August 6, 2020

Keynote: Building Bridges: An Unlimited Potential

David J. Morrill, PE, SE

David Morrill’s 36-year tenure at Alfred Benesch & Company encompasses leadership on countless structural and civil engineering assignments, in addition to his work fostering the talents of the Structural Group in Illinois. When David assumed the role of Structural Group Manager in 1995, the group consisted of less than 10 engineers. As he approached retirement, the group's size nearly tripled, utilizing the talents of 28 professionals ranging from junior staff to seasoned project managers.

Many projects led by Mr. Morrill have garnered national accolades for their innovative design solutions in the face of challenging issues. His veteran knowledge of the structural behavior of numerous bridge types has consistently resulted in outstanding engineering solutions on major regional projects, including the Wabash River Bridge in Mt. Carmel, Illinois; I-74 over the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities (IL/IA); and the I-74 Corridor Reconstruction in Peoria, Illinois.

Mr. Morrill's positive impact spans far beyond his desk at Benesch – he has made major contributions to countless community groups and projects – entirely on volunteered time.  As Building Committee Chairman of the First Baptist Church of Downers Grove, Mr. Morrill coordinated all the planning, development of design, drawings and construction and the fundraising, distribution of the funds, and solicitation of loans for a 19,000 sq. ft. facility.  He also served as Trustee of the Downers Grove Sanitary District for 10 years.

Since his retirement from full time service at Benesch in February of 2016, he has served in an on-call capacity for Benesch and moved into a full time role as the Administrative Pastor with First Baptist Church of Downers Grove.

Mr. Morrill’s career exemplifies civil engineering excellence and leadership, as well as mentorship and selfless giving to his community and his faith.

Education Session #1: Simon Kenton Bridge Temporary Suspender Retrofit

The Simon Kenton Bridge is a steel suspension bridge that was constructed in 1931 over the Ohio River. Michael Baker performed a routine, element-level, and fracture critical inspection on the bridge in July 2019. During the inspection critical findings were discovered on the fracture critical lower hanger cable connections near the stiffening truss. The critical find resulted from the severe deterioration and broken wires observed on multiple strands comprising the suspenders. At the worst location 2 of the seven bundles of the wire rope cable had section loss approaching 100%. After the critical find was reported to KYTC, Michael Baker performed a structural analysis to determine the safe load for the structure as well as the redundancy provided by the stiffening truss if a cable were to break. In addition, Michael Baker devised a concept to strengthen the deteriorated cables utilizing European references for this kind of repair. A Contract ready proposal (CRP) was developed to expedite these critical repairs.

Jason Stith, Phd, PE, SE, Michael Baker International

Jason Stith obtained a Ph.D. in Structural Engineer from the University of Texas at Austin after receiving both Masters of Civil Engineering and Business Administration from the University of Kentucky.  He is a Bridge Technical Manager working for Michael Baker International in their Louisville, Kentucky office.  To date he has made significant contributions to several major bridge projects touching every stage of a bridge’s life cycle (design, construction, inspection, and maintenance).


Education Session #2: Design and Construction of the New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, Washington, D.C.

This presentation will focus on the technical aspects of designing a signature arch bridge. The 540-feet long multiple arch spans have many challenges technically including: stability of parallel unbraced arches; geometric control of variable depth hexagonal arches 7 to 14 feet deep; thermal movement of 3 sequential arches; critical steel arch base connections into post-tensioned concrete v-piers; use of cable-stay technology to support the superstructure including accommodation of rotation translation; 1800-ton capacity steel pipe piles; complex substructure shapes and water line footings; and impact avoidance of critical utilities including a 108-inch diameter force main. The presentation will discuss the design approach and methodology as well as the role of the bridge architect versus the designer and contractor. Additionally, the erection of the structure will be discussed in light of loads and stresses imparted on the structure during construction. Wind tunnel testing; technical provision security requirements; scour analyses; and a 100-year corrosion protection plan will be highlighted.

Jixing He, PhD, PE, SE

Jixing received his PhD in Structural Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1990. He is specialized in highway steel & concrete structures with over 30 years of experience in design, analysis and construction. He has designed several large, complicated, innovative and award-winning highway bridges. In recent years he has worked on four arch and cable-supported signature bridges in three states.


August 13, 2020

Education Session #3: FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse Forensic Investigation

On March 15, 2018, the 175-foot-long post tensioned concrete FIU UniversityCity Prosperity pedestrian bridge collapsed over US Route 41 in southeastern Florida, resulting in six fatalities and injuring eight others. The bridge utilized a unique sculptural design incorporating a concrete truss and was constructed using the Florida International University’s Accelerated Bridge Construction technique. The structure was intended to be a signature landmark for the University. Mr. Nacheman and Mr. Pinto mobilized to the collapse site on March 18, 2018 on behalf of their client, one of the major insurance carriers directly involved with the design and construction team for the bridge. They were tasked with documenting the post-loss condition of the bridge, performing a detailed structural analysis to determine the cause and origin of the collapse, evidence collection, and developing conceptual repair/retrofit design options.

