Steel is a versatile building material, used for centuries in various capacities. Its strength and permanence are ideal for long-lasting structures, like bridges. The use of steel for bridges replaced earlier materials such as wood, concrete and stone. Eventually, with the arrival of the railroad in the United States, shipping steel across the U.S. became easier than ever. Builders began using steel frequently for construction projects, including bridges from New York to California. But what other characteristics make steel a best material for bridges? Let’s examine steel’s advantages below.
Advantages of Steel
Steel as a building material for bridges has many benefits beyond its strength. Here are some of its most beneficial characteristics:
- High level of quality control: Most steel is created in a lab under controlled conditions, ensuring uniformity and better performance in the field.
- Easy to modify and repair: Builders can repair steel with minimal disruption to traffic.
- Sustainable and recyclable: Once a structure is no longer needed, steel can easily be recycled. This added sustainability makes it a great choice for more environmentally conscious construction initiatives.
- Architecturally malleable: Steel is an easy material to manipulate in order to match certain design aesthetics. Changing the look and feel of steel is easy with a fresh coat of paint or minor cosmetic changes.
Best Types of Steel for Bridges
When using steel for bridge building, there are a variety of options for builders and designers. For example, these include heat-treated carbon steel, high-strength steel, and weathering steel. Depending on weather conditions, bridge length, and proposed use, each of these options has different properties that make them the best material for bridges. Based on these characteristics and more, bridge architects will choose the best type of steel for the job.
At U.S. Bridge, we work with the highest quality steel when designing and building bridges. With decades of experience, our team of dedicated experts always choose the best material for bridges, create the most strategic design, and work aesthetically with environmental conditions to make the best bridge possible. Visit our website today to get a free quote for your next project.