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Steel Structure Trivia: A Bridge in Building’s Clothing
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 4, 2013 at 1:24 PM.


Here’s MSC’s December Steel Structure Trivia question (delayed from last Friday due to the holidays)! Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y. is in the process of completing an $18.9 million, 45,000-sq.-ft “bridge building” across a 60-ft-deep fissure that divides its campus. As shown above, the construction team built a temporary single-support steel tower in the middle of the gorge, allowing the three, two-story trusses supporting the building to be erected in two halves and spliced in the middle. Your challenge is guess how long the three trusses are. (Hint: They’re all the same length and you can find the answer in the January issue of MSC, available now!)



The three, two-story trusses supporting the “bridge building” are all 200 ft long. Congratulations to our winners: Chris Hanna, P.E., with City of Redding Electric Utility in Redding, Calif., David Cheramie, P.E., with R.T. Patterson in Cleveland, and Dennis M. with Universal Network Development Corp.


The new building at Onondaga Community College will provide a protected crossing over the 60-ft-deep gorge–particularly enticing during the area’s harsh winters. In addition, the two-story structure makes use of otherwise unusable land. And by avoiding underground rerouting of elements such as sewer lines and electrical conduits, which would have been required with the original proposed building location, it was achievable within the college’s original budget.


Use of bridge construction materials and techniques was essential in achieving the architectural vision, given the structure’s double life as a bridge and a building. The three, two-story, 200-ft trusses support the building and its range of interior room types, and bridge bearings are used to transfer loads to the building’s foundations (called pot bearings — there were six total, one under each end of each truss). On either side of the truss are link buildings (60 ft to 80 ft in length) that attach the addition to the existing structures on either side of the gorge. The new building uses a total of 860 tons of structural steel.


You can read more about the new building in the January 2013 issue of MSC. Click here for a PDF of the article.


You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo will be posted to the Steel in the News section as our weekly “Steel Shot.” Your challenge is to correctly answer the trivia question provided in the news post, based on what you see in the photo. The next question will be posted on Friday, January 25.


backscratcher-007_sitn.jpgThe first three people who supply the correct answer will receive an MSC-branded stainless steel back scratcher! You’ll need it to successfully tackle those pesky itches after the trivia pressure subsides. (And check out that telescoping action! Wow!) Its five-fingered curved design reaches from 7 in. to 20 3/4 in. in length.

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