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November 2015

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This month’s newsletter includes information about:

    • National Steel Bridge Alliance to Hold Webinar on Metalizing.
    • 2016 NSBA Prize Bridge Competition Submission Deadline is December 14.
    • The House of Representatives Votes to Approve Long Term Federal Funding for Federal Highway and Public Transportation Programs.
    • This Month's MSC - Kansas Crossover.
    • Tappan Zee Bridge Approach Spans Slowly Taking Shape.
    • Mark your Calendar for these Upcoming Events.

National Steel Bridge Alliance to Hold Webinar on Metalizing

On December 16, 2015, the National Steel Bridge Alliance will hold a 1 hour lunch time webinar focusing on the use of metalizing in steel bridge applications. Metalizing is rapidly joining the list of mainstream corrosion protection systems for bridge structures. While metalizing has been around for almost 100 years, until now the process has been used sparingly in the bridge community. In response to recent increased usage, the National Steel Bridge Alliance is holding this webinar to address the most common questions fielded by experts. From the basics (such as what is a thermal spray coating) to FHWA guidelines and recommendations, this presentation takes the listener from A to Zinc.

The webinar will follow standard AISC pricing and attendees will receive 1 PDH credit. To register please click on this link.


2016 NSBA Prize Bridge Competition is now Accepting Submissions

The Prize Bridge Competition, a prestigious industry awards program organized by the National Steel Bridge Alliance, honors significant and innovative steel bridges constructed in the United States. All award-winning bridges must be built of fabricated structural steel and located in the United States (defined as the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories.) Eligible bridges must have been completed and opened to traffic between May 1, 2013 and September 30, 2015.

An independent panel of judges will select winners based upon the following criteria: innovation, aesthetics, value, design and engineering solutions. Quality of submitted presentations, though not a criterion, is important. Entries may be judged in more than one category, but an entry can only receive one award.

Winners will be notified shortly after judging and we will make a public announcement of the winners in Modern Steel Construction magazine. Designers of the winning Prize Bridge entries will be presented with plaques and honored during the World Steel Bridge Symposium. Owners of the winning Prize Bridge entries will be presented with plaques and honored at an NSBA networking function banquet during the 2016 AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures.

Award Categories 
Major span - one or more spans equal to or greater than 400 ft. 
Long span - Longest span equal to or greater than 250 ft. but less than 400 ft. 
Medium span - Longest span equal to or greater than 140 ft. but less than 250 ft. 
Short span - Longest span less than 140 ft. 
Movable span 
Reconstructed - Having undergone major reconstruction, rehabilitation, or widening 
Special purpose - Bridge not identifiable in one of the above categories including pedestrian, pipeline, airplane, etc. 

In addition to the above categories; NSBA will also offer special commendation to projects that best exemplify Accelerated Bridge Construction, and a full range of Sustainable attributes.

All entries are due by 11:59 pm, December 14, 2015.

To enter visit www.steelbridges.org/2016prizebridge.

2016 Prize Bridge Banner


The House of Representatives Votes to Approve Long Term Federal Funding for Federal Highway and Public Transportation Programs.

The House of Representatives Nov. 5 voted 363 to 64 to approve legislation that would reauthorize the federal highway and public transportation programs through FY 2021. Support for the measure was overwhelming and bipartisan with opposition coming largely from the extreme conservative wing of the House Republican caucus. Perhaps most importantly, the House included a Highway Trust Fund (HTF)-related amendment that has the potential to change the dynamics of the reauthorization process as it moves forward.

The package approved by the House was a combination of the surface transportation reauthorization and policy reform bill approved by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in October and the three-year HTF revenue plan approved by the Senate in July. The intent of this commingling was to produce legislation that—like its Senate counterpart—would authorize highway and transit investment levels for six years, but only generate enough new HTF resources to fund the first three years of those authorizations. While the House bill provides essentially status quo investment levels adjusted annually for inflation, the Senate bill would lead to modest program growth beyond the maintenance of purchasing power.

