BendTec is honored to have worked on the 41st Street Bridge in Chicago, which was recently given a merit award for special purpose by the National Steel Bridge Alliance. 

In its announcement of the award, the National Steel Bridge Alliance noted the bending of the 41st Street Bridge, which was completed in 2018, and has previously won an award for its excellence in structural engineering from the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations. BendTec worked on the bridge’s steel team as the bridge’s bender roller as an additional fabricator.

Induction-bent pipes, measuring 36 inches and 48 inches respectively and tied together with built-up box girders, form the main span of the pedestrian bridge. Because the pipe and bridge have both sweep and camber, BendTec had to carefully bend the pipe so both elements would be induced at once. 

BendTec had quite the challenge in induction-bending the pipe. As the news release announcing the award noted, we had to consider the diameter, ovality and pipe shrinkage before we began fabrication. This way, we knew each subcomponent that tied into the pipe would create a perfect fit. Fortunately, we were able to pre-assemble our parts of the bridge in our fabrication shop to guarantee that perfect fit. This took considerable planning ahead, as we considered the “large sweeping and curving geometry,” as the press release noted.  

Then we had to consider how to ship the parts that we fabricated and welded in our Duluth, Minnesota shop —  several of which measured many feet long and wide — to the Chicago project site. However, we were happy to do so to contribute to this project, and we would do it again.

In fact, we are doing it again. As we announced earlier this year, we’re so excited to once again partner with the bridge’s main contractor, FH Paschen, and its steel fabricator, Hillside Fabricators, on a new companion bridge project! Our final product will be the pedestrian-friendly and biker-friendly 43rd Street Bridge.

The work begins this month, and we’ll once again be fabricating the bridge’s twin arches with our own induction bending equipment. 

It is an honor to not only share a new project but also this award, with our partners in the steel fabrication industry. BendTec is excited to continue helping bring success to structural projects — both with our induction bending equipment, and the reputation we’ve gained over more than 100 years. Thank you to the National Steel Bridge Alliance for this recognition.