Archive for the ‘seismic isolation’ Tag

ICYMI: Checking in with the @NewNYBridge

Basking in your team’s Super Bowl win? You may have missed these last week.

Bridge sits atop a fault line? No worries. “Seismic isolation is a method for isolating a structure from ground shaking due to earthquakes,”  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Michael Symans explained.

Caught one of the shorter piers in its formwork stage, when the super crane made its first girder placement near the Rockland side nearly two years ago.

Because this is a cool photo . . . and yes, I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Fourth Graders Amazed by Bridge Presentation

old and new artStudents at Greenvale and Anne Hutchinson schools gave the state’s most talked-about infrastructure project high marks after the New NY Bridge outreach team visited their schools last week.

“I want to know if any of you travel across the Tappan Zee Bridge,” Greenvale principal Darrell Stinchcomb asked. “Yessss,” the 4th grade replied in unison.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) education is integrated into the curriculum. The “Teamwork and Innovation” presentation showed them where career paths might lead.

“There are a lot of things going on with the bridge, which is a major project,” Stinchcomb said. “This is an exciting time, and we’re right in the heart of it.”

Greenvale principal Darrell Stinchcomb tells 4th-grade classes the new bridge is part of the area’s history/NYSTA

Greenvale principal Darrell Stinchcomb tells 4th-grade classes the new bridge is part of the area’s history/NYSTA

Many kids nodded when he said the project will be written into future Disney books and social studies books. They know what the bridge is, and they’ve driven across it with their parents and had appreciative words and insightful questions.

No sooner did presenter Dan Marcy begin talking than one student raised his hand. “Where is the longest bridge in the world?” he asked.

Marcy suggested it might be found in China or Japan. No stumping the pros; it’s the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge in China, part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, and is 102.4 miles long, At 34 miles long, the six-lane Bang Na expressway in Thailand is the world’s longest road bridge.

Some students in Kati Curry’s class at Anne Hutchinson shared their thoughts.

“The assembly was amazing because they gave a lot of details about how everything works with the bridge.” — Elena D.

Kids’ attention was fixed on the most recent “Project Progress 2015: Two Years Work in Two Minutes,” which Celia C. liked. ‘It was a great assembly because we got updated,” she said.

falcon feedingOf importance to Chigozie E were measures in place for protecting the Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon and the oyster relocation program during pile driving and construction. A photo of three Peregrine falcon chicks born last year drew “Awwws” from the kids. We hear the new chick born last month now has a name.

Ava B. was happy to hear construction crews “are planning to make the bridge safe in disasters,” referring to its sturdy foundations and seismic isolation bearings — to isolate it from the next 2,500-year earthquake — as the current bridge sits atop a fault line.

“The lower part of the bridge and the foundations would move, while the upper portion of the bridge containing the road deck and vehicles would stay stationary,” Marcy said.

“I think it was amazing that as they’re the building the bridge, they are thinking of people’s safety.” — Julia T.

Marcy explained about lanes and shoulders on the road and how the current bridge has no place for a car to pull over in an emergency.

Sections of 6’ and 4’ pilings, used for the new bridge’s foundation, at the Outreach Centers/© Janie Rosman 2016

Sections of 6’ and 4’ pilings, used for the new bridge’s foundation, at the Outreach Centers/© Janie Rosman 2016

“The southern span will be 87 feet wide, the width of the current bridge, and the northern span will be even wider at 96 feet and will have the new walking path,” he said. “Next year in 2017 or at the end of your school year, we’re going to be shifting traffic onto the new northern span.” Once that span is finished, southbound traffic will shift back to the second span, and the walking path will open in 2018.

Hearing they can take their bicycles and scooters on the path brought smiles.

Several students had questions after hearing about building information modeling (BIM) technology that enables designers to see the project virtually: which piece will need to be replaced, its length and where to place it.

