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Touching the Earth Lightly: The U.S. 20 Iowa River Bridge (Live Webinar)PE & RA

Jeffrey Syken

On July 4th 1776, King George III of England wrote in his diary: “Nothing of any significance happened today.” Little did he realize that, on that very day, very much did happen that would dramatically affect the Empire he ruled. When motorists travel U.S. 20 between Dubuque and Fort Dodge, Iowa, and pass over the Iowa River Bridge, little do they realize the effort involved in spanning the environmentally sensitive Iowa River Greenbelt below. At first sight, it appears to be an ordinary deck-girder highway bridge with long-spans between piers. In fact, most motorists probably don’t even realize they’re crossing a bridge at all since the structure is below, out of view. If they knew of the twenty-five year effort to design a bridge that would “Touch the Earth Lightly” and the innovative methods used to construct the span, they might appreciate the experience of crossing the bridge even more. Special precautions were taken so as not to disturb the native wildlife (i.e. bald eagles) or pollute the river valley and/or Iowa River itself. This included selective tree removal, a temporary crane mat (in the river), a fluid containment system, drill-shaft pier foundation/s (with sheet-pile enclosures to prevent artesian water from entering the river), silt-basin channels (lined with cable concrete) and a sealed drainage system. The structure itself used, for the first time in the U.S. for a steel girder highway bridge, the Incremental Launch Method so as to cause minimal disturbance in the valley. To reduce maintenance activities, weathering steel was used. The bridge – opened in 2003, has become a model for enlightened, environmentally conscious civil construction projects.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Note to Webinar Attendees:

Our live webinars (web seminars) are considered as "Courses of Learning" (live courses) by the New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying and as "Timed & Monitored Courses" by the Ohio State Board for Professional Engineers and Surveyors. Unlike the traditional seminars held in a classroom setting, our webinars deliver live instruction to your home or office. You will be able to interact directly with our instructor during a webinar through audio channel or chat box. However, you must attend the webinar at a scheduled date and time. We will verify your attendance through our online webinar platform. The certificate of completion will not be issued unless you attend the webinar and pass a quiz (all quiz questions will be reviewed during the webinar). Thank you for your cooperation.

Next Scheduled Webinar for PDH Course C684W
Date and Time† Location Registration Deadline
Thur., Apr. 11, 2019, 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM ET
The webinar starting time.
* A webinar reminder with instruction on how to access our webinar platform will be emailed to you approximately 12 hours before the event.
† Special training arrangement can be made for 4 or more participants as a self-organized group. Please contact us for available training dates.

Note: This course requires users to pay first before viewing the course content.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.