Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Wins Prestigious Gustav Lindenthal Medal

Bayer MaterialScience LLC presents annual award at the International Bridge Conference

Pittsburgh, June 18, 2009 -- The Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB) Project has been selected as the winner of the prestigious 2009 Gustav Lindenthal Medal. The WWB Project, which spans the Potomac River connecting Virginia and Maryland, was honored for resolving a renowned transportation bottleneck through technical innovation, environmental stewardship, capacity and efficiency improvements, and transit alternatives.

The award, sponsored by Bayer MaterialScience LLC, was presented to the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) and the Virginia Department of Transportation by Dr. Karsten Danielmeier, vice president, business development, Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, on June 15, 2009, during the annual International Bridge Conference® (IBC) in Pittsburgh. This premier transportation project was completed in 2008 not only on-time, but also within its $2.5 billion budget.

Potomac Crossing Consultants (PPC), a joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff, URS, and Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP, provided program and construction management support to the primary partners - MSHA and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) - as well as the project's many other sponsors and consultants.
The bridge is noteworthy structurally, as well as aesthetically. Structurally speaking, the bridge features the largest movable span in the world, and each of the structure's eight drawspans is designed to close within a 1/8-inch tolerance. Aesthetically, the design of the river crossing features an arch appearance that calls to mind other bridges in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as other 'monumental' structures in the area. The V-piers maintain the arch theme, while functionally serving to minimize horizontal loads.

The bridge is environmentally significant, as well. As part of the project, five artificial reefs were created in the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, more than 52 acres of new wetlands were created and more than 94 acres were restored or preserved. Also, the project reestablished streams for fish spawning and developed a contained bubble-curtain system to eliminate fish mortality during pile driving.

The culmination of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project is a functioning six-lane highway spanning the Potomac, reduced traffic congestion, renewed wetlands and an on-time, on-budget signature structure.

"The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project is an excellent example of how approaching a mega-project such as this one holistically - from a social, economic and sustainable design perspective - can result in an achievement that is successful on many fronts," said Danielmeier. "For all its achievements, we are pleased to add the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project to the elite group of this prestigious award's past winners."

One of five esteemed awards given annually at the International Bridge Conference, the Gustav Lindenthal Medal was created in 1999 to honor a recent outstanding achievement that best demonstrates technical and material innovation together with aesthetic merit, harmony with the environment or successful community participation.

Gustav Lindenthal was one of America's most celebrated bridge engineers, and is widely admired for his innovative ideas, vision and foresight during the technology boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lindenthal established an engineering practice in Pittsburgh, and participants in the International Bridge Conference can enjoy a spectacular example of Lindenthal's work. In the City of Bridges, the Smithfield Street Bridge stands out as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and National Historic Landmark. Completed in 1883 as Pittsburgh's first river bridge, the Smithfield Street Bridge is a double lenticular truss spanning the Monongahela River. It remains a popular passage today, serving more than 18,000 commuters and being the most heavily walked pedestrian bridge in the city.

Now in its 26th year, the IBC is held annually in Pittsburgh. It serves as the leading display for the bridge industry in North America, Europe and Asia. Over 1,600 bridge owners and engineers, government officials, senior policy makers, construction executives, bridge designers and suppliers from all over the world attend the Conference each year.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 15,100 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2008 sales of 9.7 billion euros. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries.

Thomas Erdner, Phone: 412-777-5200
E-mail: thomas.erdner@bayerbms.com

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience call 412-777-3983, e-mail naftainfo@bayerbms.com or visit www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com.

More from Fluid & Gas Flow Equipment

All Topics