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Subcontractors play a key role in any construction project so it’s important that you hire a qualifying subcontractor that will ensure your project’s success. But how do you know what to ask or look for? Here’s a brief introduction to the role of a subcontractor and what should be included in the prequalification process.

What is a Bridge Subcontractor?

In every major bridge construction project, you’ll find a general contractor and subcontractors. The contractor is the manager of most bridge projects; they are essentially in charge of the overall coordination of the project. They’re hired by a municipality or other key stakeholders, and ensure that projects meet their approval.

Subcontractors on the other hand can range from a single person to a large company and are typically hired by the contractor. However, that doesn’t make them an employee of the general contractor as subcontractors are independent businesses. Contractors can hire subcontractors for different reasons such as performing construction tasks, supplying equipment or other materials, and more.

Why it’s so Important to Prequalify your Subcontractors

Prequalification is gathering information about interested subcontractors to assess their capability to complete the project. It’s an important part of the preconstruction phase. A well-thought-out prequalification process not only reduces liability and insurance claims but presents safer worksites and increases profit potential.

This process also ensures that you are selecting the best subcontractor for the needs of your project. Although a subcontractor may be a great choice for one project it does not guarantee that they’ll be the best choice for the next.

Even though this process may initially seem like a waste of time and resources, it actually saves your project from significant financial loss down the road.

What to Consider When Looking for a Qualifying Subcontractor?

When it comes to creating a thorough prequalifying process, it’s important to request information such as the subcontractor’s safety records, finances, litigation history, insurance coverage, relevant work history, and experience, etc.

Financial

Before hiring a subcontractor, you can request financial information such as current year revenues, total and current assets, net equity, current liabilities, average monthly billings, and if available their Dun & Bradstreet number. This will reveal any obvious red flags and help you avoid financial risks.

Litigation History

A company’s litigation history is important as it provides insight into their relationship with previous clients and how likely they are to breach a contract. Find out if they’ve ever had any labor law violations, if their license has ever been suspended or revoked, and if they’ve ever been terminated from a contract. Additionally, inquire if the company has had any judgments filed against them.

Safety Records

It is crucial that you carefully review the safety records of any potential subcontractor. Request information such as their OSHA 300 information, any citations issued, and their Experience Modification Rate for the past three years. Not only that but also implore about their training program and safety plans.

Ask for References

You’ll want to ask your potential subcontractors to provide a handful of references about– three to four. These references will demonstrate how well they collaborate with other contractors on projects as well as the quality and dependability of their work.

Qualifying subcontractors won’t have any issues providing contacts, and sometimes employees can also verify the company’s credibility.

Working with U.S. Bridge

When it comes to hiring contractors or subcontractors for your project, you want to make sure that you’re hiring the best. Our 80+ years working with various companies all across the world has provided us with the skills and experience needed for even the most challenging projects. At U.S. Bridge, we serve to meet the needs of our customers and the industry with high-quality bridges and materials.

Contact us on our website to learn more about how you can collaborate with us or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote.

Although there are various manufacturing companies across the country, their products and services do not include what we like to call the U.S. Bridge difference. In fact, U.S. Bridge is the oldest company in the United States to be engaged exclusively in the manufacture and erection of structural steel bridges for secondary highways under the same family ownership and management. Our great skill and quality have earned us a reputation as construction leaders in our industry.

Our Services

With over 80 years of working with companies all over the world, we know how to work in various situations and budgets. Our services include project scoping, engineering, renderings, fabrication, shipping, erection, and more. We offer services and direct communication with every step of the project.

In addition, our manufacture of Advanced Bridges (ABR) is certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). AISC certifications are familiar to ISO standards but are specifically directed to steel fabrication. So clients can feel confident that they are receiving the best quality materials.

In fact, our permanent galvanized bridges come closer to achieving the new United States federal guidelines for a 100-year service life than any other permanent steel or concrete bridge design.

Our Difference

After successfully fabricating and installing over 3,000 bridges in Ohio, we began to expand our business. In 1987 our services extended outside of Ohio and eventually all across the country. This was when we adopted the name U.S. Bridge to demonstrate our national sphere of operations. Today we are known as construction leaders and our bridges stand in nearly all states within the U.S. as well as in Canada, Central, and South America.

Three important factors contribute to our success. First, the founder of U.S. Bridge was an engineer. From the very beginning, the creation and design of U.S. Bridge were to fit all infrastructural needs with meticulous detail. And unlike many steel bridge manufacturers, we have always maintained our own staff of engineers. This provides a great advantage of trust, speed, and affordability by removing out the middleman.

Second, not only do we fabricate bridges around the world but we also assemble our local bridges with our own employees and equipment. Once the materials ship our team assists in its assembly taking away the stress and saving time for clients. The direct communication provided in each phase of the project is what attracts many clients.

