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STRUCTURE A Joint Publication of NCSEA | CASE | SEI

October 2011 Bridges

19 Annual Conference

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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CONTENTS October 2011

Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman

Memorial Bridge
By Craig Smart, P.E. and Dave Severns, P.E. Columns
Prior to the opening of the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman
7 Editorial
Memorial Bridge in 2010, the Nevada Department of
The Mouse That Roared
Transportation was provided with an opportunity to perform By John Mercer, P.E., SECB
an inventory inspection of this landmark structure. This initial
8 Structural Economics
inspection would evaluate the as-built condition of the
Life Cycle Costs for
structure and form the baseline for future inspections.
Heavy Infrastructure
By Peter Davis
22 BIM: Leveraging Integration 12 Technology
By William M. Klorman Wireless Monitoring of Civil
Building Information Models and Virtual Design and Infrastructure Comes of Age
By B.F. Spencer, Jr., Soojin Cho
Construction are being used at Los Angeles International
and Sung-Han Sim
Airport to enhance design coordination, leverage
interoperability, improve quality, reduce costs, and advance 30 Historic Structures
the construction industry. The project specifications require The American Metal Lattice-Truss
the mandatory use of BIM, in particular the creation of Bridge and the Hilton Truss –
individual subcontractor models and a confederated model. Part 2
By David Guise

27 The Japan Tohuku Tsunami of

March 11, 2011 – Part 2 Departments
By Gary Chock, S.E.
16 InSights
The ASCE-SEI Tsunami Reconnaissance Team visited the
Current Trends with Expanded
Tohoku coast in mid-April to examine tsunami effects to
Shale Clay and Slate
buildings, bridges, and coastal protective structures within
Lightweight Aggregate
the inundation zone. This second article in the series
By William H. Wolfe
discusses of some of the team’s broader findings.
35 Spotlight
It’s All About Making
The Right Connections


By Kurt Heidenreich, P.E., S.E.

on the Cover 42 Structural Forum
For the Love of the Profession –
The Hoover Dam Bypass improves security, driver and Part 3
pedestrian safety and traffic mobility in the vicinity of the By Robert H. Lyon, P.E.
A Joint Publication of NCSEA | CASE | SEI

historic Hoover Dam. More than nine years in the making,

the Hoover Dam Bypass has won several prestigious awards,
including the American Council of Engineering Companies’
Grand Conceptor award and the American Public Works
In every Issue
October 2011 Bridges

19 th Annual Conference
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Association’s 2011 Project of the Year in Transportation,

and is a finalist for the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Outstanding Civil
6 Advertiser Index
Engineering Achievement award. The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial
Bridge is a major component of the bypass. Read more about the Colorado River 36 NCSEA News
crossing on page 19 of this issue of STRUCTURE® magazine.
38 SEI Structural Columns
40 CASE in Point
Publication of any article, image, or advertisement in STRUCTURE® magazine does not constitute endorsement
by NCSEA, CASE, SEI, C 3 Ink, or the Editorial Board. Authors, contributors, and advertisers retain sole
responsibility for the content of their submissions.

STRUCTURE magazine 4 October 2011

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Chair Interactive Sales Associates
Jon A. Schmidt, P.E., SECB
Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, MO Chuck Minor Dick Railton Eastern Sales Western Sales
847-854-1666 951-587-2982
Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB Brian W. Miller
CBI Consulting, Inc., Boston, MA Davis, CA
Richard Hess, S.E., SECB Mike C. Mota, Ph.D., P.E.
Hess Engineering Inc., Los Alamitos, CA

Mark W. Holmberg, P.E.

CRSI, Williamstown, NJ

Evans Mountzouris, P.E.

Heath & Lineback Engineers, Inc., Marietta, GA The DiSalvo Ericson Group, Ridgefield, CT Executive Editor Jeanne Vogelzang, JD, CAE
Roger A. LaBoube, Ph.D., P.E. Greg Schindler, P.E., S.E.
CCFSS, Rolla, MO KPFF Consulting Engineers, Seattle, WA Editor Christine M. Sloat, P.E.
Brian J. Leshko, P.E. Stephen P. Schneider, Ph.D., P.E., S.E.
HDR Engineering, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA BergerABAM, Vancouver, WA Associate Editor Nikki Alger
John A. Mercer, P.E. John “Buddy” Showalter, P.E.
Mercer Engineering, PC, Minot, ND American Wood Council, Leesburg, VA
Graphic Designer Rob Fullmer
Web Developer William Radig

STRUCTURE® (Volume 18, Number 10). ISSN 1536-

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STRUCTURE magazine 6 October 2011

editorial The Mouse That Roared
new trends, new techniques and current industry issues
By John Mercer, P.E., SECB

e all remember the storybook “The Three Little Pigs” the “basement walls”, “floor framing”, “wall framing”, and “roof
and how, at an early age, we learned to difference framing systems that are visible”.
between building with straw, sticks and bricks. I The deliverable consists of a short letter report outlining the observa-
seem to remember that it was better to build with tions with recommendations to remove and replace, or to repair. An
bricks. Later, during my formal education, I also learned that water indemnification clause was also added for good measure. Distraught
runs downhill. people sometimes will do the unexpected.
Experience also has given me insight into the old adages “whatever My firm also established a low fixed fee that we were comfortable
man can envision and build, nature can easily take away “or”, the with, and pledged 25% of the flood related fees to be turned over the
more beautiful something is, the greater its potential danger”. Salvation Army to support their food Canteens.
The Mighty Mouse River flows south from Canada down the Souris Tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods devastated our home-
Valley and meanders through Minot, North Dakota. It then turns land this year. As in other years, the human spirit has responded to the
north and re-enters Canada approximately 45 miles to the east. An recovery. What catastrophe is waiting to happen in your community?
agreement between the United States and Canada, made in the middle Structural engineers are a key participant in the support system to
‘80s, resulted in the construction of two dry dams on the Canadian help our cities and communities recover. Who else is better equipped
side of the border to control the flow of the Mouse River, sometimes to have the foresight and vision to be able to anticipate future worst-
called the Souris River. case scenarios? Building Codes and Standards are only guides that
The agreement stated that a maximum of 5000 cubic feet per second define minimum requirements. The structural engineer is the one who,
(cfs) would be released to maintain a level of flow in the river chan- with a critical eye, must question the design criteria to be applied to
nel. The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) served as the water each situation.
custodians on the US side of the border. They were inflexible in their Examples of services that clients have requested include: simple
thinking or planning for excess water releases, as they stood firm on foundation evaluation to determine if it can be used to build on
the 5000 cfs. again, adding an additional story to the house, putting an addition
The 2010-2011 winter was an extraordinary year for snowfall. Minot on the house, and lifting the house and constructing a floodway
averages 39 inches per year, but received 84 inches. Canada had a living space under it, etc.
similar winter. A snow pack of pent up water was poised to flow How would you protect yourself from the unforeseen condi-
downstream, and the stage for a potential flood was set. tions in an existing house structure? First, be aware there may be
June 2011 presented water managers with the challenge of beginning deficiencies in the construction of the existing structure. Avoid
the process of managing releases of the water behind the dams. They agreeing to take on the responsibility of someone else’s decisions
actually began releasing water during the winter months, once they or mistakes. How many more things can you think of that you
recognized the snow pack melt-water potential. An unplanned 7-inch would add into your agreement to manage your risk? Do you look
spring rain in Canada exacerbated the situation, as the dams were full over the horizon to envision what might happen and address those
and it was necessary to increase the volume of releases to approach situations in your agreements?
15,000 cfs in order to avoid structural dam failures. The Minot disaster response and recovery model was applauded by
The Flood of 2011 set a new record for Minot, ten (10) feet higher FEMA. The city’s mayor and public works and engineering depart-
than the flood of 1969 and four (4) feet higher that the recorded flood ments worked tirelessly to save the community. They had to make
of 1882. Many Canadian communities, and communities between real time decisions to sacrifice certain portions of neighborhoods in
the border and Minot, were also flooded. 4100 homes were flooded order to save others.
in Minot, estimated to be a $1 Billion loss.
Flood Lessons Learned: once an area has been flooded, consider it
How does a structural engineer wrap his/her head around the prob-
lost and maintain the same level of flow to drain the system as fast
lem of how to help so many people to recover and get back into their
as possible. Don’t revert back to lower flow rates, as the damage has
homes, as well as manage risk? In North Dakota winter can come
been done. Lowering flow rates too early exacerbates the potential
anytime, historically as early as September.
for increased damage from unexpected higher flows. Play what-if
Thanks to CASE Contract Documents, there is a one-page agree-
scenarios with the flood model and weather forecasting.
ment easily modifiable for the flooded homeowner. It was easy
to establish a scope of services; site reconnaissance to evaluate In case you are wondering, I was fortunate to have stayed high and
dry. I built high on a hill. Join CASE today.▪
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John A. Mercer, P.E., SECB (, is the

Use Code
for 10% discount

president of Mercer Engineering, PC, in Minot, North Dakota.

He currently serves as Chair of the Council of American Structural
Engineers (CASE) and is a CASE representative on STRUCTURE’s
Editorial Board.

STRUCTURE magazine 7 October 2011

Structural U
tilization of life cycle cost analysis may expenses; therefore, it is difficult to understand the
identify opportunities to reduce the total costs associated with any particular structure.
costs of owning and operating heavy Various costs are estimated based upon experi-

infrastructure. While this approach ence and actual values for the example structure.
may be used for all types of heavy infrastructure, The expected capital rehabilitation projects, the
a vertical lift bridge will be used as an example. ongoing maintenance expenses, and the costs to
Life cycle costs are defined as: operate the structure will be evaluated.
“The sum of all recurring and one time Movable bridges come in three basic designs: the
cost benefits, value engineering,
(nonrecurring) costs over the full life span or bascule, swing or vertical lift. There are approxi-
economic analysis, life cycle specified period of a good, service, structure mately 3500 of these bridges in the continental
costing and more... or system. It includes purchase price, installa- Unites States; they represent over $175 Billion of
tion costs, operating costs, maintenance costs infrastructure, and cost approximately $2.0 Billion
and upgrade costs, and remaining (residual annually to operate and maintain. On average,
or salvage) value at the end of ownership or these structures have a 75 year life.
useful life.” – Merrill Lynch Unlike fixed bridges, movable bridges require
Application of this concept is realized by defining mechanical and electrical systems to provide their
the expected rehabilitation work, and estimating functionality and maintain safety for the travelling
the operating and ongoing maintenance costs for public. These systems require ongoing mainte-
the structure. Each of these elements contributes nance (as does any heavy equipment) and require
to the overall cost of ownership. The challenge for human operation. The maintenance and opera-
most public owners is that these costs are spread tional costs become a significant expense beyond
across differ- what a typical fixed bridge requires. A vertical
ent department lift bridge is used as a test case to investigate life
Life Cycle Costs for budgets and
are defined as
cycle costs and identify opportunities for savings.
The bridge used for this analysis carries highway
Heavy Infrastructure either capital
or operating
traffic across a navigable waterway, and has a mov-
able span that provides 300 feet of horizontal
(discretionary) clearance and 110 feet of vertical clearance. The
By Peter Davis
Table 1: Structure Elements.
Time period Substructure Fenders Superstructure Deck and M&E Total $
(year) Joints

0 40,000,000 15,000,000 60,000,000 15,000,000 25,000,000 155,000,000

15 1,000,0001 1,000,000
20 1,500,000 2

Peter Davis (,

a licensed mechanical engineer, has 36
years of experience in the inspection, 30 5,000,0003 5,000,000
design and construction of heavy 35 3,000,000 4
7,500,000 5
2,000,000 6
infrastructure including locks, dams
40 2,500,0002 2,500,000
and movable bridges.
45 8,500,000 7
50 30,000,000 8
10,000,000 9
5,000,000 10
60 3,000,0004 1,500,0002 4,500,000
65 1,000,0001 2,000,0006 3,000,000
70 5,000,000 5
1 – Minor joint and deck surface repairs 6 – Instrument support repairs/limit switch and controls upgrades/
2 – Replacement of pile/whalers/walkways/navigation lights/cable generator
and conduits 7 – Major electrical system upgrade/cable & conduits/emergency power/
3 – Major deck repairs including stringer steel repairs/new operator desk/drives
For more on Predictive wearing surface 8 – Structural steel repairs and painting
Maintenance Programs, see 4 – Misc concrete and crack repairs 9 – Major deck repairs/stringer replacement/new deck
Reliability Centered Maintenance, 5 – Misc steel repairs and minor painting 10 – Counterweight cable replacement
2nd edition, Industrial Press.