Dramatic lighting can be programmed remotely/NYSTA

Dramatic lighting can be programmed remotely/NYSTA

Hailey M. was fascinated by the possibilities of LED lighting in different colors for sport teams or holidays like the Fourth of July. Its 2,700 color lights and 500 white lights are from Philips Lighting, the same company that brightens Madison Square Garden.

More than 5,000 people have worked on the bridge since the project began. Several crew members — a dock builder, a main span superintendent, a carpenter, a crew boat captain, an environmental inspector, a concrete plant foreman, and a crane operator — described their jobs in the video “Building a Landmark.”

“It was nice how they came in and talked about the structure and the materials that they used to create the bridge.” — Michelle T.

Stinchcomb is right: this is an exciting time for the Hudson Valley, the state and for students and educators as the project progresses during the next two years. Corresponding education modules are “Bridge Rising” for year four and “Bridging the Future—Class of 2018” for year five.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Pack 6: Young Engineers Have Fun While Learning

Scouts learn various aspects of engineering/Photo: Dr. Dre

Scouts learn various aspects of engineering/Photo: Dr. Dre

Remember gluing popsicle sticks together to make cabins or airplanes? During an Engineering Awareness day planned for them, Crestwood/Yonkers Cub Scout Pack 6 learned the wooden sticks make strong mini-bridges capable of holding nearly 1/20 of one ton.

The day was arranged to pique their interest engineering, assistant Scout Master Tony Canale said.

the program sprang from an idea several years earlier, when each scout den built a bridge from popsicle sticks and tongue depressors, and civil engineering students the college — where Canale, a geotech engineer on the New NY Bridge project, is an adjunct professor — arranged tours of the labs.

Getting a glimpse into their possible futures/Photo: Dr. Dre

Getting a glimpse into their possible futures/Photo: Dr. Dre

Akin to Engineering Awareness Days for high school juniors and seniors, between 20 and 25 students from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter, Chi Epsilon Engineering Honor Society, the Civil Engineering Society and the Honor Society ran the program staffed by the newest Chi Epsilon members.

During the day they discussed safety — they used glue guns and talked about getting hurt at work —– making and testing their own bridges brings the project to their level of understanding, he said.

Engineering involves teamwork and planning/ Photo: Dr. Dre

Engineering involves teamwork and planning/ Photo: Dr. Dre

Their bridge-building project taught the young scouts learned about teamwork and collaborating on a working design. “The kids gave their bridges names and told why they chose the design, and how much they thought their bridge will hold,” Canale said.

Later in the day they load tested their bridges the same way the bridge builder tested for static loads (maximum constant weight it can withstand) and lateral loads (seismic movement and pressure) in August 2013. Were their calculations correct?

College students were tour guides for the scouts/NNYB

College students were tour guides for the scouts/NNYB

“We tried to simplify it and explain it on a level that they would comprehend, and provide fun visuals for each station,” Chi Epsilon President T.J. Bolen, and one of the main event facilitators, said.

New Chi Epsilon members were either tour guides or attended several stations, where the 45 scouts heard engineering students talk about their goals and observed demonstrations:

The New NY Bridge/Earthquake Demonstration, Concrete Canoe — annual competition where engineering schools make canoes out of concrete and race them. “The parents seemed to really be interested in the fact that the concrete itself will float,” Bolen said.

What better way to learn than by a real-life example/NNYB

What better way to learn than by a real-life example/NNYB

Steel Bridge Design — annual competition where students design a steel bridge and test load it. “We related it to their Popsicle stick bridges,” he said.

Fluids lab — demonstrated a hydraulic jump (like the wave created in cruise ship surfing pools, and showed how different fluids change the speed a ball falls).

Solids lab — explained how things can break in a bridge or building.

“They (Outreach Team) talked about the Peregrine falcon nest, and one of the kids knew about it,” Canale said. “This was a good opportunity to have the students think about engineering and science and math, and studying them some day at college.”

Scouts' bridges await tests of strength, movement/NNYB

Scouts’ bridges await tests of strength, movement/NNYB

Then came time to test the three-foot-long bridges (each held about 100 pounds).

