NSBA News Prize Bridge header

August 2015

Sign Up For the Newsletter

This month’s newsletter includes information about:

    • NSBA Continuous Span Standards are NOW Available for Free Download.
    • U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Data on Road and Bridge Conditions by State.
    • First Girders Raised on New Tappan Zee Bridge.
    • 2016 NSBA Prize Bridge Competition is now Accepting Submissions.
    • NSBA Introduces New Version of NSBA Steel Bridge Suite.
    • Mark your Calendar for these Upcoming Events.


NSBA Continuous Span Standards are NOW Available for Free Download

 The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) has released their Continuous Span Standards for steel plate girder bridges. The standards address three- span bridges with center spans between 150 feet and 300 feet and balanced end spans at 78% of main span length. All information is presented in easy-to-understand tables. Tabulated information includes: flange and web plate sizes, diaphragm spacing, intermediate stiffener locations, girder weights and total weights, shear stud spacing, and camber tables. Girder spacings range from 7.5 feet to 12 feet with homogenous and hybrid plate solutions available.

The standards remove the iterative work required to obtain an economical preliminary steel bridge solution during the TS&L phase of design. For a free copy of the standards, visit www.steelbridges.org/spanstandards

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Data on Road and Bridge Conditions by State

Over the last six years, Congress has passed 334 short-term measures, the most recent being a 3 month extension passed at the end of July, rather than funding transportation for the long term. And our transportation system -- roads and bridges, especially -- is in a dire state of disrepair because of it. Experts agree that the only way to prepare our transportation system for the next generation is to stop this cycle of short-term measures and pass a long-term transportation bill, says the DOT.

“The expected level of funding is a serious long-term problem,” commented Pat Loftus, chairman emeritus and legislative consultant for the National Steel Bridge Alliance. “The $50 billion per year funding level is inadequate to maintain the current infrastructure. If we want to both maintain and expand our nation’s transportation capabilities, a funding level of between $70 and $90 billion is required.”

States will increasingly turn to alternate funding strategies, including public-private partnerships (PPPs), an expansion of toll roads and private financing. Loftus says it is critical for the industry to be proactive in contacting elected government representatives and letting them know how important it is to enact a long-term infrastructure solution.

In this image from CBS’s "60 Minutes" report “Falling Apart: America’s Neglected Infrastructure,” which aired last November, a structure was built beneath this steel arch bridge in Pittsburgh to catch any falling debris from the concrete deck.

For more information, visit www.transportation.gov.

First Girders Raised on New Tappan Zee Bridge

By definition, a bridge does not become a bridge until it has a horizontal span that leaps over water or land. On Wednesday, after months in which dozens of verticals — piles, piers and columns — have gradually been poking out of the Hudson River, the replacement for the aging Tappan Zee received its first horizontal structure and finally became a bridge.

Under a radiant sky, one of the world’s largest floating cranes, which had been towed in from California through the Panama Canal, hoisted a 400-foot-long, 1,100-ton assemblage of three curved steel girders and placed it between two concrete piers that had been planted near the bridge’s Rockland County side. It was a painstaking process that one construction supervisor compared to watching grass grow.

Because the crane, known as the Left Coast Lifter, cannot swivel, the barge that supports it had to be turned around to allow the triple girder to close in on the piers. After three and a half hours of slowly moving in midair, a horizontal assembly was dropped in place with the aid of eight ironworkers, four crane operators and a global positioning system that assured the joining together was pinpoint accurate.

“That’s what makes it such an exciting day,” said Tom McGuiness, construction compliance manager for the New York State Thruway Authority, which is building the new bridge. “It’s the first time we’ve seen spanning between two piers. For people passing by, it’s the first time they’ll see what the new bridge will look like.”

To continue reading follow the link.

A crane on Wednesday hoisted three curved steel girders, the new Tappan Zee Bridge’s first horizontal structure.
Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times


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, economics, 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 greater than or equal to 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 - No single span greater 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, and airplane

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


NSBA Introduces New Version of NSBA Steel Bridge Suite

In keeping with the NSBA’s continued commitment to supporting the bridge design community, we are pleased to announce that on June 25, the National Steel Bridge Alliance officially released an update to NSBA Steel Bridge Suite. This new version includes updates to the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration Standards and enhancements to LRFD Simon.

AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration Standards
Updates to the Collaboration Standards are: 
    · S8.1 - Guide Specification for Application of Coating Systems with Zinc-Rich Primers to Steel Bridges. 
    · S10.1 - Steel Bridge Erection Guide Specification. 
    · G13.1 - Guidelines for Steel Girder Bridge Analysis.

LRFD Simon     
This new version of LRFD Simon includes the following key enhancements: 
    · 7th Edition AASHTO Specification Support. 
    · Internally Calculated Distribution Factors. 
    · Deck Pour Analysis. 
    · Web Depth Optimization. 
    · New User Documentation. 
    · An Assortment of Bug Fixes.
Please visit the NSBA Steel Bridge Suite Registration and Request page to register and download this new version.

About LRFD Simon
LRFD Simon is NSBA’s complimentary software for preliminary steel plate and box girder design. Simon has a long history of serving as a key tool in helping bridge engineers efficiently design and analyze steel bridges. Resources and tools like LRFD Simon are an integral part of assisting designers to more rapidly evaluate design alternatives and make more educated decisions that will hopefully result in more economical steel designs and an overall better end product for Owners.

LRFD Simon

Mark your Calendars!


Did you miss us at the International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.?  Come visit us at these upcoming events.

NSBA IBC photo.jpg

NSBA Booth at the International Bridge Conference (June 7 - 11) in Pittsburgh, PA.