steel Association (often abbreviated as worldsteel) is set to hold its inaugural Steel Safety Day on Monday, April 28, which coincides with World Day for Safety and Health at Work, held by the International Labour Organisation.


The aim of Steel Safety Day is to raise awareness on the main causes of accidents in the steel industry and increase safety in the workplace. Worldsteel has requested all participating organizations to carry out a two-week audit from April 14-28, focused on identifying the hazards for the main causes of safety incidents within the steel industry and setting up an action plan to manage the hazards and risks for each site.


worldsteelsafetyday.jpgWorldsteel has identified the five most common causes of safety incidents and preventative measures as:


  • Moving machinery – before any machinery is cleaned, serviced or adjusted all sources of energy including gravity must be isolated, locked, or pinned to prevent movement.
  • Falling from heights – training should be provided on how to use protective equipment and work safely at heights.
  • Falling objects – measures must be taken to prevent objects from falling and all people should be evacuated from areas where this remains a possibility.
  • Asphyxiation or gassing – people should be trained to ensure they can test for and eliminate dangerous gasses in confined spaces.
  • Cranes – daily checks must be carried out on cranes before use to maintain reliable operation.


“The steel industry is a highly automated industry and most manual handling, heavy lifting and many operational activities have been automated,” commented Edwin Basson, director general of worldsteel. “This has removed staff’s exposure to many hazards and reduced safety risks in the working environment. However, safety incidents still happen in the industry today and it is our responsibility to make sure that all applicable measures have been put in place to manage the hazards. We believe all injuries and work-related illness can and must be prevented.”


You can find safety information and resources specific to the U.S. structural steel industry on AISC’s website at

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Advance Steel 2015 Now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM.

autodesk-advance-steel-2015.jpgAutodesk has released its new Advance Steel 2015 software for steel detailing.


This latest version of Advance Steel provides structural steel detailers, fabricators, engineers and contractors with 3D modeling tools, built on the familiar AutoCAD platform, to help accelerate more accurate detailing of structural elements, steel connections and plates. It is also designed to reduce time to fabrication by automatically generating shop and general arrangement drawings, creating bills of materials and producing CNC files directly from designs.


With interoperability between Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and other BIM software, Advance Steel also provides a way to connect BIM-based design and construction through fabrication.


Advance Steel 2015 was unveiled at last month’s NASCC: The Steel Conference in Toronto and is the first branded product to come out of Autodesk’s acquisition of key technologies from Graitec.


For additional information on Advance Steel, visit

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Biggest-Ever Bridge Slide
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM.

milton-madison-bridge-slide.jpgThe largest bridge slide ever was completed last week at site of the Milton-Madison Bridge over the Ohio River between Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind., when the new bridge made its 55-ft journey from temporary piers to permanent, refurbished piers. Spanning nearly a half mile, the truss of the Milton-Madison Bridge is now the longest bridge in North America to be slid laterally into place.


Click here to view a time-lapse video of slide.


The slide began on Wednesday morning but was halted in the late afternoon due to high winds over the Ohio River. Walsh Construction, who is building the bridge, brought in materials from the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project to help deal with windy conditions and assist in synchronizing the slide onto the five permanent piers, which allowed the slide to resume on Thursday morning at about 8 a.m.
“It’s great to see the bridge completed and sitting in its permanent location,” said Dav Kessinger, project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “This bridge will serve the area well for decades to come.”


“This is truly a historic accomplishment for everyone involved,” added Kevin Hetrick, project manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). “The people of Indiana and Kentucky should be proud to be a part of this amazing engineering feat.”


Polished steel sliding plates were secured on top of the refurbished piers. Steel cables and eight computer-controlled hydraulic jacks were used to pull the bridge through a series of grabs and pulls until the bridge was slid into place. The 30-million-lb new steel truss bridge is 2,428-ft long and 40-ft wide with two 12-ft lanes and 8-ft shoulders – twice as wide as the old bridge, which opened in 1929. A 5-ft-wide cantilevered sidewalk will be added to the structure in the coming months.


Now that the slide is complete, it will take approximately a week to complete inspections, road connections to the bridge and other work before the bridge is reopened to traffic.


The Milton-Madison Bridge Project – a joint effort between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – has received several state and national engineering awards for innovation. For more information, visit or follow the project on Twitter.


The article “Move That Bridge” in the February 2012 issue of MSC also describes the project in detail and explains how the decision to use the innovative sliding technique stemmed from the system’s success on the Capilano River Bridge project in Vancouver, Canada.

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Steel Shots: Innovation at its Finest
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM.


The Newport Beach Civic Center and Park in Newport Beach, Calif., is a National award winner in AISC’s 2014 IDEAS2 awards program. Standard steel wide-flange shapes and hollow structural sections (HSS) were adapted to create an iconic, wave-shaped roof that covers the city hall portion of the building and provides ample outdoor shelter. Photo: David Wakely Photography

Every year, AISC’s IDEAS2 Awards recognize the most innovative new steel structures in the U.S. and the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.
This year’s 12 IDEAS2 winners were announced at the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference last month in Toronto. Covering an array of project types, they demonstrate the flexible and effective solutions provided by structural steel on a wide variety of building projects.
A panel of design and construction industry professionals identified National and Merit winners in three categories, based on constructed value: less than $15 million, $15 million to $75 million and greater than $75 million. In addition, the panel awarded a Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering to one project for outstanding structural engineering achievement.
You can view this year’s winners in AISC’s press release, and all of them will be featured in the May issue of Modern Steel, with detailed project descriptions and photographs of each.
To learn more about the IDEAS2 awards program, visit

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Engineering Journal Q2 Now Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 10, 2014 at 5:38 PM.

