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Disaster Response

View of Escambia Bridge showing the double bridge

Interstate 10 Bridge over Escambia Bay - Pensacola, Florida

Prevention, support, relief

Parsons is called on by our customers to respond to disasters worldwide, from providing relief when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi to the rapid mobilization of needed support after September 11. Because the destruction of structures can be prevented by fortifying them before a catastrophe causes damage, we support proactive communities by helping their bridge and tunnel owners, state departments of transportation, local authorities, and applicable commissions obtain critical information about structural deficiencies and, if needed, we rebuild those structures. Parsons’ assessments of the seismic vulnerability of bridges and tunnels—and our use of high-tech, structural “health” monitoring techniques—keep the public safe, especially during the most unpredictable times.   

The following projects demonstrate Parsons’ inspection and assessment capabilities:

  • Brooklyn Bridge. Parsons performed an in-depth seismic evaluation of this historic landmark spanning New York City’s East River and joining the Bronx to Queens. We evaluated the main bridge, the arch-shaped masonry approaches, and the steel approach ramps. Our state-of-the-art analyses included design criteria development, extensive subsurface investigations (with geophysical and superstructure vibration testing), nonlinear analyses, and an investigation of the tower caissons. We also developed preliminary retrofit measures that would allow for emergency traffic within 48 hours and would provide full service within a month of the aftermath of an earthquake or other catastrophic event.
  • Throgs Neck Bridge. Parsons studied the feasibility of replacing the aging deck and performed a seismic evaluation on this 1,800-foot suspension bridge in New York City. We also implemented a safety plan and completed repairs on an expedited schedule.
  • Federal Highway Administration. Parsons serves as program manager, helping execute corrosion research and prevention tasks through monitoring, testing, evaluating, providing instrumentation for cable-stayed bridges, and developing the field protocols necessary to ensure that the goals are met successfully and effectively.
  • The Pentagon. Parsons played an integral role in the recovery and response processes immediately following the attack on September 11, 2001. Within hours of the attack, we provided personnel, equipment, and materials for the rescue and response effort. Architects and engineers from the Pentagon Renovation (PENREN) team served as invaluable resources to the recovery efforts both for the emergency first responders and to the FBI crime scene investigators.
Escambia Bridge during renovations - barge and crane to the right of the bridge

Experience, expertise, innovation

Parsons is at the forefront in the fields of seismic assessment and bridge inspection. We go above and beyond our customers’ expectations by developing and applying a variety of advanced instrumentation to determine bridge and tunnel conditions. We look for innovative ways to obtain information about the health of a community’s infrastructure, and we provide the resources necessary to enable our customers so they can continue to serve and protect the public.