Engineers with the Sherman Minton Renewal and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) recently teamed up with the Grace M. James Academy of Excellence to inspire the next generation of engineers.
Project team members and coordinators from KYTC’s Kentucky Engineering Exposure Network (KEEN) met with students at the all girls STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) academy to teach them about the major bridge rehabilitation project and the value of a STEM-based career.
According to a report on women of color in engineering, only 20% of engineering graduates are female, and only one in five of those women are women of color, which is why the the Sherman Minton Renewal project and KYTC paired up to visit the school.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth over the years, but there’s always room for great young minds, and we’re excited about the future,” said Mary Jo Hamman, a project manager for the Sherman Minton Renewal project.
In addition to learning about the Sherman Minton Renewal, which is a bi-state project to rehabilitate the 60-year-old double-decker bridge, students also had a chance to try their hand at building their own bridge, giving them a small taste of what a career in engineering could have in store for them.
Sherman Minton Renewal
The Sherman Minton Renewal is a major rehabilitation and painting project that will add up to 30 years of life to the double-decked bridge that carries six lanes of traffic (I-64 and US 150) over the Ohio River connecting Louisville, KY and New Albany, IN.
Construction on the Sherman Minton Bridge is a multi-phase process, taking place over three construction seasons. To minimize impacts on cross-river commuters in Louisville and Southern Indiana during rehabilitation, the Project Team is using a low-impact maintenance of traffic approach that ensures at least one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open for nearly 95% of the time.