Supply-Side Solutions

by Nils Olsson, (M.ASCE), Sr. Vice Pres.; LoBuono, Armstrong & Assoc., Tampa, FL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 4, Pg. 57-59

Document Type: Feature article


Although the crumbling bridge infrastructure has received much attention in the press and the engineering community over the past few years, the number of structurally deficient bridges has remained strikingly constant. But why? New ideas are constantly offered by contractors and engineers, but they require so much effort to implement that hopes fade and frustrated, innovative people fall back into the pattern of business as usual. The solution lies in finding harmony between the supply and demand segments of the bridge construction industry. Engineers and contractors�the supply side of the equation�are eager to implement innovative repair solutions. But the demand side, the bridge owner, must let these ideas reach fruition. Savings are there for the taking, but our available intellectual resources must first be freed from the practice of business as usual: the engineering-construction dichotomy; claims litigation; adversarial relationships; the owner's position of show me one that's already been done; and the top-down planning. The Mathews Bridge in Jacksonville, Fla., the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, S.C. and the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City are three structures that may benefit from this innovative infrastructure initiative in vastly different ways.

Subject Headings: Bridges | Innovation | Infrastructure construction | Infrastructure | Contracts and subcontracts | Bridge engineering | Structural engineering

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