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STV’s Thought Leaders on Display at IBC 2021

Jun 7, 2021

As the leader of STV’s national bridge practice, I’ve never been more excited by the innovation and creativity of our team. STV’s unique approach to the design and construction management of our nation’s roadway and bridge infrastructure will be on full display at this week’s International Bridge Conference (IBC), which is being held virtually this year. 

IBC is the preeminent event for the bridge industry, bringing together more than 1,000 bridge owners and engineers, senior policy makers, government officials, bridge designers, construction executives, and suppliers from throughout the U.S. and abroad. STV has been a long-time participant and supporter of IBC, which is presented by the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania.. However, I’m really impressed with how STV’s bridge group thought leaders will be represented at IBC 2021.

Our employees are presenting on four distinctly complex bridge projects – each one demonstrating the full extent of STV’s commitment to our clients and the communities we serve. The four presentations will spotlight unique innovations that minimized impacts to motorists and the surrounding neighborhoods; enhanced structural durability and longevity; and/or saved our clients time.

For example, in Philadelphia, as part of the I-95 Reconstruction program – one of the largest roadway/bridge programs currently under construction in the Northeast – STV recently completed the design of a horizontally curved steel bridge that utilized a rectangular tube for its top flange. It is the first curved tubular flange girder (TFG) bridge in Pennsylvania and will be constructed as part of the third phase of the Betsy Ross Interchange Reconstruction project. TFGs have several advantages over traditional curved steel girder sections including overall weight savings and simplified erection. The goal of this design was to create a structure that could be constructed more efficiently, while providing safety and stability for users for years to come. Geoffrey Stryker, P.E., senior associate and engineering director, and Justin Eberhart, P.E., CBSI, structural engineer, are presenting alongside our client, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 

We also have employees presenting on two design-build bridge replacement programs: the Longfellow Bridge in Boston and the Alexander Hamilton Interchange in the Bronx, NY. Both projects utilized time-saving techniques that allowed the design-build teams to meet the owners’ scheduling needs. For Longfellow, the program called for the rehabilitation of 11 arch spans, including the replacement of the deck and all steel framing except the arch ribs. Our engineers, as part of the design-build team led by the J.F. White Contracting Company/Skanska/Consigli Construction Co. contracting joint venture, developed a concept that allowed for the replacement of 100 feet of structure over the weekends by utilizing precast bridge units and temporary shoring for construction of the final structure. William Goulet, S.E., structural engineer, will discuss some of the accelerated construction challenges that arose while helping to realize the rehabilitation of this historic bridge crossing the Charles River. 

The Hamilton Interchange is a great example of how our team’s outside-the-box thinking averted the need to shut down a portion of the structure to vehicular traffic for several successive weekends. Alongside the team leader, Posillico Civil, Inc., we proposed an alternative design concept that allowed motorists to keep using the structure while the deck and substructure were being replaced. George Tawfik, P.E., senior associate and senior project manager, is presenting about this program, which not only benefitted the owner, the New York State Department of Transportation, but also helped support the surrounding community in the Bronx since the team’s plan eliminated the need for traffic to be diverted off the interchange onto local roads. 

Michael Oliver, P.E., NETTCP QAT, engineering director, is presenting about the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s West River Bridge replacement project. This program demonstrates our bridge group’s proficiency in providing resident engineering inspection and construction engineering inspection services. With more than 150,000 vehicles crossing the bridge per day, the project team looked for ways to minimize impacts to motorists during this $140 million program. The project is the first in Connecticut to utilize a Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) bridge demolition operation. Twin SPMT trucks fitted with a pair of 1,000,000-pound capacity strand jack gantries were used to demolish the existing bridge in only 10 nights. This operation saved 60 days in the construction schedule.

It’s an honor for STV and our national bridge practice to be able to share the successes of these four exceptional projects at this year’s IBC. Each project captures the essence of who we are as a group and as a firm – client-focused and quality driven. I’m sure our subject matter experts will do us proud by contributing to another top-notch bridge conference. 

Jorge M. Suarez, P.E., F.ASCE, is a vice president and national bridge practice leader at STV. He has more than 40 years of experience in the design and construction management of complex bridge and highway projects. For more information about IBC, visit