8 October 2011
Table 2: Annual Costs.

Annual Expense Cost $

General 12,000
MB Specific 250,000
Operating Costs
Utility 7,800
Bridge Operators 228,000
Total Annual Expenses 497,800

overall structure is approximately 980 feet generator service, etc. Monthly lubrication
long. The bridge is opened approximately requires a team of maintenance staff to spend
3500 times per year and is operated on a 24 approximately one day per month lubricating
x 7 basis. The marine traffic requiring span the bridge, plus the cost of materials. These
openings range from local sightseeing craft to minor repair and maintenance costs are esti-
large ocean going vessels. The bridge carries mated to be approximately $250,000 per year.
two lanes of vehicular traffic and has two
sidewalks. The specific bridge is slated to be
rebuilt such that it will have a new service
Operating Costs
life of 75 years. Based upon the assumption Operating costs include the cost of the dedi-
that the bridge is effectively new, the first step cated staff and utility costs for the structure.
performed for the analysis was to identify The utility costs include electricity for the

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rehabilitation requirements over the life of bridge drive and lighting. In addition, most
the structure. bridges have standby diesel generators, so the
cost of fuel must be included. Relative to the
Capitalized other costs, utility costs are almost negligible
and should not be considered as a source of
Rehabilitation Projects savings. The electric power costs are calculated
The Table 1 identifies the rehabilitation proj- using $0.15 per kilowatt hour, the number
ects along with the expected cost (current $) of openings (assume 5 minutes of operation)
and timing. and the lighting loads over a one year period
The year 0 costs represent the structure’s equal approximately $6,000. The cost of diesel
construction cost. As the structure ages, vari- fuel, assuming the generator is operated at
ous maintenance and rehabilitation repairs least monthly for 30 minutes and once per
are assumed based upon first year constant year for 4 hours, equates to approximately
dollars. From the example above, the deck $1,800 per year.
will be rehabilitated in years 15, 30, 50 and The largest operating cost for a movable
65. These rehabilitation projects are typical for bridge is the operators. In order to provide
a vertical lift bridge located in the Northeast 24 x 7 coverage, four full-time operators are
United States. required. An hourly rate of $18/hour, with ben-
efit costs of approximately 45%, is assumed.
The annual cost for the operators is approxi-
Maintenance Costs mately $228,000 per year. The annual costs
The ongoing general maintenance costs for to maintain and operate the structure (not
any bridge include rubbish removal, snow including capital costs) are listed in Table 2.
plowing, guard rail repairs, minor deck/side-
walk repairs, joint repairs, lighting repairs,
etc. Based upon actual annual costs, a rate of
Life Cycle Cost Analysis
$0.40 per square foot of bridge deck was used. With an understanding of the costs that will
This rate per square foot is derived from actual be incurred over the life of the structure, these
costs for the referenced structure. This cost is costs can be put into the context of life cycle.
approximately $12,000 per year. Please note For the purpose of this exercise, an annual
that this cost is applicable for both fixed and inflation rate of 5% and an interest rate of
movable bridges. For items which are specific 6% is assumed. These rates will be used to
for movable bridges only, we have developed calculate the value of the services provided
a cost for standard maintenance items such over the life of the structure in current dollars
as: Traffic Gate Arm Repairs, Navigation and/ (first cost equivalent dollars).
or Aviation Light Repairs, monthly lubrica- The capitalized rehabilitation projects per-
tion, minor electrical system repairs, standby formed over the 75 year period are considered,

STRUCTURE magazine 9 October 2011

Table 3: Capitalized Rehabilitation Costs.
Substructure Fenders Superstructure Deck and Joints M&E
First Costs 40,000,000 15,000,000 60,000,000 15,000,000 25,000,000
Present Value of 3,851,728 3,801,445 26,634,054 11,395,434 11,176,603
Life Cycle Cost 43,851,728 18,801,445 86,634,054 26,395,434 36,176,603

Table 4: Operating and Maintenance Costs.

Maintenance Operations
Annual Cost (year 0 $) 262,000 235,800
Life Cycle Cost 16,068,000 14,462,000

for the purpose of the analysis, as one time linked to the M&E systems and should be In accordance with requirements of the
costs (nonrecurring). Each of these projects considered together as opportunities for sav- Federal Highway Administration’s National
will have their cost projected to the end of ings are investigated. The M&E systems for Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS), structures
the period and then, as an aggregate, the net the bridge should receive special scrutiny to are required to be inspected every other year
present value is calculated. The combination identify opportunities for savings. as a minimum. These safety inspections are
of the first cost and the present value of the Specific opportunities to reduce M&E structural in nature; however, many movable
ongoing costs is the life cycle cost (Table 3). system costs are: bridge owners include the M&E systems in
The operating and maintenance costs are 1) Consider remotely operating several the biennial inspections. The results of these
ongoing (recurring) and will be adjusted for movable bridges from a central loca- inspections often are not acted upon unless
inflation, and then as an aggregate calculated tion. From this analysis, every bridge a safety issue is identified. Experience shows
for net present value (Table 4). has a life cycle cost of $14.4 million. that performing minor repairs on an ongoing
By combining the cost for the required reha- 2) Implement a predictive maintenance basis has a dramatic impact on the timing of
bilitation work along with the operating and program (reduces ongoing mainte- major repairs, which in turn can reduce life
maintenance costs, the total life cycle costs nance and M&E rehabilitation costs cycle cost.
for the structure are calculated and shown by approximately 70%) for a savings
in Table 5. of $19.1 million. Conclusions and
Remote operation of a movable bridge is very
common for railroad bridges and has been
Opportunities for Cost Savings implemented on selected highway bridges for By identifying where costs are incurred in
The total life cycle cost for this bridge in cur- over 15 years. The installation of closed cir- the ownership of a movable bridge, the
rent year dollars is approximately 56% greater cuit television and channel sensing equipment design team can concentrate on design
than the construction value. Based upon this allows several bridges to be operated by a single details which will significantly reduce main-
finding, the design and construction of the individual. As indicated above, consolidation tenance. In addition, decisions can be made
bridge can impact the life cycle costs with of two separate bridge crews into one crew has to eliminate certain costs altogether. As
a positive result. It is no surprise that the a net present value of $14.4 million, while the a planning tool, a life cycle cost analysis
Deck and Joints are a major element where cost to implement a remote operation system is can be performed for each major structure
life cycle cost are high due to anticipated generally less than $1.0 million. Recent prac- within an owner’s inventory. This analy-
maintenance, as are the M&E systems. The tice for railroad bridges includes three or four sis allows the owner to understand which
bridge maintenance and operation are directly structures operated by the same individual, structures have high costs, and what the
resulting in substantial savings. source of those costs are.▪

Table 5: Total Life Cycle Costs.

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First Cost Life Cycle Cost % increase

Substructure 40,000,000 43,851,728 10%
The easiest to use software for calculating
wind, seismic, snow and other loadings for Fender System 15,000,000 18,801,445 25%
IBC, ASCE7, and all state codes based on Superstructure 60,000,000 86,634,054 44%
these codes ($195.00). Deck and Joints 15,000,000 26,395,434 76%
Tilt-up Concrete Wall Panels ($95.00). M&E Systems 25,000,000 36,176,603 45%
Floor Vibration for Steel Beams and Joists Maintenance 0 16,068,000
Operations 0 14,462,000
Concrete beams with torsion ($45.00).
Total 155,000,000 242,389,264 56%
Demos at:

STRUCTURE magazine 10 October 2011

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Figure 1: Twin Jindo Bridges (2 nd Jindo Bridge is on the left).

Wireless Monitoring of Civil

Infrastructure Comes of Age Jindo Jindo Bridges

edical personnel routinely per- Girardeau, Missouri, is approximately $1.3 mil-
By B.F. Spencer, Jr., Soojin Cho,
form health screenings for the lion for 86 accelerometers, which makes the
and Sung-Han Sim
early detection of disease so that average installed cost per sensor a little more
appropriate preventive measures than $15,000; this cost is not atypical of today’s
can be taken. Health is an important issue not wired SHM systems.
only for our population but also for our nation’s This article discusses a low-cost, wireless means
civil infrastructure, much of which is rapidly for continuous and reliable structural health
approaching the end of its intended design life. monitoring recently developed by researchers at
B.F. Spencer, Jr. (,
With age comes deterioration; the most recent the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
is the Nathan M. and Anne M.
evaluation by the American Society of Civil as well as its successful deployment at full scale
Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering
Engineers cites grimly poor “grades” for almost on the 2nd Jindo Bridge in South Korea (Figure
and the Director of the Newmark
all infrastructure types. The need for routine 1). This SHM system is the first long-term, dense
Structural Engineering Laboratory
monitoring of civil infrastructure is now more deployment of a wireless sensor network to mon-
at the University of Illinois at
critical than ever. itor civil infrastructure and demonstrates the
Bridges account for a large part of the capital tremendous potential of this technology.
Soojin Cho (, investment in the construction of road networks
is a Postdoctoral Research Associate and represent a key element in terms of the safety Next Generation Wireless
in the Smart Structures Technology and functionality of the entire highway system.
Laboratory at the University of Structural health monitoring (SHM) offers the
Smart Monitoring System
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ability to continuously observe the integrity of While much of the technology associated with
our nation’s bridges in real time, with the goal wireless smart sensors (WSS) has been avail-
Sung-Han Sim (,
of enhanced safety and reliability, and reduced able for over a decade, only a limited number
is an assistant professor at UNIST
maintenance and inspection costs. Furthermore, of full-scale implementations have been realized,
(Ulsan National Institute of Science
such SHM systems allow for emergency facilities primarily due to the lack of critical hardware and
and Technology) in Korea.
and evacuation routes, including bridges and software elements. Using MEMSIC’s Imote2,
highways, to be assessed for safety after cata- researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-
strophic events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, Champaign have developed a flexible WSS
tornados, etc. framework for full-scale, autonomous SHM that
The online version of this Many recently constructed bridges have in- integrates the necessary software and hardware
article contains detailed depth, yet costly, monitoring systems. For elements, while addressing key implementation
references. Please visit example, the total cost of the monitoring system requirements. The hardware delivers the neces- on the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape sary high-fidelity data, while the software allows

12 October 2011
72 24 24

Jindo side  Haenam side
(South) (North)
118 37 133 34 87 120 104 24 51 81 81 51 24 104 120 87 34 133 37 T
69 53 88 101 88 53 69

East  West East West

Deck networks
113 WT

East West
2 9 3 7 69 66 53 41 39 64 100 56 8 20 3 23 6 20 152 33 35 53 83 54 69 114 T
118 S 101

104 80 25 88 136 145 121 135 102 144 133 86 98 71 96 116 144 81 18 135 150 132 39 129 85 52 ST
H T H H H 151 H H H H
19 149 146
W W Cable networks W

East West
52 132 6 170 145 35 21 105 86 23 3 41 70 7 150 151 56 135 119 4 40 20 133 65

69 53 88 37 133 34 87 120 104 24 51 81 85 113 51 32 24 73 23 89 48 2 34 64

Figure 2: Imote2/ISM400 wireless smart sensor node. Jindo‐side

:  Jindo Deck network (single hop) :  Jindo Cable network (multi hop)

