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December 2014

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This month’s newsletter includes information about:

    • AASHTO/NSBA release revised Steel Erection Guide Specification.
    • Falling apart:  America's neglected infrastructure.  60 Minutes tackles the Infrastructure Problems.
    • FHWA TechBrief on Slip and Creep of Thermal Spray Coatings.
    • Stan Span in St. Louis made possible by Buy America.
    • SMDI appoints Mark Thimons to head up Steel Recycling Institute.
    • AISC Free Webinar:  The Ups and Downs of Suspension Bridges.
    • Mark your Calendar for these Upcoming Events.


AASHTO/NSBA release revised Steel Erection Guide Specifcation

The latest revision of the Steel Bridge Erection Guide Specification, S10.1 is now available following final approval by AASHTO. The document has been revised based upon input from the bridge design and construction communities. The majority of revisions occur in Section 2, which was expanded from four to five subsections and retitled “Erection Engineering.” These updates further refine the processes that should be in place prior to field erection to better ensure safety, reliability, and economy.

The work was developed by the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration Task Group 10, comprised of contributing members from the design consulting, DOT, and fabrication communities. With a combined over 300 years of experience in the design, fabrication, and erection of steel bridges, the subcommittees have made it their goal to bridge the gap between what is being designed and what can be constructed. S10.1’s revisions continue the Collaboration’s mission of distributing standardized best practices between owners, designers, and contractors.

The revised document is available for download through the NSBA website under the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration page as well as the AASHTO website.

Falling apart:  America's neglected infrastructure.  60 Minutes Tackles the Infrastructure Problems.

"Tens of millions of American cross over bridges every day without giving it much thought, unless they hit a pothole. But the infrastructure problem goes much deeper than pavement. It goes to crumbling concrete and corroded steel and the fact that nearly 70,000 bridges in America -- one out of every nine -- is now considered to be structurally deficient."

The preceding is an excerpt from the November 23 "60 Minutes" in which correspondent Steve Kroft takes an in depth look at the issues with America’s infrastructure, especially those related to bridges. Kroft’s piece looks at the problem from a multitude of angles, including those that relate to economics, America’s competitiveness in the world, and life safety. The report suggests the current path we are on is unsustainable, as evidenced by the highway trust fund insolvency and asks the question if Congress is willing to do anything about it.

NSBA strongly recommends watching this highly informative episode. Click here to watch now.

60 Minutes Crumbling Infrastructure

Helicopter shot of crumbling bridge from "60 Minutes" piece on America’s Infrastructure.


FHWA TechBrief on Slip and Creep of Sealed and Unsealed Metalized Coatings

 FHWA Slip and Creep

All steel bridge systems and their components need some level of corrosion protection to assure a serviceable life. One of two approaches is typically used: either the bridge component is fabricated from a corrosion-resistant alloy, or the steel is coated for protection. The most common coating practice is use of a multilayered paint system over a zinc-rich primer. Another alternative for corrosion protection being more commonly used today is thermal spray coating (TSC), commonly referred to as metalizing.

Application of TSCs is analogous to painting, but the spray is droplets of molten metal. At the application gun, wire stock is melted with either a flame or an electric arc, and compressed air sheds the molten pool into a spray of droplets. The droplets are propelled toward the surface, where the molten droplets land on the surface and solidify, leaving a porous layer of zinc that is only adhered to the steel substrate. For this reason, it is critical that TSCs are applied over a blast-cleaned surface with an angular anchor profile so the droplets can interlock with the roughened steel surface. Because the droplets also randomly form over each other, TSCs are inherently porous, and current practice recommends using topcoat sealant to fill the voids and prevent moisture infiltration.

The TechBrief, available through the FHWA website or by clicking here, introduces limited data on the slip coefficients developed by both sealed and unsealed TSCs.


Stan Span in St. Louis made possible by Buy America

“Stan the Man” would have been proud.

Stan Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball icon known throughout America for his hitting prowess during the 1940s and ‘50s, is remembered for his great humility. So he likely couldn’t have imagined that only seven months after his death in 2013 a major Mississippi River bridge crossing would be named after him.

Originally referred to as “The Mississippi River Bridge Crossing,” the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge was made possible by the provisions of the Federal Highway Administration’s Buy America Act, which requires infrastructure projects to contain 100 percent American-made steel or iron to receive federal funding.

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge — now known as the “Stan Span” in the St. Louis area — proved to be a major success. Completed two months ahead of schedule in February 2014 and approximately $23 million under budget, the bridge created well-paying jobs for more than 3,400 American workers during varying phases of construction by following Buy America provisions.

It’s a model for how major infrastructure projects can (and should) be built in the United States.

To continue reading the article from the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) click here 

Stan Span 

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge pictured at night. | MoDOT via Flickr


SMDI appoints Mark Thimons to head up Steel Recycling Institute

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 23, 2014 - The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), announces that Mark A. Thimons will succeed Gregory Crawford as Vice President of the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI). Mr. Crawford announced his upcoming retirement earlier this year. Mr. Thimons joined SMDI in November, 2010 as director of construction sustainability and has over 25 years of experience in steel construction products and steel product sustainability.

“Under Greg’s leadership, the Steel Recycling Institute has driven increases in steel recycling rates while positioning the organization to take a lead role in steel sustainability in North America. Mark’s particular expertise will ensure a smooth transition and enable the organization to focus on steel’s superior environmental performance versus competing materials,” said Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of the Steel Market Development Institute. “Our industry owes Greg a large debt of gratitude for his service, and we wish him and his family well.”

As part of this transition, SRI will focus its efforts in two core areas —recycling programs and life cycle research. The recycling focus will include national and regional recycling initiatives, outreach and growth, while SRI’s life cycle research will include life cycle assessment (LCA) studies, as well as other sustainability-related initiatives relevant to the North American steel industry.

“Applying life cycle science and similar tools in all steel markets is a task we will take on with urgency,” said Thimons. “We are committed to credibly documenting steel’s environmental advantages versus competing materials in all markets and applications.”

 SMDI Logo


 Free AISC Webinar:  The Ups and Downs of Suspension Bridges

 Dr. Harry H West
A new free 1.5-hour webinar from AISC traces the developmental history of suspension bridges. Harry H. West, Ph.D., P.E., a professor emeritus at Penn State, focuses on the early design of suspension bridges, which employed engineering principles that, at the time, were not fully tested or completely understood. This webinar will explore the incredible accomplishments as well as catastrophic disappointments resulting from implementation of these early engineering principles. A full accounting of the chronology of the longest suspension bridges in the world is cataloged from the early nineteenth century to current times, and the plans for new and longer spans are discussed in this presentation.



Registrants will receive:

  •  CEU/PDH certificate upon completion of the webinar.
  • Complete instructions for accessing the webinar.

Click here for registration information.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Time: 1.5 hour duration
10:30 AM Pacific
11:30 AM Mountain
12:30 PM Central
1:30 PM Eastern


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