THE CONCRETE BRIDGE MAGAZINE

WINTER 2009

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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14 | ASPIRE , Winter 2009 The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Williamson County, Tenn., complements the beauty of the surrounding area. Photo: FIGG, designers of the Natchez Trace Parkway Arches. P E R S P E C T I V E At this critical stage in our nation's history, we are faced with myriad challenges when it comes to preserving a viable transportation infrastructure. An especially urgent challenge involves promoting and designing bridges that are sustainable over the long haul. Sustainability is not a mere buzzword, nor is it a passing fad. It is a thoughtful, wide-ranging approach that weds ongoing practical considerations with far-reaching innovations. Sustainability can be best understood, in the words of the 1987 United Nations World C o m m i s s i o n o n E n v i ro n m e n t a n d Development report Our Common Future, as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In the world of transportation, sustain- ability includes designing, building, and maintaining bridges that are durable, safe, context-sensitive, and cost-effective. A lot of emphasis is placed on bridge design that imaginatively and seamlessly brings together those various elements. The sustainable bridge is therefore a structure that has been built quickly but efficiently to last a long time with an optimal use of resources, as well as minimal disruption of the surrounding environment and zero tolerance for wasted materials. That is indeed a tall order, but it is an imperative one in today's socioeconomic c l i m a t e a n d a m i d t h e s w e e p i n g environmental concerns all around us. I can likewise testify, however, that the state departments of transportation have in SuStainable bridgeS and the Value of innovation by John Horsley, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

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