2011 and Annual Convention Wrap-Up

Editorial by W. R. "Randy" Cox Manager, ASBI

The past year was especially active for ASBI with Grouting Certification Training courses held in Austin, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as the Construction Practices Seminar in Boston, Massachusetts. The Annual Convention, held at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., on November 7-8, attracted over 300 attendees. Many attended pre-convention activities which included working meetings by the Construction Practices Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee, the Joint PTI/ASBI Grouted Tendon Specification Task Force, and the ASBI Board of Directors. ASBI also hosted a meeting of the AASHTO Bridge Technical Committee for Concrete Design (T-10), providing an excellent opportunity for members of our technical committees to interact with T-10 members and discuss ongoing bridge design specification development as it relates to segmental bridge design and construction.

The Board of Directors Meeting focused discussion on past and upcoming activities of ASBI. As Manager, I was asked to comment on my contacts with transportation owners and, during the past year, I visited with several state DOT bridge engineers about the future of segmental bridge construction in their states. The overall response was very positive and owners with segmental bridge experience said they will continue to use this technology. Those with little or no experience in segmental construction said they will consider this construction method when appropriate, in addition to one stating they want to try segmental construction, believing it could satisfy their requirements for reduced maintenance, aesthetics, and accelerated construction. Another topic discussed was the upcoming industry event, Concrete Week to be held the week of April 1-7, 2012. The National Concrete Bridge Council (NCBC), of which ASBI is a member, is hosting this inaugural community outreach event to showcase concrete and its applications across the U.S. This event provides an excellent opportunity for all of us to promote concrete segmental bridges! Examples of events that could be held include plant tours, site demonstrations, university or local school presentations, and project tours for the media. The events are intended to target state and FHWA engineers and inspectors, state and local government officials, as well as students, contractors, and consultants. A toolkit has been created to make planning and hosting an event an easy process. The toolkit includes an informational package to assist you in getting started, announcing and promoting your event, hosting the event, with follow-up after the event. For more information regarding Concrete Week and the toolkit, visit the NCBC website at www.nationalconcretebridge.org.

Attendees to the Convention were treated to a day and a half of outstanding presentations covering the design and construction of segmental bridges in the U.S. and abroad. The highlight of the Convention was the Bridge Awards of Excellence luncheon where nine outstanding projects were recognized. The Convention concluded with a tour to the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project with stops at the casting yard and erection sites. I would like to thank the speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and everyone who helped make this a successful event.

Mark your calendar for the 2012 Grouting Certification Training to be held April 16-17 in Austin, Texas, and plan to attend the 2012 ASBI Convention on October 29-30 at the Turnberry Isle Resort & Hotel in Miami, Florida, where we will visit the SR826/SR836 Interchange Project.