engineers to more readily realize the potential :  Haenam Deck network (single hop) :  Haenam Cable network (single hop)
of smart sensor technology.
An example of one such critical issue W :  Anemometer (SHM‐DAQ) WT :  Wind Turbine power S :  Strain sensor (SHM‐S1)
T :  Temperature H :  High‐sensitivity (SHM‐H) ST :  Strain + Temp correction (SHM‐S2)
addressed by this framework is network
scalability. A wireless sensor network imple- Figure 3: Sensor layout on the Jindo Bridge.
mented on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008
took approximately 10 hours to collect 80 The wireless monitoring system on the 2nd
seconds of data (sampled at 1000 Hz) from 56 Jindo Bridge was initially installed in the
sensor nodes to a central location. To address summer of 2009. Seventy-one state-of-the-
such problems, Illinois researchers leverage art wireless smart sensor nodes, with a total
the on-board computational capacity of the of 427 sensing channels, were installed on
WSSN to allow data processing to occur the girder, the pylons, and the cables. Each
within the network, as opposed to processing node was comprised of the Imote2 (including
at a central location. By implementing data on-board CPU, radio, power management
processing techniques (e.g., modal analysis integrated circuit), the ISM400 sensor board,
Figure 4: Example of wireless smart sensor nodes
or damage detection algorithms) in such a and a battery (Figure 2). Measurements deployed on the Jindo Bridge.
distributed manner, the amount of communi- included 3-axes acceleration, plus tempera-
cation that occurs within the network can be ture, humidity, and light. Combined with This year, a wireless strain measurement
reduced, while still providing usable informa- the ISHMP Services Toolsuite, these powerful became available with the newly developed
tion on the structural condition. The Illinois nodes allow for synchronized data collection, SHM-S sensor board. All 113 nodes are self-
WSS framework provides a cost-effective and aggregation, synthesis, and decision-making powered using solar or wind harvesting. The
scalable solution that is revolutionizing struc- in real time. sensors use both single-hop and multi-hop
tural health monitoring. The smart sensor nodes for the deck, pylons communication protocols to interact with two
and cables were attached using different meth- base-station computers, which are remotely
Wireless Smart Monitoring ods. The nodes were mounted to the steel accessible via the Internet. Should any anoma-
deck and pylons using two magnets, each lies in the measured data be detected during the
System on the Jindo Bridge with a holding capacity of 10 kg, attached to autonomous system operation, the base-station
A joint effort between the University of the bottom of the enclosure. The nodes were computers automatically email the research
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, KAIST and mounted to the cables using two U-bolts and team so that appropriate action can be taken.
Seoul National University in Korea, and the an aluminum mounting plate. These methods The monitoring system can autonomously
University of Tokyo in Japan was undertaken of mounting the sensors have proven to be estimate various physical states of the bridge.
in 2009 to demonstrate the efficacy of this fast, inexpensive, and secure. For example, the modal properties (i.e.,
wireless smart sensor framework, resulting in Based on the success of the 2009 deploy- natural frequencies, modal damping, and
the first autonomous, full-scale implementa- ment, the monitoring system was extended in mode shapes) can be obtained from the mea-
tion of a wireless smart sensor network for 2010 to include 113 WSS nodes, measuring sured accelerations and utilized to refine the
structural health monitoring on the Jindo a total of 659 channels of data, (Figures 3 numerical model, to determine structural per-
Bridge in South Korea. and 4), resulting in the world’s largest wire- formance, and to find locations of possible
Opening in 1984, the 1st Jindo Bridge is a less smart sensor network for SHM. The fatigue damage. Cable tension force, one of the
cable-stayed bridge connecting the Korean ISM400 sensor board is used on 100 nodes. most important integrity measures for cable-
peninsula and the Jindo Island; however, A new high-sensitivity accelerometer board stayed bridges, is estimated automatically using
growing traffic demands quickly exceeded (SHM-H board) developed by the Illinois a vibration-based method. Deck-cable interac-
the load carrying capacity of the first bridge. research team, which enables measurement tion, which may cause dynamic instability, also
The 2nd Jindo Bridge, which opened in 2005, of accelerations as low as 0.05 mg, is used can be assessed. Aerodynamic and aeroelastic
is a streamlined steel box girder with a center for 10 nodes. The remaining three nodes are properties of bridges are estimated based on the
span of 344 meters (1129 feet) supported by connected to 3D ultrasonic anemometers to synchronized wind speed and response data.
60 parallel wire strand cables anchored to two measure and collect, wirelessly, the speed and This dense information enables comprehensive
diamond-shaped pylons. direction of the wind on the bridge. monitoring of the bridge’s health.
continued on next page
STRUCTURE magazine 13 October 2011
Typhoon Kompasu Hits Jindo

Wind Speed (m/s)

In September 2010, Typhoon Kompasu hit Haenam
the Korean Peninsula with sustained winds of (Inland)
54 m/s (195 km/h or 121 mph). The Korea 0
0 200 400 600 800 1000
Meteorological Administration (KMA) station
at Jindo Island measured wind speeds of 15-20

Azimuth Dir. (Deg)

m/s (or 49 to 6 ft/s) out of the SSE (Figure 5).
The measured wind by the wireless monitor-
ing system was 18-26 m/s from the southeast, 150

slightly faster than reported by KMA station 100

0 200 400 600 800 1000
and likely due to the local topography.
During Kompasu, the vertical acceleration 40

Elevation (Deg)
of the deck exceeded 20 mg, which is greater 20
than the level of acceleration generated by a
40-ton truck (Figure 6). Nonetheless, these
-20 Fig 6
accelerations were below the limit of 50 mg -40
0 200 400 600 800 1000
proposed in the Korean Design Guidelines of
Time (sec)
Steel Cable-Supported Bridges.
Figure 5: Wind measurements on the bridge during Typhoon Kompasu.
The modal properties of the deck and pylons
were obtained using the acceleration data.
Utilizing an output-only modal analysis
approach, nine vertical bending modes and
one torsional mode were clearly identified

Fig 7
from the vibration induced responses mea-
sured during the typhoon (Figure 7 and 8).
Compared with the identified modes using
the data from an existing wired high-precision
accelerometer on the bridge, the current SHM
system is found to provide highly accurate
modal properties.
The wind velocity fluctuations were mea-
sured with ultrasonic anemometers installed
along the bridge. This collected data enables
the estimation of spatial as well as tempo-
Figure 6: Acceleration response due to 40-ton truck and Typhoon Kompasu.
ral variation of the wind velocity along the
bridge. The steady wind load coefficients and
flutter derivatives were also obtained from a 0.45 1.03 PSD (Haenam side deck)
104 1.87
series of wind tunnel tests using a 1/36 scaled 0.66 z-axis 6
model of the deck section. The buffeting 1.56
1.36 1.65 2.26
analyses results considering aerodynamic 10
10 2
2 2.41 2.81
admittance effects show good agreement to
the measured responses (Figure 9). This effort
offers a significant enhancement in evaluating 10
10 0

the aerodynamic safety and serviceability of

bridges during strong winds by using synchro- -2

nized simultaneous measurement of wind and 10


acceleration data along the bridge.

The tensions in the bridge’s stay cables were 10

obtained autonomously using vibration data, 0

0 0.5
freq(hz) 3
3 3.5
combined with the known cable properties (i.e., Frequency (Hz)
length, weight, stiffness, etc.). In this approach,
the vertical acceleration was used primarily to Figure 7: Power spectrum for bridge responses during Typhoon Kompasu.
estimate the tension, while longitudinal and
lateral accelerations helped to delineate the values and have changed little from the 2008 is assessed periodically, including the charging
modes unique to the cable (as opposed to the inspection, which confirms the integrity of the current from the solar panel and the battery
deck and pylon). Estimated tensions during bridge. Thus, continuous monitoring of this voltage (Figure 11). Should the battery voltage
the typhoon were compared with the design important health indicator is facilitated. in a specific node become too low (e.g., due to
tensions and those obtained in the previous In addition to continuously monitoring the too many cloudy days), the node is put into a
routine inspection. As shown in Figure 10, the bridge structure, the WSS network monitors deep sleep until the batteries can be charged
current cable tensions are close to their design itself. For example, the battery power system and the node brought safely back online.

STRUCTURE magazine 14 October 2011

Fig 8
Fig 9

DV1: 0.4462Hz DV2: 0.6471Hz DV3: 1.0326Hz

Fig 10
DV4: 1.3421Hz DV5: 1.5490Hz DT1: 1.8022Hz

DV7: 1.8704Hz DV8: 2.2609Hz DV9: 2.8133Hz

Figure 8: Identified mode shapes below 3 Hz. Figure 9: RMS acceleration from buffeting analyses and measurement.

Fig 11
Figure 10: Comparison of estimated cable tensions.

Conclusions and Future Work 4.25

East-side nodes

Smart sensing technology for structural 4.2

Battery Voltage (V)

health monitoring is an important field that

4.15 151
is coming of age. Combining civil engineer-
ing knowledge with developments in sensor 4.1 10116
technology and network/information man- 4.05 144
agement has provided a solution that is a 64
robust and significantly lower-cost (approxi- 4 135
mately $100 per channel) alternative to 150
East-side nodes 132
traditional wired monitoring systems. Indeed,
WSS provides an important new tool to help 200
Charging current (mA)

engineers address the many challenges of 150 129
managing civil infrastructure. Finally, a joint 85
effort between MEMSIC and the University 52
of Illinois is currently underway to develop
the next-generation wireless smart sensing 0

nodes for structural health monitoring. -50

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 0
For more information on the develop- Time (o'clock)
ment and implementation of the smart
Figure 11: Monitored battery voltage and charging current.
sensor network, visit the ISHMP site at▪
Grant NRF-2008-220-D00117 in Korea, appreciation the following individuals for their
as well as the technical and administrative careful review of this manuscript: Gul Agha, 11
Acknowledgements cooperation regarding Jindo Bridge testing Yozo Fujino, Shinae Jang, Hongki Jo, Hyung-Jo
The authors gratefully acknowledge the sup- by the Iksan Construction and Management Jung, Jongwoong Park, Ho-Kyung Kim, Robin
port of National Science Foundation Grants Administration, Korean Ministry of Land, Eunju Kim, Jian Li, Kirill Mechitov, Parya
CMMI-0928886 and CNS-1035773 in the Transportation, and Maritime Affairs. The Moinzadeh, Tomonori Nagayama, Jennifer
USA and National Research Foundation authors also would like to express their Rice, and Chung-Bang Yun.

STRUCTURE magazine 15 October 2011

InSIghtS new trends, new techniques and current industry issues

Current Trends with Expanded Shale Clay

and Slate Lightweight Aggregate
By William H. Wolfe

or over 90 years, expanded shale Bridge Decks stress concentrations from forming at
clay and slate lightweight aggregates the ITZ.
Several bridge decks have utilized IC where
(LWA) have been used as a compo- • Water equilibrium is achieved between
typically 30 to 40% of the normal weight
nent of building materials primarily the porous LWA and the porous
fines are replaced with an equal volume of
for density reduction and the corresponding cementitious matrix. In normal weight
prewetted LWA. The LWA will slightly reduce
benefits. However, recently there has been a concrete, bleed water can form around
the concrete density and modulus of elasticity,
trend to utilize the unique properties of LWA these non-absorbent aggregates which
but has no effect on the concrete’s workability
in innovative ways that improve the durability will drive up the water cement ratio in
or finishability. In fact, several contractors
and service life of traditional concrete. the ITZ.
prefer the internally cured concrete mixture.
Weaknesses and flaws developed in the ITZ
Slight increases in compressive strength have
can lead to increased permeability when they
Internal Curing been seen due to an increase in the amount of
link up with microcracking in the cementi-
cement hydrated and SCM reaction.
Civil and structural engineers continually tious matrix. In severe climates, where winter
strive to produce pavements and structures applications of deicing salt are common, this
that are more durable and have longer service Case Study – Internal Curing can lead to increased penetration of aggres-
lives. We have seen bridges progress from sive agents that accelerate the corrosion of
In the fall of 2009, the Court Street Bridge over
wooden structures to steel and concrete reinforcing steel and deteriorate the concrete.
Interstate 81 in Syracuse, NY was constructed
structures, yet many bridge decks still last
with internally cured normal weight concrete.
less then 25 years. In an effort to improve
these structures, today’s high performance
The Spencer and Butternut Street bridges were Case Study – Reduced
constructed at the same time without IC, and
concretes (HPC) commonly use supplemental
offered a great comparison. The mix designs
Cracking Tendency
cementious materials (SCM) that improve
were identical with the exception of the prewet- In 2010, the New York State Department of
the sustainability and reduce the permeability
ted fine lightweight aggregate used for IC. The Transportation opened up its first overhead
of the concrete. The reduced permeability is
concretes were produced at the same ready mix Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI). The
designed to keep chlorides from penetrating
plant and were placed by the same contractor bridge design was unique in that it was wider
the concrete and reaching the reinforcing;
three weeks apart. Test results showed the IC than it was long and thereby created cracking
however, one of the major challenges with
mixture had over 10% higher compressive concerns. The solution was to design the deck
HPC is shrinkage. Shrinkage causes stresses
strengths at 28 days. with lightweight concrete, not for its reduced
to develop within the concrete and if they
weight properties but for its reduced tendency
get high enough, the concrete cracks, first
to crack. The concrete design was less than
as micro cracks and, then as visible cracks. Concrete Designed for 110 lb/ft3 and utilized flyash and silica fume
Cracking develops pathways for water and
chlorides to permeate into the concrete,
Reduced Cracking to reduce concrete permeability.
reducing the durability of the structure. Lightweight concrete is also specified because
Recently a great deal of research has been of its tendency to crack less. The reduced Conclusion
conducted on reducing the cracking in con- cracking can be linked to several properties
These innovative uses of lightweight aggregate
crete and especially HPC. One development found at the interfacial transition zone (ITZ)
can increase the percentages of supplemental
of this research is to utilize prewetted LWA where the aggregate meets the cementitious
cementious materials, which increases the
to cure the concrete from the inside out, paste. The superior ITZ found with expanded
sustainability of concretes. Reduced cracking
commonly referred to as internal curing shale, clay, and slate (ESCS) lightweight
tendency in lightweight concrete, as well as
(IC). Today’s HPC does a great job of concrete can be attributed to several unique
internally cured normal weight concrete, will
reducing the permeability as long as the characteristics.
help to increase the service lives of structures
concrete doesn’t crack, but it usually does. • The surface of ESCS lightweight
and pavements and help to protect our coun-
Unfortunately, the reduction in perme- aggregates is pozzolanic in nature. The
try’s infrastructure.▪
ability of HPC also reduces the amount of alumina/silicate surface combines with
externally applied curing water that reaches the lime (calcium hydroxide, CaOH2)
William H. Wolfe is a Senior Engineer
the interior of the concrete. IC helps fill liberated by the hydration of the Portland
with the Norlite Corporation, a lightweight
this gap by providing the additional curing cement, forming a stronger bond
aggregate manufacturer located in Albany,
water where and when it is needed. Since between aggregate and cement paste.
New York. Bill can be reached via email at
the IC water is not released from the pores • The elastic similarities between the
of the LWA until after the cement uses up ESCS particle and the cementitious
the available mix water, the additional IC matrix reduce microcracking. The
water does not affect the w/cm. similar moduli of elasticity prevent

STRUCTURE magazine 16 October 2011

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Phone: 304/234-2326 | Fax: 304/234-2378
Inventory Inspection of the Mike O’Callaghan-
Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
By Craig Smart, P.E. and Dave Severns, P.E.

