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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S T V h a s g a i n e d r e c o g n i t i o n f o r i t s e x p e r t i s e w i t h s p l i c e d , p o s t - tensioned concrete girders and other long-span concrete designs, and for innovating to meet schedule, cost, and environmental challenges, among others. Today, the firm has spread its influence through partnerships with designers and contractors, and by helping to codify techniques. "We've been on the cutting edge of improvements and changes to long- span concrete bridges for a long time," says Stu Matthis, vice president of corporate development and facilitator of STV's national bridge practice. Matthis joined the New York-based company in 2005, when his firm, Ralph Whitehead Associates (RWA), was acquired by STV. By adding that company's expertise to STV's own, its reach expanded into the southeast United States from RWA's Charlotte, N.C., base, where Matthis has worked since 1982. (For more on STV's growth, see the sidebar.) 'Contractors come to us once they have won a bid to tap into our expertise and service for enhancing constructability and economics on long-span bridges.' "Contractors often come to us once they have won a construction bid to tap into our expertise and service for enhancing constructability and economics on long- span bridges," he says. "They also look to us during the design phase for ideas to meet challenges." The company became involved with spliced-girder concepts in the mid-1980s through Reid Castrodale, who worked on staff for many years (and now serves as managing technical editor for ASPIRE SM ). "Reid obtained his PhD and wanted to explore high-tech bridge capabilities. He helped us pursue some major projects and became a technical advisor on many of our concrete projects. We picked up the ball from there." Today, about 60% of the company's bridge work involves concrete designs. The firm's reputation was enhanced in September 2003 when NCHRP (National Cooperative Highway Research Program) Report 517 (Project 12-57), "Extending Span Ranges of Precast, Prestressed Concrete Girders," was completed by RWA, with technical input from several other experts in the field. "That was a watershed event for us," Matthis says. "It staked our claim to having expertise with spliced girders and being on the cutting edge of improvements and changes in the industry. It put us on the map in that regard." Railroads Are Key Clients Many of the firm's innovative designs have been created for railroad clients, a major focus for both STV (passenger) and RWA (freight rail) before the two merged. "We've worked for all the Class I railroads over the years," Matthis says. That work complemented STV's nationwide resume for mass transit projects, including projects for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, a n d t h e N e w Yo r k M e t ro p o l i t a n Transportation Authority. That category remains a solid growth market, he notes. "We've been able to capitalize on opportunities in the Southeast that didn't exist when we began our transit work. At the time, there were only a F O C U S Engineering in Constructability STV has stayed on the cutting edge of constructible concrete designs through involvement in challenging projects and collaborative approaches that ensure knowledge is shared by Craig A. Shutt Ironworkers align the couplers for the post-tensioning bars as they set the precast concrete column cap segment at pier 7 for the Roslyn Viaduct. Photo: Renata Magoc.

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