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/335723
FOCUS - BREAKING THE MOLD by Craig A. Shutt Known for design of complex bridges, this Canadian-based firm is expanding its reputation into the United States with new offices and enhanced design expertise. Buckland & Taylor designed the first extradosed bridge in North America in 2008, consisting of a precast concrete segmental structure for transit use only over the North Arm of the Fraser River in Canada. All photos and rendering: Buckland & Taylor. During its 42 years of operation, Buckland & Taylor (B&T) has developed a reputation for taking on complex projects, often with cable-stayed or suspension bridge designs. In recent years, B&T has also been expanding its business into the United States and bringing a wider range of project types with them. B&T’s bridge experience in the United States began with construction and erection engineering on complex projects. Since 2010, as work to replace America’s infrastructure increased, B&T has expanded its scope to provide design services on projects of varying complexity. “We’re known for doing cable-stayed bridges, but I’d like to change and broaden that perception,” says Darryl Matson, president and CEO of the North Vancouver, BC, Canada-based engineering firm. “And we’ve taken every strategic and systematic approach to expanding our business and changing that view.” Adds Scott Roux, vice president of U.S. operations, “of the more than 2000 projects we’ve completed, the vast majority are bread-and-butter, short and medium-span bridges. We have a reputation for being the foremost expert on cable-stayed bridges and being well versed in suspension bridge designs. But we are working to educate clients about our capabilities beyond these long-span, complex bridges and assure them that we can execute less complex, smaller designs with great success too.” An example can be seen in the 80th Street Overpass in Delta, BC, Canada. The $12-million, grade-separation structure over BC Rail comprises a 107-ft-long, two-lane bridge featuring precast concrete box beams. The simplicity of B&T’s design helped win the job for the design-build team with both savings in cost and minimal rail traffic disruption. Even so, the firm’s capabilities with complex projects and innovation have led it to create a variety of world firsts. Among these is the Alex Fraser Bridge in British Columbia in 1986, which provided the first use of a composite deck for a cable-stayed bridge. The firm’s reputation for cable-stayed bridges has developed since the firm’s earliest days, Matson says. “Cable stayed bridges are high-tech designs, and we’ve consciously tried to grow our expertise in that area since the company was started,” he says. “They’re incredibly cost-effective designs, especially with main spans of 750 to 2000 ft. They’re fairly straight-forward and efficient structurally, and that’s a good combination.” Cable-stayed bridges’ use of concrete or steel girders varies, he notes, depending on the situation and bridge length. But the towers, deck, and other components almost always are concrete. “Cable-stayed bridges can be said to really be concrete bridges hiding a little bit of steel.” EXTRADOSED DESIGNS EXPAND The firm is taking its knowledge of cable-stayed bridges and applying it to extradosed bridges on a more regular basis, Matson notes. Five such projects have been completed in North America, and B&T has been involved in four of them—and the fifth, in Texas, was designed by an engineer now working in the company’s New York office. “Our firm easily has the most experience with North American extradosed bridges,” says Roux. (continued next page)