There’s a persistent belief in the bridge building business that painting steel bridges is an impossible task. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, painting or repainting steel bridges can be a challenge, but it’s in no way an insurmountable one. Not only are there a number of new coatings that comply with EPA standards, but affordable options also exist for repainting current bridges. Read on to discover U.S. Bridge’s thoughts regarding painting steel bridges.
Controversy Surrounding Painting Steel Bridges
Paint is a hot-button issue in the bridge building world. In recent years, the EPA has imposed strict standards regarding the use of paints containing lead and volatile organic compounds. So, companies must take steps to protect workers engaged in removing lead-based paints from older bridges. In particular, dealing with the topcoat is a key concern, as removing, containing, and disposing of this material can be as expensive as replacing the bridge system entirely. In some cases, it may be possible to delay eventual paint removal. At other times, bridge builders may be able to perform spot or zone treatments rather than removing the entire topcoat.
The good news is manufacturers have made significant strides in creating safe, high-performance coatings that comply with EPA regulations. Experts predict that coating technologies will continue to improve, becoming more affordable and durable.
Multi-Coat Shop Systems
When painting steel bridges, or repainting old bridges, using a multi-coat system is often regarded as an effective way to go. However, it’s worth noting that a multi-coat system can result in reduced corrosion resistance along with increased fabrication costs and compromised aesthetics. As a result, companies must be aware of the need to balance various concerns when painting or repainting steel bridges.
Contact U.S. Bridge Today
Want to bring your bridge project to life? At U.S. Bridge, we offer a wide range of prefabricated bridge styles to meet your needs. Whether your setting is urban or rural, modern or traditional, we can help you achieve your goals while creating a lasting impression. Ready to get started? Call today or contact the U.S. Bridge team online.