These issues will be discussed and examined during the 14th Annual International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh June 2Ð4. The event, staged at the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel and hosted by the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, expects to draw in excess of 1,000 bridge engineers from around the world. Attendees will have the opportunity to view bridge-building and maintenance technology and services on display in the conference's exhibit area. This year, conference exhibitors, including ROADS & BRIDGES, will occupy 250 booths.
Underscoring the importance of industry efforts this year to secure needed federal funding for bridge research, maintenance, repair and building is the appearance of Peter Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), at the keynote session on June 2. ARTBA is one of the founding industry associations behind the creation of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), a collection of organizations formed to pursue an aggressive highway construction industry agenda during this year's budget and ISTEA reauthorization battles. Joining Ruane on the keynote agenda will be John H. Haley Jr., acting commissioner of the New Jersey DOT, Eugene C. Figg Jr., P.E., of Figg Engineering Group, and Frederick Gottemoeller, P.E., R.A., of Gottemoeller & Associates.
"We've asked the keynote speakers to inform attendees on where the funding situation stands in relation to technology advancement and maintenance and construction dollars," said Charles Schubert, IBC general chairman and project manager with Michael Baker Jr., Inc. The theme of this year's conference is Innovations in Bridge Design and Construction. "Innovation leads to increased efficiency and better use of bridge funding," Schubert said.
Each year, the IBC selects a state to profile bridge work conducted within its borders. This year's featured state is New Jersey. The theme of the session is Traffic and Historical Considerations in the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Existing Structures. Subjects to be discussed during the session include the Garden State's experience in bridge widening, reconstruction, rehabilitation, historic bridge preservation, timber railing crash test research, fatigue design of sign structure supports and value engineering.
Additional conference sessions will focus on design, long span bridges, segmental and seismic design, rehabilitation and strengthening, construction, innovation and testing, foundations and coatings and materials.
Two seminars will highlight new material technologies being implemented in the field. The latest advances in high-performance concrete (HPC) will be presented in a condensed version of a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) three-day showcase. The seminar will cover the following topics: a definition of HPC, international developments, structural design and optimization, and HPC properties. Examples from selected states also will be given.
Complementing the HPC seminar is a seminar on high-performance steel, which either has been used or is being proposed to be used in Tennessee, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Cooperative efforts between the Navy and the FHWA are resulting in rapidly accelerated advances in material performance and a push to move quickly from research to application.
A tradition of the conference is the presentation of the International Bridge Conference Bridge Awards co-sponsored by the Engineers' Society and ROADS & BRIDGES. For the 11th consecutive year the Richardson and Roebling medals will be presented during a luncheon to those in the bridge industry most deserving of recognition and praise. The George S. Richardson Medal is awarded for a single, recent outstanding achievement and the Roebling Medal is presented for lifetime achievement in bridge engineering.
For more information on the 14th Annual International Bridge Conference, contact the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, 337 Fourth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or call (412) 261-0710, fax (412) 261-1606.