As geotechnical/foundation engineers, we don’t usually get to see much of what happens on a project after the foundations are completed, especially a project like a large bridge that can take years to complete. Technology such as the Internet, webcams, and digital photography have made it easy for us to see how things are progressing on projects, as well as maybe get images of the completed structure. As I have noted before, some projects are using Twitter and Facebook to keep the public informed on closures, delays or overall project progress as part of good public relations. Her are some updates on a few of our recent projects.
With all of us visiting construction projects across the country, occasionally we take a photo that appears to be somewhat “artistic” – maybe the lighting (or lack of), or the aspect. I have assembled a few such photos submitted by DBA engineers in the first installment of the DBA Artistic Construction Photo Contest. Included in this installment are such items as: “Daybreak on Night Shift at JJA” and “Fountain” by S. Dapp, the series “Evolution” by P. Axtell, “GI Rig at Sunset” by T. Siegel, and “Piles in the Mist” by R. Thompson. This first volume has more photos of mine than others, but we’ll work on better balance in future volumes.
Feel free to “vote” for your favorite in the comments. I’ll try to update periodically as we have more “worthy” photos!
The Spring 2010 issue of Deep Foundations from the Deep Foundations Institute includes an article by Dan and Paul (with a little help from yours truly!). The article is based on our paper presented by Dan at the 34th DFI Conference on Deep Foundations last October in Kansas City.
The kcICON project continues to roll along. Check out their Facebook page where they have lots of photos and links to their YouTube page. They recently completed the widest bridge deck pour ever for MoDOT.
It has been a little while since we last visited the John James Audubon Bridge site in New roads, Louisiana. My how things have changed! I just have a couple of pictures of the piers from January – it is really looking like a bridge now! For frequent updates, check out the webcam and the photo albums on the project web page. The web cams have a really cool time lapse button that shows you a time lapse loop of the pier from the beginning of construction.
UPDATE (2/28/10) – I added 3 new photos to the slide show that were taken this last week. At that time the piers were at lift 21 and were about elevation +335 feet (the top of the sheet piles at the foundation level are about elevation +50 feet).
DBA is on the successful team that was awarded the contract for the new Mississippi River Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri. The project is a joint project of MoDOT/IDOT with MoDOT being the lead agency. HNTB is the lead bridge designer for the new cable-stayed bridge carrying I-70 over the river. The bridge is one part of a larger project that also includes the Missouri North I-70 Interchange, the Illinois I-70 Connection, and the Illinois Tri-level Exchange.
The $640 million Mississippi River Bridge project is proceeding through design, with construction scheduled to start in early 2010. The new Mississippi River Bridge is the first bridge built connecting downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois in more than 40 years. Currently, the only urban interstate bridge between Illinois and Missouri is the Poplar Street Bridge, known locally as the PSB. The PSB is one of two bridges in the United States that carry three interstates. By relocating one interstate (I-70) from the Poplar Street Bridge to the new Mississippi River Bridge, drivers will experience less congestion, fewer crashes and less unnecessary fuel use.
The new Mississippi River Bridge will be a 1,500 foot cable-stayed bridge across the Mississippi River between Metro East and St. Louis, Missouri. The bridge is two lanes in each direction, but is wide enough to be restriped for three lanes in each direction if traffic volumes warrant and additional funding is secured. In addition, the bridge project includes approaches on the Illinois and Missouri sides to get traffic to the bridge.
The wining contractor team is Massman/Traylor Brothers/Alberici Constructors. DBA’s role was to help prepare an alternate concept for the drilled shaft foundation design which will include load test measurements. We anticipate construction to begin in March with load test shaft.
An overview of the bridge is here. The press release for the award of the main bridge is here.
The kcICON project in Kansas City, Missouri is using Facebook and YouTube as a public relations tool. They have recently posted new videos and pictures. The latest video is of demolition of one of the existing approach structures. It is all done for public relations, so the photos and videos are oriented for the general public, showing how the project is moving along, how their tax dollars are being spent, and providing information on lane closures, etc.
The kcICON Facebook page is here. The project website with more photos and a web cam is here. You can also follow the project on Twitter here.
I expect we’ll see more use of Facebook, Twitter, etc. on projects in the future. It appears to be effective, at least for the techno-savy crowd!
I have updated our calendar for 2010 to include many events in the geotechnical and foundation engineering world that may be of interest, plus known speaking/teaching appearances by Dan. I’ll put in a plug for the events calendars and listings for ADSC, DFI, Geo-Institute, and PDCA. I get most of my information from them.