“They got excited when it was on the verge of breaking, seeing how much weight it would hold,” Canale said. “It was very rewarding, and there was a sense of teamwork and explaining why it broke,” after which they wanted to cut up their bridges and keep a souvenir piece, perhaps looking ahead to future goals — and maybe tour guides when the next generation of scouts visits Manhattan College.

Thank you to ASCE Student Chapter President Vincent Terron, Chi Epsilon Engineering Honor Society President T.J. Bolen and Scout Master and NNYB geotech engineer Tony Canale.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

“Teamwork and Innovation” on the Bridge Project

Special project advisor Brian Conybeare explains the project's 3rd year to Nyack High School students/NYSTA

Special project advisor Brian Conybeare explains the project’s 3rd year to Nyack High School students/NYSTA

Nyack High School juniors Andrew Schla, Olivia Demetres and Andrew Pointek were surprised at the amount of people in various careers collaborating on the New NY Bridge project.

“It was more environmentally-friendly,” Demetres said after the Educational Outreach presentation at their school earlier this week. “That’s right, with the oysters and the fish, and the falcon chicks,” Schla said. Pointek, who had seen previous presentations, was happy to learn there are no fees to cross the river via the shared use path.

Assistant principal Tracy Smith opened the program — the third of a five-year educational series — that coincides with the project.

“There are a lot of people working on the project,” special project advisor Brian Conybeare told students during the “Teamwork and Innovation” assemblies Tuesday. “My goal for you today is to let you know it could be you one day, working on a cool project like this, building a bridge or infrastructure, and it isn’t just engineers and architects.”

More than 3,000 professionals with varied skills brought the project to its halfway mark. Its design is 99 percent finished and employs building information modeling (BIM) technology.

Several students raised their hands when he asked if they knew what careers they’d choose. One student said she wanted to be a writer, and Conybeare shared how he changed careers several times during college, choosing communication classes during his senior year.

“It’s OK if you don’t know now,” he said. “You don’t have to know yet. If you do know, then you’re lucky and can start following a path.” Careers and decisions change, he said, and a project like building a bridge requires numerous professionals with different skills collaborating together.

3D technology enables designers to see the project virtually and how various aspects of the bridge fit together/NYSTA

3D technology enables designers to see the project virtually and how various aspects of the bridge fit together/NYSTA

Students watched transfixed as the “Project Progress” video compressed two years’ on the river into two minutes. Another attention-grabber was “Building a Landmark,” in which various crew members — a dock builder, a main span superintendent, a carpenter, a crew boat captain, an environmental inspector, a concrete plant foreman, and a crane operator — described their jobs

“They talked a lot last year about engineering and how so many careers have come out of the project, and how the project can influence students the post-secondary education,” Smith said of earlier presentations at the school.

The initial Educational Outreach program, “Discovery and Environmental Stewardship,” included environmental monitoring, the oyster-harvesting program (summer 2013), and geotech investigations. “Building a Strong Foundation” the following year focused on pile driving, how pile caps were made, and piers in the river.

Elliot Scharf’s Introduction to Engineering and Design classes ask students to plan projects from thought process through design using computer-aided design (CAD). “That’s what the class is about, doing a project later in the year, designing something around a problem and given time and constraints.”

The class teaches how to think of an idea then engineer and design it from model to finished product.

“One of the projects I’ll have the kids work on is with other classes, part of Project Lead the Way,” Scharf explained. The 501 non-profit organization develops STEM (science, technology, engineer, math) curricula for grades K-12.

Students will work with peers in another part of the county, Scharf said, to experience the complexities of collaboration. “’It’s hard to get in touch with my partner,’” they’d tell me. “That’s the real world, working with other people who may be in different time zones or other locations,” he said.

Sophomore Charlie Austin, who aspires to be a structural engineer, is currently taking Scharf’s class. “I learned about how the bridge would be made steady (seismic isolation),” he said of his first bridge presentation.” Also interesting, he said, is this bridge will have two spans and a bicycle/walking path. “And it will be more efficient.”

