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FHWA Resource Center

STRUCTURES TEAM

SCEF Meeting - Holiday Inn, Manassas, VA
November 1, 2001

Item 1

Self-introductions by all attendees.

Item 2

Minutes of the June 4, 2002 meeting in Pittsburgh were approved as written.

Item 3a - Regional Welder Certification Program

Implementation of this program has been slow since the SCEF adopted a process for SMAW at the last meeting. In a related issue, many of the mid-Atlantic State DOTs are concerned with the high cost for AWS certification and re-certification of welding inspectors, and how this continues to escalate at a higher rate than inflation. Lou Triandafilou will try to set up a meeting with AWS to address the SCEF group and discuss the cost issues.

Item 3b - AISC Task Force on Minor Bridge Component Certification

Per recent message from Tom Schlafly, he has briefed AISC management regarding the progress of SCEF task force on this subject. They support the concept of the new program and have directed the AISC Certification organization to establish a task group to carry this effort further. (Followup Note: Ms. Anna Petroski of the Quality Management Company will be leading this effort for AISC. She will be contacting members of the SCEF task force for further assistance).

Tom has been asked to present the progress of the new program to the North Central States Consortium in the near future. AISC targets June 2002, for the first audit of small fabricators of minor bridge components. The initial list of components developed by the SCEF task force, and agreed upon by all members attending today's meeting, is as follows: sign supports, light poles, traffic signals, expansion joints, bridge railings, bearings, drainage items/scuppers, grid decks and inspection walkways.

Item 3c - Standardization of Overhead Sign Supports, Light Poles and Traffic Signals

The task group chaired by Tom Macioce of PA has thus far received survey responses from VA. VA allows contractor-designed sign supports based on the 1994 AASHTO specifications, typically from MO fabricators. Others who responded at the meeting included PA (using Sigma from MD); DE and NJ, also using the 1994 specifications. NJ has recently completed standard drawings, commonly supplied by Lehigh Utility). DE has inspected 600 structures, and found 12 bolts sheared off of cantilevered structures.

The Task Group plans to meet before the next full SCEF meeting in order to provide a progress report to the group.

Item 4 -- Implementation of electronic shop drawings submissions.

WV has not officially adopted electronic shop drawings, but has been working with High Steel to use them, possibly on a value engineering project. DC, DE and VA are interested and have the capacity to implement, but have not done so yet. PA is waiting for the right project. MD has had a presentation by High Steel on the subject. MA is using the process on a design/build project, and NY and ME have also had experience. Art Miles has had experience on a major Latin America project, as well as a CA project.

The question was raised as to whether other fabricators are interested in doing this. Some fabricators do not do shop drawings and are not concerned about this issue. High Steel stated that shop drawings are the critical path in the fabrication process and the owners have to be willing to buy into the process.

The question also arose as to what format is being used to develop shop drawings electronically. Standard files should be used; TIF or PDF. In a related issue, Mike Engestrom noted that there is an industry task force working on standardizing shipping labels and advanced shipping notices.

Item 5 - State DOT Status Report on High Performance Steel Projects

NJ - an initial project is under construction at the I-95 interchange with Scotch Road, and 2 others are under design.

PA - recently completed Ford City bridge project won an award. Winter Green Gorge Bridge will be advertised with HPS for 25% of steel in bridge. Also, Lehigh University has completed fatigue testing on HPS corrugated steel webs and is now conducting shear tests, with a June project scheduled for letting.

DE - Churchman's Road Bridge is under design with HPS.

VA - Three bridges are currently in fabrication with HPS. Some minor problems have occurred with flange plates curling. SSPI, Banker Steel and Carolina Steel are fabricating.

WV - Buffalo Creek Bridge is complete and four other projects are under construction. Consultants have been directed to look at using HPS wherever possible.

The question was asked if FCM endorsement is necessary when fabricating HPS. Most states responded that only AISC certification is required. Lou can furnish copies of HPS Designer's Guide developed by the FHWA Western Resource Center.

Item 6a -- Large Movement Expansion Joints

John Brunell reported on the work of his subcommittee in developing a draft of an SCEF Standard Specification for Tooth Dam Expansion Joints w/Drainage Troughs. Copies were distributed to attendees. John requested comments from the entire committee so that his group can revise the specification and distribute it in time for voting at the spring meeting. Implementation of the final specifications could then occur within 1 year.

John pointed out that States are not using the same materials or coatings for the drainage troughs. His group is attempting to make this more uniform, and to avoid plan note and detail irregularities. We need consensus on what the materials should be, and then the details can be figured out.

Item 6b -- Bearings

Barrie Atkinson reported on a 10/15/01 response received from the AASHTO Bridge Subcommittee chairman of the T-2 Technical Committee on Joints and Bearings. The response addressed in the affirmative all 13 comments raised by Barrie's group on the HLMRB specifications. Issues such as design rotation requirements, maximum filler content, stainless steel thickness, ring diameters, elastomeric disk tolerances, stress levels for bronze alloys and hardness tests were addressed. References to D1457 were replaced with D4894 or D4895. Also, Method A for designing elastomeric bearings will eventually be added back into the specifications, prior to Method B.

