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Steel Shots: Decision Delta
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM.


The new Shenandoah River Bridge superstructure consists of a five-girder, four-substringer system supported by five lines of delta legs - one for each girder. Photo: Courtesy of HDR, Keith Philpott, photographer


Just an hour’s drive west from Washington, D.C., the new Shenandoah River Bridge stands in aesthetic harmony with its surroundings.


The project exists within a unique ecosystem where the scenic Shenandoah River valley boasts steeply rising wooded mountains, a diverse wildlife habitat, rolling farmland and quaint, historic towns. Not surprisingly, the region has evolved into a desirable getaway from the frenzy of urban life.


With the subsequent increase in traffic, the West Virginia Department of Transportation - Division of Highways (WVDOT) determined that the winding two-lane road that carried West Virginia Route 9 (WV9) through the valley was no longer sufficient. In September 2009, it revealed the design for a new alignment: a four-lane divided highway using a bridge over the Shenandoah River. At the crossing location, the proposed grade was nearly 200 ft above the river, and the overall bridge length would be nearly 1,800 ft. While there are no navigation requirements for the river, the environmental constraints for the project and the relatively high cost of substructure units located in the valley dictated that the main span be approximately 600 ft in length. To accommodate these constraints, a three-span continuous deck truss configuration (400 ft - 600 ft - 400 ft) with short plate-girder approach units was initially selected during the design phase.


In early October 2009, WVDOT modified the procurement from design-bid-build to design-build and instructed contractors that they could bid the as-designed truss or develop and bid a different structure type, providing they addressed the following criteria:


  • The chosen substructure locations for the deck truss bridge generally must be used, with very limited latitude.
  • The established horizontal and vertical alignment could not be changed.
  • Alternatives that required increased amounts of disturbance to the gorge slopes would not be considered.
  • The use of a causeway or cofferdams, other than as shown on the plans for the as-designed bridge and/or in the Section 404 (of the Clean Water Act) Permit, would require re-permitting.
  • The design must comply with all previously established environmental commitments.


Following concept approval, structural engineer HDR Engineering developed a delta frame design that delivered significant savings compared to proposals for more traditional designs and also resurrected a tried-and-true form that had been largely forgotten since the 1970s.


To learn more about this uncommon design resurrected by the new bridge, you can read the article from the December 2013 issue of MSC (available now!).

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Lincoln Electric Broadens Cutting, Welding Portfolios with Recent Acquisitions
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 5, 2013 at 4:52 PM.

Lincoln Electric (an AISC member) has acquired an ownership interest in Burlington Automation Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of 3D robotic plasma cutting systems based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Burlington Automation broadens our portfolio of automated cutting and welding process solutions and strengthens our automation strategy,” said Christopher L. Mapes, CEO of Lincoln Electric. “Their proprietary technology complements our current automated cutting and welding systems by enabling customers to increase productivity and improve quality while reducing capital investment and floor space.”


In separate news, Lincoln Electric announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Robolution GmbH, a provider of robotic arc welding systems based outside of Frankfurt, Germany. The transaction was expected to close by the end of last month and terms were not disclosed.

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AISC Detailer Training CDs Available for Download
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM.

AISC’s detailing resources in ePubs have been updated with the addition of the very first detailer training CD collection from 2000, and the contents of those golden-oldie CDs are now downloadable by AISC members.


AISC and NISD jointly created a series of 12 detailer training CDs in 2000. These CDs contained MPG instructional videos and PDFs of example drawings covering the basics of the structural steel industry and 2D detailing. As a courtesy to AISC members, the contents of these CDs are available in AISC’s ePubs collection.


To download the CD contents, go to AISC’s detailing resources in ePubs.

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Entries for 2014 AIA TAP BIM Awards Due Dec. 16
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 3, 2013 at 10:30 AM.

tapbim-awards-header-600.jpgThe AIA Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Knowledge Community is seeking projects that exhibit exemplary use of integrated and interoperable BIM for its 10th Annual BIM Awards competition.


Since 2005, the AIA TAP Knowledge Community has spearheaded the effort to highlight award-winning “best of breed” case studies from the profession in the harnessing of BIM technology and processes to further design, construction and overall project excellence.


Submission categories include: Stellar Architecture using BIM; Delivery Process Innovation; Outstanding Sustainable Design; Academic Program/Curriculum Development; Exemplary use of BIM in a Small Firm; Exemplary use of BIM in Facility Management/Operations; and  Process and Technology Innovation Integrating with BIM.


Award-winning projects will be recognized in AIA publications and electronic media, and also at the BIM Awards presentation prior to the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago (June 26-28) and partner events.


All entries and supporting materials must be submitted online by Monday, December 16.


For full eligibility rules, judging criteria and submission fees or to submit your project materials, visit the 2014 AIA TAP BIM Awards page.

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