The History of HCB
“What if there’s a way to build better bridges?”
In 1996, John Hillman had a radical vision that would bring one of the greatest advancements to bridge construction in modern years. Hillman’s experience as a practicing structural engineer and exposure to numerous structural methodologies and design techniques converged upon each other as he asked, “What if there’s a way to build better bridges?” A personal quest to answer the question led to the Hillman Composite Beam (HCB®). The result is a proven technology, offering better performance, low maintenance and superior corrosion-resistance. Today, HCB Inc. is driven to constantly Build Better®.
John Hillman invents the HCB®
Mike Zicko joins Hillman, and HCB Inc. is born.
Initial patents are filed and granted.
Product development and structural validation of HCB conducted at the University of Delaware, Center for Composite Materials through research grants from the Transportation Research Board – Ideas Deserving Exploratory Analysis (TRB-IDEA) program.
First HCB Railroad Bridge is contructed and successfully tested at TTCI, Pueblo, Colorado.
First permanent highway installation of HCBs at High Road Bridge over Long Run Creek in Lockport Township, Ill.
The Route 23 Bridge over Peckman’s Brook in Cedar Grove, NJ is the first use of HCB Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) components.
The 8-Span Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay Harbor, Maine is the first HCB Bridge made continuous for live load. It also has the first extended top flanges that eliminate the need for deck forming.
Hillman receives the Engineering News-Record Award of Excellence for creating and bringing to market the HCB.
The Downeast Institute Research Pier becomes the first Marine Structure constructed with HCBs. It is also the first use of HCB Pier Caps.
Hillman and Zicko receive the Construction Industry Forum “NOVA” award given to innovative techniques and methods used on actual projects.
Route 97 over Sons Creek in Dade County Missouri becomes the first HCB bridge using the double-web box configuration and becomes the first HCB span longer than 100 feet.
HCB receives Charles Pankow Award for Innovation from American Society of Civil Engineers.
Bridge No. 4 at Fort Knox is installed and tested for heavy military loading.
Hillman recognized by the White House as a “Transportation Champion of Change.”
Canadian Pacific Railway replaces an existing structure with the first HCB on a revenue service line in under 10 hours. It also marks the first installation in Canada.