Third, the combination of design, manufacture, and erection enables us to produce more innovations than any other bridge company. This unique arrangement allows us to offer a customizable experience for our clients.

In addition to our certified quality and great communication, we also present more affordable and rapid bridge assembly. We offer prefabricated bridges that allow the use of fewer trucks and small cranes. This saves clients money and essential project time. Not to mention, our group of small, multi-skilled bridge crews (typically 3-4 welders/carpenters/operators) can achieve steel assembly in less than 7 days.

Industry Leaders

Our speed and skills are recognized and often utilized in emergency situations. We often receive requests from companies or cities all around the world for our bride designs.

As construction leaders, we have the title of first in various innovations within our industry. A few years ago we produced one of the longest bridges in Africa– a one-kilometer long bridge in Mafia Island, Tanzania.

In addition, our projects include building the first:

  • 100% hot-dip galvanized truss bridge
  • domestic truss bridge with a 35-year warranty against corrosion
  • computer-designed steel truss bridge
  • panel bridge designed that meets all U.S. permanent specifications
  • all-welded Warren truss (without rivets)
  • truss to be fully assembled in a factory
  • all-welded deck components fully prepared in a factory

Our innovations and experience explain why we surpass our opposition.

Working with U.S. Bridge

When you choose U.S. Bridge, you’ll be working with bridge engineering and construction experts in every step.  With such a full-service solution, it’s easy to see why U.S. Bridge is often the top choice for developers and contractors. Contact us today to start the process or get a quick scope with our exclusive Bridgescope tool!

Once you’ve met our team and reviewed our work up close, it’ll be easy to see why U.S. Bridge is the right choice for your next project.

Nowadays, bridges have become commonplace in our modern society. They offer great solutions to problems such as carrying heavy loads across long distances or providing a safe route for pedestrians and vehicles. But have you ever wondered how bridges are built? Here’s a quick breakthrough of the main components of a bridge and how they function.

The Main Components

The Type of Superstructure

The main part of a bridge is its superstructure. The superstructure bears the weight of the load as it passes through the bridge. It comprises the deck slab, girders, truss, etc. The specific components vary based on the type of bridge and its materials such as concrete or steel.

Not only does the decking hold the load weight, but it also helps transmit the weight and pressure to the below substructures of the bridge.

The Type of Substructure

The substructure of a bridge is the component that supports the superstructure and distributes the load to the bridge footings and foundation. They consist of piers, abutments, wing walls all of which facilitate the process of transmitting the weight of the load to the earth.

Different Types of Bridges

Although there are various designs of a bridge the main components will always stay the same. The only difference is the pattern or direction in which the pressure is distributed. For example, here’s the difference between the beam and truss bridge.

Beam Bridge

A Beam bridge, sometimes called a stringer or girder bridge, is one of the most basic types of bridge. Its design consists of horizontal beams and vertical piers that typically include two or more spans with an abutment or pier at each end. Beam bridges can be constructed using wood, steel, or concrete and are built for short distances as their only support is from piers.

In this design, the load is compressed on the top of the bridge and then applied down the piers to the earth.

Truss Bridge

A truss bridge design involves interconnected triangles that distribute the weight over a wide space. This unique design allows the truss bridge to carry a heavier weight capacity with fewer materials. These lightweight and durable bridges can be utilized for both short and long distances.

Truss bridges function by transferring the weight of the load from a single point to a wider area. When the load is applied to the truss bridge the pressure is shared among the triangular designs for additional support and then redirected to the earth through the bridge’s substructure. 

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we work with the highest quality materials and engineers when designing and building bridges. Not to mention, our bridges are well-made, easy to maintain, and available in a variety of design and support types.

With decades of experience and our team of dedicated experts, you can feel confident in trusting an industry leader to build your bridge. Contact us today for a free quote or use our exclusive Bridgescope tool!

Bridges play a key role in our lives by connecting our communities, promoting commerce travels, and contributing to our country’s economic development. But who designs these bridges and what does a bridge engineer do?

Bridge Engineers

Bridge Engineers are civil engineers responsible for designing and building bridges and other highway-related structures. Typical tasks for bridge engineers include designing and maintaining bridge structures, minimizing environmental impact, and supervising the fabrication process. As well as completing site investigations, data collection, identifying environmental risks, analyzing manufacturing processes, supervising construction, and more.

Although the exact duties of a bridge engineer may differ, it’s safe to say they’ll always play a critical role in any bridge construction project.

Designing and maintaining a bridge is no easy task. That’s why bridge engineers are required to have skills such as analytical thinking, leadership, supervisory skills, organization, and creativity. Not to mention, time management and budgeting skills which are essential for projects with restricted time or resources.

