Choosing the proper railing as a bridge owner has the same importance as floor construction.  The selection of a railing or barrier has an effect on many dimensions and details of the construction of your bridge. The different railing specifications we follow provide an array of solutions addressing safety, aesthetics, costs and longevity.


Ornamental or architectural steel railings for pedestrian bridges can be a beautiful addition and bring attention for viewers on and off the bridge. Many times these are included on bridges entering a town area where aesthetic treatments are highlighted and visual impact is important. If you have an idea or would like to see some options, we are available to help with ideas, or help visualize what is possible.


A poured concrete barrier, integrally attached to a concrete deck slab, is a very robust and resistant bridge railing. It is common for higher speed roadways and places where run-off the road accidents are prevalent. It is not always specified by bridge owners, because for one, it is expensive to construct and two, it is a barrier to open viewing. Wall barriers are sometimes combined with tubular rail systems and this provides a compromise between robust construction and visibility. Any of these walls or barrier designs can be specified and constructed with all of our bridge styles.


One of the most common steel railing constructions in use today by State Departments of Transportation is a multi-element tubular rail system. Built alone or in combination with a concrete curb or low barrier wall, this post and beam rail type has strength and utility as a traffic barrier and a combination barrier. Many different crash-tested standards exist among the different state DOT’s and their heights above pavement varying as well. Each is able to be accommodated in our design and planning, if the standard to follow is designated.


The W-Beam Rail is attached to steel posts or truss girders. It is a simple railing that usually is accompanied by a block out between it and its supporting element. It can be strengthened by doubling it, sometimes called “nested rail”. It also can be strengthened by backing it up with continuous tubular steel elements. The height specified for this railing is commonly 27” from the top of the rail to the pavement.


Steel Thrie-Beam Rail is similar in nature to the W-Beam Rail except it is deeper (20” tall) than the W-Beam. It is considered a more robust section and used where higher traffic volumes are expected with a traffic mix trending toward heavier trucks. It comes in standard rail lengths of 12’-6” and is mounted and spliced except that it has two rows of mounting bolts instead of one. U.S. Bridge will supply standard or custom fabricated Thrie-Beam Rail that is needed for your project.