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AISI Award Recognizes Bridge Innovation
Posted by on September 28, 2007 at 11:59 AM.

The American Iron and Steel Institute presented the 2007 Market Development Industry Leadership Award to Ed Wasserman, P.E., director of the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Structures Division, during steel bridge industry meetings held recently in Nashville, Tenn. The award was established by AISI to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions in advancing the competitive use of steel in the marketplace as a direct

result of AISI Market Development initiatives in the automotive, construction, and container markets.


The award recognizes the “unified approach” that was developed after a multi-year research project championed by Wasserman. The research, performed at the Federal Highway Admini s t rat ion’s Turner Fairbanks Research Laboratories, included testing of a full-scale curved girder bridge that was erected in the lab. Principal funding for the research was generated by joint funding from dozens of state departments of transportation and led to a complete overhaul of the AASHTO specifications to simplify the design of straight and curved steel girders, resulting in more cost-effective steel designs.


The award also recognized that the quick progression from concept to application resulted in large part from Wasserman’s leadership and contributions toward this effort. The first bridge designed specifically with high-performance steel (HPS) 70W steel plate was constructed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation in 1998 (the State Route 53 bridge over Martin Creek in Jackson County, Tenn.). Since then, Wasserman has specified 24 additional

HPS bridges in Tennessee and has contributed greatly towards educating other bridge engineers on the cost-effective benefits of HPS. HPS can provide up to 18% in weight reduction and up to 20% in cost reduction over conventional steels.


As the result of a partnership between AISI, the Federal Highway Administration, and the U.S. Navy to create cost-effective, durable steels for bridge design, HPS went from concept to application in just five years and is now being used in 44 states on more than 400 projects.

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