Figure 1: HDR bridge inspection team leader, Craig Smart, inspects the spandrel columns from ropes while NDOT inspectors access the steel tub girders.
Courtesy of HDR, photographer Keith Philpott.

he Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge officially opened
to traffic on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. Prior to its highly anticipated
opening, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) was
provided with a short window of opportunity to perform an inven-
tory inspection of this landmark structure (Figure 1). This initial inspection
would evaluate the as-built condition of the structure and form the baseline
for future inspections.
The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is a border bridge linking
the States of Nevada and Arizona on US-93, located just east of Boulder City,
Nevada. The structure is named after former Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan
and former Arizona football star and U.S. Army Veteran Pat Tillman. The struc-
ture is approximately 1900 feet long with a main span of 1090 feet, making it
the longest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. The composite concrete/
steel deck arch design is the first of its kind in the United States. Also unique to
this structure are the hollow, tapering, high strength concrete spandrel columns
which reach 300 feet in height. At almost 900 feet above the Colorado River, it
is the second highest bridge in the United States.
As the concept and design were developed under the direction of FHWA’s Central
Federal Lands Highway Division, with a design team led by HDR Engineering,
Inc. (HDR), the plan for long term maintenance and monitoring was also under
development. The unique location of the structure brought together FHWA, the
US Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, and the State DOTs from
Arizona and Nevada to develop a cooperative agreement for ownership, opera-
tions and maintenance. The resulting agreement assigned shared responsibility
for operations and maintenance split 50/50 between NDOT and the Arizona
Department of Transportation (ADOT), with NDOT taking the primary respon- Figure 2: Underbridge inspection trucks work simultaneously
sibility for inspection. on each side of the bridge to facilitate inspection and rope access
continued on next page work. Courtesy of HDR, photographer Keith Philpott.

STRUCTURE magazine 19 October 2011

Figure 3: HDR inspector, Craig Smart, utilizes Figure 4: HDR inspector, Al Nelson, inspects the Figure 5: Outside air temperature reaching 108
industrial rope access techniques following SPRAT concrete arch rib utilizing a rope-to-rope transfer. degrees was just one of the challenges inspectors
guidelines to gain access to the arch rib and Courtesy of HDR, photographer Keith Philpott. faced on this high level inspection. Courtesy of
spandrel columns that would otherwise be outside HDR, photographer Keith Philpott.
of the reach of traditional inspection equipment.
Courtesy of HDR, photographer Frank Huster.

As the end of construction and grand opening of this signature key aspect of the job walk was to identify locations for rope anchors
structure drew closer, officials at NDOT were busy planning the (i.e. anchorage points for attaching the climbing ropes to the bridge
highest level and possibly the most highly visible bridge inspection itself ). In this manner, rope anchor locations were identified that were
in Nevada history. With all of the agencies involved and the transfer not readily envisioned via a review of the bridge plans. The job walk
of responsibility for this structure to the state of Nevada, NDOT also allowed for an on-site meeting between key stakeholders in the
wanted to perform a very thorough inspection and establish a baseline project to finalize schedule and logistics.
condition for the first bridge in Nevada to be assigned a 100 year The inspection took place during a two-week window in late
design life. This inventory inspection would also serve to introduce September/early October of 2010, prior to the grand opening of the
the bridge into both ADOT and NDOT bridge inventories, and to bridge. The bridge site was still a secured construction zone at that
establish the bridge inspection frequency. time, with the contractor putting the finishing touches on sidewalk
NDOT immediately identified a need for specialized inspection appurtenances, the pedestrian plaza, and other facilities. The first day
access to thoroughly assess the bridge. The NDOT-owned under- of inspection began with a briefing to the entire project team to discuss
bridge inspection trucks (UBITs), with a maximum vertical reach security protocols and access to the site, inspection procedures and site
of approximately 72 feet below the bridge deck, would only be able safety information. The project team consisted of bridge inspectors
to reach the crown of the arch under the middle 3 spans. Knowing and UBIT operators from NDOT’s Structures Division, equipment
of their specialized experience and capabilities in rope access inspec- operator and traffic control personnel from the two additional NDOT
tions, NDOT turned to HDR, and together they began the process districts, 2 SPRAT Level 3 technicians from Mistras Ropeworks, and
of preparing a detailed bridge inspection plan. 4 HDR bridge inspectors (3 of which are SPRAT Level 1 workers).
The scope of the inspection was a detailed and thorough “hands-on” The steel tub girders were inspected by NDOT personnel, using
inspection of all primary bridge components. The inspection plan both visual and Non-Destructive Testing methodologies. Access to
outlined the bridge components and assigned primary responsibil- the inspection platforms interconnecting pairs of girders was provided
ity to HDR or NDOT personnel working as a combined inspection via the NDOT UBITs, working simultaneously from each side of the
team. The plan also assigned the appropriate access method to each bridge (Figure 2, page 19). While the NDOT inspectors performed
bridge component. HDR teamed with partner Mistras Ropeworks to their tasks, Mistras Ropeworks technicians rigged rope anchor points
assist with planning the rope access inspections, and to provide rig- for the rope access inspection work. In order to minimize load on
ging and supervisory personnel following the Society of Professional the UBIT platforms and to maximize the number of people in the
Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) guidelines. Multiple planning ses- buckets, ropes were pre-rigged and staged on the bridge deck prior
sions took place to define and refine the inspection plan, including a to connecting to the anchors and deploying them over the side of
detailed plan of how the traditional “snooper truck” access plan would the bridge. HDR rope access bridge inspectors were then deployed
be orchestrated with the rope access plan. These planning sessions to the rope locations via the NDOT UBITs to begin inspection of
also provided an opportunity to familiarize the project team with the the spandrel columns and arch ribs (Figure 3).
specific rope access techniques that would be used to access the arch The spandrel columns and arch ribs were inspected utilizing a rope
ribs and the spandrel columns. access technique called a rope-to-rope transfer (Figure 4). The maneu-
Vital to the inspection planning process was the implementation ver involves the inspector transferring from one two-rope system to a
of a pre-inspection job walk. The purpose of the job walk was to second two-rope system. In the process of the transfer, the inspector
verify field conditions, and to be able to discuss and “walk through” is able to position himself along the geometry of the arch in order
the inspection plan prior to the actual inspection taking place. One to perform a thorough inspection. Diagram 1 shows the process of

STRUCTURE magazine 20 October 2011

Diagram 1

Inspection “Firsts”
for Nevada:
• First “Signature Bridge” inspection
• Two simultaneous UBIT operations;
required by tight inspection window
• Participation by staff from all 3
NDOT Districts
• Interaction with multiple
• Rope-access inspection
methodology employed
• Integrated State/consultant
inspection team
• NV/AZ stamped bridge
inspection report
a rope-to-rope transfer. For the spans adjacent to the tallest spandrel inspection team was
columns, this technique required approximately 1500 feet of rope. rewarded with an
The 20-foot wide and 14-foot deep, hollow concrete arch ribs do inspection that accomplished all of the goals set out by NDOT, and
not contain any permanent stairs, walkways or other inspection allowed for a smooth opening of one of America’s latest iconic structures.▪
appurtenances. Therefore, rope access methods were used to inspect
the inside of the arch ribs in the steeper portions of the arch. Natural
Craig Smart, P.E. is HDR’s Structures Business Class Leader for
ventilation was provided by opening the access hatch and ventilation
Nevada. Mr. Smart can be reached at
ports in the arch.
The inspection team faced various challenges throughout the inspec- David Severns, P.E. is an Assistant Chief Structures Engineer for
tion process. The beginning of the first week of inspections was the Nevada Department of Transportation, and is responsible for
unseasonably warm, with outside air temperatures reported to be as administering Nevada’s Bridge Inspection Program. Mr. Severns can
high as 108 degrees. This made the already strenuous activity of ascend- be reached at
ing the 300-foot spandrel columns even
worse (Figure 5). It also created stifling
conditions inside the enclosed confines
of the steel tub girders and the concrete
arch ribs. As temperatures cooled during
the second week of inspections, thun-
derstorms and lightning threatened to
hamper the inspection efforts. With
the end of the 2-week deadline fast
approaching, operations were halted

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on one occasion due to high winds that
exceeded the UBIT manufacturer’s safe
working limits.
Also complicating the logistics of the
inspections were the amount of personnel
on site during the inspections. In addition
to the inspection team itself, contractor
employees were busy putting the final
touches on the bridge. There were also Design/Build
visiting dignitaries taking advantage of
the opportunity to experience the bridge, Earth Retention
and local law enforcement visiting to Foundation Support
familiarize themselves with a new stretch
of freeway that would be part of their Slope Stabilization
jurisdiction. At one point, a few bicyclists Ground Improvement
by-passed the locked security gates and
made their way on to the bridge, appar- Dewatering
ently curious about what was happening
on the bridge.
In the end, the inspection was completed
one day ahead of the very tight deadline. 800-562-8460
All of the planning and preparation of the

STRUCTURE magazine 21 October 2011

Modeling a Confederated BIM at LAX’s
New Tom Bradley International Terminal
By William M. Klorman

uilding Information Models (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VD&C)
are being used at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to enhance design coor-
dination, leverage interoperability, improve the quality of workmanship, reduce
costs while improving predictability, and advance the construction industry. This
project demonstrates new approaches and applications, strategies for improvement, cost
savings, and innovation.
Confederated View of Basement.

The Project
LAX’s new Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) is expand-
ing by more than one million square feet, making it one of the most
ambitious airport projects in the country. The project cost is $1.5
billion. The terminal, a composite structural concrete and structural
steel design, is a 7-story building that totals more than 665,000 square
feet and a baggage level footprint of roughly 158,000 square feet. It
has architectural concrete towers approximately 90 feet tall with 14
new gates to accommodate the next generation of super-sized jumbo
jets, including the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Los Angeles World Airports is the Owner. Fentress Architects is the
Architect of Record and John A. Martin & Associates is the Structural
Engineer of Record. Walsh Austin Joint Venture is the Construction
Manager and Klorman Construction is, among other things, the Prime
Structural Concrete Contractor and one of the project BIM leaders. Site Logistic View of new TBIT and existing TBIT.
The project specifications require the mandatory use of BIM. In
particular, the LAX project requires the creation of individual sub-
contractor models and a confederated model, which is defined as “the
combined model file created from the integration of current Subcontractor
How It’s Done
specific model files.” Klorman’s BIMs are started from scratch using the 2D documents.
This results in some real-world problems with respect to ownership RFIs are developed during creation and reviews of the anatomically
of the models, design liability, transfer of risk, and historic reliance correct model, and are tracked in the BIM to enhance quality control
on 2D drawings. A legal analysis of these problems is outside the and change management. One major advantage of making the BIM
scope of this article and no legal conclusions will be offered herein. the central clearing house is that it allows both the field operations
Officially, only 2D documents (plans and specifications) are being team and the VDC team to ensure that all work is being performed
provided to the subcontractors for use in developing their trade-specific in accordance with the latest and most up-to-date information avail-
BIMs, which will be incorporated into the confederated construction able. The BIM is available for review by all team members 24 hours a
model and relied on by all contractors. Unofficially, an architectural day, 7 days a week either on the job site, in the corporate VDC office,
model (produced in Revit Architecture), a structural model (produced or through a Web-based solution. This allows the BIM to become a
in Revit Structure), and a confederated Navisworks file (weekly) are living, evolving project record and prototype.
being provided. The following is to help illustrate how important and convenient
Individual subcontractors’ building information models are being this way of tracking and maintaining the project record is: On site, a
produced in several platforms including Tekla Structures, Revit crew prepares to lay out a new area of the project. The entire layout
Structure, AutoCAD MEP, CADmep, and CADduct. The indi- is done with the use of robotic total stations (RTS). In order for the
vidual BIMs are then exported for coordination in Navisworks, layout engineer to begin, he/she must first obtain the control point
3D.DWG and Industry Foundation Class (IFC) formats. Initial file generated from the project BIM. Prior to beginning his/her
confederated clash detection, coordination, and visual geospatial double-check and closeouts, the layout engineer would ask, “Is the
reviews are done by combining all construction models in Navisworks. layout file current through RFI-X?” The BIM can be quickly checked
Klorman Construction then takes this to the next level of integration to confirm that it is, and the actual RFI-X can be viewed by clicking
by creating the confederated model in a native platform. on the user-defined attribute under the RFI Manager.

STRUCTURE magazine 22 October 2011

RFI Color Coding in BIM. Owner’s Model being exported via IFC 2x3.

