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Bauer, E and Menches, C L (2011) Why We Need Renaissance Engineers: Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Phase II Case Study. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 137(10), 901–5.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Rehabilitation; Cable-stayed bridges; Seismic effects; Case studies; California; Retrofit; Design; Construction; Complexity; Multidisciplinary;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000321
  • Abstract:
    In today’s world of specialization, civil engineers may benefit from a return to an earlier period when breadth of knowledge, skills, and attitudes were appreciated: the Renaissance era. A broad set of skills is especially important in meeting the challenges of restoring deteriorating infrastructure and working with restricted financing. This paper presents the case of the Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Phase II Project to illustrate how important it is for civil engineers to possess solid technical expertise coupled with a cross-disciplinary knowledge of design and construction to achieve project success. These qualities allowed the engineers to integrate construction knowledge into the design process and design knowledge into the construction process, in spite of the project’s traditional design-bid-build delivery method. Of equal importance to the success were the engineers’ commitment, integrity, and persistence. The Phase II Project involved modifying the 70-year-old bridge’s five south approach structures. By applying modern earthquake engineering standards, these structures are now capable of withstanding a seismic event comparable to the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. The final outcome was a complex yet cost-efficient seismic upgrade of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, a project that was constructed within budget and without claims. In 2007, the project received the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Outstanding Civil Engineering Award.