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China’s Sutong Bridge Is Named 2010 OCEA Winner; OPAL Lifetime Achievement Recipients Honored; Pankow, Michel Awards Presented

ASCE News Volume 35, Number 4

The Sutong Bridge, in the southeastern part of China’s Jiangsu Province, was named the winner of the 2010 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award (OCEA award) at this year’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) gala, which was held on March 25 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel. Established in 1960, the OCEA award annually recognizes the project deemed to embody the best in civil engineering and to make a significant contribution both to the civil engineering profession and to society as a whole. The OCEA award is chosen by a jury, and the jury for the 2010 award met in December. The OCEA award winner receives an OPAL award. ASCE established the OPAL awards in 1999 to annually celebrate the achievements and recognize the contributions of civil engineers worldwide as well as the outstanding civil engineering achievement. 

 The other finalists in this year’s competition were the Arrowhead Tunnels Project–Inland Feeder Program, San Bernardino, California; the Concordia University Wisconsin Lakeshore Environmental Enhancement and Education Project, Mequon, Wisconsin; the Sound Transit Central Link Light Rail: Section 710 (Beacon Hill Station and Tunnels), Seattle; and the Utah State Capitol Seismic Base Isolation and Restoration project, Salt Lake City. 

 With a span of 1,088 m, the Sutong Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. It is a dual three-lane highway bridge that, in spanning the Chang (Yangtze) River, forms part of the link between the cities of Suzhou and Nantong. In addition to its 1,088 m span, the bridge has two side spans of 300 m each and four smaller cable spans. The bridge’s two pylon towers are 306 m high and are among the tallest in the world. Construction work commenced in June 2003, and the main span closure, which involved very significant engineering efforts with respect to erecting the world’s longest cantilever span, was completed in June 2007. 

 As the first cable-stayed bridge to have a span of more than 1,000 m, the Sutong Bridge pushed the technological frontier of long-span bridge construction. The design and construction of the bridge involved a comprehensive research and development initiative that was proposed by the Chinese Ministry of Communications and managed by Jiangsu Province’s Sutong Bridge Construction Commanding Department. A group of design institutes and universities jointly conducted a series of studies with a view to utilizing the results in a design that would address the bridge’s aerodynamic performance, seismic resistance, and static and dynamic characteristics, as well as stay cable vibration and mitigation. This work provided invaluable input in selecting the structural form of the bridge. 

 Because a balance between the need for construction and environmental conservation was deemed essential, a number of measures were implemented during the design and construction of the bridge to ensure that this balance was in fact attained. Most important of all, the Sutong Bridge has greatly advanced the theory and practice of modern bridge engineering. It encouraged further developments in engineering and project management and benefited from the wholehearted cooperation demonstrated by the Chinese construction units and the international construction firms.  

 Submitted by Robin Sham, Ph.D., global long-span and specialty bridges director, AECOM, Hong Kong, the project had as its team leader You Qing-zhong, Jiangsu Provincial Communications Department, China. Its architect of record was China Highway Planning and Design Institute Consultants, Inc., China; its engineer of record was Jiangsu Provincial Communications Department, China; and its general contractors were Second Navigational Engineering Bureau of China Communications Construction Company, Second Highway Engineering Bureau of China Communications Construction Company, and China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Company, Ltd. 

 The five individuals who were awarded OPAL awards for lifetime achievement are Terence E. “Ed” Richardson, P.E., M.ASCE, for construction; Man-Chung Tang, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, for design; David E. Daniel, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, for education; John W. Morris II, P.E., F.ASCE, a retired lieutenant general who served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for government; and Robert D. Nichol, P.E., F.ASCE, for management. (See “2010 OPAL Lifetime Achievement Honorees Announced,” ASCE News, January 2010, page 1.) 

 The Charles Pankow Award for Innovation was established in 1996 in honor of Charles J. Pankow to celebrate collaboration in innovative design, materials, or construction-related research and development transferred into practice in a sustainable manner. The winner of the 2010 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation is the Eco Sound Barrier, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Established in 1996 in honor of Henry L. Michel, the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research recognizes a leader in the design and construction industry whose dedication and aggressive vision have provided cornerstones for improving the quality of people’s lives around the world through research in the design and construction industry. The winner of the 2010 Michel award is Samuel Yen-Liang Yin, Ph.D., M.ASCE.