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Effects of COVID-19 on Construction

The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected various industries all around the world. The effects of COVID-19 have especially left an impact on the construction industry.

Some of these effects of COVID-19 are temporary, but others are permanent and may be felt for years to come. Here are a few short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the construction industry.

COVID-19 Effects on Construction Industries

Increase in Safety Measures

The fast spread of COVID-19 instigated the creation of new safety measures in the workplace. The virus pushes a heavy focus on workplace safety which officials speculate will continue in the long-term.

Although not all of these safety measures will persist after the pandemic, most likely some are here to stay. This could include adjustments to preexisting safety policies.

Construction Budget Cuts

In addition to the effects that remote work and schedule delays have on construction, the demands of the industry will change as well.

States are allocating more funds to healthcare and prevention thus other areas such as public transportation are experiencing a decrease.  Furthermore, with the mandatory shutdown, fewer people are driving, thus states are collecting less gas tax and tolls. Because of fewer vehicles on the road this year, the demand for repairing roads will decrease as well.

In addition, many construction businesses are operating at an all-time low with private funded projects becoming scarce.

Shortages and Supply Changes

China is the largest single supplier to the United States, providing nearly 30 percent of all building products. The initial government shutdown had many construction companies in a panic searching for back-up suppliers.

Additionally, this causes the delay of many construction projects as the demand is too high for alternative suppliers to fulfill on their own. As a means to avoid this, more and more companies intend to retain permanent relations with domestic and foreign suppliers moving forward.

The Election and Industry Outlook

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris plan to invest heavily in America’s infrastructure. shared their goal of transforming the economy through increased investments in infrastructure.

“We’ve seen the need for a more resilient economy for the long-term, and that means investing in a modern, sustainable infrastructure and sustainable engines of growth — from roads and bridges, to energy grids and schools, to universal broadband,” the Biden-Harris Transition website states.

As part of the economic recovery plan, infrastructure is one of four areas that president-elect Biden intends to redevelop.

Additionally, the campaign plan includes increasing domestic manufacturing to avoid the over-dependency of foreign supply chains.

Bridge Construction Market Outlook after COVID-19

At the present time, the funding and demand within the bridge construction industry is decreasing. However, it is projected to steadily increase in the coming years.

A recent report shows that the global bridge construction industry is expected to reach just over $1 trillion by 2027. That’s an increase from $908 million, a 4.6 percent compound annual growth rate. This is due to various reasons, such as the increase of demand that infrastructure will receive from the pent-up projects and repairs, more vehicles on roadways, the rise in domestic manufacturing, and the growth of private construction businesses.

U.S. Bridge: Leaders in Steel Bridge Construction

U.S. Bridge has been engineering and manufacturing steel bridges for decades. We are proud to contribute sustainable solutions to America’s infrastructure, even amidst the effect of COVID-19.

We understand that a bridge project is a major investment. That being said, we’re here to help you from the beginning of your project through the end. Get a quote from us for your next bridge project or learn more about our steel bridges. Together, we’ll build a better future for America’s infrastructure.

Mulholland Bridge Project US Bridge

In 2018, the Woolsey fire decimated the Santa Monica Mountains. In its destruction, the fire burnt down the Mulholland Highway bridge located within the mountains. U.S. Bridge partnered with Los Angeles County to rebuild the Mulholland Bridge to reconnect the community with a two-lane bridge.

The Woolsey Fire

In November 2018, a fire ignited in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties that lasted three days. The Woolsey fire spanned almost 97,000 acres and among the various buildings that were burned, the Mulholland Highway bridge was also destroyed.

Nearby towns came to a standstill after the destruction of the bridge. The devastation affected commerce, traffic, and people’s morals. The county believes that a new bridge will reunite the region and get the community to return to normal after the major disaster.

A Plan for a New Bridge

The county erected a one-lane temporary bridge while they completed the construction of the replacement bridge. Soon, construction on a new permanent bridge began.

