Project Examples

Jackson Street Mill Bridge

Course: 14.350 Structural Analysis, 14.452 Steel Design, 14.733 Masters Project in Civil Eng Lab
Semester: Spring 2007
Instructor: Susan Faraji
Partner: The Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF)

The Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF) is a non-profit organization that works along with for-profit developers to rehabilitate historic buildings for modern use while maintaining the historic preservation value and meeting local codes. Kara Cicchetti, Project Manager for the 165 Jackson St. mill renovation project in down Lowell, MA initially met with the professor, the S-L faculty dept coordinator and Fred Phillips, then AHF CFO. Subsequently the professor and graduate student, Jason Stark, went to the work site to inspect the buildings and connecting bridge to be redesigned. Documentation regarding the bridge was provided by AHF.

14.350 Structural Analysis Descriptions

The Jackson Street Mill Bridge was a covered pedestrian timber bow truss bridge spanning the Hamilton Canal between the mill and storehouse buildings on each side of the canal in Lowell, MA. In bad shape structurally, the bridge has been removed and is currently lying on the ground. The plan is to replace the bridge while maintaining its historic external appearance. The graduate student from the Masters Project course (14.733) in the Spring of ’07 prepared the materials needed to complete a part of this project on the Structural Analysis course (14.350). Here, the students modeled the replacement trusses on the computer using the GTSTUDL software, used the concept of “influence line” for analysis and they were also able to implement the methods of analysis of trusses discussed in class. This project was worth 5% of extra credit, and the teacher has shown interest in the project by implementing different parts of the project into three of her classes during the span of two semesters; she notes that “being able to bring a real-world problem to the class is important” and that the students have “indicated much enthusiasm for the project”.

14.452 Steel Design Descriptions

The graduate student from the Masters Project course (14.733) in the Spring of ’07 prepared the materials needed to complete a part of this project on the Steel Design course (14.452). Here, the students designed the replacement trusses(the tension and compression members), including the bolted and welded connections. They were also able to make comparisons between two differently configured trusses (in addition to the construction differences) and decide which one is a better design. This course only dealt with steel as the construction material

14.733 Masters Project in Civil Eng Lab Descriptions

The Jackson Street Mill Bridge was a covered pedestrian timber bow truss bridge spanning the Hamilton Canal between the mill and storehouse buildings on each side of the canal in Lowell, MA. In bad shape structurally, the bridge has been removed and is currently lying on the ground. The plan is to replace the bridge while maintaining its historic appearance. The bridge is required to connect the two buildings at a horizontal angle and a vertical slope, all which add to the design challenge. The graduate student made significant headway on the analysis to prepare for the two follow on courses in the fall 2007 (one undergraduate and one graduate/technical elective) followed by the spring 2008 course in Advanced Structural Design. A model of the bridge has been created for use in these next stages.