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Engineering Firm HNTB Hits A Home Run With Musial Bridge Honors

Stan Musial Bridge from the roof of Bissinger's Chocolate Factory.

Stan Musial Bridge from the roof of Bissinger’s Chocolate Factory.

HNTB is on a roll. The architecture, civil engineering and construction management firm had already received kudos for its work on the Chicago Lakefront Trail—nominated for the Best Urban Trail Award. Now the company has another big nomination: it’s a finalist in the 2015 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards.

The project that’s earned this nomination is the I-70 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge that connects Saint Louis and southern Illinois. The bridge also runs directly over another waterfront trail—the Riverfront Trail that runs parallel to the Mississippi River.

Mississippi Riverfront Trail.

Mississippi Riverfront Trail.

Innovation was the name of the game for the Musial Bridge. HNTB actually used a redesign of a previous concept, which provided cost savings and time — it was designed in half the time of similar bridges. The firm also created a seismic design that hadn’t previously been used on a bridge. This also resulted in reducing costs, and in the process reducing seismic risks.

This is no slouch of a bridge. It carries 55,000 vehicles every day. The main span is 1,500 feet high, and it’s the third longest cable-stayed structure in the United States.

“When we were tasked with designing a bridge spanning the Mississippi River, we wanted to create a structure that combined striking exterior design and advanced technologies to make it safer,” said Tony Shkurti, lead bridge engineer at HNTB.

“The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge not only showcases HNTB’s ability to finish a project on time and budget, but it also masters world-class architecture in a way that’s economical and structurally sound.”

The winner of the structural engineering award will be announced at the NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit October 2 in Las Vegas.


Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at

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