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September 2011: A Month for Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 3, 2011 at 9:54 AM.

You may have noticed that structural steel had particularly high visibility in the month of September. From playing a vital role in rebuilding the sacred site of the World Trade Center in New York, to celebrating industry innovations and connecting with AEC professionals nationwide, to sharing its voice in standing up for domestic steel and domestic jobs, the structural steel industry shined in the news spotlight in September.


Rebuilding the World Trade Center
As the nation observed the 10th anniversary of 9/11, signs of recovery were shown in the progress of rebuilding the World Trade Center. Steel for 1 World Trade Center (formerly known as the Freedom Tower) has risen to at least the 80th floor (and is rising at a floor per week), at 1,000 ft above street level, and is now the tallest building in Lower Manhattan. It is visible in the skyline from around New York and northern New Jersey.


The steel tower at 1 World Trade Center is one of four skyscrapers envisioned for the site, as well as a transportation hub (see the project renderings and learn more in our previous news post at, a museum, and a memorial that opened on the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks. The memorial is complete with reflecting pools and the victims’ names engraved in bronze parapets, set above the footprints of the fallen towers.


Watch an ironworker video album from 1 WTC, “The Sky Cowboys,” on the New York Times website at, showing appreciation for the cadre of these skilled and brave workers. Visit our previous news post to learn more about the project’s construction progress at


Third Annual SteelDay Draws in Largest Attendance
SteelDay 2011More than 10,000 people attended nearly 200 free events across the U.S. on September 23 for the third annual SteelDay. Hosted by AISC, its members and partners, this year’s SteelDay built on the success of the past two years, drawing in thousands more attendees and increasing its variety of networking and educational opportunities for the design and construction community. For a list of all the events that occurred, visit


For those who were unable to physically attend an event, AISC also offered a live SteelDay webinar on “Practical Steel Metallurgy for the Structural Steel User,” presented by Doug Rees-Evans of Steel Dynamics, Inc., attracting nearly 1,400 individual connections. A recording of the live presentation is now available for online viewing at (Earn CEUs from the presentation by taking and passing a quiz available at


For a full recap of highlights from the year’s SteelDay, view AISC’s press release at


Supporting Domestic Steel and Domestic Jobs
The National Steel Bridge Alliance, AISC’s bridge division, recently issued detailed statements outlining objections to purchasing foreign steel and off-shore fabrication for U.S. domestic projects such as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Alaska’s $190 million Tanana River crossing project. NSBA’s public statements have garnered significant feedback from those in the structural design and construction industry, supporting the organization’s efforts to use U.S. steel and labor on domestic projects (see one example in our previous news post at


The mainstream news media has also taken notice of the controversy:


 playbutton_ed.pngNSBA Executive Director Roger Ferch was recently interviewed by FOX News about the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and said, “I saw one estimate of the fabrication man hours, the labor to construct this bridge in the fabrication shop of more than a million man hours. That’s a million man hours of work that should have been done in the U.S.” See the entire September 20 news story, “San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Controversially Made in China,” in a video recording available on the FOX News website at


ABC World News also aired a similar infrastructure news report on September 23, “U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms,” for which Ferch was also interviewed. You can view the video recording online at


NSBA and AISC encourage the steel community to take action on this issue and contact their local representatives through AISC/NSBA’s Legislative Action page at

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