On March 21, 2013, HC Bridge will receive the Charles Pankow Award for Innovation from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for development of the hybrid composite beam (HCB®) for highway and railway bridges.
John Hillman, president of HC Bridge, credits the success of his technology to the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) programs.
The HCB improves the speed of construction, has an estimated service life of more than 100 years, and weighs approximately one-tenth of a typical precast concrete beam of the same span length.
TRB Executive Director Robert E. Skinner, Jr., believes that the award not only confirms the value of the IDEA program, but also underscores the importance of transportation research more generally. Continue reading
Earlier this month, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognized the Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) for its work involving a Hybrid Composite Beam (HCB). TTCI Principal Engineer Duane Otter and HCB inventor John Hillman will be honored at an ASCE gala this spring in Washington, D.C., for their collaborative efforts.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 26% of U.S. bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. “That’s a total of over 160,000 bridges, and most of these are short spans suitable for HCB,” says Cosema Crawford, senior vice president at Louis Berger Group’s Morristown, N.J., office and former chief engineer of the New York City Transit Authority.
In most concrete bridges, beams stretch between columns to support the roadway above and are made from poured concrete with steel rebar inside. But thousands of beams will soon need to be replaced as bridges are repaired and upgraded …
The underlying concept of the HCB was conceived by Mr. John Hillman, PE, SE in the mid 1990’s. Mr. Hillman, a bridge design engineer supposed that if a concrete arch were tied at the ends and encapsulated in a FRP shell, that the embodiment would become a structural member that would be lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant.
How often did John R. Hillman, founder and president of Chicago-based HC Bridge Co., LLC, think about giving up on getting the industry to accept his hybrid bridge beam of concrete and steel with fiber-reinforced polymer materials? “Only about once a week,” he laughs.
On April 28, a Washington, D.C. gala attended by industry leaders, U.S. Congress members, federal agency officials and the media, was held to recognize the accomplishments of private engineering firms.