Mark Pestrella, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, stated that the goal of the new bridge construction from U.S. Bridge is to not only restore stability within the community but to also reduce commute times for residents. Additionally, the new bridge should provide a safe exit should another emergency arise. That’s why the county entrusted U.S. Bridge to engineer, manufacture, and construct the new Mulholland Highway bridge.

 

Building the Mulholland Bridge

The Mulholland Bridge is a two-lane steel truss bridge that was manufactured in just eight weeks, with the help of Granite Construction and Bragg Crane and Rigging.  The bridge spans 140-feet with a width of 34-feet and one 5-foot sidewalk for pedestrians. This is a galvanized structure that received two coats of paint on top of the galvanizing for added aesthetics.

Construction began in January 2020, and we are proud to say that while maintaining safety regulations, construction was completed smoothly despite local restrictions due to COVID-19. We work endlessly to ensure the safety of our crew while also exceeding the bridge owner’s expectations.

Heading? Save Time Save Money?

Whenever applicable, we advise clients to skip the temporary bridge and go straight to building the permanent bridge. This is because oftentimes a permanent bridge can be delivered in a short period of time. In some cases, a permanent structure is built in a similar time span it takes to erect a temporary bridge. Thus, bridge owners will save time and money.

A temporary bridge can cost between $1-2 million, all funded by the Federal Highway Administration and local gas tax dollars. Due to this cost, constructing a bridge structure permanently just once, rather than twice, allows local governments to apply public funds to other essential areas of transportation.

Nobody likes doing things twice. Save money and time, and forgo the temporary bridge to move straight into permanent bridge construction by partnering with an experienced bridge builder.

Build Bridges and Trust with US Bridge

We are glad to be a part of this restoration in Los Angeles county by building a bridge that connects the community for decades to come. We worked together with other companies such as Granite Construction, Bragg Crane & Rigging, and Los Angeles County to complete this project. With our professional collaboration and expertise, this project became a great success and a proud moment for our team.

To learn more about why we’re the leader in steel bridge construction, get in touch with us. We’re glad to answer any questions about your bridge construction project.

How to Design a Bridge

Designing a bridge takes great engineering skills and attention to detail. Every component of the bridge design process is significant and greatly affects the rest of the project. Clearly, learning how to design a bridge can seem like an overwhelming process with lots to figure out.

However, U.S. Bridged developed a tool to simplify bridge design, even if you’ve never designed a bridge. It’s Bridge Scope, our exclusive virtual design tool to design a bridge.

Bridge Scope makes it easy to customize your bridge to the specifications you need, down to the last detail.

 

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How to Design a Bridge

When it comes to bridge design there are many components to consider. Where is the location of the bridge? Will there be heavy traffic and commercial trucks? Or is the location in a rural area?

The environment and the purpose of the bridge will determine the type of materials and style of the bridge. In addition to the type and shape, the design of the deck and railing are important as well.

Engineers need to consider the weather and other environmental factors that contribute to corrosion. It may be difficult to choose the right materials and design that works best for your project without making a big dent in your budget. That’s why it’s important to build with a trusted company that will create a bridge that fits your needs.

Through the combination of our experience and knowledge, we’ve created a simple and time-efficient way for you to design your bridge: Bridge Scope.

Bridge Scope: A Bridge Design Tool

Our exclusive Bridge Scope tool allows you to design your bridge in just a few simple steps.

How to use Bridge Scope

  1. Select a bridge type from the drop-down menu. Then select a bridge-style that best fits your project. Each bridge type has specific styles available. For example, the styles available for truss bridges are Cambridge, Cambridge flat, Viking, and Seneca bridge.
  2. Next, choose the deck material. The material of the deck is dependent on the bridge type.
  3. Select the bridge railing. Decide if you require an independent rail attached to the deck or a W-Beam guide rail attached to the truss.
  4. Lastly, input the span length and width of your bridge project. Additionally, you can select a corrosion protective plan and pick a live load.

Shortly after submitting, you will receive a detailed PDF packet of your project’s design and specifications. You can then contact U.S. Bridge to proceed forward with your bridge and make any adjustments desired.

