Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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

Monday, June 3, 2024

Featured State Session

Session 2

Time: 1:30 – 3:00 PM

IBC 23-FS05: Concrete Deck Practices and Discussion of Results of Domestic Scan
Kevin Pruski, PE, Texas DOT, Austin, TX

TxDOT participated in the NCHRP 20-68 Domestic Scan 22-01 titled Recent Leading innovations in the Design, Construction, and Materials used for Concrete Bridge Decks. The scan included personnel from 18 states who discussed the varied practices of bridge deck design, materials, and construction techniques. Significant findings and team recommendations will be presented. The evolution of the TxDOT bridge deck design, resulting in a modified version of the AASHTO LRFD’s Empirical deck, and construction practices is included.

IBC 23-FS06: Bridge Inspection Program in Texas
Mark Wallace, P.E., Texas DOT, Austin, TX

TxDOT reports approximately 56,600 bridges to the FHWA and carries another 2000 bridges and other structures in the database. The twenty-five highway districts manage the inspection work issued under contracts that are administered by the centralized Bridge Division. Nearly all routine, and approximately half of the NSTM and underwater inspections are done through 25 consultant contracts. The balance of inspections are performed by in-house forces, including a limited number of routine/inventory inspections, and approximately half of combined 1800 underwater and NSTM inspections.
Currently, TxDOT uses 20 consultant contracts to perform an average of 28,000 routine inspections per year, 3 contracts for approximately 200 NSTM inspections per year, and 2 contracts for approximately 100 UW inspections per year.
Structures can be damaged from human and natural causes, have deadloads increased through such events as overlays, and can be subjected to loads higher than typical trucks. All these circumstances have the potential for causing the need for load rating bridges to determine how they are affected. Occasionally, “new” trucks, such as SHVs and EVs, are mandated to be accounted for to prove their effects on bridges. The goal being to restrict loads when needed to maintain the safe load carrying capacity.
As technology changes and improves, the leveraging of gaining new, or more easily obtained data is always considered. Currently, TxDOT makes limited use of technology such as aerial drones and sonar. We are looking to use such technologies were practical, to gain better, more complete information on the condition of our bridges. The technology not only has the potential to provide more complete information, but information that was not previously available without significant effort. There is also a potential for increased safety for our inspectors, reduced inspection costs, and less driver impact.

IBC 23-FS07: TxDOT’s Plan for Digital Delivery
Courtney Holle, P.E., Texas DOT, Austin, TX

TxDOT has made large strides toward digital delivery in recent years, starting with the creation of the Digital Delivery Section. This section leads and engages various stakeholders, internal and external, as TxDOT moves toward developing 3D project models that can be used throughout the lifecycle of their assets. This presentation will describe TxDOT’s current state and future plans for digital delivery across the department including how bridges/structures is being integrated into the program.

IBC 23-FS08: TxDOT’s Bridge Design for Expedited Construction
Hunter Walton, P.E., Texas DOT, Austin, TX

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) designs and practices are useful to address both emergency projects and special needs in key projects to minimize construction zone impacts to the driving public. TxDOT standard practices and details are well targeted for accelerated construction and do not require drastic modification to expedite bridge construction. These details have been developed in conjunction with fabricators and contractors for practical application and construction methods. While certain innovative designs are gaining popularity, the expedited pace of bridge projects in Texas has not necessitated intricate designs. Instead, many traditional ABC methods have proven highly effective in minimizing construction time.

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Proprietary Session

Session 2

Time: 1:30-3:00 PM

IBC 24-04: Leveraging UAS, AI, and Digital Twin Technology to Transform Bridge Inspection: Robert Street Bridge
Scott Becher, Bentley Systems, NEPTUNE BEACH, FL; Barritt Lovelace, P.E., Collins Engineers, INC, St. Paul, MN

