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New Bridge Documentary Offers An Intriguing View of American Engineering and Celebrity

The world premier of a new documentary on one of America’s greatest bridge designers will be held during this year’s World Steel Bridge Symposium (April 13-15 in conjunction with the 2016 NASCC: The Steel Conference) in Orlando.

“Bridging Urban America” tells the story of Ralph Modjeski, the designer of some of the 20th century's most significant bridges, including the Ben Franklin in Philadelphia, the Bay Bridge in San Francisco/Oakland, the Huey P. Long in New Orleans, and the Quebec Bridge in Canada. The film offers not just awe-inspiring views of these magnificent structures but also tells the story about Modjeski’s role as an engineer, entrepreneur, artist and innovator. It’s an epic about the power to build, the ability to influence, and the progress of a nation. And it tells the story about important steel bridges that are still in service today--and will remain critical parts of North America’s infrastructure for many years to come.

“The film showcases the melding of artistry and practicality, which defined Modjeski's approach to bridge design. For those interested in urban history, bridge engineering, celebrity and entrepreneurship of the early 20th century, this documentary will be a magnificent cinematic experience,” explains documentarians Basia and Leonard Myszynksi of sOlar eye communications. (For more information on the film and to view a trailer, visit http://bridginguamericafilm.com/.)

Added Henry Petroski, a professor at Duke University and the author of Engineers of Dreams: “This outstanding film about a visionary engineer and America’s bridges could not have come at a better time, showing as it does the importance of infrastructure to a nation’s economy, culture, and sense of self-worth.”

Highlights of the film will be featured during the opening keynote of the World Steel Bridge Symposium at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13. The entire film will then be shown beginning at 7:45 p.m. that evening. Entry to the screening is free to all of the 4,000 expected conference attendees; others interested in attending should email Sadie Brown at brown@aisc.org.

NASCC: The Steel Conference and the World Steel Bridge Symposium offer more than 150 technical sessions of steel bridge and building design and construction and around 200 exhibitors showcasing the latest software and tools. For more information or to register for The Steel Conference, please visit www.aisc.org/nascc.


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