The second quarter 2014 issue of Engineering Journal is now available online. Click here to view, print and share the current digital edition.
This issue of Engineering Journal is the first of two issues with a special focus on the “simple for dead load–continuous for live load” — or SDCL — design concept. The premise behind the concept is that girders erected as simple spans can be made to function under live load as continuous spans by providing continuity with a unique field connection. In addition to covering research, the journal will highlight two successful SDCL bridge projects from the engineer’s perspective.
Article searches for the complete collection of EJ remain available at Downloads of current and past articles in PDF format are free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers. Non-AISC members may subscribe to EJ at the AISC bookstore.

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2014 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards Winners Announced
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM.

The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) recently announced the winners of this year’s Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards. More than 100 projects representing the versatility of hot-dip galvanizing were submitted and judged online by a panel of architects and engineers.


san_diego_library_02.jpgThis year’s highest honor, the Most Distinguished award, was given to the San Diego Central Library. It features a hot-dip galvanized steel facade, including the magnificent three-story arched domed terrace. (The dome portion of the project is also a National Award winner in this year’s AISC IDEAS2 Awards program and will be featured in the May issue of Modern Steel.) In addition, more than $75 million, or 40% of the project cost, was donated by more than 3,000 private individuals – a record for funding a public works project of this kind.


bridges-of-stark-county.JPGThe Lifetime Achievement award, which recognizes a galvanized project with at least 15 years of service, was given to the Bridges of Stark County in Ohio. In the early 1970s, Stark County engineer Rich Larocco decided to dismantle the bridges, galvanize the steel beams, and reinstall them in an effort to lower maintenance costs.  After seeing the impact of the recycled bridges, Stark County continued to install new galvanized bridges.


In addition to these two awards, 13 other projects were selected to represent the best of the best in 12 categories that are common sectors for the use of hot-dip galvanized steel. In addition to the Bridges of Stark County, three other categories, Bridge & Highway, Civic Contribution and Duplex Systems recognized bridge and/or bridge-related projects. Another popular theme in this year’s winners were projects affiliated with universities, including a classroom building and parking garage.


View all of the winning projects in the AGA Project Gallery at

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Live Load Path Webinar this Thursday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM.

Load paths are essential to understanding structural analysis as well as connection design. Register for AISC’s live webinar, “Load Path! The Most Common Source of Engineering Errors,” happening this Thursday, April 10, and learn how to avoid the most common mistakes made in assuming load paths. Registration will remain open until tomorrow night at 9 p.m. PDT.


The 1.5-hour webinar will begin at the following times, relative to time zone:
10:30 a.m. PDT
11:30 a.m. MDT
12:30 p.m. CDT
1:30 p.m. EDT
The cost of the webinar is $185 for AISC members, $285 for non-members and $155 for students and educators. (Fees are based on a per-site connection basis. Purchase one site connection and any number of members in your company or organization may view the webinar at that site connection. All attendees are eligible to receive CEUs/PDHs.)
Registrants will receive access to a PDF file of the presentation slides prior to the webinar, CEU/PDH certificates for all attendees upon completion of the live webinar (0.15 CEUs/1.5 PDHs) and complete instructions for accessing the live webinar.
To register for the live webinar and to learn about other upcoming AISC webinars, visit

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Steel Shots: Up & at ‘em
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM.


The rehabilitation of Illinois’ 1929-built Florence Bridge took place with the lift span in the raised position. And while the bridge was held high, construction time stayed low. Photo: Modjeski and Masters


As any bridge inspector will tell you, it’s best to catch small problems before they become big.


In the summer of 2012, a routine inspection of the Florence Bridge, a movable bridge over the Illinois River in Florence, Ill., called for immediate closure of the bridge. The culprit was visible buckling of one of the bridge’s main columns that could potentially lead to a partial bridge collapse.


Given the bridge’s importance as a major crossing of the Illinois River in the area - it carries Illinois Route 106 over the river - the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) needed to find a solution to bring it back into service as quickly as possible. Fortunately, IDOT had a standing, on-call contract with bridge engineering firm Modjeski and Masters (M&M). The contract allowed IDOT to immediately engage M&M, which was able to quickly mobilize engineers to investigate the damage, develop a response plan and assemble a project team.


To learn about how M&M worked closely with IDOT to deliver a comprehensive rehabilitation of the bridge, read the article in the April 2014 issue of Modern Steel (available now!).

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Steel Shots: ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ Sculpture
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 4, 2014 at 3:57 PM.

The winning steel sculpture in AISC’s third SteelDay Sculpture Competition - “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” - designed by Arup San Francisco.
The five finalists for the third annual SteelDay Sculpture Competition were on display at NASCC: The Steel Conference last week in Toronto, where attendees voted for their favorite. (The only rules for the competition are that entrants must be AISC Full and Associate Members and entries have to fit into a 2-ft x 2-ft x 2-ft box and be made entirely of steel.)
Fourteen sculptures were entered into the competition this year, and the winner is “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.” Designed by Arup San Francisco, the sculpture is based on the famous photo of ironworkers in 1932 taking a lunchtime break on a steel crossbeam about 850 ft above the streets of NYC at the construction site of the RCA Building (renamed the GE Building in 1986) at Rockefeller Center.


More information about the creation of the winning sculpture will be featured in the May issue of MSC.
You can view all 14 entrants at

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