Amtrak's Capital Program Update and the Susquehanna Rail Bridge

   Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Topic: 
Amtrak’s Capital Program Update and the Susquehanna Rail Bridge - 1.0 PDH

Location:    
HNTB CORPORATION
1650 Arch Street, Suite 2100,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Meeting Area Location:  21st Floor - 5 Star Center
Cost**: 
General Admission $50; Government $35; Students $35

PLEASE RSVP BY 5:00 PM ON NOVEMBER 24, 2017
REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS CLOSED

Description:

Topic 1 - Amtrak’s Program

The NEC supports approximately 260 million passenger rail trips every year on Amtrak and the eight commuter railroads that operate on the corridor. Major capital investment is needed to upgrade critical aging infrastructure elements, many of which are more than a century old, to deliver capacity and reliability while meeting current and projected future demand. 

James Richter, PE is the Deputy Chief Engineer Structures for Amtrak and will provide an overview of Amtrak’s capital needs regarding the many major structural projects on the NEC.  This presentation will include the Gateway Program in the NY-NJ metropolitan area and several critical bridges in Maryland among others. 

Topic 2 - Susquehanna River Rail Bridge

The existing Amtrak Susquehanna River Rail Bridge is a 4,154 foot long movable bridge that supports two tracks across the river.  Built in 1906 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, it is located between the Town of Perryville and the City of Havre de Grace, Maryland. The bridge carries Amtrak NEC trains, Amtrak long-distance trains, MARC Penn Line trains and Norfolk Southern freight trains.  It is a vital structure on the Philadelphia to Washington segment of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC). Amtrak planning efforts have shown a need to increase capacity on the line due to the growing demand for rail service by each of the railroads operating over the bridge.  Separately, Amtrak is planning for a future 160 mph service on this line.  The existing truss configuration prevents widening of the structure to provide additional track capacity. In addition, the speed restriction on the structure causes this two-track bridge to be an operational choke point on the NEC and will restrict future growth by each of the three railroads.  The Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project has recently entered Final Design.  The project will construct a new two-track bridge upstream of the existing structure and then replace the existing bridge with a new two-track twin bridge to obtain four-track service.  This will improve capacity, trip time, reliability and safety at this location. 

Presenters:

James Richter, PE (Topic 1)

Jim Richter is the AVP Engineering & Design for Amtrak, and has overall responsibility for capital planning and programming, inspection and maintenance standards, and engineering design, for Track, Structures, Electric Traction, Communication, and Signal assets across Amtrak’s network. Previously he held the Deputy Chief Engineer Structures position.  Current major projects include the B&P Tunnel Replacement, Susquehanna River Bridge Replacement, Connecticut River Bridge Replacement, Pelham Bay Bridge Replacement, High Speed Rail Facility Expansion, and the Gateway Program’s Hudson River Tunnel.

Prior to joining Amtrak in 1999, Jim held various engineering and management positions in the bridge and structures department, including Assistant Chief Engineer Structures, during his 23 years at Conrail. He began his engineering career with Penn Central Transportation Company.

Jim has a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Tri State University and is a registered Professional Engineer.  Jim is a member of the American Railway and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) Committee 15 Steel Structures, and has previously served on the AREMA Board of Directors as Vice President of the Structures Functional Group.  Jim is a member of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Bridge Research Advisory Group, and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  

Kevin McDermott, PE (Co-Speaker – Topic 2)

Kevin McDermott has over 20 years of experience in the structural design, inspection and construction of bridge, building, tunnel, rail transportation and waterfront facility projects.  He is a Principal Structural Engineer at the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) and is serving as the Project Manager for the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project.  He is based in 30th Street Station, Philadelphia within the Engineering Structures - Structural Design Group and covers a wide variety of infrastructure projects nation-wide.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, a Commercial Diver Certification and is a PE in New Jersey. 

Jeffery Konrad, PE (Co-Speaker – Topic 2)

Jeff Konrad has 29 years of experience in the design, inspection and construction of bridge and transportation projects in Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast.  He is a Vice President at HNTB Corporation and serves as the Structural Department Manager for Pennsylvania Operations and is based in their Philadelphia Office.  In his tenure at HNTB, he has managed some of their largest bridge design projects including the Portal Bridge Project, NJ Transit’s Midline-Loop, and the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project in Maryland.  He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College, an MBA from Rutgers University, and is a PE in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.  He also served as an adjunct engineering professor for 11 years.

Meeting schedule:
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm  Dinner (Baked Ziti + Chicken Parmesan / Vegetarian)
7:30 pm - 8:45 pm  Program

To register (REQUIRED):
Register Here (link), or you may email Jack Cardinal <jcardinal@figgbridge.com> or call
610-594-2460, Extension 3046 by the Friday before the meeting (11/24/2017).  

