Sunday, July 29, 2012

Predicting the Future is Part of the Job

(The Nitschke Bridge pictured left, was a first step in the Green Bay, WI down town rejuvenation.)

When it comes to building roads in America, you have to be able to use current and past data to determine the future traffic at least 40 years out. In an attempt to get the most of every tax dollar the bridges and roadways are expected to last even longer than 40 years. Product innovations in sealers and bonding agents are making it possible to seal bridges to protect them from the acidic action caused by the salt and other agents used to make winter travel possible. If you can make the bridges last over 100 years other questions play into the future vision. What will the buildings and architecture around the bridges look like? What do we want them to look like? By changing the aesthetics now can you push the society to become more beautiful? Would this stimulate more investment to achieve these heights of  future American pride? Does this aesthetic attempt affect future tourism dollars spent in a location? These are all factors and topics of architects and penny pinching tax payers when investing in our infrastructure.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, federal stimulus dollars are building roads and much needed bridges. A common question is heard in discussions in the workplace lunch rooms to coffee houses, does the bridges and the roads have to be so fancy?

The new cement techniques in stamping and coloring techniques used in today's concrete can be and are used in bridge building. They are then  sealed to protect from the salt and other winter road slip inhibitors that shorten bridge life. Here are some great technique videos that show some of this new amazing technology. Chlick on these links: Stamping and coloring concrete.
Coloring and Stamping Concrete - Ideal Solution
How do they do it?
Fixing up existing walls!
We are seeing a lot of this concrete technology used to make the aesthetics help dress up neighborhoods and seem more appealing to some who may not like this idea of change. After doing research for this post, I can think of several areas we could use this technology!

Construction in progress, the left side is colored and the right side is yet to be completed.
A completed bridge project, all sealed with pleasing aesthetics.

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I'm always excited to hear and see your ideas. Together we will build a better world.