Perry Pinto, PE, Envista Forensics

Perry Pinto, currently works at Envista Forensics, a global, multi-disciplinary forensic engineering consulting firm, where he provides initial response, condition assessment, cause and origin determination, and forensic evaluation of structures damaged by natural disasters, collapses, fires, building envelope failures, and other large and complex losses. Prior to joining Envista, Mr. Pinto worked in the power industry successfully contributing to the completion of complex structural engineering projects for more than a decade. He specialized in the design and analysis of safety related structures for nuclear generating facilities.


Scott G. Nacheman, MSc Eng, AIA, Envista Forensics

During Mr. Nacheman’s more than 22-year career he has been involved with many facets of emergency response and structural stabilization efforts including work with the Fire Service in NY and Illinois as well as Federal and State Urban Search & Rescue teams. Scott earned Master’s Degrees in both Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and regularly authors and provides instruction on topics of emergency response, damage assessment and building collapse rescue operations. As an expert, he has testified in numerous matters.


Education Session #4: FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse: Testing of Full-Size Replicas of Failed Connection

WJE was engaged by FIGG to carry out independent studies related to the collapse of the FIU pedestrian bridge. Among other studies, WJE developed and tested full-sized specimens to evaluate the significance of NTSB’s finding that the construction joint between the northernmost diagonal and deck was left in an as-placed condition rather than intentionally roughened as required by the project specifications. WJE’s tests demonstrated that had the construction joint been roughened as required by FDOT Standard Specifications, which were reconfirmed by e-mail prior to construction, the collapse would not have occurred. As such, WJE concluded that the collapse was due to a construction error rather than design.

Gary J. Klein, Executive Vice President and Senior Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Gary J. Klein is Executive Vice President and for Senior Principal for Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. For 40 years, Gary Klein has studied and delivered solutions for buildings and bridges suffering from deterioration, distress or failure. He has investigated numerous structural collapses including the 2018 collapse of the FIU pedestrian bridge in Miami. Mr. Klein, a licensed structural engineer, has authored more than 40 papers. In 2016, Mr. Klein was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for sharing lessons learned from infrastructure failure investigations.


Education Session #5: Load Rating of Steel Substructure Units in Unconventional Steel Bridges

This presentation is about performing detailed level 1 load rating calculations of complex steel substructures for bridges in New York City. Previously, substructure ratings were not required as a part of the biennial inspection program but now, rating steel substructures are required. This presentation details the challenges we faced, and the overall procedure developed to perform the rating calculations.

Anthonio Feng, Stantec

Antonio Feng has over 3 years of structural and transportation design experience in buildings and transportation infrastructure. He has experience working with private developers and public state agencies such as MassDOT, LIRR, NYDOT, NYCT and BTD. He also serves as an assistant load rating engineer for the load rating work Stantec's NYC office performs with NYSDOT in Region 11.


Pearl #1: A CM/GC Approach for the Design of a Two-Girder Horizontally Curved Pedestrian Bridge

A CM/GC Approach for the Design of a Two-Girder Horizontally Curved Pedestrian Bridge

This presentation focuses on the unique design features and practical lessons learned for refined analysis of a unique two-girder pedestrian bridge. It will bring to light some of the benefits of the CM/CG process on complex bridge projects and its impact during the design phase. Discussion of a commonsense approach to investigating redundancy in pedestrian bridges will be presented.

Kenneth D. Price, Vice President - Manager Complex Bridge Group, WSP

Ken has over 42 years of experience in the bridge world.  He is now the Regional Director for Complex Bridges Central Region with WSP USA.

Ken has been involved with various significant innovations on signature bridges, large and small, for his entire career.

The bridge he is about to share with you is proof that innovation, creativity and complexity has nothing to do with size



August 20, 2020

Education Session #6: MASH TL-5 Testing of Six-Foot Tall Barriers with a Noise Abatement Wall

Recently crash test 6-foot constant slope barrier and F-shape barrier with noise abatement walls attached. The crash test included MASH TL-5 tests 5-10 (1100C Test Vehicle), 5-11 (2270P Test Vehicle) and 5-12 (3+6000V Test Vehicle). The assessment of each of the crash tests by Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) indicates that the Illinois Tollway Constant Slope Barrier and F-shape barrier passed the MASH evaluation criteria.

Ahmad Hammad, WSP USA, Inc.