“I found it interesting that they talked about how the bridge spans will be sturdier and gave career information,” Smith said. “The students were engaged and listening, and it’s a good reflection on what Brian was presenting.”

My article originally appeared in the Rockland County Times online this week.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

RPI Engineering Students Visit Praeger’s Successor

“Seeing a project of this scale in its construction phase is somewhat surreal in that you really can’t appreciate the design of a structure until you see it being constructed in real life.” — Sofia Kyle, transportation engineering

Special project advisor Brian Conybeare talks about the design-build process and project history/NNYB Outreach

Special project advisor Brian Conybeare talks about the design-build process and project history/NNYB Outreach

Although his engineering students have seen Manhattan and New Jersey from atop the George Washington Bridge, Professor Michael Symans knew they had to view this one for themselves. He was right.

A recent visit to the New NY Bridge site allowed Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute junior- and senior-year students to observe some of the engineering work — structural, geotechnical, transportation engineering, and environmental — they’re studying, especially now that most of its underwater work is completed.

“It was interesting to see what (how) what we learned is applied to real life design and construction — installing and designing piles (foundation or how mass transit needs evolve and change over time (transportation engineering).” – Antonio D’Elia, structural engineering

Symans’ bridge design classes are within the structural engineering portion of RPI’s civil engineering program. “We offer concentrations in other areas like geotechnical, which relates to what’s been done on the project: soil conditions, piles that support the bridge. Students were really interested in this aspect.”

Appreciation, fascination and sense of community for the state’s biggest project were how some RPI students described their recent Hudson Valley visit/NNYB Outreach

Appreciation, fascination and sense of community for the state’s biggest project were how some RPI students described their recent Hudson Valley visit/NNYB Outreach

Since his work in structural engineering focuses on earthquake engineering — including developing systems that will protect structures from earthquakes — Symans was particularly interested in the sliding seismic isolation system being employed. “A major benefit is that it reduces the forces required for design of the substructure.”

“Seismic isolation is a method for isolating a structure from ground shaking due to earthquakes,” Symans explained. “The structure is supported on a flexible system that decouples the structure from the ground, thereby minimizing the transfer of earthquake energy into the structure.”

Students easily compared the new bridge — designed for longevity, aesthetically-pleasing — to the current structure. Because he was limited by material shortages after the Korean War, RPI alumnus Emil H. Praeger designed the bridge for a 50-year service life that resulted in a utilitarian appearance, Symans noted.

“The extent to which engineers, public officials, contractors, and laborers must work together to successfully complete such a large-scale project was evident from the presentations.” — Jonathan Schmierer, structural engineering

RPI’s history of bridge design — either by alumni or where they were heavily involved — also includes the Brooklyn Bridge, GWB, Verazanno-Narrows Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Queensboro Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

Bob Palermo of GZA, project foundation lead, discusses the new bridge’s pile installation and design/NNYB Outreach

Bob Palermo of GZA, project foundation lead, discusses the new bridge’s pile installation and design/NNYB Outreach

Within the school’s Bedford Program — a collaborative effort between CEE and the School of Architecture — students design structures, attend annual international travel workshops, and visit iconic bridges, buildings, airports, etc. leading architecture/engineering design firms. Past trips have been to France, Spain, Germany, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Australia.

“The New NY Bridge is a once in a lifetime project and we want it to inspire local students at all levels from graduate school and college down to elementary classrooms. The goal of our educational outreach effort at all levels is to use this historic infrastructure project to inspire the next generation of bridge builders here in New York.” — Brian Conybeare, Special Project Advisor Governor Andrew Cuomo

While his students said visiting the GWB was a wonderful experience — from a technical and structural perspective, and because few ever go to the top of a bridge tower —  Symans was spot-on about the project site.

“It was a fantastic trip, and wonderful for the students to see and experience,” he said. “They’re eager to return.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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