Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » July 2012

Archive for July 2012

Back to all posts

Florida Flyover Lift Completed within a Day
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 16, 2012 at 5:07 PM.

A five-million-lb. flyover ramp was lifted yesterday to accommodate new roadway construction on Interstate 595 near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The curved steel tub girder bridge that connects southbound University Drive to eastbound I-595 was raised 18 in. within a 24-hour period.


Synchronized hydraulic jacks slowly raised the bridge, and a team of about 50 construction workers inserted 18 shims that hold up the flyover, according to an article published in The Miami Herald. The south part of the ramp will be removed in order to make room for more lanes that will widen I-595.


The article states the original plan was to remove both flyover ramps that connect University Drive and I-595. Raising the ramp was the alternative that helped save time–and taxpayer dollars–by keeping one whole bridge and using half of the one being lifted.


University Drive and I-595 closed beginning at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and reopened by today’s morning rush hour, with the exception of the flyover ramp on southbound University.


You can read more in The Miami Herald.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: Steel Encounter
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 16, 2012 at 9:13 AM.


The world’s largest, land-based movable structure, West Virginia’s Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, is made up of more than 13,000 steel members and joints. Photo: Courtesy of Modjeski and Masters


Bridge engineering firm Modjeski and Masters announced last week that it has been selected by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) for the fifth consecutive structural inspection of West Virginia’s Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Modjeski and Masters will audit the 17-million-lb movable radio telescope as part of an ongoing effort to prolong the structure’s life span through periodic assessments and programmed maintenance.


Modjeski and Masters will conduct a comprehensive inspection of many of the structure’s more than 13,000 steel members and joints. The firm will leverage its Technical and Rope Access (TARA) program, which is a collection of techniques and methods of access used by highly trained engineers to safely gain access to remote points on the structure. (Some can be located as far as 480 ft above the ground.)


“Modjeski and Masters works with a level of professionalism, thoroughness, reliability and competence rarely seen these days,” said Harry Morton, technical support supervisor at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “We cannot inspect the entire structure ourselves, but can rest assured that the telescope is sound because of the trustworthiness of the Modjeski and Masters team.”


Dedicated in 2000, the Green Bank Telescope is the most technically advanced single-dish radio telescope in the world. The 110-meter by 100-meter dish boasts more than two acres of area for collecting faint radio waves from the universe.


For more information about the Green Bank Telescope, visit

Bookmark and Share

Updates to Tekla BIMsight
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM.

tekla-bimsight_xray-mode.jpgTekla has updated its BIMsight software for BIM-based collaboration. The new version, 1.5.1, includes the option to change the degree of transparency in x-ray mode and features more intuitive color labeling for objects. In addition, changes to the interface allow users to switch to a full-screen mode, and object-related notes, documents and conflicts can be viewed more easily as they are now shown at top of the list on the object information tab.


You can download and share Tekla BIMsight software for free at More information and video tutorials on the new version can be found on Tekla’s website, here.


Tekla also recently launched BIMsight Note, a new BIM communication application for use on the iPad or iPhone. It allows project team members to instantly receive and reply to notes created in Tekla BIMsight, similar to text messaging. Tekla BIMsight Note is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store.


Bookmark and Share

Alamo Iron Works Acquires SGS Industrial Supplies
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM.

Alamo Iron Works, a San Antonio-based steel fabrication company and an AISC member, announced recently that it has bought the assets of SGS Industrial Supplies, Inc., a distributor of steel and industrial products in the Rio Grande Valley area of South Texas.


Two years after Industrial Distribution Group (IDG) bought Alamo Iron Works, the 137-year-old company will expand its distribution network in South Texas by combining its operations with SGS. Alamo Iron Works is no stranger to the Rio Grande Valley, having served customers in the area for more than 80 years, frequently crossing paths with previous competitor SGS, which has been active in the market for 60 years.


The combined company will provide increased field sales support, unmatched inventory levels and a comprehensive catalogue of industrial supply and steel products and services.


“This opportunity allows us to enhance our historical position in the Rio Grande Valley while maintaining and expanding the valuable relationships nurtured by SGS,” said Alamo Iron Works President F.M. “Duffy” Shea. “We are in a position of strength thanks to the investment and commitment of our parent company, Industrial Distribution Group, which has allowed us to successfully grow the business and take advantage of timely opportunities.”