This information and confirmation exchange is completed in a coordinating contractors can easily locate a specific wall – not only in
matter of seconds and allows all project stakeholders to save time, the BIM but also in related scheduling, procurement and inspection
reduce duplication of work, reduce costs, increase communication, operations – Klorman was able to have the identifying wall names
and ensure quality control. and pour information “pop-up” when hovered over. This seemingly
The Owner’s models have been produced in Revit, but Klorman’s simple information allowed for detailed discussions regarding schedule,
selected platform for the majority of this project is Tekla Structures. quantities, and interfaces with other trades, inspection demands, and
In order to reap advantages from using the Owner’s model for com- quality requirements on the fly. Additionally, large amounts of techni-
parative analysis and reference, the Owner’s model must be brought cal information can be captured in the IFC file and, when provided
into the Klorman native BIM platform. To do this, we open the to a specific user, transferred to a specific workflow.
Owner’s models in Revit and then, using filters, export the various 4D sequencing is the animation of the BIM in sequence with the
model portions and components via the IFC 2x3 schema. We can project schedule. This produces a visual workflow of the various ele-
now leverage the information contained in the Owner’s model ments and provides a fantastic visual presentation of the scheduled
through interoperability. work progression expectations. This type of communication tool
One of the advantages of using IFC as opposed to 3D.DWG or allows for all project participants to understand quickly and “see” the
other formats is the increased amount
of information that can be captured and
modified to transmit specific informa-
tion to other users of the BIM, including
fabricators, erectors , designers, inspection
& testing, tolerances, fit-up and facilities
management. The concept and practice
of using the BIM to transfer intelligence Structural Software Designed for Your Success
beyond just geospatial representations,
in a file type that can be used by various

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software platforms, is very important and
paramount to the future of BIM/VDC.
The following is one example of how very
simple information captured in the IFC
file can increase the understanding and
use of the BIM. All contractors provide a
Navisworks-compatible file for use during
the BIM coordination meetings, which
are held in a large room with a minimum
of two projectors to view the confeder-
ated representation and constraint log.
Klorman’s concrete work is not only a • Easy to Learn and Use • Sketch, Generate, Import or Copy &
major scope item, but a critical step in • Analyze “Just about Anything!” Paste Models and Loads
the sequence of construction to ensure • Design: Steel, Wood, Concrete, • Professional, Customizable Reports
on-time delivery of various elements. One Aluminum, and Cold-Formed • Building Code Support: IBC, ASCE 7, etc.
such element is the basement retaining
wall (28.67 feet) and the specific areas that IES, Inc Visit
will be cast. When viewing the Navisworks 519 E Babcock St.
Bozeman, MT 59715 Download Your Free
file and hovering the cursor over an ele- 800-707-0816
30-day Trial Today
ment, information about that element
will pop up. In order to ensure that all

STRUCTURE magazine 23 October 2011

IFC information for up & down stream.
Confederated BIM in native platform allows for modification of the structure
in exact locations and avoids delays.

schedule regardless of their sophistication for reading and interpreting Visual coordination cannot be overlooked or undervalued. Based on
schedules in diagrammatic form. Here, a schedule for area castings an individual’s experience and expertise, different things applicable
was produced by Klorman as a deliverable and to help better analyze to their project involvement that would not readily be apparent in
the interaction between the substructure and superstructure. viewing 2D documents become immediately obvious. Klorman has
used BIM photorealistic representations on this project for various
purposes, including confederated model coordination, site logistics,
Advantages of a Native Platform concrete detailing, and reinforcement detailing.
Although this Project’s specifications required the confederated
model to be viewed in Navisworks, a confederated model maintained
in a native BIM platform is far more useful and superior. This is
not to say that a viewer like Navisworks is not a good solution, but In this article, we have limited the discussion to a small number
viewers are limited and in many circumstances are simple repre- of uses of BIM on the LAX project site. Other uses that are being
sentations that do not allow for manipulation of the BIM itself to implemented include:
resolve issues. In most cases, users are restricted to taking a snap • Taking BIM to the Field with Robotic Total Stations for:
shot of the area and forwarding it to the affected project participants 0 Layout
to await their responses. 0 Quality Control
Confederated BIM in a native platform is better for a number 0 As-Builts
of reasons: 0 Tolerance Coordination & Resolutions (Fit-Up)
• Extract accurate quantities • Automated Fabrication Drawings for Formwork
• Quickly determine accurate locations and dimensions and Reinforcement
• Create accurate details • Automated Erection Drawings for Formwork
• Produce construction documents based on actual, and Reinforcement
not representation • Erection Simulations
• Create and track RFIs • Location Based Management
• Conduct constructability reviews that consider adjacent • Lean Construction
trades/work • Sustainability Increases
• Address clash detection more expediently • Facilities Management
• Spot detailing problems during BIM creation By using a confederated BIM, many benefits have been realized.
• Better understand construction sequencing Clearly there have been reductions in the overall cost and time of the
• Study issues in the live BIM as opposed to viewing past or “as- project, which are being shared by the Owner and the contractors.
of-date” conditions in Navisworks or other simulators These savings have resulted while increasing quality control, com-
One example was a detailing issue identified where conduits were munication and predictability. Visualization increases interaction,
penetrating thorough a concrete wall at a construction joint. The and the BIM process provides greater ability to take advantage of lean
problem was that the structural engineer had very specific detailing construction and enhance sustainability, resulting in positive returns
of the jamb and containment steel that would not allow for penetra- on the BIM investment for all stakeholders.▪
tions, especially of the magnitude indicated by both the electrical
and plumbing designs. An even more critical issue was the discovery
William M. Klorman ( is the President,
of HVAC ducts needing to penetrate a major shear wall that was not
CEO, and Founder of W.M. Klorman Construction Corporation
designed for large openings. Because of the native platform, Klorman
in Woodland Hills, CA. He is a Fellow of the American Concrete
was able to identify the problem before construction, modify the
Institute (ACI) active at the local and national levels, a licensed
mild steel reinforcement and cast-in-place concrete wall forms, and
general contractor and concrete contractor, and a registered Deputy
provide all affected project team members with specific information
Inspector for Reinforced Concrete.
while continuing with modeling and construction.

STRUCTURE magazine 24 October 2011

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The Japan Tohuku Tsunami of March, 2011
Part 2: Preliminary Findings on Tsunami Effects on Structures
By Gary Chock, S.E.

he first article of this series, August 2011 issue of
STRUCTURE®, offered preliminary observations of the
effects of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku Tsunami, generated Eurasia Plate

by the Great East Japan Earthquake of Moment Magnitude North America Plate

(Mw ) 9.0. This subduction earthquake was the world’s fourth largest
since 1900. Japan is located near the meeting point of the Eurasian
Plate, Philippines Sea Plate, North American Plate, and the Pacific
Plate. Off the Tohoku coast of Honshu, the Japan Trench is where
the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the North American Plate. The
Great East Japan Earthquake successively ruptured over 4 segments,
encompassing an area of approximately 300+ km by 150 km (more
than 17,000 square miles). At the megathrust fault, vertical move-
ment of the ocean floor was estimated by Japanese researchers to be
about 3 meters (about 10 feet) upward and 24 meters (about 80 feet)
laterally. Horizontal displacement on land was over 5 meters (16.4 83 mm/yr

feet), with a vertical subsidence of over 1 meter. The Great East Japan
Earthquake has been compared to the July 13, 869 A.D. Ms 8.6 Jogan
Sanriku Earthquake that occurred in a similar offshore area near the Pacific Plate

northeast coast of Honshu. In other words, the 2011 event has been
suggested to represent a 1,200-year return period megathrust sub-
duction earthquake. However, it also surpassed the size of the Jogan
earthquake by a wide margin as the largest earthquake known to have Philippine Sea Plate

ever hit Japan (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Tectonic Setting of Japan with Epicenters of the Great East Japan
Inundation height Earthquake and its Aftershocks off the Tohoku Region of Honshu Island (USGS).
Runup height

It has been estimated from aerial and satellite photography that almost
535 square kilometers (207 square miles) of land were inundated.
The Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami Joint Survey Group (clearinghouse
at published numerous online data of the peak
inundation and runup heights, compiled from the work of over 100
Japanese researchers who worked in the field for at least three weeks in
late March and early April. As Figure 2 shows, runups in the Tohoku
region of Honshu ranged from about 10 meters to almost 40 meters
(32 to over 131 feet).
The ASCE-SEI Tsunami Reconnaissance Team visited the Tohoku
coast in mid-April to examine tsunami effects to buildings, bridges,
and coastal protective structures within the inundation zone along
over 241 km (150 miles) of coastline. This second article, discusses
of some of the team’s broader findings. Although a large number
of coastal protective structures were studied, these are typically not
used in North America, so they are not discussed here. ASCE will be
publishing a complete report, with documentation of case studies of
a much broader scope than is included here.
In general, complete collapses of nearly all residential light-frame
construction in the affected areas, extending to the edge of the inunda-
inundation runup tion limit, was observed. In commercial and industrial areas, low-rise
height depth height building collapses occurred in the approximate range of 75% towards
ground elevation
95%. In these coastal inundated areas, the Team did not find any high-
tide level rise buildings; most of the taller buildings were four to eight stories
at the event
tall. Despite this devastation, there were a number of larger multi-
distance from shoreline
story buildings that survived the tsunami without loss of structural
Figure 2: Tsunami Terminology Illustrated (Port and Airport Research Institute). integrity of their vertical load carrying system or foundation. In fact,

STRUCTURE magazine 27 October 2011

Figure 3: Minamisanriku Post-Tsunami Aerial Photograph. Courtesy of Ioan Figure 4: Minamisanriku designated vertical evacuation apartment building.
Nistor, ASCE. Courtesy of David Kriebel, ASCE.

a significant proportion of the surviving buildings did not appear to During the Tohoku Tsunami, sustained hydrodynamic forces exceeded
have significant structural damage. This provides some encouragement the minimum seismic design code forces for most structures. There is
regarding the potential resilience of larger modern buildings having an analogous threat to the Pacific Northwest of North America posed
robust seismic designs with scour and uplift-resistant foundations. by the Cascadia subduction zone, which in 1700 generated a tsunami-
Figures 3 and 4 show the town of Minamisanriku, with inundated genic earthquake also estimated to be magnitude 9. The Japanese
depths of 15 meters (49.2 feet), highlighting the survival of several seismic design code generally results in greater lateral forces and stiffer
low to mid-rise reinforced concrete buildings. systems for reinforced concrete and steel buildings than in the USA,
One of the Minamisanriku vertical evacuation buildings was a four- so additional analytical comparisons are necessary, rather than directly
story shoreline apartment building with a roof height 15.25 meters (50 extrapolating the performance of Japanese buildings (a paper on this
feet) above sea level. However, the tsunami reached 15.8 meters (51.8 subject is in preparation). Having traveled throughout the area both
feet) above sea level and it actually overtopped its roof level. Those who within and outside the inundated areas, it should be noted that the
evacuated to the roof, which had been designed for access/occupancy, structures observed by the team did not appear to have earthquake
remained safe. This building was oriented perpendicular to the flow, damage preceding the tsunami. Structures of all material types can be
which scoured almost a complete moat around the structure. However, subjected to general and progressive collapse during tsunami. However,
it has a pile foundation system and was not structurally damaged despite larger scaled and taller buildings will be inherently less susceptible.
being completely inundated and having no “breakaway” walls. As discussed in the Part I and II articles, fluid and impact loads and
Several other tall mid-rise reinforced concrete buildings that served as scouring from tsunami inundation poses a significant risk to coastal
tsunami evacuation buildings were visited. They performed well, the buildings and infrastructure. Loading and effects include:
evacuees furnishing a number of spectacular videos of tsunami flow Hydrostatic Forces: Buoyant Forces, Additional Loads on Elevated
destroying neighboring buildings around them. The Kesennuma Port Floors, Unbalanced Lateral Forces
Authority Building (Figure 5) served as a vertical evacuation building Hydrodynamic Forces: Lateral and Uplift Pressures of Tsunami
from the 3rd floor upward, which was inundated to 8.25 meters (27 Bore and Surge Flows
feet) above local grade. Most other neighboring low-rise industrial Debris Damming and Debris Impact Forces: External and Internal
buildings in the port area were swept away. Debris Accumulation and Striking
Bridge outages were numerous, including both highway and rail Scour Effects: Shear of cyclic inflow and outflow, and transient
bridges and overpasses. Whereas roadway bridges can be replaced liquefaction due to de-pressurization
by temporary or by-pass structures, the failure of a railway bridge The following factors should be considered in design for tsunami
generally results in a much longer outage of the rail line. In the case risk mitigation:
of railways, these failures were a result of large sustained lateral forces • Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis for design should
on the bridge spans, sufficient to fail seismic anchorages or pull down include longer return period tsunami-genic subduction
the overpass piers themselves. In many other cases, seismic lateral earthquakes commensurate with the maximum considered
blocking and ductile anchorage of highway bridge girders were inef- risk level utilized in seismic codes. The severity of tsunamis
fective in resisting uplift. The example of a railway overpass in Otsuchi correlate to the amount of vertical displacement of the sea floor
demonstrates the severity of hydrodynamic loads (Figure 6). rather than ground acceleration; therefore, unlike earthquake
shaking transmitted through the ground, tsunami heights do
not asymptotically reach a saturation limit with magnitude.
• Light-frame construction will not survive tsunami inundation
depths of more than a few meters (roughly 6 feet), nor
the flow velocities of tsunamis. However, to guard against
more frequent, lower amplitude events, elevation of the
superstructure above the base flood elevation should consider
100-year flood hazards of all sources including tsunami.
• Debris accumulation in tsunami inflow occurs rapidly once
structures and forests are encountered. Loads on structures
should consider debris damming/blockage and debris strikes.
Enhanced local element resistance to debris strikes should be
included in design.
Figure 5: Kesennuma Port Authority Building. Courtesy of Ioan Nistor, ASCE.

