YELLOW CREEK AND MILL CREEK Bridge designers to be recognized

The bridges used innovative technologies and cost-saving features.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two local businesses will be honored Wednesday for innovative bridge design by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio.
Youngstown-based ms consultants inc. earned an honor award for the design of the new U.S. 224 bridge over Yellow Creek while Thomas Fok & amp; Associates of Youngstown won the same award for a new bridge over Mill Creek.
The old bridge over Yellow Creek, built in 1952, was a maintenance nightmare and had to be replaced, but the new structure had to blend in with the distinctive charm of the area. ms consultants responded by designing a new three-span, 251-foot, composite steel beam structure.
In order to reduce maintenance costs, the firm specified a hop-dip galvanizing treatment on the pedestrian walkway railing to prevent rust and the use of self-weathering steel for the bridge beams.
The firm also devised a way to reuse existing bridge piers and abutments, which considerably reduced the construction cost and schedule.
The project also was recognized for a complex traffic management plan that routed commercial truck traffic into one road network and passenger traffic into another network for the duration of the bridge construction.
Mill Creek bridge
The Mill Creek project, a joint effort between the Mill Creek Park District and Mahoning County, was recognized for balancing the need for increased residential and commercial traffic against the interests of hikers, cyclists and other users of the recreational and scenic Mill Creek Park.
An important technical element to the design, largely unseen by the public but important in its effect upon making the bridge easy and safe to use, is Mahoning county's first use of modern video detector units to control traffic lights. The new signals also will collect traffic data, allowing county engineers to make timing adjustments for future traffic flow.
Project engineers also were recognized for economic considerations. Designers first considered traditional, concrete slab construction, but after evaluating the existing bridge foundation, which was built in 1953, they determined concrete box beams would save construction time and cost one-fourth less to build.
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio will host a luncheon Wednesday at the Ohio Statehouse to recognize the winners.