FALL 2007

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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Page 58 of 69

ASPIRE , Fall 2007 | 57 S TAT E F lorida has long been famous for its sunshine and beautiful beaches. So it is only natural that most of the state's population is located along the coastline. Florida is the fourth most populous state in the United States, yet it ranks only 22nd in land area. The Sunshine State is also the top travel destination in the world. Because of all it offers, the state's population is growing at a significant rate. All this means that large numbers of bridges continue to be required for so many people living in a relatively small Concrete Bridges in Florida A History of Innovation by Lex Collins, Florida Department of Transportation area. However, the same warm weather and salt water that bring people to Florida also combine to create a severely corrosive environment for its infrastructure. Thus, concrete has been and remains a natural choice for the state's bridge designers. Florida has been using concrete for bridge construction for over 90 years. We have a reinforced concrete bridge built in 1915 and a series of precast, prestressed concrete I-beam bridges built in the mid-1950s, all of which are still in service. Because all bridges tend to be a focal point for the landscapes in which they are placed, the state's citizens demand and deserve attractive structures that enhance their surroundings, instead of dividing and detracting from them. At the same time, public budgets are always tight and owners require bridges that are both affordable and durable. This is one of the major challenges of our day; to help create livable communities as urban areas become more densely populated. Concrete continues to be a versatile, economical, and weather-resistant material for the construction of bridges that are attractive and cost effective throughout the state. One example of an aesthetic, affordable, small structure is the recent replacement of a bridge carrying U.S. 98 in Mexico Beach. The use of a Small arch bridge in Mexico Beach is fitting for the site. Photo: PB. Bow-tie struts in the pylons at Dame Point Bridge are an example of form following function. Photo: HNTB. 10802_Aspire_Fall07.indb 57 8/30/07 3:05:57 PM

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