STRUCTURE magazine 28 October 2011

• Buoyancy should be considered in design; there should be
sufficient openness in buildings to alleviate buoyancy. The
value of breakaway cladding would be more to prevent
buoyancy than to reduce hydrodynamic forces, due to the
inevitable debris loading from internal and external sources in
repeated tsunami flow cycles.
• Avoid potential structurally boxed-in areas subject to
hydrodynamic pressurization of load-bearing walls.
• Foundation systems should consider scour effects (particularly
at corners) to resist undermining.
• Flow acceleration around large buildings significantly increases
the flow velocity on downstream buildings.
• Depending on the tsunami hazard level, seismic design may
not ensure sufficient tsunami resistance, particularly for low-
rise buildings.
• In order to resist the effects of a near-field tsunami, structures
must first perform adequately with limited structure damage
during the causative earthquake that precedes the tsunami arrival.
• Mid- to high-rise reinforced concrete buildings with robust
shear walls can survive structurally, even with many walls
at the exterior. These could become evacuation structures if Figure 6: Multiple span and pier failures of a railway overpass and river bridge
tall enough. Steel buildings robustly proportioned at their in Otsuchi, having braced steel plate girders. Courtesy of Ian Robertson, ASCE.
lower stories could also have similar capabilities.
Gary Chock, S.E. (, is the chair of the
• It is quite possible to design buildings and other structures to
ASCE/SEI 7 Standard Tsunami Loads and Effects Subcommittee.
withstand tsunami events. This is desirable for taller buildings
He is the president of Martin & Chock, Inc., a structural
that may serve as refuges, taller buildings that may not be easily
engineering firm located in Honolulu, and serves as the NCSEA
evacuated, buildings whose failure may pose a substantial risk to
delegate from the Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii.
human life, essential facilities, and critical infrastructure.▪

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STRUCTURE magazine 29 October 2011
Part 1 of this article (August 2011, STRUCTURE®) traced the early development of the lattice
bridge-truss design, culminating with Hilton’s riveted wrought-iron configuration. Part 2 addresses the
rationale behind the lattice design and examines the many specialized variations.

he terms lattice and Multi-Warren have
been used interchangeably. Double
and triple intersecting configurations
significant structures of the past
are more commonly referred to as
double and triple (Figure 13) intersecting Warren
trusses, while quadruple (and beyond) intersect-
ing configurations are interchangeably referred
to either as lattice trusses or multi-Warrens. The
quadruple-Warren was the most common “lattice”
Figure 13 (continued from figures shown in the August
through-truss configuration used by the railroad article): A Triple Warren Union Pacific Railroad Bridge
lines. The NY Central built a substantial number over the Blue River near Manhattan, Kansas. Courtesy of
of these trusses, most of them for relatively short James Baughn, webmaster at
spans. The distinguishing feature of the quadruple-
intersecting Hilton lattice design is the 45 degree
slope of its web diagonals and the vertical tension
hanger at their hip joints (Figure 14).
Due to the
geometry of its
The American Metal Lattice-Truss configuration,
the panel points
Figure 14: A Hilton, riveted, wrought-iron lattice truss
Bridge and the Hilton Truss of a lattice truss
are more tightly
over the James River near Redfield, South Dakota. Note
the vertical truss member at the hip joint. Author’s post
spaced along the card collection.
horizontal span
Part 2 of a bridge than those of the other, more common less subject to damage due to vibrations. They also
modest span truss configurations such as the Pratt believed that the redundancy provided a margin of
By David Guise
and Howe. The shorter spacing between panel safety if one of the truss members became damaged.
points permitted the bridge deck to carry the Others adopted Hilton’s unpatented lattice truss
increasingly heavy loads produced by ever larger configuration, often pushing the spans beyond
locomotives, and thus made its design particularly those of the New York Central’s. For example,
appropriate for railroad crossings. Double and The Rice Farm Road Bridge over the West River
triple Warren configurations were more com- near Dummerston VT has a 198-foot span. While
monly used for wagon traffic, as the wagon loads this structure is not a railroad bridge, it was built
were lighter than the trains and the wagon truss to carry the heavy granite blocks quarried by
David Guise retired after 40 years construction could also be lighter. the Lyon Granite Co. and thus the reasoning
of private practice as principal Howard Carroll, George Gray (who was New York for selecting a lattice configuration was similar.
of his architectural firm and is Central’s chief engineer during Carroll’s early years), Since a lattice design requires more material per
Professor Emeritus at City College and Carroll’s successor, Charles Hilton, all believed foot of span than the Pratt truss, it could not
of New York. He can be reached at that the large number of rigid joints in a lattice compete successfully on long-span crossings with truss provided an advantage over the more flexible the sub-divided variations of the Pratt, such as
pin-jointed alternative truss choices, as the riveted the Pennsylvania and Baltimore trusses which
construction rendered the truss more rigid and thus were capable of four and five hundred foot spans.

The online version of this

article contains detailed
references. Please visit Figure 15: Railroad, Deck Lattice Bridge, over the Chippewa River, Eau Clare, Wisconsin. Author’s post card collection.

30 October 2011
Engineers viewed lattice trusses as a composite group
of separate overlapping Warren trusses, and analyzed
each overlapping arrangement as a separate triangular
bracing system. Thus, a quadruple-Warren would be
treated as four separate trusses. A moving load causes
each of the individual triangular web systems to work in
successive order, with the contiguous members of each
individual Warren system alternately resisting tensile and
compressive stresses. Since the diagonals in the web were
actually connected to each other at their intersections,
an accurate calculation of the stresses on any individual
web member was beyond the capacity of the engineers Figure 16: Willis Avenue Bridge. Over the East River. New York City, 1901. Courtesy of
David Guise.
that built them. However, the overall solution erred
slightly on the conservative side.
Although many engineers derided the
redundancy of the lattice configurations,
others took comfort in the knowledge
that if a derailed train, projecting load,
or other catastrophe took out a web
member of the truss, the redundancy
could prevent the bridge from failing.
Additionally, the tensile diagonals were
also capable of handling some com-
pressive stress by default, because the CityCenter, Las Vegas
securing of the diagonals at their crossing a 67 acre complex built with ProSpec products
points with the compression diagonals
subdivided their lengths into several
short segments. Each resulting shortened
section was then less subject to buckling.
While the majority of the metal
lattice-truss bridges may have been
through-trusses, lattice deck trusses were

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erected when clearance beneath them
permitted (Figure 15).
At least one lattice truss was built with
a curved top chord (Figure 16).
And, of course, there is almost always
a one-of-a kind solution. This particular
lattice truss needed some additional rather
unique help, perhaps added as an after-
thought when the locomotive and train
loads became greater (Figure 17, page 32).
Why a small number of through lattice
trusses were constructed with vertical
ends remains somewhat of a mystery.
No engineering documents have been
found indicating a justification for
designing a through lattice with a ver-
tical end, which uses additional material
without providing any structural advan-
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end Canastota Bridge over the Erie Canal It’s the material you don’t see that matters most. This is why the
influenced the engineers, L. F. Thayer Las Vegas City Center used ProSpec for its underlayment needs.
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(Figure 19, page 32).
continued on next page
STRUCTURE magazine 31 October 2011
Figure 18: Canadian Pacific Railroad Bridge Figure 20: Norfolk and Southern Railroad
near Cody, New Brunswick, Canada. Courtesy of Hilton Lattice Truss, over Seeley Creek, near
Richard Cook, The Beauty of Railroad Bridges. Elmira, New York. Courtesy of Nathan Holth at

Figure 17: Lattice Truss, Goeschenen, Switzerland.

Author’s post card collection.

Possibly some thought a vertical portal

(especially in the case of a wagon bridge
that served as an entry to a town, and thus
became a symbol of local pride) presented
a more majestic image. However, the clear Figure 19: 1877 Lattice truss over the Connecticut Figure 21: Lattice Railroad Trusses. Hillburn, New
majority of the through lattice trusses were River. Springfield Massachusetts. Courtesy of York. Courtesy of David Guise.
Springfield Museum. Provided by Cliff McCarthy.
constructed with more efficient inclined
ends (Figure 20).
The lattice truss’s often muscular image Inevitably, their rugged silhouettes con- a small handfull of theses old trusses remain
evoked a similar sense of power as the steam tinue to be supplanted by mundane, steel to remind us of the earlier, innovative nation-
locomotives that crossed them, and became plate-girders that are now used for span- building days of railroading and the bridges
part of the railroading image of their time. ning modest railroad crossings. Fortunately that were built (Figure 21).▪

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32 October 2011
4C AZZ-36322 AZZ-36326_7.5x4.75S OK as is
PROOF SIZE OK with changes
award winners and outstanding projects Spotlight
It’s All About Making The Right Connections
By Kurt Heidenreich, P.E., S.E.
Courtesy of James Whitcraft
Engineering Resources, Inc. was an Award winner for The Ron Venderly Family Bridge (IPFW).
project in the 2010 NCSEA Annual Excellence in Structural Engineering awards
program (Category – New Bridge and Transportation Structures)

ndiana University – Purdue University
at Fort Wayne (IPFW) is a growing
regional campus. For many years they
were faced with the problem of access
to an underutilized property on the west side.
The St. Joseph River, separating the main
campus from this area, was a challenging bar-
rier. IPFW wanted a low-maintenance, but
attractive, structure to connect the two prop-
erties. A cable-stayed option was selected, not
only for aesthetics and maintenance benefits,
but also for constructability.
The location of the pylons, abutment
anchors and cable-stays were arranged to
facilitate sequential, cantilevered construction the performance of the proposed solution. monitor the structure’s response to ensure
from each side of the river. This allowed all of The structure performance was verified for proper performance. A special hydraulic
the substructure elements to be constructed catastrophic events as well as user comfort. In jacking system was developed to allow adjust-
on the river banks. The bridge provides a addition to solving the wind dynamic issue, ment at each cable stay. The hydraulic system
clear span over the main river channel, with the wind fairings serve as covers to enclose the had the ability to uniformly adjust adjacent
approximately 8 feet of freeboard at center electrical and telecommunications systems run- strands or operate independently at a single
span during a 100 year flood event. This ning along the bridge. Stainless steel was used strand location. A similar system can also be
allows emergency river travel and continued for the wind fairings and cable socket covers used in the future when individual strand
pedestrian access during flooding. With the to provide a maintenance-free and aesthetic replacement is required.
clear span, any debris that collects on the material. All of the cable-stay strands and the The bridge was named in honor of Ron
substructure can be removed from the stream hand railing were hot-dip galvanized for cor- Venderly, a local entrepreneur, for his financial
bank after the water recedes. rosion protection. In addition, the bridge was donation. The donor’s decision to contribute
To accommodate the physical plant’s mainte- designed to facilitate removal of any single was largely based on the aesthetic appearance of
nance vehicles crossing the structure while it is strand, for replacement, without requiring the bridge. The Ron Venderly Family Bridge is
in use by pedestrians and bicyclists, a 10-foot structure shoring. also a key link to the Fort Wayne river greenway
clear walkway width was provided. The bridge The contractor worked with the steel fabri- system. This link is critical to connecting the
has a main span of 385 feet with two 40-foot cator, located about 8 miles from the site, to downtown trails to the northeast park system.
end spans, for a total span length of 465 feet. fabricate and assemble each 70-foot framing Shortly after the bridge opened, IPFW created
With the end anchors, the total bridge length segment in the shop. Each assembly was shop an annual celebration, “Riverfest,” for area
is over 555 feet. The 115-foot pylons were painted, transported and installed as a single residents, with the bridge serving as the focal
constructed of induction curved, 36-inch piece. Each segment was field bolted to the point. The summer event was created to recon-
diameter pipe, with a ¾-inch wall thickness. previous cantilevered segment using end plate nect the public with the local rivers, which are
During fabrication, all of the components connections. This greatly improved the erec- the reason for the City’s location. The bridge
were match-mated in the shop to ensure an tion process and allowed for a shop controlled connects the campus to the community in
exact fit for the field connections. three coat paint system with only field touch many ways, and creates a much needed link for
Due to the cable arrangement, the main span up. The center segment was designed one inch campus grounds. While it provides numerous
is torsionally flexible. This created the potential shorter than required, so it could be shimmed functional benefits, it has also become a new
for the bridge to be unstable in certain wind in place, to allow for construction tolerances. landmark for the City of Fort Wayne.▪
conditions. The solution involved installing Since the project was constructed in multiple
bent plates, also known as wind fairings, along cantilevered phases, the anticipated structure Kurt Heidenreich, P.E., S.E. is the President
the exterior face of the longitudinal girders. The deflections for each phase were provided on of Engineering Resources, Inc. and the 2011
fairings serve to increase the width/depth ratio the plans. Construction engineers used the President of the Indiana Structural Engineers
of the cross section and provide a streamlined information to set pre-pour elevations and Association (ISEA). He can be reached at
edge. RWDI, of Ontario, was consulted to pylon tilt. During construction, the design
complete a sectional wind tunnel test to verify team worked closely with the contractor to