Information on a disk bearing supplier known as Kinedyne was requested. No one at the meeting was familiar with this company. WV does not have enough information on this type of bearing, so they have not adopted the entire SCEF specification. MD uses them if specifically requested by design, not allowing a general contractor option.

Regarding the general use of HLMRB's, some States noted that they use the AASHTO specification instead of SCEF's.

In a related issue, Lou solicited the states on the status of their implementation of LRFD specifications. WV, PA and NJ are regularly using the concept in all designs. All States were strongly encouraged to formalize an implementation program which would be consistent with the October 2007 date agreed to by AASHTO and FHWA

Lou also noted that several of the SCEF standards are dated from 1994, and charged each subcommittee chairman with re-evaluating those pertaining to their respective groups. Revisions should either be made in order to update the standards, or they should be deleted. Each chairman was also asked to present a draft of any appropriate revisions at the Spring 2002 meeting. Any revisions should be reflected in LRFD format, as applicable.

Items 7 & 8 - AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration Documents

The Collaboration has approved and forwarded to AASHTO T-14 for balloting the following four standards:

Guide for Coating Systems with Inorganic Zinc-Rich Primer
Guidelines for Shop Detail Drawing Presentation
Steel Bridge Fabrication Guide Specification
Steel Bride Fabrication QC/QA Guide Specification

States should comment on the proposed standards as they are getting balloted through the Collaboration web site. Mid-Atlantic states were strongly encouraged to participate in these ballots.

The status of all collaboration documents is available on the web site for review and comment..

Item 9 - NCHRP Project 20-7, Task 149

The 3-D modeling portion of this project has been funded by AASHTO.

Item 10 - Southern States SCEF

Lou reported on Southern States Steel Bridge Fabrication Showcase. It was well received by the 25 attendees and the need was seen to continue to get together on a regular basis. The group is similar to our SCEF group, the Northeast States Steel Bridge Collaboration, and the North Central States Consortium.

Item 11 -- Update on Heat Straightening Pooled Fund Study

An updated Demo Project is now available for those states who wish to host it. Further updates are being handled under a pooled fund study, for which States are being solicited for their interest.

Item 12 - Other Issues

a) Bolted Spice Details:


George Crosland of High Steel Structures distributed a set of details developed for PennDOT which he is proposing for SCEF adoption. Comments were requested on the details by the end of December. He will make any revisions in time to be distributed before the Spring 2002 SCEF meeting

b) Shop Painting:


Mr. Russ Panico of High Steel Structures presented the results of an informal investigation he performed on the impact resistance of three coat systems with inorganic zinc and organic zinc primer. The testing consisted of subjecting coated steel plates having either inorganic or organic zinc as a primer to the same impact loads. The results showed the coating with the inorganic primer chipped down to the base metal while the plates coated with the organic primer had only the topcoat chipped.

Mr. Panico also reported that coating systems containing both inorganic and organic zinc primers have been tested by NEPCOAT with passing results in the 5000 hr. salt-fog test. He also pointed out other advantages to using organic primers including: more surface tolerance, does not need humidity to cure, faster drying times and less touch up required after erection. It was also pointed out the VOC's between the two are about the same. Mr. Panico requested that the States consider using organic zinc as a primer instead of the inorganic zinc.

c) Hot-dip Galvanizing Problems:


Lou Triandafilou noted that Illinois DOT has reported a warping problem with Hot Dipped Galvanized plate girders. Information was requested on Steel Bridge Collaboration web page. Anyone with similar experiences on plate girder members was asked to contact Lou with details.

d) OSHA Requirements for Stud Welding:


Bill Via, VADOT, brought up the new OSHA requirement that studs be welded in the field after erection and placement of deck pans. Virginia has asked for specifications from other states that currently do field installation of studs. OSHA has been asked by an ARTBA/NSBA task group to establish the implementation of the new regulations for bridge projects as the project bid date or award date, after January 18, 2002. It is unsure if this will be granted, however, OSHA will notify NSBA and NSBA will post the decision on their web site. The topic of the fall protection under the new OSHA requirements may have also changed and should be reviewed by all states.

e) Partial Payment of Structural Steel


Steve Bussanmas of High Steel Structures gave a product delivery presentation from NSBA requesting standardization of payment for raw plate based on paid invoices. Bill McEleney of NSBA and Steve will meet with various state bridge engineers making the same presentation in the coming months. It was pointed out that FHWA has no regulations restricting this; to the contrary, they endorse it. It was also pointed out that the fabricator orders and purchases plate based on the delivery schedule. Any delays, frequently not under the fabricator's control, result in the fabricator having to absorb the cost of the plate until the material is shipped to the project. The presentation is attached.

f) Next Meeting

Set for late March or early April 2002, possibly in NJ.

g) 25 attendees participated in a very interesting tour of the Williams Bridge Company steel fabrication shop. We viewed girder storage and various welding operations.

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