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Steel Shots: Prize-Winning Bridges
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 18, 2014 at 8:28 AM

The Shenandoah River Bridge Delta Frame in Jefferson County, W.Va., is a Prize Bridge Major Span award winner in NSBA’s 2014 Prize Bridge awards program. To accommodate increasing travel demands, the West Virginia Division of Highways initiated a project to improve West Virginia 9, including a new bridge across the Shenandoah River. The design team developed a steel delta frame design that delivered significant savings compared to proposals for more traditional designs. The resulting signature shape of the Shenandoah River Bridge is as pleasing to the bottom line as it is to the eye. Photo: Keith Philpott


Every other year, NSBA’s Prize Bridge Awards recognize the most innovative and significant steel bridges constructed in the U.S. and is the highest honor bestowed on steel bridge projects by the U.S. structural steel industry.


This year’s 13 Prize Bridge winners were announced at the combined 2014 World Steel Bridge Symposium and NASCC: The Steel Conference last month in Toronto. The awards were presented to winners in a variety of categories covering an array of project types including: Major Span; Long Span; Medium Span; Short Span; Moveable Span; Reconstructed; and Special Purpose. Recognition was also given to projects that best exemplified Accelerated Bridge Construction and Sustainability.


Winning projects were selected based on innovation, aesthetics, and design and engineering solutions by a jury of engineering and construction professionals.


You can view this year’s winners in NSBA’s press release, and all of them will be featured in the June issue of Modern Steel, with detailed project descriptions and photographs of each.


To learn more about the Prize Bridge Awards, visit

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First World Steel Safety Day Set for April 28
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 16, 2014 at 4:20 PM

The World Steel Association (often abbreviated as worldsteel) is set to hold its inaugural Steel Safety Day on Monday, April 28, which coincides with World Day for Safety and Health at Work, held by the International Labour Organisation.


The aim of Steel Safety Day is to raise awareness on the main causes of accidents in the steel industry and increase safety in the workplace. Worldsteel has requested all participating organizations to carry out a two-week audit from April 14-28, focused on identifying the hazards for the main causes of safety incidents within the steel industry and setting up an action plan to manage the hazards and risks for each site.


worldsteelsafetyday.jpgWorldsteel has identified the five most common causes of safety incidents and preventative measures as:


  • Moving machinery – before any machinery is cleaned, serviced or adjusted all sources of energy including gravity must be isolated, locked, or pinned to prevent movement.

  • Falling from heights – training should be provided on how to use protective equipment and work safely at heights.

  • Falling objects – measures must be taken to prevent objects from falling and all people should be evacuated from areas where this remains a possibility.

  • Asphyxiation or gassing – people should be trained to ensure they can test for and eliminate dangerous gasses in confined spaces.

  • Cranes – daily checks must be carried out on cranes before use to maintain reliable operation.


“The steel industry is a highly automated industry and most manual handling, heavy lifting and many operational activities have been automated,” commented Edwin Basson, director general of worldsteel. “This has removed staff’s exposure to many hazards and reduced safety risks in the working environment. However, safety incidents still happen in the industry today and it is our responsibility to make sure that all applicable measures have been put in place to manage the hazards. We believe all injuries and work-related illness can and must be prevented.”


You can find safety information and resources specific to the U.S. structural steel industry on AISC’s website at

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Advance Steel 2015 Now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

autodesk-advance-steel-2015.jpgAutodesk has released its new Advance Steel 2015 software for steel detailing.


This latest version of Advance Steel provides structural steel detailers, fabricators, engineers and contractors with 3D modeling tools, built on the familiar AutoCAD platform, to help accelerate more accurate detailing of structural elements, steel connections and plates. It is also designed to reduce time to fabrication by automatically generating shop and general arrangement drawings, creating bills of materials and producing CNC files directly from designs.


With interoperability between Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and other BIM software, Advance Steel also provides a way to connect BIM-based design and construction through fabrication.


Advance Steel 2015 was unveiled at last month’s NASCC: The Steel Conference in Toronto and is the first branded product to come out of Autodesk’s acquisition of key technologies from Graitec.


For additional information on Advance Steel, visit

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Biggest-Ever Bridge Slide
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM

milton-madison-bridge-slide.jpgThe largest bridge slide ever was completed last week at site of the Milton-Madison Bridge over the Ohio River between Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind., when the new bridge made its 55-ft journey from temporary piers to permanent, refurbished piers. Spanning nearly a half mile, the truss of the Milton-Madison Bridge is now the longest bridge in North America to be slid laterally into place.


Click here to view a time-lapse video of slide.


The slide began on Wednesday morning but was halted in the late afternoon due to high winds over the Ohio River. Walsh Construction, who is building the bridge, brought in materials from the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project to help deal with windy conditions and assist in synchronizing the slide onto the five permanent piers, which allowed the slide to resume on Thursday morning at about 8 a.m.

“It’s great to see the bridge completed and sitting in its permanent location,” said Dav Kessinger, project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “This bridge will serve the area well for decades to come.”


“This is truly a historic accomplishment for everyone involved,” added Kevin Hetrick, project manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). “The people of Indiana and Kentucky should be proud to be a part of this amazing engineering feat.”


Polished steel sliding plates were secured on top of the refurbished piers. Steel cables and eight computer-controlled hydraulic jacks were used to pull the bridge through a series of grabs and pulls until the bridge was slid into place. The 30-million-lb new steel truss bridge is 2,428-ft long and 40-ft wide with two 12-ft lanes and 8-ft shoulders – twice as wide as the old bridge, which opened in 1929. A 5-ft-wide cantilevered sidewalk will be added to the structure in the coming months.


Now that the slide is complete, it will take approximately a week to complete inspections, road connections to the bridge and other work before the bridge is reopened to traffic.


The Milton-Madison Bridge Project – a joint effort between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – has received several state and national engineering awards for innovation. For more information, visit or follow the project on Twitter.


The article “Move That Bridge” in the February 2012 issue of MSC also describes the project in detail and explains how the decision to use the innovative sliding technique stemmed from the system’s success on the Capilano River Bridge project in Vancouver, Canada.

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Steel Shots: Innovation at its Finest
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM


The Newport Beach Civic Center and Park in Newport Beach, Calif., is a National award winner in AISC’s 2014 IDEAS2 awards program. Standard steel wide-flange shapes and hollow structural sections (HSS) were adapted to create an iconic, wave-shaped roof that covers the city hall portion of the building and provides ample outdoor shelter. Photo: David Wakely Photography

Every year, AISC’s IDEAS2 Awards recognize the most innovative new steel structures in the U.S. and the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

This year’s 12 IDEAS2 winners were announced at the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference last month in Toronto. Covering an array of project types, they demonstrate the flexible and effective solutions provided by structural steel on a wide variety of building projects.

A panel of design and construction industry professionals identified National and Merit winners in three categories, based on constructed value: less than $15 million, $15 million to $75 million and greater than $75 million. In addition, the panel awarded a Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering to one project for outstanding structural engineering achievement.

You can view this year’s winners in AISC’s press release, and all of them will be featured in the May issue of Modern Steel, with detailed project descriptions and photographs of each.

To learn more about the IDEAS2 awards program, visit

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