bridges their engineering and planning pdf

As we worked on our book, we consulted with Mr. Myint Lwin, director of the Office of Bridge Technology at the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). He told us of the two most serious challenges facing the highway system and bridges in particular. The first is the need for properly educated new professionals who can effectively design and manage the renewal of our aging system. The second is communication with the general public and with elected representatives, to make them aware that infrastructure investments require long-term commitment and the steady flow of resources.

We hope our book plays a part in answering both these challenges. We intend it to inspire students in search of satisfying careers to take up the study of bridge engineering and infrastructure planning. And we wish it to inform citizens and public officials about what their community will face when it decides whether to build or replace a bridge, and if it actually commits to doing so, the many complex tasks through which the project will be brought to completion.

Oh yes, we are very glad to have as a reader anyone who is just curious. We are proud that over the course of our writing, and with assistance from the FHWA, our university has also established a master’s degree program in bridge engineering, which is already graduating a new generation ready to face the future of aging infrastructure.

This writing project has received partial financial support from the FHWA (DTFH61-08-C-00012), the National Science Foundation PAESMEN Individual Award (DUE0627385), the University at Buffalo Samuel P. Capen endowment fund, and MCEER, the multidisciplinary center for research on earthquakes and extreme events. To them we express our sincere gratitude.

The writing of an interdisciplinary book on bridges, by two authors with different backgrounds, one in structural engineering and one in urban planning, has depended on open dialog between us. With much discussion and with growing friendship we did indeed find the basis for mutually understanding complex topics well enough to put them into words we could each appreciate. We hope we have thereby been able to provide clear, wellrounded explanations to our readers.