California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) engineers are now required to complete Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute education courses as part of their training. The top U.S. agency of its kind, Caltrans manages more than 50,000 miles of highways, while California ranks second among states for total bridge inventory.
“These courses, some of which were sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and balloted by PCI, were selected because they offer excellent learning materials related to bridge design,” says Caltrans Transportation Engineer Rizia da Cruz Ferreira.
Launched in the 1960s, the Caltrans Bridge Design Academy runs seven weeks and covers bridge design, project delivery, and engineering topics such as load rating, maintenance, environmental engineering, planning, accelerated bridge construction, quality, and risk management. Participants must complete 10 academy courses. All are based on PCI publications and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Load and Resistance Factor Design Specification. Courses are available at the PCI eLearning Center, linked at www.pci.org and home to 28 free transportation-related modules for precast, prestressed concrete bridge solutions.
“Workforce development is a major concern for many state highway agencies,” observes PCI Managing Director, Transportation Systems William Nickas. “It’s nice to see state highway officials taking note of the workforce development resources available in the PCI eLearning Center and sending their staff to complete these courses. I expect PCI will see an increase in the number of participants using this free professional development hours learning management system.”