Owners and operators that are responsible for managing, inspecting, and repairing bridge infrastructure are currently faced with an increasingly difficult task. The rapid increase of structures that are due for repairs or replacement combined with an expanding network and labor force challenges requires an innovative solution from the industry. It is imperative that the owner/operators and the consultants they rely on leverage the latest technology to provide more accurate and consistent data in less time. As we increase our ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data using unmanned aerial systems (UAS), reality models, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) sensing to create digital twins, we are transforming the way bridges are inspected and managed. Building reality models in a collaborative cloud-based platform introduces the new workflow of pre-inspection, on-site inspection and report delivery. This enables better asset assessment prior to on-site inspection, improved planning of resources and equipment, increased worker efficiency, reduced on-site time, increased safety for all workers and traveling public, data-rich delivery enhanced with insights to stakeholders and better decision-making based on more data than previously available. This joint presentation between Collins Engineers, inc., and Bentley Systems covers how using UAS , reality data models, AI, and IoT enabled a new and improved inspection workflow to preserve the century-old architectural marvel that is Robert Street Bridge.

IBC 24-05: Two Coat Inorganic Coating System for Steel Bridges
Kristen Blankenship, Carboline, St. Louis, MO

Design considerations for steel bridge coatings include exposure environment, aesthetics, application, and cost. Steel bridge coatings must offer protection against corrosion. Current techniques including traditional three coat zinc, epoxy, urethane systems, galvanizing, and thermal spray metallization. Another pathway for steel protection includes the use of decades old inorganic zinc spray applied coatings. This approach offers the performance of a metallized coating while using conventional spray application. What’s new is the use of an inorganic topcoat that maintains performance and shop throughput while adding color and aesthetics. This study will compare a two coat inorganic coating system against a conventional three coat system, galvanized, thermal spray metallized, and sealed thermal spray metallized system in corrosion resistance lab testing. A comparison of applied cost and throughput will be presented along with a review of the chemistry of this approach and the sustainability benefits it offers.

IBC 24-06: Implementing F3148 Fixed Spline Fastening and The Combined Method
Jeff Greene, LeJeune Bolt Company, Burnsville, MN

The combined pretensioning method and F3148 Fixed Spline Fastening is changing bridge bolting, bringing massive labor savings and higher quality connections. Now approved by RCSC, AISC, AASHTO, and AREMA. Users will want to understand the impact of these systems on future bridge design and construction. ASTM F3148 bolts are a 144 ksi fixed spline fastener that uses the Combined Method of installation. Through the use of this higher strength bolt users can now design using fewer bolts per connection. The Combined Method of installation utilizes torque to produce a quantifiable snug tight condition and angle (nut rotation) to achieve an accurate and reliable pretention well above the specified minimum tension.

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Special Sessions

Time: 3:30-5:00 PM (4 papers in each session, details coming soon)

Young Attendees SS


State DOT Bridge Program Updates SS

T1 Steel – Inspection, Testing, and Repair Strategies SS



W01: Routine and Special Permit Load Analysis to Ensure Bridge Safety
Lubin Gao, USDOT/FHWA, Washington, DC

Time: 3:30 – 5:30 PM

2022 final rule of the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS, 23 CFR§ 650 Subpart C) requires analysis for routine and special permit loads to ensure bridge safety:
23 CFR§ 650.313(k)(3) Analyze routine and special permit loads for each bridge that these loads cross to verify the bridge can safely carry the load.
This requirement is essentially identical to that in previous versions of the NBIS, but difference in language exists. In this workshop, we will focus our discussion on the intent of this requirement, how to meet this requirement and present case studies. The following are three focused topics:
1. Types of overweight permit loads;
2. Bridge load rating for routine and special permit loads;
3. Case studies.

W02: International Workshop Panel Discussion

Time: 3:30 – 5:30 PM

The Second Annual International Workshop Panel Discussion will be highly interactive featuring bridge professionals from multiple countries.  The focus of the discussion will be to compare how bridges are designed and built in various countries that are represented.  The panel will entertain questions on engineering, contracting methods, construction practices, and other aspects of how bridges become a reality.  A panel of IBC representatives will be ready to ask questions to keep the discussion going, but questions from the audience will be encouraged and welcomed.

(If you are from outside the USA, are planning to attend the IBC, and are interested in being on this panel, please contact Kristina Emmerson,