Bridge Engineering: It’s All About The Details

Meetings & Details

Naturally, the first part of any construction project is understanding the full scope. This meeting typically covers topics and details such as bridge series and styles, special enhancements or treatments, railing criteria, etc. This will help the bridge engineer to draw up some preliminary sketches of the bridge’s general framing plan, bridge geometry, and basic construction.

These designs help illustrate the bridge and prepare the project for its next step.

Digital Renderings

One of the most powerful tools for bridge engineers to utilize is technology. Bridge engineers will often use computers to create virtual models to assist in visualizing a project. This helps the team picture the visual impacts of the bridge to any given site as well as the aesthetic qualities. Our bridge engineers are able to model your proposed bridge over a digital terrain model or incorporate it into photos of your existing site.

This aspect is extremely useful, especially if a construction project requires models to help stakeholders buy-in or make a sale.

Final Process

Once a commitment has been made, the design process officially begins and a team is assigned. The project engineer analyzes the proposed bridge including the specified design loads and appropriate load factors, along with applying numerous code checks. Eventually, the bridge engineer begins to sketch the design details and information for the designer. These sketches convey all the information previously discussed and finalized.

The engineer will also markup the general notes and list the design assumptions and pertinent bridge data onto the title sheet.

Part of this process involves reviewing the design calculations and construction plans to verify the scope and specifications. Also checked is the plan content to ensure it reflects the engineer’s design intent and that no conflicts exist and that no omissions have occurred. The final step before submittal is usually the application of the Professional Engineer’s seal and signature.

Designed for Success at U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we’ve been engineering and building bridges for over 80 years. Our engineers have the skills and experience to build bridges in many different styles and sizes to fit the needs of your project. Find out more about how U.S. Bridge has everything you need to make your project a success.

Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.

Prefabricated Bridge

Many decisions are made when it comes to new bridge construction, one of those is the choice of a prefabricated bridge or built on-site construction. How do you know which one works best for your project? Here’s a guide to help you understand prefabricated bridges and when to use them.

What are Prefabricated Bridges?

Prefabricated bridges are built in a separate location, then transported to the construction site for installation. They are a popular form of accelerated bridge construction with their own benefits and considerations.

With U.S. Bridge, our Bridge Kits are a solution for the time-constrained and budget-focused bridge construction projects. We engineer, design, manufacture, and galvanize every piece of the bridge. After each part is ready, we send it to the construction site along with a dedicated member of the U.S. Bridge team to oversee the construction.

Why Use a Prefabricated Bridge?

The first benefit of prefabricated bridges is their quick assembly rate. Unlike building on-site, prefabricated bridges are essentially already made just in separate pieces that are later connected on site. Another advantage is that they are less susceptible to weather delays due to their short assembly time, which decreases the disruption to traffic.

Moreover, prefabricated construction is more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable in comparison to building on site. As construction takes place within a factory, extra materials are recycled in-house for the next project.

Despite popular belief, modular construction is more affordable and allows flexibility to construction teams. The financial savings not only stem from a shorter construction time but it is also due to the discounts prefabricated construction receives from bulk orders.

In addition, as each component of the bridge is built in a controlled environment, our team ensures the quality of the materials. Furthermore, in-door construction provides a safer setting by decreasing workers’ exposure to open traffic.

When to Use Prefabricated Bridges

The flexibility of prefabricated bridges allows them to be used in various situations. Accelerated construction requires fewer trucks of equipment and materials which is beneficial for remote locations or uneven topography. For instance, prefabricated bridges are often used in emergency situations due to the ease of assembling and disassembling them.

Additionally, prefabricated bridges will benefit your project if your team doesn’t have much experience in bridge construction, as U.S. Bridge sends a member of our team to oversee the construction.

Shorter Construction Time

Due to its accelerated assembly rate, prefabricated bridges are ideal for projects that require temporary construction or projects that are concerned with traffic delays. This is especially the case with U.S. Bridge, as our team can ensure the bridge is built correctly from the start.

If on-site construction time needs to be shorter, then a prefabricated bridge is the best choice. Because of assistance from U.S. Bridge, the bridge construction can be much more efficient and smooth.

Materials for Prefabricated Bridges

Steel and concrete are perhaps the most popular form of prefabricated bridges. The material and the environment of the bridge dictates the design of the bridge. Other components of your bridge project will determine if prefabricated bridges are right for you.

U.S. Bridge: Experts in Prefabricated Bridge Construction

With over 80 years in the bridge construction industry, we’ve engineered and built over 10,000 bridges worldwide. Prefabricated bridge constructions make up a good portion of those constructions. Here at U.S. Bridge, we are dedicated to our customers and the construction of their bridges.

All of our prefabricated Bridge Kits are custom-designed, come with our hands-on expertise in bridge construction, and are built to fit your bridge project needs and budget. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can make your bridge project a long-lasting success.