Trends Spring 2017 - Page 21

PERSPECTIVES SE Operations vice president named Jay Saxena has joined Ayres Associates as vice president of Southeast Operations. He brings more than 20 years of success in engineering and business management and will oversee Ayres’ four Florida offices. Saxena has built a solid reputation for creating and leveraging models to achieve business growth. He has worked for more than 16 years for engineering consultant firms throughout Florida, including serving in management roles. He has spent the past four years in the health care field, most recently as president and chief operating officer of a successful health care group specializing in personal, customer-focused service to its patients. His engineering experience includes managing civil and geotechnical projects throughout the Southeast and expanding companies’ client bases. His focus in the health care field was putting patients first, just as his engineering consulting work puts the client first. Saxena is a registered professional engineer in Florida and a Florida neutral evaluator and certified circuit civil mediator. He holds a master of engineering degree from Cornell University and a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Florida. Bridge scour team wins awards The Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers recognized a massive effort to evaluate the incidence of dangerous scour among more than 1,500 Florida bridges with “unknown foundations” – ones whose foundation construction documentation is lacking – by awarding the project a 2017 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence. Ayres Associates and GCI Inc, in partnership with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. and STV Incorporated, meticulously analyzed bridges susceptible to scour – the engineering term for the erosion of soil surrounding a bridge foundation – thereby helping the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to decide which bridges are candidates for repair, replacement, or protection from scour. The team also developed innovative and rational methods that advance the state of practice in assessing bridges with unknown foundations. Lead practitioners for the project say the important contributions made by the team will ensure safer structures and lead to new standards for bridge evaluations. The team leaders have presented their methods and findings regionally, nationally, and internationally to others in the industry, governmental agencies, and academic institutions. Ayres Associates’ FDOT scour evaluation efforts have been led by Hisham Sunna, manager of structural design/inspection, Southeast Operations. The firms assembled multidisciplinary teams to complete risk assessment, field investigations and reviews, surveys, non-destructive testing, scour analysis, geo-structural evaluations, and development of plans of action for scour countermeasures. Inn ovations included a pioneering method for pile embedment estimation, as well as the first known approach to rationally include consideration of the substructure in bridge load ratings. Bridge load ratings are typically assigned based solely on evaluation of the superstructure, which consists of the beams and deck directly beneath traffic. Such load rating could cause catastrophic results if the load-carrying capacity of the substructure, which includes abutments and piers, is deficient. The project advanced to the national ACEC competition, where it earned a National Recognition Award for demonstrating “exceptional achievement in engineering.” Bridge project earns ACEC honors The American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin honored Ayres’ USH 2 Bong Bridge Rehabilitation and Approaches project with a 2017 Engineering Excellence State Finalist Award. Ayres Associates used creative engineering and well-planned construction staging to safely and successfully rehabilitate the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge – a prominent structure linking Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota, over the St. Louis River and Harbor. The thousands of people who use this picturesque bridge daily have a renewed structure they can trust and quicker drive times on a smoother road and modern roundabout, and they will encounter minimal maintenance disruptions for the next 30 years. The visually captivating “S” shaped bridge, which opened in 1985, required “routine” maintenance after 30 years of use. │21