UBC CSCE learns from Kiewit about the demolition of the old Port Mann Bridge

Monday, March 9, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter invited UBC alumni George Toews and Don Jacobsen from Kiewit to present an overview of the demolition of the old Port Mann Bridge, which was once the longest arch bridge in Canada. George is a 2014 IGEN graduate who completed 16 months of co-op work terms with Kiewit, while Don is a 1987 Civil graduate who has been with Kiewit for 28 years in positions ranging from field engineer to project sponsor.

Don explained the project background, detailing the general layout of the site and specific differences about the Port Mann site that made it a more challenging project to work on. George presented a step-by-step breakdown of the demolition process, explaining the reverse engineering that was required along the way.  He described how the main arch was removed by cutting it into segments and bracing the structure as pieces were removed first from the middle and then working out towards the supports.  Don and George concluded the presentation by answering questions about the project, and providing career advice based on their own experiences.

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter would like to thank George Toews and Don Jacobsen for taking the time to share their knowledge and experience on this project. We would also like to thank Jason Block for his help in making this event possible as well as for his continued support of the Chapter.