Ahmad received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil/Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Ahmad has over two decades of experience in the design and rehabilitation of highway and transit structures as well as buildings.  In addition, he is a registered structural engineer in the state of Illinois and a registered professional engineer in many states.  Ahmad has published several refereed papers.  Ahmad currently serves as the Structures Mangers for the Illinois Tollway GEC.


Education Session #7: I-480 Valley View Bridge Structural Steel Erection Analysis

The I-480 Valley View Bridge Project includes construction of a new high-level median bridge situated between an existing pair of bridges carrying eastbound and westbound I-480 over the Cuyahoga River Valley near Cleveland, Ohio. The presentation will include a project overview and discussion of structural steel erection for the new bridge using overhead gantries, with an emphasis on the structural modeling and analysis of the existing eastbound and westbound bridge structural steel to confirm the feasibility and adequacy of the existing structures to support the steel erection loads.

Randy Thomas, PE, Jacobs

Randy is a principal bridge engineer based in Jacobs’ Milwaukee office, where he leads bridge design teams on highway and rail projects throughout the US and beyond. He received his BSCE from Virginia Tech and MSCE from the University of Wyoming. Randy is the Lead Bridge Engineer for the I-480 Valley View Bridge Project.


Education Session #8: Enhancing Bridge Design with Architectural Lighting 

The rapid advancement in technology impacts several facets of bridge design. A specific impact in the last few years that has reached new levels not imagined 10 years ago is architectural lighting. Bridges have been renown for the structural and architectural significance for ages. This significance has transcended over the last few years to include a specific focus on architectural lighting and its importance. The lighting on bridges enhances the impact and brings forth another dimension not visualized during the daytime.

Terry Sullivan, AIA, LEED AP, JLK Architects

Terry Sullivan is the head of the transit and infrastructure studio as principal at JLK Architects in Chicago, where he is involved in all phases of their transportation projects, including bridge design. He has completed a wide array of City of Chicago projects during his 25-year career, including architectural design involvement on North Avenue, Wells St., and Halsted over the Canal Bridges. Terry is currently involved in the Phase II design of the Division St. bridges over the River and Canal and future Lake St. and Taylor Street bascule bridge projects.  His non-transportation work includes LEED certified schools, libraries, Riverwalk projects, and university projects. Terry graduated with a master’s in architecture from Tulane University in 1993. He is a licensed architect in Illinois and LEED accredited for new construction projects.  

Pearl #2: Roselle Road a Simple, Aesthetically Pleasing Pedestrian Bridge 

The project purpose is to improve pedestrian and bicycle accessibility along a heavily trafficked corridor at the north end of Schaumburg. Roselle Road, which carries over 33,000 vehicles per day in this location, had no means for pedestrians to get from the heavily residential area south of I-90 to the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve north of I-90 and Central Road. Given the high visibility of this crossing, the Village elected to emphasize the aesthetics of the bridge from a motorist and pedestrian perspective. To enhance the user’s experience the 5-span, 750’ long bridge features a gently S-shaped horizontal alignment with radii of 1,500’ and 1,075’. To cross over Central Road and a Tributary of Salt Creek, the bridge was scoped as 5 spans of 750’ total length.

Salvatore DiBernardo, SE, PE, Ciorba Group

Mr. DiBernardo has over 28 years of experience in inspection, concept studies, structural analysis, design and construction management for bridges and other transportation related projects. He is a past president of SEAOI who authored and presented papers to various international conferences. Mr. Di Bernardo received a Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Rome, Italy; a master’s degree from MIT; and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.



August 27, 2020

Education Session #9: National Assessment of New Construction Market Pricing for Highway Bridges

The objective of this study was to analyze the initial construction costs of structural steel and concrete bridges that have been built across the United States in order to compare the in-place cost of these bridge types on national, regional, and state bases. The study focused solely on new and total replacements of structural steel and concrete bridges let by State Department of Transportations after 2011 and those that used a Design-Bid-Build delivery methodology.

Tony Peterson, National Steel Bridge Alliance

Tony Peterson is a Bridge Steel Specialist in the Central Market for the National Steel Bridge Alliance. He represents the steel bridge industry on matters of bridge type selection, fabrication and construction. Tony’s role with NSBA is to provide technical assistance, tools and resources for steel bridges to owners, designers, fabricators, and technical committees. Tony is a licensed professional engineer and holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Engineering (Structural) from Cornell University.


Education Session #10: New AASHTO Guide Specifications for Exploiting Steel Bridge Redundancy

AASHTO has introduced two new Guide Specifications applicable to Fracture-Critical Members. In this presentation an overview of the fracture limit state will be introduced, followed by a summary of the research projects carried out lead by Prof. Robert J. Connor at Purdue University. The focus of the presentation will be on the Guide Specifications for Internal Redundancy of Mechanically Fastened Built-Up Steel Members, and the Guide Specifications for Analysis and Identification of Fracture Critical Members and System Redundant Members, particularly on their structure, applicability, and available resources for implementation.

