Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » December 2010

Archive for December 2010

Back to all posts

Steel Shots: A New Bridge Across the Illinois River
Posted by Alison Trost on December 3, 2010 at 9:39 AM.


Erection of the “gate” segments completing the 370-ft mainspan for the new IL-170 Bridge over the Illinois River in Seneca, Illinois.  The existing four-span through-truss in the background was built in 1932 and was demolished by explosives on November 18, 2010.


The above photo shows erection earlier this year of the final three “gate” segments connecting the cantilevered ends of the six steel plate girders that complete the 370-ft mainspan for the new IL-170 Bridge over the Illinois River in Seneca, Ill.  These “gate” segments which are 110-ft long and 9-ft deep are one of 11 segments required to create the 283-ft / 370-ft / 283-ft continuous steel plate girder unit over the river.  Three smaller units consisting of 5-ft-deep plate girders and wide-flange sections complete the structure, which totals 1,700 ft between abutments.


Project challenges included reducing the depth of the plate girders by more than a foot to accommodate an increase in navigational clearance, while maintaining the established vertical profile of the proposed roadway.  Other challenges included designing the river piers for barge impact and erecting the structure without shoring towers in the river to satisfy U.S Coast Guard requirements.  Temporary lateral bracing between the new structural steel and existing truss was installed during erection to provide additional stability prior to hardening of the deck. The new structure uses six closely spaced plate girders of Grade 50W steel, with HPS Grade 70W steel over the piers.  The total project cost around $24 million.


Photo and Text by Chris Stine, S.E., P.E.

Bookmark and Share

Series Launch: Conversations With Steel Experts
Posted by Alison Trost on December 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM.

AISC Continuing Education’s series of free podcasts entitled “Steel Profiles” launches Friday, December 3, 2010. Issued monthly, the Steel Profiles series will present interviews with the people who are setting the parameters for structural steel design and construction.



The first installment of Steel Profiles will feature James Fisher, P.E., Ph.D., who was the chairman of the AISC Specification Committee from 2003 through 2009. As such, Fisher was at the helm for publication of the historic 2005 Specification. Listen to his reflections on his tenure as specification chair.


Steel Profiles podcasts can be downloaded easily from the AISC website at Join in and listen to a new interview on the first Friday of every month.

Bookmark and Share

Posted by Ted Sheppard on December 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM.

Ted SheppardWhen I first started in the steel erection business, there were a lot of nicknames. I don’t see that as much any more. However, I just heard a new one a few weeks ago: No Neck Monaghan. I thought that was a great one, especially because my wife is a Monaghan.


Naturally everyone with the surname Smith had a nickname. There was Cincinnati Smith, Bicycle Smitty, Havre de Grace Smith, and a dozen others. Many indicated where they were from, but I don’t know how Kokomo Joe got his nickname, because he was from Pittsburgh.  There was a guy called Waterhead. I don’t know what it meant, or where it came from.  I just didn’t want to go there.


My wife loves hearing these names, although she got into it in a funny way.  A highway bridge was being built in Athol Springs, N.Y., and it was very, very cold. My car wouldn’t start, because it was 24 below zero. At least, that was what my thermometer said, but that was as low as it went.


I called the superintendent and told him of my problem. He said since we were starting the bridge that morning, he would send Buck Rogers to get me. Well in those days Buck Rogers was a very slim, sleek and handsome comic strip astronaut. Not my Buck Rogers, however.


I told my wife that I would be out back with the car, and that she should just tell Buck to come around. I forgot to tell her what Buck looked like. He was anything but slim and sleek. As I came in the back door of our apartment, I found Mary on the couch laughing and laughing. I asked her what was so funny, and she said that as she had opened the door she said , “You must be Buck Rogers.”  He replied that that was just what everyone called him.  “My real name is Roy.” Mary told him that I was out back and quickly closed the door.


Over the years, Mary got to know Beechnut, a multitude of Blackies, and many others. But she never forgot Buck, or Roy for that matter.


Meet the MSC contributing web editors

Bookmark and Share