September 16, 2000 A new version of the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois, was formally opened to a great deal of fanfare. This through truss bridge connects the Missouri city of Hannibal, which had been the childhood home of renowned writer and humorist Mark Twain (the pen name... Continue Reading →

July 13, 1879 Civil engineer and prestressed concrete pioneer Eugène Freyssinet was born in the commune of Objat in central France. By the time that World War I broke out in 1914, Freyssinet had designed several major bridges in France. A leading example of Freyssinet’s work in those pre-war years was the Pont le Veurdre near... Continue Reading →

June 8, 1724 Engineer and physicist John Smeaton, who is widely regarded as the “Father of Civil Engineering,” was born in the English civil parish of Austhorpe. During his prolific career, Smeaton designed numerous lighthouses, bridges, canals, and harbors.  One of Smeaton’s more notable achievements was a lighthouse that became known as Smeaton’s Tower. This 72-foot... Continue Reading →

March 16, 1957 In the state of Western Australia (WA), plans for a major transportation project in the city of Perth moved further towards full-fledged reality. John Digby Leach, who served as WA’s commissioner of main roads from 1953 to 1966, became the catalyst for this milestone when he signed a contract for building a... Continue Reading →

March 8, 1887 James Buchanan Eads, an internationally renowned inventor and civil engineer, died at the age of 66 while vacationing in the Bahamas. Eads had been born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, in 1820. He was named after his mother’s cousin James Buchanan, who was a U.S. congressman at the time and would go on to... Continue Reading →

March 4, 2000  In the downtown area of Daytona Beach in Florida’s Volusia County, construction began on a new and unique segmental bridge to carry U.S. Highway 92 over the Halifax River (part of the Intracoastal Waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States).  This structure was the third one... Continue Reading →

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