IDG Lead Board Director Scott Prince added, “SGS has an excellent reputation for serving customers throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Existing Alamo Iron Works customers now have access to two new locations in ‘The Valley,’ while SGS customers have access to an expanded number of products and steel services that were not available to them before this combination.”


Together the companies are extending their joint commitment to the local community by continuing full operation of both SGS distribution centers in Pharr and Brownsville, Texas.

Bookmark and Share

2012 SteelDay Student Photo Contest
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM.

student-photo-2012_small.jpgKnow a college student who’s looking for a fun summer challenge? Have them grab their camera and start snapping! In conjunction with this year’s SteelDay, AISC is again sponsoring a Student Photo Contest as a way to involve students in the structural steel industry’s largest educational and networking event.


The photo contest is designed for students to capture photos that best pictorially celebrate the visual experience of steel, and is open to any student currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program at an accredited U.S. college or university.


To be eligible, students must submit a photograph and a completed application form, including a brief description of the photograph. The description can include information such as details regarding the photo subject, interesting elements in the photo and/or how the photo celebrates the visual experience of steel. There is no fee to enter and the number of complete submissions per student is unlimited.


Entries are due by Saturday, September 22, and the winners will be announced on SteelDay (Friday, September 28; check back here for a news post after SteelDay). One grand prize winner will receive a digital photo frame and be published in an upcoming issue of MSC. All winning submissions will be featured on as our weekly “Steel Shots,” which are published each Friday.


To download the full rules and application form, visit, where you can also view all of last year’s winning photos.


And remember, students (and everyone else!) are encouraged to attend a free event on SteelDay! For more information and to find an event near you, visit


dscn1542_1100w.jpgThe winning photo in the 2011 AISC Student Photo Contest was taken by Krystal Brun, a senior civil engineering student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Brun captured this sunset at the south end of the Mackinac Bridge over Memorial Day weekend in 2010, the night before joining the other 596 runners in the 7th annual Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race on May 29 (click on the photo for a larger view).


Bookmark and Share

Hollow Metal Doors and Frames Standard Available for Public Review
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM.

A proposed revision to the ANSI/NAAMM standard, HMMA 801: Glossary of Terms for Hollow Metal Doors and Frames, is now available for public review and comment. To obtain the standard, ballot and other related documents, go to the National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) website.


Comments must be received on or before August 6, 2012 to be considered.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: Learning Sculptures
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM.


The College of New Jersey’s new AISC Steel Sculpture, one of more than 100 across the country that give students a visual understanding of steel framing and steel connections. Photo: The College of New Jersey


college-of-new-jersey-4_sitn_thumbnail.jpgStudents and faculty in the engineering program at The College of New Jersey, along with ASCE’s local chapter, this past spring celebrated the installation and dedication of an AISC sculpture on the school’s campus in Ewing Township, N.J.


The sculpture helps distinguish Armstrong Hall as the campus’ engineering building to students and visitors alike. And, beyond its enhancements to the program and school, the sculpture ultimately serves as a learning tool for civil engineering students as it provides examples of beams and connections studied in class.


“We are very excited to have one of these sculptures because it is a tremendous highlight to our program and to the hard work of all the students,” said Catherine Brabston, student chapter president of ASCE at The College of New Jersey. “In addition, our professors look forward to the opportunity to use it as an educational tool in structural and steel design courses.”


The students involved in the installation experienced the complete process behind it, from testing the soil to the design and fabrication of the steel sculpture, to the foundation design and final assembly. And all students can gain from this sculpture an appreciation for structures and the engineering behind them.


The fabrication, galvanizing and delivery of the sculpture was donated by Capital Steel Service in Trenton, N.J., an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator. General contractor Waters & Bugbee, also based in Trenton, donated the foundation, including material and installation costs, as well as the final installation of the sculpture.


Originally created by Duane Ellifritt, professor emeritus from the University of Florida, the AISC Steel Sculpture was designed to be a visual teaching aid that shows a variety of members and connections. It consists of 25 steel members, 43 connection elements, more than 26 weld groups, and more than 144 individual bolts.


These sculptures are located on more than 100 campuses across the U.S., and most have been donated by local fabricators.


To see if a school near you has a steel sculpture, see the list in the Faculty and Students section of the AISC website.


To find out how to get a Steel Sculpture on your campus, please email Maria Mnookin at Fabricators interested in building and donating a steel sculpture to a university should also contact Maria.


To see more of the sculptures at various schools, visit the AISC Education Flickr page or the American Institute of Steel Construction Facebook album.

