Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to Rehabilitate a Historic Bridge

Garver recently made a presentation to 80 engineering students and faculty at the University of Arkansas about the War Eagle Bridge restoration project. Chris Wilbourn, the project's lead structural engineer, discussed aspects of the project and shared information about the design and construction process. Garver engineers Natalie and Nathan Becknell and Jeff Webb also attended and were available to answer questions.

Stretching across War Eagle Creek, the century-old steel truss bridge was built to allow the adjacent War Eagle Mill to transport flour to local markets without fording the river. The 300-foot bridge is only one of a handful of steel truss bridges in Arkansas, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beginning with a comprehensive field and structural inspection study in 2005, Garver provided planning, design, and construction observation and administration to rehabilitate the main truss span and the approach spans and restore the stone piers, timber deck, steel stringers, floor beams, truss, and bearing supports.

More information on this project will be available in Garver's December issue of IQ, our quarterly newsletter.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Food Drive and Community Service

Garver's Tulsa office worked with the SAME Tulsa Post to collect canned food for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Garver employees Chris Livingston, Cindy Gran, Tom Loney, Brent Schniers, Kelly Fincannon, and several spouses also volunteered time at the food bank to sort and label pallets of various canned goods.

Eleven companies participated in the drive, collecting more than 1,150 pounds of food donations. The Garver office collected 176 pounds of food for the community food bank.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Presenting at the FAA Southwest Region Conference

Electrical Project Manager Bart Gilbreath, PE, LEED AP BD+C is making a presentation at the FAA Southwest Region Airports Division Fall Conference on November 17. Gilbreath and Jeff Hough, PE with the Tulsa Airports Authority will discuss “Performance Guarantee Contracting Can Help Implement New Airfield Technology” at 2:30 pm and 3:40 pm.

Topics include performance guarantee contracting (which involves using operational cost savings to fund capital project costs), the evolution of aviation lighting, and new aviation lighting technology.

The conference runs November 15-17 in Fort Worth, Texas. According to the FAA, the conference offers a forum for aviation interests within the five-state Southwest Region (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico) to discuss topics and concerns related to airports and aviation. The conference provides an opportunity to expand knowledge of aviation issues, foster information exchange, and establish networking relationships. Issues to be addressed include safety, standards, planning engineering, funding, and construction. Registration is available online.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

FHWA Official Gives Approval of IDL's Progress

Construction on the Interstate 244 Inner Dispersal Loop in Tulsa, Oklahoma is continuing to meet progress milestones and is expected to finish early next year. Last week, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez visited the IDL to inspect its progress.

As reported by KJRH-TV, Mendez praised the project's progress and design. “I think what you're doing here is very creative, innovative approaches, to get the project done faster. The fact that you were able to shut down the freeway and really provide a detour through the central city, that's very creative.”

The $75 million project is reconstructing the west and north legs of the loop and replacing more than 40 bridge decks. Located in the heart of Tulsa, the IDL handles 62,000 vehicles a day, and rehabilitating the loop became a massive undertaking. It is the single largest project ever let by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Garver's services include fast-track design on the western leg, maintenance of traffic on both the west and north sections, and a safety analysis.

This project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Earlier this year, Rep. James Oberstar, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman said, “This is arguably the most complex stimulus project in the whole country… It was extraordinarily well conceived, carried out, and implemented in record time.”

During his visit, Mendez also stopped by the Interstate 244 multimodal bridge, another Garver project. Garver is providing a preliminary engineering study and final construction plans for the  Interstate 244 westbound bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa. The I-244 multimodal bridge will be a two-level structure that carries rail, vehicular, and pedestrian traffic. The rail will accommodate both commuter and high-speed lines.

The following media outlets reported on IDL project and Mendez's visit:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

S-Curve Wins People's Choice Award

The Laurel, Mississippi I-59 S-curve reconstruction  project has been awarded the national People's Choice Award through the America's Transportation Award competition. The award is co-sponsored by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber.

“Thank you to all who voted, and a special thank you to the men and women who were on the front lines of this project, guiding it through a long development process to successful completion,” said Larry L. “Butch” Brown, MDOT Executive Director and former President of AASHTO. MDOT retained Garver in the early 1990s to design an S-curve route improvement, and after finishing the original design, the project was placed on hold. MDOT again selected Garver in 2005 to redesign the structure with additional economical options, and Garver provided services on a fast-track schedule.

The People's Choice Award is voter-based and recognizes the best nationwide project. More than 270,000 online votes were cast. In September, the S-curve project won a regional America's Transportation Award in the Under Budget category, which honored the project's $6 million surplus. The S-curve project was one of ten winners that scored the highest during regional contests.

"These projects are making travel smoother, safer, and less congested for millions of motorists every day," said John Horsley, AASHTO executive director. "We know that taxpayers understand the value of quality transportation, and this contest shows how states are investing their limited resources wisely."

Garver designed the project for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The S-curve project involved realigning a dangerous interstate curve with a new 1,980-foot, six-lane, elevated bridge and three elevated ramps. Garver provided roadway and bridge design, comprehensive construction plans and phasing, traffic signalization, overhead and under-structure lighting, and signage. Garver is now providing services to widen and overlay an additional 2-mile stretch of I-59 immediately north of the S-curve.


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