Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: (412) 261-0710 Email: Get Directions

Monday, June 3, 2024

Keynote Session

Time: 8:00 – 10:00 AM

Details to be announced!

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Featured State Session

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Session 1

IBC 24-FS01: Introduction
Graham Bettis, P.E., Texas DOT, Austin, TX

IBC 24-FS02: Preserving Texas Bridges
Steven Austin, P.E., Texas DOT, Austin, TX

With increased attention on bridge preservation, TxDOT has advanced several key initiatives over the past ten years to plan, program, and execute projects focused on extending the useful life of our bridges. TxDOT has dedicated more state and federal funds to bridge preservation actions than ever before. One of the key programs behind the success of TxDOT’s bridge preservation efforts is the Bridge Maintenance and Improvement Program (BMIP) which has seen tremendous growth in the past ten years. Due to prior funding constraints, TxDOT’s preservation program had been condition-based for many years. However, several recent initiatives are focused on ensuring programmatic, cyclical, and risk-based prioritization of preservation actions. TxDOT has developed bridge preservation plans for several major bridges and is investing in the development of comprehensive condition evaluations of these bridges to ensure that bridge preservation projects address all known defects. Additionally, TxDOT has established a working group focused on bridges with steel or timber piling in fair or poor condition to mitigate associated risks.
Common preservation actions include overlays, concrete structure repairs, beam end and bearings repairs, and zone painting. TxDOT forces are able to handle some of these repairs but the sheer size of our bridge inventory requires that much of this work be performed by contracted forces. For success of our projects, each of these preservation actions require capable contractors, intensive construction inspection, and effective contract management.
This presentation will provide an overview of these initiatives and the state of practice of bridge preservation in Texas.

IBC 24-FS03: Preserving Texas’ Trusses
Robert Owens, P.E., Texas DOT, Austin, TX

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has pioneered a historic bridge preservation program, centered on an engineering approach, is presented here with a focus on strategy, funding, and typical repairs. The funding model combines federal grants, state funds, and preservation partnerships, acknowledging the economic, cultural, and aesthetic value of historic bridges. Repairs involve practical rehabilitation strategies such as concrete restoration, corrosion mitigation, and truss strengthening, illustrated through case studies. An interesting aspect is TxDOT’s consideration of preserving the truss as a monument, going beyond structural conservation to preserve both the physical structure and its history. In summary, this presentation offers a straightforward look at TxDOT’s Historic Bridge Preservation Program, emphasizing funding importance and coordination. Attendees will gain practical insights into repairs, with a spotlight on cases studies of truss rehabilitation projects, positioning TxDOT as a practical model for states dealing with historic bridge conservation challenges.

IBC 24-FS04: I-35 NEX Central Project: Delivering Elevated Lanes in a Constrained Corridor
Marco Galindo, P.E., Texas DOT, San Antonio, TX; Francisco Palacios, Ferrovial-Webber JV, Austin, TX

The I-35 Northeast Expansion (NEX) program consists of five projects valued at just over $3 billion dollars in San Antonio. The program aims to improve safety and mobility, address anticipated growth in the region, and reduce travel time for commuters by constructing elevated structures that will add capacity to this urban area.
The I-35 NEX Central Project is a design-build project valued at $1.5 billion dollars and consists of designing, constructing, and maintaining of approximately 22 miles of elevated structures, including eight direct connectors at two major interchanges, and other operational improvements. This project poses challenges for the team including limited right-of-way, consistently high traffic volumes, heavy congestion, substantial presence of existing infrastructure and significant structural production, among other challenges that come with an urban mega-project. TxDOT, along with the Design-Builder, have partnered to provide innovative engineering solutions and construction techniques for the successful delivery of the project for the San Antonio community. This presentation will discuss multiple innovative solutions used to overcome some of these challenges including industrialization of structural elements, large diameter mono-shaft foundations, project construction segmentation, and 3-D modeling techniques.

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Proprietary Session

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Session 1

BC 24-01: High Load Multi-Rotational Disk bearings for the Skillman Street Arch Bridge
Ronald Watson, R. J. Watson, Inc., Alden, NY

In 2021 the Texas Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Pegasus Link Constructors for the widening and reconstruction of 11 miles of I-635 on the east side of Dallas. Pegasus Link is a joint venture between Fluor and Balfour Beatty with AECOM as the lead design engineer. The contract value is $1.74 billion and involves the design, build, finance, operate and maintenance of this section of the highway for 15 years. One of the significant features of this project is the signature span carrying Skillman Street over I-635. This tied steel arch design incorporates some high load bearings supporting the superstructure. After a thorough search of available devices, the engineers at AECOM decided to incorporate Disk Bearings on this iconic structure.
Disk Bearings date back to the early 1970’s and incorporate a polyether urethane load and rotational element. Disk Bearings have been used on thousands of structures all over the world and have an outstanding performance history in many different climates. This paper will highlight the design, manufacture and testing of these devices for the Skillman Street Bridge which has service vertical loads up to 4330 kips with horizontal loads as high as 69% of the vertical loads. Several other case histories will be presented with a goal towards demonstrating the versatility of these bearings.

IBC 24-02: Lateral Slide of Permanent Panel Bridges to Minimize Traffic Impact
Michael Parciasepe, Acrow, Parsippany, NJ; Eric Hanson, Grace Pacific, Kapolei, HI

Two Permanent Panel bridges are being implemented on the same stretch of Highway on the West side of Oahu. Not only will these panel bridges be utilizing a MASH Approved TL-3 Rail system mounted to a panel bridge, they were installed using only a 45 minute closure of traffic.

The bridges were assembled and launched into place, adjacent to final alignment in preparation for a weekend closure of the existing structure. During that weekend closure, traffic was diverted onto the panel bridge while the existing bridge was demolished. The new bridge was then longitudinally slid into place using a roller and channel system. Once the bridge was in proper alignment, the bridge was jacked to remove the rollers and lowered down onto the bearings. Since a portion of the bridge was decked prior to the slide, traffic was able to cross the bridge while it was still off final alignment, the total traffic closure only lasted 45 minutes while the bridge was laterally slid into place and traffic re-opened. Once the bridge was in final location lowered onto bearings, the structure was fully decked and the guardrail system was installed.

The second bridge on the project will implement the same lateral slide methodology and be slid into place in Late November/Early December 2023.

IBC 24-03: Fibre Composite Pedestrian Bridges on the Dominion Trail
Michael Kemp, Wagners CFT, Cresson, Texas; Ali Mohammed, Wagners CFT, Wellcamp, Queensland

The City of Frisco has embarked on a project to utilize green space as an active transportation trail, constructing the “Dominion Trail” walkway. The 1.26 mile pathway, mainly concrete slab on ground, required 3 elevated walkway sections to maintain accessibility through the topography. 500 lineal foot of bridge, and 267 lineal foot of prefabricated boardwalk was required. Fiber composite materials were selected with 9 bridges constructed with spans of up to 100 foot. The intent was to utilize lightweight composites to allow a light touch to the environment, reducing sizes of cranes required, and allowing a narrow corridor to be utilized for construction. Fiber Composite bridges also give superior durability performance, giving the city of Frisco a long life asset. This paper will discuss the structural aspects of design of frp footbridges and boardwalk, through to the installation methods.

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