FALL 2013

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.

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Portland Cement Association You better have teamwork, or you better be perfect R ecently, I was approached by some concerned concrete design engineers because they were not getting all the data needed to decide on a system being considered for a new expressway. When policymakers lack data, they can be skewed into an action that is unwarranted. This type of feedback caused me to reflect on how my career has left me with certain entrenched principles…You better have teamwork, or you better be perfect. As I have editorialized before, my principles have come from many places. When I reported to my first job right out of college, I was ready to roll. Like most of us, it did not take long to identify how much on-the- job training (OJT) was still going to be required. Soon enough, I settled into the bridge design office where it did not take long to recognize why the squad leaders sitting closest to the doors were in-charge. Going to coffee breaks and eating lunch together proved to expand my OJT experience. Listening to these veterans of more than 25 years, each discussing recent and past bridge challenges, certainly shaped my future. Very often, they had developed an instinct on where to look or whom to ask for potential solutions. Today, with the available internet search tools, engineers have volumes of data at their fingers. Our training has taught us to ask diligent questions like: • is this creditable? • is this relative to my concern? • is this objective? • is there a bias here? • are the data current and complete? and • a r e t h e c o n c l u s i o n s s u p p o r t e d w i t h t h e presented data? Engineers often believe that the natural process of creating and submitting an evolving project (30, 60, 90, and 100% plan reviews) will expose any concerns. This is not always the case when you are trying something new. Innovation really means using our best engineering solutions (standards of practice and codified tools) in a creative unbridled manner that best meets the project needs. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board committees are formally commissioned and routinely come together as teams in a large league to advance technologies, find solutions, and exchange knowledge. Over the last year, the FHWA hosted a series of regional meetings (known as Peer2Peer exchanges) where neighboring states gathered and hosted diversified bridge engineers from other corners of the nation. These exchanges facilitated discussions between state agency engineers and representatives of the steel, composite, and concrete industries. These exchanges also molded new relationships. One visiting engineer said, "I came all this way not to tell you what to do but I am here to show you what can be done" and those seeds are now bearing fruit. In small breakout meetings, the visiting bridge engineers could share details of lessons learned in a round table fashion, forging new long-lasting exchanges. These informal groups are still working to maximize positive energy through effective resource utilization with continuity and flexibility. With each department of transportation comes certain time tested practices. Many of the concepts and details shared in these FHWA-hosted meetings are now being adapted to meet the needs of the local jurisdiction. Having these new contacts to gather feedback, however, allows the change agent within his or her bridge department to not worry about having to be perfect because he or she is part of a new team. As you see state highway bridge departments change and adapt new concrete technologies please let the ASPIRE TM team know. Please continue to send in your great concrete projects so that you too can expand your realm of exposure and become part of a growing team and always remember: you better have teamwork or you better be perfect. Photo: PCI. William Nickas, Editor-in-Chief 2 | ASPIRE , Fall 2013 E D I T O R I A L Editor-in-Chief William Nickas • Managing Technical Editor Dr. Henry G. Russell Program Manager Nancy Turner • Associate Editors Emily B. Lorenz Craig A. Shutt Art Director Paul Grigonis Layout Design Tressa A. Park Editorial Advisory Board William Nickas, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute William R. Cox, American Segmental Bridge Institute Dr. David McDonald, Epoxy Interest Group Dr. Henry G. Russell, Henry G. Russell Inc. Cover Arch setting at night of the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Tex. Photo: Liam Frederick Photography. Ad Sales Jim Oestmann Phone: (847) 838-0500 • Cell: (847) 924-5497 Fax: (847) 838-0555 • Reprints Paul Grigonis • Publisher Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute James G. Toscas, President Postmaster: Send address changes to ASPIRE, 200 W. Adams St., Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60606. Standard postage paid at Chicago, IL, and additional mailing offices. ASPIRE (Vol. 7, No. 4), ISSN 1935-2093 is published quarterly by the Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute. Copyright 2013, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. If you have a project to be con sidered for ASPIRE, send information to ASPIRE 200 W. Adams St., Suite 2100 • Chicago, IL 60606 phone: (312) 786-0300 • • e-mail: American Segmental Bridge Institute Epoxy Interest Group Silica Fume Association Expanded Shale Clay and Slate Institute American Shotcrete Association Post-Tensioning Institute Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Book_Fall13ASPIRE.indb 2 9/6/13 12:04 PM

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