As we all know, bridges have been an important, critical link in transportation systems all over the world and for time immemorial. Unfortunately, their existence is usually taken for granted, their physical condition ignored and their maintenance requirements loosely met until – a Silver Bridge catastrophe.
This calamity instigated renewed activity in the area of in-depth and cursory inspection of bridges, and subsequently, their rehabilitation or replacement. However, due to many reasons, mostly financial, only an extremely small percentage of bridges throughout the nation have had the necessary attention.
Aggravating the situation, it has been found that bridges only recently constructed are already showing signs of wear and deterioration at an alarming rate. One of the primary causes of this rapid deterioration has been the use of de-icing salts. Much effort has been expended in trying to resolve this problem, which is only one of many problems facing the entire bridge building community.
Anyone following the news of recent years is acutely aware that the topic of “bridges” is constantly being discussed. Not everyone, however, is aware of what is wrong, why, what can be done and how to prevent further deterioration of this situation. Even worse is the fact that governing bodies have not fully recognized that there is indeed a national bridge “crisis”.
Visions and Goals
Realizing the bridge crisis, Mr. Nalin H. Udani, Bridge Engineer for PennDOT, District #11, initiated the idea for the Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD).
Together with people working in the bridge industry, he formed a foundation committee in June of 1976 to establish a constitution and make specific recommendations for starting the Association. Members of the founding committee were: Mr. Udani, Jr., L. Youn, Salvucci and Associates; Mr. I. Mackin, Mackin Engineers; Mr. L. Nagin, Reliance Steel Products Co.; Dr. Abrams, University of Pittsburgh; Mr. L. Schwendeman, Richardson, Gordon & Associates; Mr. R Gavett, Sika Chemical Corporation; Dr. V. Hasija, Reliance Steel Products Co.; and Mr. John J.B. Jones, Attorney, Baskin and Sears, P.C.
As a result, a group of interested educators, engineers, constructors and material suppliers was formed as an association for the purpose of attaining the following goals:
Educate bridge designers, constructors, Federal, State and Local officials, and the general public in the vital role of safe bridges in our society.
Improve and encourage the science of bridge design, construction and re-construction by providing a forum for members to exchange and develop new ideas and techniques.
Provide technical information and assistance to various public and private authorities for bridge programs.
Educate and encourage public and private authorities in new and improved techniques for testing and construction
As in any organization of this type, a strong membership is necessary to ensure success. So. If you believe: (1) a crisis exists, (2) that immediate action is necessary and, (3) that our goals are valid, you must be deeply interested in joining this association with an eye towards assisting us on attaining these ambitious goals. We are continually making progress, but need your support now.
There are three types of membership available:
Individual Membership entitles the member to one vote in all elections for directorship and all business presented to the membership for vote by the Board of Directors. The dues are $25.00 per year.
Sustaining Membership (for any corporation, partnership etc. or person) entitles the membership to three individual votes in all elections for directorship and for vote by Board of Directors. The dues are $175.00 per year. Membership also includes posting of company logo on website as a sponsor.
Student Membership is a non-voting membership for any full-time student, entitles the member to attend and participate in all meetings. The dues are $5.00 per year.