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February 2012

ABCs of Accelerated Bridge Construction

Aimed at improving safety and reducing traffic disruption and congestion, accelerated bridge construction uses innovative design and construction methods to reduce on-site construction time when building new bridges or replacing and rehabilitating existing bridges. In a recent article published in “Roads & Bridges” magazine, a method of constructing bridge bents that makes use of precast concrete components is examined.

Stone Column Ground Improvements

Cross-section view of former Blair wharf and WUT wharf showing slope cutback and stone column seismic improvements.

Stone column ground improvements have become common practice for waterfront structures to provide greater stability for the slopes beneath the wharf or pier structure. For the Port of Tacoma, Washington United Terminals wharf extension project, ground improvements consisting of stone columns on the waterside and landside of the bulkhead extension were installed to stabilize the slope and reduce seismic displacement demands. The stone column installation provides a mechanism for groundwater pore pressures to be relieved and densifies the ground locally.

Double-Diamond Design Delivers

The 480-foot-long bridge was built using an offset lid design and diagonal placement.

Awarded a Silver Engineering Excellence Award for Original or Innovative Application of Engineering and New Technologies by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Washington, the City of Redmond, Northeast 36th Street/State Route 520 (SR 520) Overcrossing and Roundabout project features a new 480-foot-long bridge built using a unique and innovative offset lid design and diagonal placement.

Surveying: from the Past into the Future

A total station is an electronic/optical instrument used in modern surveying.

Long before he delivered the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln had a brief career in surveying. He set out with a compass, stake ax, marking pins, and a Gunter’s chain to tackle government and private survey projects. Naturally, when he was employed in this centuries-old profession, the world was very different from today. While the lay of the land has changed over time, the basic principles of surveying have essentially remained the same. When Abraham Lincoln worked as a surveyor, he measured the form, boundaries, and position between two points of land, just as a surveyor would do today in the twenty-first century. Surveying tools, however, have changed drastically; and the emergence of technology and its rapid progression has transformed the way we survey the land.