STRUCTURE magazine 35 October 2011

Proposed NCSEA Policy on Separate
Structural Engineering Licensure
To be proposed at the NCSEA Annual Conference: October 20-22, 2011
News form the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

Policy this spectrum is unique in its impact on the safety, health and
welfare of the general public. A structural system failure almost
The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations
always has serious consequences; even in the best cases, there
(NCSEA) supports separate licensure for structural engineers to
are often substantial costs associated with correcting what is or
protect the safety, health, and welfare of the public due to the
could become a life-threatening situation.
potential loss of life and property in improperly designed and
The field of structural engineering has become increasingly
constructed structures such as buildings and bridges.
complex, requiring the engineers who practice it to be diligent
NCSEA encourages all jurisdictions to adopt a Structural
in keeping up with the latest codes and specifications. The com-
Engineering Practice Act that defines the practice of structural
plexity of the structural engineering field has been recognized
engineering and restricts it to those who have demonstrated
by NCEES in the development of the “Model Law Structural
competence by means of education, experience, and examina-
Engineer” designation that requires 16 hours of examination
tion. In particular, NCSEA endorses the 16-hour Structural
instead of the 8 hours of testing required for other fields of
examination developed by the National Council of Examiners
engineering. The implementation of the new 16-hour structural
for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and administered for
engineering examination further attests to the higher standard
the first time in April 2011, as well as the NCEES Model Law
to which structural engineers are being held.
Structural Engineer qualifications as the standard for licensure
The need for advanced credentials has been acknowledged
of structural engineers.
sporadically across the country, resulting in a lack of unifor-
NCSEA also encourages jurisdictions to include in their new
mity among jurisdictions that makes licensure by comity or
legislation an equitable transitioning clause for engineers cur-
reciprocity difficult.
rently practicing structural engineering.
• The structural engineering specialty within civil
engineering has been recognized by a number of
Issues jurisdictions, starting with Illinois in 1915, with the
implementation of separate licensure laws.
Some of the issues that need to be addressed in the adoption of
• California requires a specialized licensing exam that
structural engineering licensure and practice restrictions include:
incorporates seismic design principles in order to obtain
• The qualifications for licensure should include education,
a professional civil engineering license. Following
experience and examination standards.
sufficient experience, a separate specialized examination,
• The requirements for licensure should be as consistent
in addition to the 16-hour NCEES exam, is currently
as possible across jurisdictions to allow appropriately
required to obtain structural engineering title authority
qualified structural engineers to practice nationwide.
which allows the design of schools and hospitals.
• The provisions for licensure should permit currently
• Several other western states require additional
licensed professional engineers (PE) with appropriate
examination before an engineer can practice structural
education and experience to continue designing
engineering or use the title “structural engineer”.
structures for which they have adequate expertise
These states have differing education, experience, and
without requiring additional examination.
examination requirements and differing criteria that
• Some jurisdictions will choose to adopt threshold criteria
govern which structures must be designed by a licensed

for structure size and/or type for which design by a

structural engineer.
licensed structural engineer is required.
The Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE) and
• Each jurisdiction must decide whether licensure of
the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), as well as its
structural engineers should be separate from other
Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), also support separate
professional engineering licensure or set up as a
licensure for structural engineers.
post-PE credential.
NCSEA believes the effort to implement separate structural
engineering licensure in all jurisdictions is a worthy commit-
Rationale ment and encourages their Member Organizations and the
structural engineering community to take the lead in making
Every engineer holds paramount the safety, health and welfare
these changes in each jurisdiction.
of the public.
The field of civil engineering encompasses a broad spectrum
of concepts from traffic and surveying, water and wastewater
treatment, and municipal and utility engineering to building
Obtain the full document at
and bridge design. The specialty of structural engineering within

STRUCTURE magazine 36 October 2011

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
19th Annual Conference October 20 – October 22, 2011
Rennaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel

Leadership in
Structural Engineering
Register and obtain more information at
Structural Licensing Workshop
Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2011
1:15-1:30 Presentation of proposed NCSEA Policy and status of Licensure
1:30-1:45 Presentation of SEI Policy on SE Licensing by Sam Rihani
1:45-2:15 Discussion of proposed NCSEA Policy and Vote by Delegates
2:15-2:30 Review goals and plans for Breakout Strategy Sessions
2:30-2:55 Breakout Strategy–Session One

News from the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

2:55-3:20 Breakout Strategy–Session Two
3:20-3:35 Break
3:35-4:00 Breakout Strategy–Session Three
4:00-4:30 Summarize results and discuss after-conference follow up

Reception and Awards Banquet

Saturday night, October 22, 2011
Formal attire requested

October 6 Webinar by Philip Brandt

Modern Concrete Repair Technology – From Failure to Completed Repair
This seminar will guide the participant through the ABCs of sales, technical services and concrete
concrete repair, including the causes of concrete deterioration, repair. Originally from Tennessee, Mr.
owner requirements, repair material requirements and selection, Brandt holds a Degree in Construction
bonding agents and proper repair techniques. Current ICRI Engineering and is a national member
standards are referenced and many case studies are discussed, of The American Concrete Institute,
including parking decks, bridges, highways and slabs on ground. including Secretary of ACI 360,
Cathodic protection will also be addressed. “Design of Slabs on Ground,” Past
Philip Brandt is Vice President of the National Business Chairman of ACI 305, “Hot Weather
Development Group for The Euclid Chemical Company, Concrete” and a member of ACI 546,
Cleveland, Ohio. A thirty year veteran of the construction “Repair of Concrete.” Mr. Brandt is also a member of the
industry, Mr. Brandt’s experience includes quality control International Concrete Repair Institute and has spoken at
of ready mix concrete, commercial construction, material many NCSEA events.

The cost is $250 per internet connection. Several people may attend for one connection fee.




This course will award 1.5 hours of continuing education.



The times will be 10:00 am Pacific, 11:00 am Mountain, 12:00 pm Central, and 1:00 pm Eastern




Approved in All 50 States



STRUCTURE magazine 37 October 2011

2012 O.H. Ammann Research Fellowship Call for Nominations
The O. H. Ammann Research Fellowship in Structural
Engineering is awarded annually to a member of ASCE or SEI
for the purpose of encouraging the creation of new knowl-
edge in the field of structural design and construction. Recent
The Newsletter of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE

research projects included using wireless sensors to develop a

new methodology for bridge component replacement prioritiza-
tion, developing a new type of concrete sensor made of carbon
nanofiber reinforced concrete, and examining the cracking
behavior of concrete using an Environmental Scanning Electron
Microscope. All members or applicants for membership are
eligible. Applicants will submit a description of their research,
an essay about why they chose to become a structural engineer,
and their academic transcripts.
“It was an honor for me and meant so much to be one of the
winners of O.H.Ammann Research Fellowship. It was not only
a terrific financial support, but a very strong encouragement to
continue my scientific work, which would not have been possible
without the help of ASCE.”
–Recent O.H. Ammann Fellowship winner.
This fellowship award is at least $5,000 and can be up to
$10,000. The deadline for 2012 Ammann applications is
November 1, 2011. For more information and to download
an application visit the SEI website at

Call for 2012 SEI/ASCE Award Nominations

Did you know there are almost 20 different structural awards available to SEI and ASCE members each year? These awards range
from lifetime achievement to recognition of outstanding papers. Awards will be presented during the 2012 Structures Congress,
March 29-31, 2012, in Chicago. Honor a colleague or fellow committee member by beginning the nomination process today.
Available awards include:
Jack E. Cermak Medal – Society-wide competition for outstanding contributions in wind engineering.
Shortridge Hardesty Award – Society-wide competition to recognize an individual(s) who has contributed substantially in
Structural Columns

applying fundamental results of research to the solution of practical engineering problems in

the field of structural stability.
T. Y. Lin Award – Society-wide competition for a paper of merit in the field of prestressed concrete.
Moisseiff Award – Profession-wide recognition of a paper of merit published in the field of structural design and analysis by ASCE.
Walter P. Moore Jr. Award – This award is given annually in recognition of a structural engineer who has demonstrated technical
expertise in, and dedication to, the development of structural codes and standards.
Nathan M. Newmark Medal – Society-wide competition to recognize an individual who has substantially strengthened the
scientific base of structural engineering through contributions in structural mechanics.
Norman Medal – Society-wide competition for a paper of merit as a contribution to engineering science.
Raymond C. Reese Research Prize – Profession-wide recognition of a paper published by ASCE that describes a notable achieve-
ment in research related to structural engineering and how it can be used.
Dennis L. Tewksbury Award – The SEI Board of Governors selects the recipient of the Tewksbury award each year in recogni-
tion of outstanding service to the Structural Engineering Institute.
Arthur M. Wellington Prize – Profession-wide competition for papers related to transportation, foundations, or closely related subjects.
For more information on these and other awards, down-
load the SEI Awards flyer available on the SEI Website: Errata Nomination deadlines for some awards SEI posts up-to-date errata information for our publications
begin October 1, 2011 with most deadlines falling on at Click on “Publications” on our
November 1, 2011. Visit the SEI Awards and Honors page at menu, and select “Errata.” If you have any errata that you for would like to submit, please email it to Paul Sgambati
more information and nomination procedures. at

STRUCTURE magazine 38 October 2011

Structural Columns
Education Sessions Posted for the 2011 PCI Annual
Convention and National Bridge Conference
The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute the practical implementation of Fiber Reinforced Polymers
has posted education session information (FRP). Additional education tracks are sustainability, techni-
for the 2011 PCI Annual Convention and cal, marketing, transportation, research and development,
National Bridge Conference, October 22-26, 2011, in Salt executive leadership, and operations.
Lake City, Utah. Additionally, the event will include several opportunities to
This year’s event will offer more than 50 education sessions, network, including receptions, plant tours, and the prestigious
including 90 peer-reviewed technical papers. All technical sessions awards banquet. Council and committee meetings will be held
provide continuing education credit that is accepted in all 50 states. prior to the event (October 20-22) and are open to visitors
This year’s featured sessions include findings from PCI’s unless otherwise noted.
New Zealand earthquake team; information on the Strand More information is available at
Bond Quality Assurance (Peterman) Test; a session on the To view the full searchable listing of education sessions, visit
new Bridge Design Manual, third edition; and a course on

Building Information Modeling SAVE THE DATE

Survey Deadline is October 31 2012 Structures Congress
This is the fourth year of a respected and internationally rec- March 29-31, 2012 Chicago, Illinois
ognized survey on the topic of Building Information Modeling
(BIM) in the profession of Structural Engineering. Please take
a few moments to participate in the online survey by visiting: ASCE 7 Committee

The Newsletter of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE
The survey considers several key area of BIM in the profession
Call for New Members for the 2016 Edition
that include firm demographics, structural system definitions, The Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of ASCE is
interoperability, implementation, and the direction the tech- currently accepting applications for membership onto
nology should take in structural engineering. It also provides ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other
an important opportunity to collectively voice our opinion Structures Standards Committee to prepare the 2016 edi-
on the topic of this technology and our profession. tion of the standard.
The survey is a collaborative effort of the Joint Structural Qualified candidates, who are interested in supporting the
Engineering Institute (SEI), Council of American Structural efforts of ASCE 7, please visit the website by October 31, 2011,
Engineers (CASE), Committee on Building Information ( and
Modeling (BIM) and the Structural Engineers Association submit your application by October 31, 2011. Applications
of Texas (SEAoT) Information Technology (IT) Committee are being received for both voting and associate memberships
on BIM. The results of the 2011 annual survey will be on the main committee of ASCE 7 and for the various load
presented at the 2012 Structures Congress next spring in specific subcommittees.
Chicago. For questions or comments on the survey, please For additional information please contact Jennifer Goupil,
visit SEI Director, at

Emerging Analysis Methods in Earthquake Engineering

Seismic Nonlinear Analysis Survey
Advances in computational tools for earthquake engineer- tools for earthquake engineering analysis to fill out a survey
ing analysis continue to improve the structural engineer’s located at
ability to conduct performance-based simulations, evaluate The results of the survey will help guide committee activities
ductility, and make decisions on performance criteria that on formulating online and/or published material to address
involve deformations of a structure beyond the elastic limit. the principle concerns and barriers identified. It is expected
However, with the advent of these tools, the industry has that several future ASCE Structures Congress sessions will be
also seen a proliferation of codes and guidelines, as well as organized around themes from this survey. Input is solicited
options and parameters that must be understood to perform from all engineers (including from industry, academia, and
nonlinear analyses. consultants) who focus on all structural systems (buildings,
The Emerging Analysis Methods in Earthquake Engineering bridges, and non-building structures).
Subcommittee is interested in identifying some of the percep- The deadline for completing the survey is October 15, 2011.
tions and challenges that exist when one needs to perform, or For any further information about the survey or the activities
interpret the results of, a nonlinear analysis. To this end, the of the committee, please contact Kevin Mackie, Subcommittee
committee requests all current and potential users of nonlinear Chair, at

