ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/297006
F O C U S 8 | ASPIRE , Summer 2013 Ever since Alfred Benesch & Company opened its doors in 1946, the firm has looked to grow its structural and civil engineering services. Its first major expansion in the early 1950s added bridge design projects as well as construction management. That work has led the firm to design a wide spectrum of bridges, including railroad and pedestrian bridges, as well as those with spans ranging from stream crossings to high-profile arch bridges. It has now embarked on a planned program of growth that will expand its client list and expertise in new directions. ÒWeÕve been designing bridges for nearly 65 years, and weÕve done pretty much every type there is,Ó says John Carrato, president and CEO of the Chicago-based firm. ÒOur engineers are proficient in the study and design of continuous, complex structures, including tied-arch, segmental box girder, and cable-stayed bridges.Ó The firm also specializes in high-order, finite-element analysis associated with nonlinear and buckling behavior. ÒWe are relentless in the pursuit of industry advancements, and we pride ourselves on implementing innovative solutions,Ó he says. That pursuit led Benesch to design one of the first segmental concrete box girder bridges in the United States and the first in Illinois. The Kishwaukee River Bridge near Rockford was bid in 1976. Value Engineering Techniques T h e c o m p a n y e m p h a s i z e s t h e importance of its study and evaluation of bridge conditions prior to design. For each project, it performs a type- size-location study to determine the best solution, bringing in a variety of perspectives to consider for every concept. ÒOur design philosophy is to marry conventional engineering with value engineering,Ó he says. ÒWe often use value engineering techniques to plan and design our projects.Ó Workshops for each project aid that approach. They bring together the projectÕs senior people, including the owner when possible. The meetings last one to five days, depending on the complexity of the project. ÒItÕs a short but formal way to ensure we look at all of the needs, desires, and constraints of the owners, users, and stakeholders,Ó Carrato explains. ÒIt allows us to look at the challenges through their eyes.Ó The workshops, held for more than 30 years, Òare ingrained in our culture now.Ó The firm also uses an online technical blog to keep employees abreast of new ideas and to facilitate communication. Ongoing communication and planning has created such close relationships Market Diversity Keeps Benesch Flourishing by Craig A. Shutt A range of projects, including railroad and pedestrian bridges, deepens frm's expertise The Paducah & Louisville Railway Bridge J23.3 near Fort Knox, Ky., features 95-ft-long precast concrete AASHTO girders with a cast-in-place concrete deck. The bridge was built offline and the alignment was switched once the bridge was completed. All photos: Alfred Benesch & Co. Book_Sum13.indb 8 7/1/13 6:56 AM