However, shortly before approving the legislation, the House adopted 354-72 an amendment by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) that struck two of the Senate revenue generating provisions that accounted for roughly $19 billion—or more than half—of the new HTF revenue supplied under the Senate proposal. In their place, the amendment would generate $59 billion by requiring the liquidation of the Federal Reserve’s surplus capital account and deposits those funds into the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

As a result of the Neugebauer Amendment, the House legislation would produce $40 billion more in new revenue than the Senate-passed highway/transit bill. This net amount is projected to be sufficient to support either the full six-years of surface transportation funding under the House proposal or a shorter duration bill at investment levels exceeding those approved by the Senate. Before debate between those two approaches begins—and we highly expect it will—the surplus $40 billion from the Neugebauer Amendment must be locked down for dedication to the HTF.

Shortly after final passage, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee named its negotiators to reconcile its proposal with the Senate. They include:

Republicans: Bill Shuster, Pa.; Jimmy Duncan, Tenn.; Sam Graves, Mo.; Rick Crawford, Ark.; Lou Barletta, Pa.; Blake Farenthold, Texas, Jeff Denham, Calif., Reid Ribble, Wis.; Scott Perry, Pa.; Rob Woodall, Ga.; John Katko, N.Y.; Bob Gibbs, Ohio, Brian Babin, Texas; Cresent Hardy, Nev.; and Garret Graves, La.

Democrats: Peter DeFazio, Ore.; Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.; Jerrold Nadler, N.Y.; Corrine Brown, Fla.; Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas; Elijah Cummings, Md.; Rick Larsen, Wash.; Michael Capuano, Mass.; Grace Napolitano, Calif.; Daniel Lipinski, Ill.; Steve Cohen, Tenn.; and Albio Sires, N.J.

Other participants in those discussions from the relevant House and Senate committees should be named in the coming days. Then, an already unpredictable reauthorization process will begin a whole new chapter. Stay tuned!

This article originally appeared in the ARTBA Newsline Weekly Newsletter


This Month’s MSC – Kansas Crossover

JUST WEST OF TOPEKA, KAN., where Highway K-4 crosses Blacksmith Creek, sat a deteriorating corrugated metal arch culvert that was badly in need of replacement.

One side of the arch was deflecting inward and maintenance crews reinforced it with railroad ties as a temporary measure, The Kansas Department of Transportation finds a new solution for stream crossings. but the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) recognized that the span would eventually need to be replaced.

On the surface, this project seemed fairly simple; it’s a relatively short bridge over a creek. However, the site was not without its challenges. The old, arched culvert had a maximum height of 12 ft in the center and a maximum width of 30 ft at the bottom. The road above was 19 ft to 20 ft higher than the bottom of the streambed and sloped at roughly a 6% grade. Also, the stream cuts the road at a 45° angle, which meant a replacement structure would require a similar skew.

To hear about the bridge options and solution continue reading here.

4-8-15 K-4 over Blacksmith Cr 030_300dpi.jpg

Photo: Completed construction of 112 ft weathering steel plate girder bridge.


Tappan Zee Bridge Approach Spans Slowly Taking Shape 

In Tarrytown, the girders that will rest high above Metro-North Railroad's tracks have already begun to be assembled and will be installed before the end of the year. Early next month, Tappan Zee Constructors expects to place the steel behemoths over River Road in South Nyack.

More than 30 miles of the massive girders, which rest on top of concrete columns, will support the road deck of the new $4 billion bridge.

The first span is expected to open in 15 months.

The girders are being assembled in sections — 134 in all — with the largest units weighing in at 1,100 tons and measuring 410 feet.

To date, 26 girder sections have been placed for the Rockland approach span by the I Lift NY supercrane in the deep waters of the Hudson River — an average of two per week, according to project officials. Additionally, cranes on the Rockland construction platform, which extends out into the river, have lifted 21 smaller girders into position. Ironworkers bolt them together with cross beams.

To read about the breakdown of current construction click here.

Mark your Calendars!

Did you miss us at the Ohio Transportation Engineering Conference?  Come visit us at these upcoming events.