Bridging Substance with Style

by Patrick Cassity, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Bridge Engr.; J. Muller Int. Chicago,
Ken Price, P.E., Proj. Mgr.; J. Muller Int., Chicago,
Stan Kaderbek, P.E., Deputy Commissioner & Chf. Bridge Engr.; Chicago Dept. of Transp.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 2, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


Engineers used an elegant form to come up with a functional solution when designing the new Damen Avenue Arch in Chicago. Two steel ribs, created using heat induction bending, closely approximate the ideal form for transferring the bridge's live and dead loads to cast-in-place concrete abutments. The ribs puncture the steel deck and hit the abutments below the bridge's back spans, creating an interesting space below the bridge that will eventually accommodate part of a riverwalk. Workers built bridge elements both on and off site. The massive ribs reach their destination via a barge trip through Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.

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