Bookmark and Share

Help Us Help You: The LinkedIn Conversation
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM.

Victoria Cservenyak, AISC’s digital content editor, posted this question last week on AISC’s LinkedIn group page: “In five words or less, describe the one thing that would most accelerate construction projects.”


Here are some of the responses she received:

  •     Architects, engineers complete on time — Bill Oliver
  •     DRWGS checked for “Constructability” — Billy Lee
  •     Global integrated software…I use this form — Ailton Ripamonte
  •     Better matched architectural structural drawings – Ron Polito
  •     A more knowledgeable client up front! — David W. Anderson
  •     Proper planning, design and people! – Jerry Gorospe
  •     Communication — William Lupher
  •     Board displaying work under progress — Ashok Jain
  •     Minimize changes during construction — Jim Benson
  •     Planning and follow through of all the critical team members. Planning cannot be overemphasized – John Garrison
  •     Effective, insightful and continuous communication — Darrell Badger
  •     Material availability, people and proper checking — Faisal Habib Marwat
  •     Small project teams, communications, client – Alexandre Silva
  •     Admit errors, move forward — Josh Poynter
  •     Compelled communication and ready responsiveness — Ronnie Medlock
  •     Healthy buyer, select a team with one mission, listen to marching orders, integrated project delivery — Viji Kuruvilla


As you can see, social media platforms such as LinkedIn provide an opportunity for us in the industry to instantly connect and engage with each other and share ideas.


AISC’s LinkedIn page is just another way you can keep in touch with AISC and help us create effective services and programs based on your feedback. (You can also find us on other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, or visit our own file sharing site, And, of course, you’ll always find the latest AISC information and resources at


Victoria will be posting these types of industry questions to AISC’s LinkedIn group page every Friday. Keep an eye out for the next one today — and join the conversation! If you’re currently not using LinkedIn and are interested in joining, it’s easy (and free!). Simply register at and create your profile. To join AISC’s group page, search for AISC in “Groups,” and request to join.


To contact Victoria directly, you can email her at

Bookmark and Share

Descours and Cabaud Acquires BMG Metals
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM.

Descours and Cabaud, Inc., a French Industrial and steel distributor, announced recently that it has purchased a controlling interest in BMG Metals, Inc., a Richmond, Va.-based steel service center. Descours and Cabaud currently has more than 560 locations throughout Europe and North America, including steel distributor Dillon Supply Company based in Raleigh, N.C., an AISC member.


Dillon Supply Company and BMG will combine strengths to service their industrial customers more efficiently, while BMG will continue to operate autonomously as it has since the company’s inception in 1963. Bery Gay, BMG’s chief operating officer, and Tom Gay, BMG’s President, will continue managing the day-to-day operations of the company, while Dean Wagoner, vice president at Descours and Cabaud Inc., will take over responsibility of the U.S. holdings.


Wagoner expressed his confidence in the mutually beneficial partnership, stating, “In the coming months we will examine the synergies between the two businesses and how best to utilize them to make both better. There are countless possibilities on how we can work alongside one another to become more dominant in our respective markets.”

Bookmark and Share

Engineering Journal Q3 Now Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 3, 2012 at 9:32 AM.

The Third Quarter 2012 issue of Engineering Journal is now available in digital edition format. View the current issue by clicking here.


Papers in Engineering Journal Q3 include:


  • “Prying Action for Slip-Critical Connections with Bolt Tension and Shear Interaction,” by William A. Thornton and Larry S. Muir
  • “Satisfying Inelastic Rotation Requirements for In-Plane Critical Axis Brace Buckling for High Seismic Design,” by William A. Thornton and Patrick J. Fortney
  • “AASHTO LRFD Provisions for the Seismic Design of Steel Plate Girder Bridges,” by Ahmad M. Itani, Eric V. Monzon and Michael A. Grubb
  • “Technical Note: Effective Length Factors for Gusset Plates in Chevron Braced Frames,” by Bo Dowswell
  • “Current Steel Structures Research No. 31,” by Reidar Bjorhovde


Each quarterly current issue of EJ is available in digital format and free to the public until the next issue is published.


The complete collection of Engineering Journal articles is searchable at Current and past articles can be downloaded as PDFs and are free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers; just make sure you are logged into the AISC website ( before searching. Non-members will be directed to the AISC Bookstore at to purchase articles.

Bookmark and Share