Francisco Javier Bonachera Martin, PhD, PE, Michael Baker International

Francisco Javier, Frank, Bonachera Martin obtained a BS (2011), a MS (2014), and a PhD (2016) in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.  From 2016 to 2019 worked as a Research Engineer at the Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research at Purdue University.  He joined the Indianapolis office of Michael Baker International in 2019.  He has participated in the development of several AASHTO provisions, including two Guide Specifications and contributions to the LRFD Bridge Design Specifications and the Manual for Bridge Evaluation.


Pearl #3: BIM Workflows: From Analysis to Fabrication

This presentation will discuss an integrated workflow for project delivery in a BIM environment. This workflow encompasses the full range of engineering activities, including conception, FEM, plans production, detailing, fabrication, and construction documentation, and provides considerable efficiency in design compared to traditional processes.

David Loughery, Allplan, Inc.

David Loughery is the business development manager for infrastructure with Allplan, a leading provider of BIM solutions for civil engineers. He came to the company after spending several years with Bentley Systems. He worked as a structural engineer on projects in China before beginning to work with AEC software.


Pearl #4: Lightweight Modular Accelerated Bridge System For Managed Car Lanes

There is a widening infrastructure investment gap in the US. Aging infrastructure requires high maintenance dollars. On the other hand, severe congestion on important urban interstate corridors is leading to prohibitive economic costs. The US Highway system moves 65% of freight and 85% of passenger traffic. Research has revealed that the Bridge infrastructure is grossly underutilized due to high numbers of single occupancy car vehicles. This presentation proposes use of managed car lanes to relieve pressure on existing infrastructure by giving policy planners a tool to effectively augment and manage existing Bridge infrastructure network. The presentation defines a notional car load and presents an Accelerated Bridge System. This system combines Metal Grid Deck systems with Simple for Dead and Continuous for Live Load approach to create a rapidly scalable installation system for Highway Bridges for managed car lanes. The modular approach makes for easier construction, which is further enhanced by the light-weight superstructure.

Sam Mittal, Horner & Shifrin

Sam Mittal serves as a Project Manager in the Chicago office of Horner & Shifrin. Sam has 15 years’ experience delivering projects throughout the country and internationally. During his career he has worked on complex steel, concrete segmental, tied-arch and other bridge types. Sam is a licensed Professional Engineer in five states, Structural Engineer in Illinois and has authored five research papers. Sam earned his bachelor’s from the National Institute of Technology, master’s from the University of Cincinnati, and MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.



Education Session #11: Complex Bridge Replacement on an Accelerated Schedule

The Edens Spur is a three miles expressway corridor connecting I-294 to I-94 in Northbrook, Illinois as part of the Illinois Tollway System. Ciorba Group led a team of engineering and environmental consultants to complete the design for the reconstruction and widening of the Edens Spur, which included the replacement of eleven mainline bridges and one crossover bridge. Many of these bridges have complex geometry and required design considerations to fit site constraints including high skews, super elevated bridges on curved alignments and deep foundations. The project goal was to modernize a vital part of the Tollway system originally built in the 1950s.

Brett Sauter,PE, SE, Mary Lou Kutska, PE, SE, and Mohamad Faraj, SE

Brett Sauter, Ciorba Group

Brett Sauter is a Vice President who leads Ciorba’s Structural Group, his experience includes concept studies and final design for bridge projects of various levels of complexity, he has authored technical papers and presented at various conferences.



Mary Lou Kutska, PE, SE, Ciorba Group

Mary Lou Kutska serves as a Structural Project Engineer with Ciorba Group with over seven years of experience for clients nationally.  She obtained her B.S. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.  She has worked on final design, staged construction analysis, structural peer review, and served as a technical advisor for concrete slab bridges, segmental bridges, precast concrete bridges, deck replacement, elevated steel track, signature pedestrian bridges, and major river crossings.


Mohamad Faraj, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA)

Mohamad is a Senior Project Engineer at Illinois Tollway, managing multiple design and construction projects with emphases on highway bridges.  Mohamad has over 20 years of experience in all design phases in both private sector and state agency.  He is also a certified bridge inspector and Serves as a structural reviewer.  Mohamad was designated as a structural lead during Phase I study for the preparation of Masterplan for the $4.0 Billion rehabilitation and reconstruction of Central Tri-State Corridor.  In addition to managing several systemwide design and construction projects, he is responsible for delivery of design contracts for both the reconstruction of the mainline I-294 Mile Long Bridges and the BNSF Rail Road Bridge over I-294 within the Central Tri-State Corridor as well as Managing design Contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Edens Spur.