Ohio high school engineering students get up-close look at bridge reconstruction project
Kerry Clines | December 16, 2016

road-work-ahead-Better-RoadsEngineering students at Kings (Ohio) High School were provided with an opportunity visit the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, which is undergoing reconstruction, the Journal-News reports. The students learned about the project team and about the steps involved in bridge construction — from installing various foundations to support the bridge to pouring individual bridge segments and using post-tension tendons to hold the bridge together.

“They were able to witness the engineering design process in action on a huge scale,” Jason Shields, the engineering teacher at Kings High School, told the news agency. “They were able to build their understanding of civil engineering and construction management. A lot of my students are interested in these careers, and this field trip allowed them to get firsthand exposure of their future career.”

The $88.1-million project is replacing the high level bridges on Interstate 71 just outside of Wilmington. The bridge’s existing deck trusses are being replaced with concrete cast-in-place segmental box structures using the balanced cantilever method of construction.

“The project is now close to completion, so this fall was the last opportunity for a group to tour the structure,” said Joseph Smithson, P.E., district geotechnical engineer with District 8 of the Ohio Department of Transportation and the father of engineering student Laurel Smithson. “I hope the tour enlightened each student on how engineers come together as a team to solve real-world problems. In this case, the problem is a new bridge over a national scenic river, but the same thought process and team approach is used by all engineering disciplines.”

In 2015, engineering students at the high school built bridges that spanned 50 centimeters out of fettuccine using hot glue to hold them together. Some of the bridges held up under a weight of more than 100 pounds.



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