Infrastructure Technology Institute
The Midwest Bridge Working Group (MBWG), a technology transfer forum sponsored by ITI and operated by the University of Kentucky, held its spring meeting June 1-2, 2011. The meeting was hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
This one-and-a-half-day meeting attracted 110 attendees: 30 state and local department of transportation personnel representing twelve states, four representatives of the Federal Highway Administration, 10 researchers representing three universities, and 66 representing industry, vendors, and consultants. In the two months after the meeting, 14 people viewed it on the MBWG’s Web site: www.midwestbridge.org.
A full day of 16 presentations on inspection, maintenance, safety, construction, and rehabilitation topics, made up the first full day of the meeting. Presentation topics included innovative technology for monitoring the condition and performances of bridges, new products to aid in bridge inspection and construction, proposals of new best practices for bridge maintenance and inspection, experiences with fire damage to bridges, and even US efforts t o construct bridges in Afghanistan.
68 conference participants spent a half-day taking field trips to the 137-year-old Eads Bridge and the not-yet-completed Interstate 70 Bridge, both of which connect Illinois to Missouri across the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Field trip participants first heard presentations by Missouri DOT engineers, who reviewed the extensive I-70 bridge construction project, and engineers from Transystems, who reviewed the recently completed rehabilitation project on the Eads Bridge. Participants then boarded busses to tour the two bridges.