Pittsburgh (August 17, 2017) - Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, continues to strengthen its bridge industry leadership position, moving up to the No. 5 position in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) annual ranking of Bridge Design Firms in the United States.
“Michael Baker International’s strategic goal is to consistently be among the leading bridge design firms in the country,” said Thomas J. Campbell, Chairman of Michael Baker International. “This top five ranking not only recognizes the firm’s long-standing expertise and experience in bridge work, it reaffirms Michael Baker’s relentless drive to innovate and push the boundaries of bridge design now and in the future.”
“Achieving the No. 5 ranking in ENR is an incredible testament to the talented engineers we have at Michael Baker,” said Brian A. Lutes, Chief Executive Officer of Michael Baker International. “Our bridge teams collaborate nationwide to design and build innovative structures that serve as the backbone of our nation’s infrastructure for the millions of people who safely travel them each day. It’s another example of how ‘We Make a Difference’ for the clients and communities we serve.”
For more than seven decades, Michael Baker has addressed bridge design, construction and preservation challenges with innovative and sustainable solutions. Exemplifying its depth and versatility in the bridge space, the firm has partnered with clients on a full spectrum of bridge types – from conventional grade separations to major, complex river crossings, including trusses, arches, box girders and cable-stayed bridges.
Utilizing Innovative Technology in Bridge Design and Inspection
The firm remains at the forefront of bridge innovation, demonstrating leadership by applying the latest advancements in bridge design, construction and inspection to its clients’ projects. Michael Baker pioneered innovative applications for bridge inspection and design, including the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), where it was one of the first engineering firms to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate several types of fixed-wing and vertical take-off and landing UAS. The use of UAS in bridge inspection achieves highly precise imagery and mapping for clients and creates a safer, more intricate solution for inspections. By using the system’s flight stability and high-resolution 32-megapixel digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, Michael Baker pilots capture precise imaging and video in tight and challenging bridge environments.
Michael Baker’s reputation for innovation has been advanced by the firm’s unique bridge software development team, which was responsible for developing the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bridge Automated Design and Drafting (BRADD) system, the first program in the United States to fully automate the bridge design process. This team also authored and continues to enhance the BrDTM and BrRTM software systems for the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which are used by agencies and designers across the U.S. to design, analyze and load rate bridges. Michael Baker bridge engineers are developing innovative software tools to analyze and load rate complex structures for large permit loadings to help agencies quickly process permits for complex bridges, such as major river crossings.
The firm also has helped to pioneer the use of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques, which involves constructing large portions or an entire bridge off-site and moving it into place over the course of hours or days—dramatically reducing road closures by multiple months, while improving worker and driver safety.
Since 1981, Michael Baker has trained more than 30,000 bridge inspectors nationwide and outside of the U.S. in support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and has also developed and delivered numerous bridge design training courses for FHWA. The firm is a leader in the innovative use of climbing and rope access in bridge inspection, leading to safer and quicker inspections of large complex structures, with less impact to the public.
Across the U.S., Michael Baker’s work helps millions of people safely reach their destination through its work on notable bridges such as the New River Gorge Bridge (Fayette County, W.Va.), Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Bridges (Trigg/Marshall Counties, Ky.), Winona Bridge (Winona, Minn.), Sam White Bridge (American Fork, Utah) and John James Audubon Bridge (Pointe Coupee, La.), among thousands of others. The firm’s bridge design efforts are renowned throughout the industry, earning distinguished national and local recognition from such organizations as the Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), among others.
Michael Baker applies its bridge expertise to one of its core tenets – to give back to the communities it serves. The firm is in the midst of a three-year partnership with Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to constructing footbridges in remote, underdeveloped areas of the world. In 2016, the firm sponsored the construction of a 190-foot-long suspension footbridge in El Zarzal, Nicaragua, and sent 12 Michael Baker colleagues to El Zarzal to build the bridge. In July 2017, another team of Michael Baker colleagues travelled to Pabellon, Bolivia, to construct a footbridge to provide the community with access to essential resources and services.
About Michael Baker International
Michael Baker International is a leading global provider of engineering and consulting services, which include planning, architectural, environmental, construction, program management, and full life-cycle support services as well as information technology and communications services and solutions. The company provides its comprehensive range of services and solutions in support of U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, foreign allied governments, and a wide range of commercial clients. Michael Baker International has more than 6,000 employees in more than 90 locations across the U.S. and internationally. To learn more visit www.mbakerintl.com
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