Overseas News on Civil Engineering IT
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Website name:
Association for Bridge Construction & Design

URL :  http://abcdpittsburgh.org

This section focuses on unique overseas websites concerned with civil engineering IT, and this article talks about the site "Association for Bridge Construction & Design (ABCD)".

If you try to find out public organizations using key words such as "bridge" "construction" or "design" through English search engines, the first word you hit must be ABCD, Pittsburgh chapter.

Silver Bridge Catastrophe Leading to the Foundation of ABCD

Although bridges have been a critical link in transportation systems, their physical condition has been ignored and their maintenance requirements loosely met in the US.

However, this posture was turned around when Silver Bridge, connecting West Virginia and Ohio, collapsed in 1967. The bridge spanned over the Ohio River had been constructed in 1928, dating back about 40 years from the catastrophe involving heavy casualties. It is reported that the failure resulted from corrosion fatigue and so on, which had occurred during those years.

This disaster instigated renewed activity in inspection of bridges, and their rehabilitation or replacement. The fact was, though, that even the governing bodies have not been aware enough that there is indeed a crisis of bridge, which not only serves in improving accessibility of transportation but also might lead a calamity.

According to the website, 'realizing the bridge crisis, Mr. Nalin H. Udani, Bridge Engineer for PennDOT, initiated the idea of the Association for Bridge Construction and Design.' The top page of the site shows a picture of the Silver Bridge, as if it symbolizes the vision of ABCD.

Offers Fun for Kids in the Site of Pittsburgh Chapter

In its website ABCD shows its Goals, and those who support them are encouraged to join its members. There are three grades of membership: Individual, Sustaining (company or organization), and Students.

Other than Pittsburgh, ABCD has also local chapters such as Western New York, Eastern New York, Northeast Ohio, and Susquehanna (PA), each of which has its own membership requirements.

According to the Pittsburgh Chapter, it is only taking applications for membership in the Pittsburgh chapter at present. It is exploring making the organization national, though, so those who live throughout the US and the global community with an interest in the bridge industry are encouraged to participate in its online activities, particularly the ABCD Exchange Forum.

One of the features of the chapter's website is that its organization is presented with each executive member's name, company, job, and photo with some exceptions. Besides, the chapter gives awards to recognize achievements and accomplishments in the related areas of construction and rehabilitation of bridges each year. These awards are typically presented in May.

Further, "ABCD's Bridge Design Tips for Kids" plainly illustrates bridge design for kids. It teaches basic ideas for designing full-scale bridges in the form of "tips" through playing (or so to say, learning). "Bridge of the Month Quiz" picks up unique bridges all over the world, and a winner among correct entries will be awarded a free copy of the book "Bridging the World." In addition, "Bookstore" offers bridge-related book information in a very convenient way. To sum up, it is strongly felt throughout the site that the organizer is aiming for a wide range of people beyond regions from kids to adults to have deeper understanding about bridges.

ABCD's goals
Top page (c)ABCD
(Reprinted by courtesy of ABCD)
Reprinted by courtesy of ABCD
a. Educate bridge designers, constructors, federal, state, and local officials, as well as the general public in the vital role of safe bridges in our society.
b. Improve and encourage the science of bridge design, construction and reconstruction by providing a forum for members to exchange and develop new ideas and techniques.
c. Provide technical information and assistance to various public and private authorities for bridge programs.
d. Educate and encourage public and private authorities in new and improved techniques for testing and reconstruction.

This article is written based on the website contents of ABCD Pittsburgh Chapter