STRUCTURE magazine 39 October 2011

CASE Document 7 – Updated for 2011
CASE Document 7 provides assistance to the Structural familiar with its responsibilities within the IPD process when
Engineer of Record (SER) when entering into an agreement developing a proposal.
with an Architect, when the project delivery approach is CASE Document 7-2011 is intended to provide general guid-
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). The SER must be familiar ance to the SER in the use of AIA Document A295-2008 by
with the IPD general conditions so that he/she is aware of alerting the user to provisions related to the IPD process that
their responsibilities when developing the Scope of Services differ from traditional project delivery methods. As SER’s gain
and fees for a project experience using A295 and its related Integrated Project Delivery
The Newsletter of the Council of American Structural Engineers

The Integrated Project Delivery approach is a collabora- documents, it is anticipated that further commentary will be
tive process which may involve the SER at points in the added to CASE Document 7 to address specific contract issues.
project when such involvement has not traditionally been You can purchase CASE Document 7-2011 at the ACEC
expected. This makes it extremely important that the SER is Bookstore:

Disaster Liability Protections for Engineers as First Responders

Engineers and their firms are often called on in times of disasters
and emergencies to assist public officials as well as building
owners. They assess the safety of structures that police officers,
firefighters, and other rescue workers need to enter, determine
if the buildings can remain in use during repairs and also deter-
mine how to mitigate conditions that threaten life and property.
Engineering firms have answered this call following terrorist
attacks, such as 9/11, and natural disasters, including hurricanes,
floods, and earthquakes. Working in challenging conditions with
limited information and without the benefit of time in order
to evaluate the condition of buildings and other structures,
engineers have played a vital role in recovery efforts, whether
they worked as volunteers or paid contractors. They often are of services that is tied to their area of professional expertise and
required to operate at a rapid pace based on intuition and utilize state licensure.
untested, cutting edge and improvised solutions. ACEC is currently developing legislation that will ensure that
Unfortunately, after decades of unquestioned service, many the threat of liability does not deter potential timely deploy-
engineering firms are now facing lawsuits as a result of their ment of services and techniques in response to declared disasters
emergency responder services. In the case of 9/11, structural by creating liability and jurisdictional limitations for claims
engineering firms were sued for illnesses that resulted from air that arise. The legislation will cover the work of all design and
quality problems, even though this is not an area of expertise or construction professionals, and encourage them to use their
involvement for structural engineers. Defending against these judgment and discretion when responding in order to work
lawsuits has been extremely costly for engineering firms. In the most public good. It is expected that such legislation will
most cases, professional liability insurance does not cover such greatly expand the pool of expertise that resides in the private
situations. These unfortunate realities have deterred some firms sector and is needed in coping with disasters and emergencies.
from continuing to serve public officials in their communities The emergency responders that would be eligible for protection
following emergencies and disasters of all sources. would need to be pre-certified and valid State Licensure would
Granting engineers qualified immunity from liability when be treated as sufficient prequalification.
CASE in Point

providing services in the aftermath of emergencies and disas- ACEC Vice President of Government Affairs Steve Hall
ters is needed to ensure that such services will be immediately ( and Director Katharine Mottley (kmottley@
available in future times of need. The needed immunity would are leading the effort with assistance from the legal
obviously have to have certain limitations. It would not cover experts at McKinna Long and Aldridge. They expect to finish
circumstances of gross negligence and engineers would also only drafting the legislation this year, and hope to find a sponsor
receive immunity for work that falls within a pre-defined scope and have it introduced during the current session.

Case Introduces Its Insurance Committee

CASE has officially launched its Insurance Committee. One they can supplement it by being involved with the Insurance
of the benefits for CASE members will include learning the little Committee. The agents sat in on all of the committee meetings
known secrets of how to fill out your professional insurance as a part of their orientation, and will be developing a statement
application to obtain lower premium rates. The two insurance of purpose going forward.
agents that attended the CASE Summer Meeting commented If you are a CASE Member who would like to sit on the Insurance
on the great work the CASE committees are doing and how Committee, contact Kerri McGovern at

STRUCTURE magazine 40 October 2011

CASE in Point
Case Business Practice Corner
If you would like more information on the items below, please contact Ed Bajer,
Marketing to Major Engineering always try teaming with a large firm to develop a track record.
No one is against big firms but clients need to be reminded it is
Prime Contractors the small firms that keep expenses down and eliminating them
All major primes receive a large number of company market- will result in fewer proposals and higher costs.
ing offers. It is important to stand out and communicate the
exclusivity of your firm. One way to do this is by focusing on
a service you provide that is not widely available. Big primes
The Elements Needed to Find
usually have a small business development office that can help the Engineer Negligent
direct you to the proper business unit that can use your specific
All of these must be present and found by the Trier of Fact
capabilities. Register in the prime’s database even if a working
(judge or jury) for an engineer to be found guilty of negligence.

CASE is a part of the American Council of Engineering Companies

relationship already exists. Be sure the information is mean-
• A duty owed by the design professional to the claimant
ingful rather than cutting and pasting a statement of work. If
• A breach of that duty
contacted, show up with your key people including leadership
• Actual damage
and technical.
• Proof that substandard performance was the actual cause
of the damage
Green Insurance Negligence is also referred to as “not fulfilling responsibilities
In light of some unique exposures related to green building proj- up to the standard set by peers”.
ects, design professionals should review their insurance coverage
with insurance advisors knowledgeable with green building
and sustainability liability issues. Generally, no additional or
Designing Earthquake-proof Buildings
“green” insurance is necessary for design professionals but be After every earthquake, structural engineers learn more and more
aware of warranties and contractual obligations that are made. about how to design safer and higher performing buildings.
Typical coverage extends to negligence but not to contractual Each earthquake reveals new weaknesses. However, there is a
liabilities. (From the Ames & Gough newsletter.) perception that structural engineers design “earthquake-proof ”
buildings. A typical building is built to comply with current
building codes designed to provide life safety to occupants. In
In Competition with Big Name Firms many cases, buildings will suffer extensive damage but as long
Big name firms are going after every project. Small firms are as everyone was able to get out, the goal of the code has been
losing small projects to big firms. What can you do? Get some met. Engineers should ask themselves if this is enough, or should
feedback from clients to try to pinpoint exactly why you didn’t more be invested to achieve better earthquake performance?
get the job. Pay close attention to “relevant experience” section Performance-based structural engineering allows engineers to
of the proposal. You may possibly need an independent review work with their clients to exceed code-level performance. This
of your proposals. Take an extra step to explain to the client technique has already been successfully implemented. (Taken
why size does not matter that much on the project. You can with permission from the Degenkolb newsletter Perspectives.)

Donate To The Case Scholarship Fund!

The ACEC Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE) In addition, the CASE scholarship offers an excellent oppor-
is currently seeking contributions to help make the structural tunity for your firm to recommend eligible candidates for our
engineering scholarship program a success. The CASE scholar- scholarship. If your firm already has a scholarship program,
ship, administered by the ACEC College of Fellows, is awarded remember that potential candidates can also apply for the CASE
to a student seeking a Bachelor’s degree, at minimum, in an Scholarship or any other ACEC scholarship currently available.
ABET-accredited engineering program. Your monetary support is vital in helping CASE and ACEC
We have all witnessed the stiff competition from other disciplines increase scholarships to those students who are the future of
and professions eager to obtain the best and brightest young talent our industry. All donations toward the program may be eligible
from a dwindling pool of engineering graduates. One way to for tax deduction and you don’t have to be an ACEC member
enhance the ability of students in pursuing their dreams to become to donate! Contact Heather Talbert at
professional engineers is to offer incentives in educational support. to donate.

STRUCTURE magazine 41 October 2011

Structural Forum opinions on topics of current importance to structural engineers

For the Love of the Profession

Part 3: We Want More!
By Robert H. Lyon, P.E.

Structural engineers consistently rank high in levels of job satisfaction and public respect. Through professional development, diverse work assign-
the experiences and testimonies of practicing engineers, both past and present, this series of articles ments and possibly even job changes. We need
celebrates the joys and satisfactions of our profession. From this collection of personal accounts, to be protective of our work-life balance.
sources of career satisfaction are identified and examined. Obstacles are also identified which can Perseverance for the race. Satisfactions should
impede our level of job satisfaction. These observations are used to formulate keys for improving, not be tied to the moment. We must cul-
advancing and uplifting the structural engineering position and its personal rewards. Whether an tivate an attitude of enjoying the journey.
idealistic young professional or an experienced engineer in need of a career re-charge, reclaim the Amidst the challenges and frustrations, we
pleasures that make structural engineering a great profession! can always look for opportunities to con-

tribute positively to the work environment,
n previous articles, we considered the high. The efforts and creativity of a flourishing, to both the project and the people around
high level of job satisfaction experienced healthy professional group will almost always us. Our legacy will be based more on our
by structural engineers, and identified meet realistic administrative goals. The temp- relationships with our fellow professionals
some common sources. There is the tation to wring additional productivity out than on our technical product.
intellectual fulfillment that comes from “fig- of hard-working professionals for the sake of Look ahead, not behind. Dissatisfaction often
uring things out”. There is the pleasure of incremental profit gains is known to be a very comes as a result of past experiences that we
seeing our work product become reality and short-sighted strategy. Conversely, there is no allow to influence our present attitudes.
impacting society in positive ways. The grati- greater credit to a company than an energized, There are new opportunities and fresh chal-
fication derived from successfully devising satisfied workforce. lenges daily. Taking the broader perspective
solutions to complex problems, or creatively Now to the rest of us. The greatest responsi- and striving to be constructive in moving
applying fundamental principles in new ways, bility for increased job satisfaction lies within the project, the firm and our own careers
and the professional camaraderie of working ourselves. forward will increase satisfaction.
with men and women of integrity all serve as Structural engineering is a vast field. We do Discern frustrations and opportunities. View
a foundation for our “love of the profession”. not all have the same aspirations. Each of us the frustrations (technical, managerial and
But despite these many positives, the vast needs to know ourselves, what makes us tick inter-personal) as part of the problem-solving
majority of us face difficulties in our work and what gives us enjoyment in our work. challenge. Engage yourself for the purpose of
environments that rob us of our content- For some it will be the entrepreneurial spirit, overcoming these obstacles, in whatever form
ment and prevent our career satisfaction from for others the continuing joy of design, and they present themselves. Shifting the focus
being even greater. An informal survey of for still others the service that our product away from satisfaction as a result of outward
peers combined with personal experience sug- renders. circumstances to an inner satisfaction from
gests that we structural engineers also share We must be willing to take risks and experi- effectively dealing with the reality of problems
some common frustrations. ence all that the profession has to offer. Quite can do wonders for our attitude.
• Unrealistic schedule and often, this does not even require a change of As we look to the future of our own careers
budget pressures positions or firms. We need to be flexible, and profession, we can be sure of one thing: It
• Pouring ourselves into projects that imaginative, and willing to consider alterna- will be bright! Sir William Halcrow’s address
never come to fruition tive routes to professional satisfaction. We to the Institution of Civil Engineers rings as
• Little diversity in job assignments need to choose our own path and not let true today as it did in the last century. “The
• Too much managing, someone else choose it for us! There are lots well being of the world largely depends upon the
not enough engineering of directions to go. It is not uncommon for work of the engineer. There is a great future and
• Office politics even mid-career professionals to be looking unlimited scope for the profession; new works
• Lack of responsibility for their niche within the profession. But of all kinds are and will be required in every
• Excessive corporate reliance on none of us should settle for unfulfilling jobs. country, and for a young man of imagination
the profit motive Life is meant to be creative and stimulating. and keenness I cannot conceive a more attrac-
You might argue that these are realities that If that is not what we are experiencing, then tive profession.”
permeate the human workplace in general. we are in the wrong place. We need to love what we do!▪
Maybe so! But are we merely to accept them? After thirty-two years in structural engineer-
Or are there attitudes and strategies that can ing practice, I have come up with at least four
Robert H. Lyon, P.E. (,
mitigate these obstacles? keys for increasing levels of job satisfaction:
is a lecturer in the Civil, Environmental
First, a word to those of you in management. Replenish yourself along the way. Staying
and Architectural Engineering Department
It is paramount that you be aware of these invigorated and imaginative does not happen
at the University of Kansas and a structural
hindrances and that you are determined to passively. We must take the initiative and take
engineer at HNTB in Kansas City, Missouri.
create a work environment where morale is advantage of opportunities for cross-training,

STRUCTURE magazine 42 October 2011

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