On Friday March 1, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students from I.M. Terrell Academy had the opportunity to visit the three signature Panther Island Bridges following their Trinity River Vision Authority office visit that took place on February 8.
During the office visit the students had many opportunities to gain insight on the project from representatives from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and TRVA staff. Hearing from various engineers, architects, archeologists and project planners about specific details that go into the full Central City flood protection project, the students walked away with basic knowledge about the overall project and expectations for when they visit the bridges.
Taking what the apprentices learned during their TRVA office visit, they were able to experience the bridge construction in person and meet project managers from various agencies that are working on the bridges.
The students met with Scott Cooner from TxDOT, Sr. T/PW Project Engineer from the City of Fort Worth Doug Rademaker, and Freese & Nichols engineers Alex Garcia and Will. Also, City Councilman and TRVA Board Member Carlos Flores joined the students during the tour of the bridges. As an engineer, Councilman Flores spoke to the students about the value of the hands on experience and the need for more engineers.
After an on-site a safety brief, the students walked over to observe the bridge that is the farthest along, White Settlement St. Bridge. The students were able to see firsthand the size of the bridges, v-piers and everything that goes into building them up close and personal.
At the Henderson St. Bridge, the students were able see the intricacy of the steel design that is needed for the form work in order to get a v-pier ready to pour concrete into. While there, they learned about the various tests that go into a concrete pouring of a v-pier before the actual pour takes place.
“The Trinity River Vision bridges are very unique and there are no other bridges exactly like them in Texas or in the country. We were delighted to have these local future engineers join us to get a first-hand look at an important project in their own backyard.
We stressed the importance of documenting key events on projects like these. The students have been using daily diaries in their classwork, so this memory will most likely be captured there.”
– Doug Rademaker Sr. T/PW Project Engineer from the City of Fort Worth
Despite the cold weather, the students were very engaged throughout the two-hour tour taking in all of the information from the different speakers. Thank you to all that made the office visit and bridge tour possible!
Are you part of a group or school organization that would be interested in a bridge tour? Contact us today!