Infrastructure Week, Day 1: Bridges

How do we resolve a problem as widespread as nationally deficient bridge infrastructure?

Year after year, America’s deteriorating infrastructure is so critically neglected that now, in 2020, we face a multi-billion-dollar backlog for the rehabilitation of bridges, a vital facet of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

While the number of structurally deficient bridges in the United States is down significantly from years past, according to an Infrastructure Report Card provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers, around 188 million trips are taken every day across these deficient bridges. Rehabilitation needs for bridges are backlogged as much as $123 billion, an investment of over half of the funding already provided. These high repair and rehabilitation costs pose a nationwide challenge to state transportation agencies pursuing the construction of reliable infrastructure.

At KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. (KC), structural engineering remains an integral part of our corporation’s contribution to providing safe, sufficient bridge infrastructure.

With projects like Region 8 Ulster County Design-Build Bridge Replacements, Park Avenue Viaduct at 118th Street, Replacement of Route 59 Bridge over MNRR, and Greenkill Avenue Bridge Replacement, KC is continuously able to provide survey services, design assessment, and structural analysis for the replacement and rehabilitation of damaged, deficient, and extremely vital bridge infrastructure in various counties of New York State.

Good Construction Zone Safety Practices


It’s an undeniable fact that construction sites obstruct the movements and activities of our daily lives—on our morning commutes to work, for example, the last thing we want to see is that bright orange sign that reads “Road Work Ahead.” Sidewalk closings, too, prove to be nothing short of inconvenient as they often force pedestrians to haphazardly share the road with motorists. Compounding this inconvenience is the danger of proximity to an active construction site: according to Creative Safety Publishing, an organization dedicated to providing safety tips for the workplace, in 2012 a student at Ohio State University was struck by a dump truck while riding his bike past a construction site. The New York Post reported that between the years 2010 and 2015, 59 people had been struck by falling debris from New York City construction sites.

Follow these three simple steps to stay safe and become a more mindful and respectful passerby at construction sites:

  1. Respect the signs and learn what they mean.

Take an active role in your safety and understand important safety signs. identifies five important symbols that communicate three important messages to both workers and passersby: the hazard, the means of avoiding the hazard, and the consequences of not avoiding the hazard. Common symbols include:

Hazard symbols (yellow triangle with black border) warn us about potential site dangers and their consequences (think: biohazard sign).

Prohibition symbols (red circle with red slash through middle) instruct us on what activities to avoid when near the site (think: “No Smoking” sign).

Mandatory symbols (white square or blue circle depicting an instructional action) tell us what we must do to stay safe when near a construction site (think: “Hard Hat Area” sign).

Information symbols (white square with a red image) direct us to important life-saving equipment and exits in case of an emergency (think: fire extinguisher sign).

Safety symbols (white square with black image, occasionally accompanied by a red circle with a slash) both shows us the proper steps to take to avoid danger and the consequences of ignoring important hazard warnings (think: “Caution: Wet Floor” sign).

  1. Avoid “rubbernecking.”

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, engaging in distracted driving activities such as rubbernecking can double your risk of crashing. Sneaking a peek at an active construction site for just two seconds can increase the risk of an accident up to 24 times. While construction sites can be sources of curiosity and excitement, catching closeup views of the new bridge’s construction at 60 miles per hour (mph) is not worth the risk of threatening your life and the lives of others.

  1. Don’t gawk: research!

Calm your curiosity safely by visiting this website that keeps you in the loop about projects in New York City that are currently under construction. Excessive staring, both while driving and on foot, can cause significant disruptions around a construction site and can be dangerous to yourself, your fellow travelers, and onsite workers. If you are curious about a project, simply select its location on the site’s provided map and read up!

The Building Blocks of Little Engineers

Today’s toy market is making it easier than ever for kids to find a passion for engineering. With big companies such as K’NEX and LEGO® coming out with more educational and stimulating toys, kids are able to develop problem solving and innovative skills at an early age. Both K’NEX and LEGO® now have education lines marketed towards schools and kids eager to learn hands on.

K’NEX is the younger of the two companies, but their focus on kids’ creativity in the classroom has made them a notable toy and learning tool. K’NEX Education features sets that teach kids how to build bridges, amusement park rides, and even renewable energy machines. Their focus on STEM toys allows teachers to have a creative and understandable approach towards complicated theories and equations that some kids have trouble understanding. By allowing for hands-on application of what is taught in the classroom, students are able to have a deeper comprehension of the subject as well as real world application.

LEGO® Education is another tool that gives teachers a more relatable medium in which to reach their students. These sets have allowed kids to take more effective control over STEM subjects. While original LEGO® bricks have always taught kids to think creatively and innovatively, LEGO® Education puts the focus more directly on the negotiation of complicated fields such as robotics and computer science. With the LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime, kids are invited to take their creations to the next level. Surpassing the physical bricks, LEGO® has created an easy-to-learn system that incorporates computer coding and programming to create functioning robots.

Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for engineers and other STEM professions. As technology advances and the world begins to change, younger generations will have to find a way to navigate within it. These toys are great tools to get them started.

Disclaimer: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO® Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.