Mail checks payable to SEI-Phila Chapter (or bring to the meeting) to:
SEI Treasurer Mr. Daniel Kucz
100 Campbell Blvd, Suite 100
Exton, PA 19341
Note:

**Payment must be made for the cost of dinner if you make a reservation but are not able to attend, since we must pay this cost to the caterer.**

High Steel Bridge Erection: The Handling of Measurement Methods and Wind Provisions

   Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Topic: 
High Steel Bridge Erection: The Handling of Measurement Methods and Wind Provisions - 1.0 PDH

Location:    
Valley Forge Casino Resort (formerly Radisson)
1160 First Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406


Meeting Area Location:  The Venue Main Floor Room
Cost**: 
members $45; non-members $50; government $25; students $15

PLEASE RSVP BY 5:00 PM ON OCTOBER 13, 2017

Description:
Bob Cisneros & Sue Steele will be sharing their experiences as bridge engineers with High Steel Structures, LLC. Their presentation will have a two-fold focus:
  • Measurement, metrology and survey measurement tools used in the building of bridges (girder, truss, arch) including two Pennsylvania structures. The handling of assembly challenges such intended fit condition (no-load, steel and full dead load), weather-induced settlement, compound tolerances and thermal ratcheting allowance will be discussed.
  • Implementation of the new 2017 AASHTO “Guide Specifications for Wind Loads on Bridges During Construction”. Current exposure, gust, and wind speed-up criteria, as well as their distribution to windward, leeward and interior girders will be compared to earlier, ASCE/NHI-based methods that High’s engineers have utilized during the picking, setting & stabilization of bridge structures during erection. Pennsylvania criteria such as BD 620M (Steel Girder Bridge Lateral Bracing Criteria) & BC 772 (P/S Concrete Primary/Secondary Beam Bracing) will be included.
Picking up where earlier ASCE-SEI sessions left off, after illustrating sample applications of these concepts, the presenters hope to open the floor up to frank discussion and mutual learning with attendees.

Presenters:

Bob Cisneros, PE
Chief Engineer Robert Cisneros, PE has been with High Steel Structures, Inc. since 1996, where he started as Senior Project Manager. Bob earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Cornell University, and has since completed coursework in accounting & financial management. A professional engineer in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia & Maryland, Bob also holds a Welding Engineer Designation for CSA Standard W47.1, Division I Fabrication under Canadian Welding Bureau jurisdiction and an AWS Welding Supervisor Certification.

His responsibilities at High Steel have included: "supervising the shop drawing preparation process, bridge transportation, erection and field construction engineering at jobsites, technical representation for customers, suppliers, design consultants and owners, equipment design for manufacturing, shipping and field erection, welding procedure development, and helping the High Steel team uphold their AISC Advanced Erector Certification.

Susan Steele, PE
Sr. Bridge Erection Engineer Susan Steele, PE has been with High Steel Structures, LLC since 2008, and prior to that with High Concrete Structures LLC since 2001. Susan earned her bachelor's degree in Design and Construction Eng. Tech. and Masters in Engineering Science from Penn State University. She is a Registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New York and also holds an NCIDQ (Nat'l Council on Interior Design Qualifications) Certification.

Meeting schedule:
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm  Social and Registration
6:30 pm - 7:15 pm  Dinner (chicken/fish/vegetarian) - please note preference in response
7:15 pm - 8:30 pm  Program

To register (REQUIRED):
Register Here (link), or you may email Jack Cardinal <jcardinal@figgbridge.com> or call
610-594-2460, Extension 3046 by the Thursday before the meeting (10/12/2017).  

Mail checks payable to SEI-Phila Chapter (or bring to the meeting) to:
SEI Treasurer Mr. Daniel Kucz
100 Campbell Blvd, Suite 100
Exton, PA 19341

Note:

 **Payment must be made for the cost of dinner if you make a reservation but are not able to attend, since we must pay this cost to the caterer.**


   Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Topic:

Emergency Repair of the PA/NJ Turnpike Connector Bridge - 1.0 PDH

Location:    
Valley Forge Casino Resort (formerly Radisson)
1160 First Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406

Meeting Area Location:  Parkview Ballroom

Cost**: 
members $45; non-members $50; government $25; students $15

PLEASE RSVP BY 5:00 PM ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

Description:

In January 2017, a fracture in the top tension chord of a four-span continuous deck truss was discovered, forcing the immediate closure of the bridge connecting the PA and NJ Turnpike’s over the Delaware River at Bristol, PA.  Within hours, emergency repair designs were underway along with the fabrication of temporary splices.  Concurrently, the construction of emergency shoring/jacking towers had begun, and a plan was being developed to assess the 14 spans of deck trusses comprising the PA and NJ approaches. The bridge was reopened less than seven weeks after the date of fracture.  Learn how the jacking and restoration of the chord made a difference, as well as what sorts of material and nondestructive tests conducted were conducted.

Presenter:

Jim Stump, PE - Mr. Stump is the Bridge Engineer Manager for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Jim has been employed by the Commission for 25 years and has 29 years of transportation related experience. As the Bridge Engineer Manager, Jim oversees the Commission's Bridge Program which includes the design, rehabilitation and inspections of over 1100 structures as well the Commission's five sets of tunnels. Jim graduated from Penn State University with Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and is a member of the Association of Bridge Construction and Design, American Society of Highway Engineers, and the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Meeting schedule:
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm  Social and Registration
6:30 pm - 7:15 pm  Dinner (chicken/fish/vegetarian) - please note preference in response
7:15 pm - 8:30 pm  Program

To register (REQUIRED):
Register Here (link), or you may email Jack Cardinal <jcardinal@figgbridge.com> or call
610-594-2460, Extension 3046 by the Thursday before the meeting at 5:00 pm (9/21/2017).  

Mail checks payable to SEI-Phila Chapter (or bring to the meeting) to:
SEI Treasurer Mr. Daniel Kucz
100 Campbell Blvd, Suite 100
Exton, PA 19341

Note:

**Payment must be made for the cost of dinner if you make a reservation but are not able to attend, since we must pay this cost to the caterer.**