May 31, 2012
The new US 82 Mississippi River Bridge was recently recognized as one of the world’s most innovative projects of the year by the American Council of Engineering Companies. Called the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry,” the Engineering Excellence Awards bring together over 600 industry and government leaders annually to recognize the best achievements of the engineering profession. “Everywhere I go around the state beyond, I tell people that if they haven’t already, they need to see the new bridge at Greenville,” said Dick Hall, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Commissiner for the Central District. “It truly is an engineering marvel and one of the most beautiful structures I’ve ever seen. Obviously, the ACEC feels the same way. We’re very proud to have received this award.” A panel of 25-30 judges represent in industry, government, academia and media assembled for three days to critique and rank the submissions for engineering excellence. Projects from throughout world are rated on the basis of uniqueness and innovative applications; future value to the engineering profession; perception by the public; social, economic, and sustainable development considerations; complexity; and successful fulfillment of client/owner’s needs, Including schedule and budget.
The panel then selected 24 top award winners-16 Honor Awards and 8 Grand Awards. The US 82 Mississippi River Bridge was awarded one of the 8 Grand Awards. MDOT Engineer for the West/Central District Kevin Magee was on hand at the ceremony to accept the award, along with Greenville native and Assistant Project Engineer Michael Caulfield of HNTB who performed construction engineering and inspection for the main span structure. “I’m a little biased, but I think our bridge project is certainly deserving of this prestigious award. Apparently a nationwide panel of judges thought so, too. It was an honor to represent all the many talented people who had a hand in building such a beautiful and functional structure,” said Magee. The ground-breaking for the new bridge was held in November 2001, and it was officially opened in August 2010, making it the longest cable-stayed bridge span on the entire Mississippi River and the third longest bridge span in the United States. The project’s construction was done by Massman Construction Co. of Kansas City, and Traylor Brothers Inc. of Evansville Indiana. Massman Construction Co. was also the contractor for the old 1940 Greenville bridge that has since been removed.