Prestressed Concrete 101

Prestressed Concrete 101

By Jordan Pelphrey, PE

Prestressed concrete is a high-strength, engineered building material used extensively in the construction industry. It has a multitude of applications, including in bridges, commercial buildings, dams, roads, stadiums, hospitals, parking garages, multistory residential buildings and in a number of other structures. The applications for this construction material are nearly limitless. It’s a great way to minimize cracking and take advantage of the incredible strength of reinforced concrete.

So, what exactly is prestressed concrete?

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Artesian Wells

Why is it called an Artesian Well? What does this mean?

By Dan Whalen, PE

The word ‘artesian’ comes from the town of Artois in France, the old Roman city of Artesium, where well known flowing artesian wells were drilled by Carthusian monks in the 12th century.

The definition of artesian (Merriam-Webster) is:

artesian, adjective
ar·​te·​sian | \ (ˈ)är-¦tē-zhən\
Definition of artesian: involving, relating to, or supplied by the upward movement of water under hydrostatic pressure in rocks or unconsolidated material beneath the earth's surface.

But this definition is a little misleading.

The word artesian may bring to mind a well with water spewing out over the top and flowing all over. But only some water wells naturally flow by themselves, and some artesian wells don’t flow at all. Here’s why.

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Non-Motorized Safety

Non-Motorized Safety—It's a Three-Way Street

By Dave Austin, PE

Over the past several years, Williams & Works has been involved in the planning, design and construction of numerous non-motorized transportation projects including long distance regional pathways, Safe Routes to School sidewalk systems, on-street and separated bike lanes, and hiking trails. The increase in this type of assignment stems, in large part, from the desire of communities to promote a healthier lifestyle and to provide a safe means for people to access community facilities, shopping, schools, and employment in something other than a motorized vehicle. But with increased non-motorized transportation comes a need for public education changing on traffic safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that while overall traffic deaths in the United States has declined 1% since 2016, deaths involving pedestrians and cyclists have increased by 4% and 10% respectively during that same time frame. The web is full of articles representing all sides of the issue, each with a stack of facts supporting that the other guys are responsible for this increase; and you know what? They are all correct.

I drive a car. Including commuting, driving to/from client meetings around the state and non-work trips, about 30,000 miles per year. I walk about 3-4 miles a day and this year was able to log about 2,500 miles on my bicycle. I’m also a civil engineer involved in designing street and non-motorized facilities for communities, so when this topic comes up, I look at it from all three of those angles. For what it’s worth, here is my take on how to decrease pedestrian / cyclist fatalities using a few of my own bad habits as an outline.

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