It’s as simple as that. In under five minutes, users will have created their preliminary bridge design with a trusted steel bridge builder.

Building with U.S. Bridge

Our team of engineering experts has been building bridges for decades. U.S. Bridge has completed more than 10,000 bridge projects and has experience working in more than 50 countries. Our team of engineering experts has been building bridges for decades of many different styles and designs.

All of our bridge designs are custom made for each client and their specific project. To find out more about our experienced team and excellent bridges, please contact U.S. Bridge today.

Bridge Railing

With so much going into a project, bridge railing may appear to be an afterthought for bridge construction. But like choosing the right deck material, bridge railing proves to be vital for every bridge design.

At U.S. Bridge, we have several options for bridge railing to best fit each of our construction projects.

Common Types of Bridge Railing

A bridge’s railing depends on various factors such as location, material, and purpose. The railing adds safety for pedestrians, aesthetics, and a custom touch to bridge construction.

So how do you decide which railing is ideal for your bridge? We’ve compiled a small guide of the different types of bridge railings we provide so that you can make the best decision for your construction project.

Steel Bridge Railing

The most common steel bridge railing is the tubular rail system. This railing can be built alone or integrated into a concrete curb or low barrier wall, thus providing flexibility to various building projects. The combination of the railing system’s beams and posts provide the strength necessary to make this a sturdy barrier.

Ornamental or architectural steel railings are commonly used for pedestrian and low-vehicular traffic. These railings tend to be thinner and more decorative than other railings and provide pedestrian protection on bridges.

W-Beam Railing

For smaller bridges or roads with less traffic consider the W-Beam railing. This railing system attaches to steel posts or truss girders and is typically 27 inches from the top of the bridge to the pavement. The W-Beam is a simple steel railing system but it can be doubled to maximize its strength. Similar to the W-Beam, the Thrie Beam is another steel railing but works best in areas with heavier traffic flow.

Many pedestrian and steel bridge railings can receive extra finishes such as paint coatings or galvanization. Due to its popularity, the specifications required for building steel railing systems varies for each state.

Concrete Bridge Railing

As a local resource, concrete is one of the most common materials to choose for bridge construction. A concrete railing attaches to the bridge’s deck slab and creates a powerful vehicular barrier. These sturdy railings are ideal for high traffic roadways or areas where run-off the road accidents are frequent. Concrete railings are a great idea for urban locations or for bridges that receive heavy truckloads.

Keep in mind, this railing has a high initial cost and its thick appearance can impede an open road view. However, there are ways to help open visibility while still keeping the concrete railing’s thick strength; such as combining wall barriers with a tubular railing system.

A bridge’s railing is dependent on factors such as the construction’s budget, bridge deck material, and mandated state specifications.

Let’s Build Your Bridge, The Right Way

Still not sure which railing best fits your project? Check our website for more details in our railings. Or use our chatbox below and we’ll be in touch soon.

U.S. Bridge has been connecting communities with long-lasting bridges for decades, so you can feel confident in investing in our expertise. Our team will help you choose and create the right bridge for your project. If you’d like to know more about our bridge construction or have any questions, please contact us today and get a free quote.

Marble Cliff

U.S. Bridge recently completed our construction of a steel bridge for the Marble Cliff development in Columbus, Ohio. The steel truss bridge serves as a centerpiece for the new mixed-use development just five miles from downtown Columbus.

The weathering steel truss bridge spans 80-feet, with a 28-foot clear roadway, and two eight-foot sidewalks for pedestrians.

Marble Cliff

The Marble Cliff Development

Since the fall of 2018, we’ve worked closely with the site’s developer Thrive Companies. Together, we determined that the new development required a signature entrance.

As with every project, we collaborated with the client to decide on the elements the bridge needed. It was without question that the development deserved an aesthetically-pleasing bridge entrance match the luxury of the ongoing development.

We presented many options and ultimately landed on a weathering steel truss bridge, which included railings and a concrete floor.

The development is located on former quarry land in Columbus, Ohio. The mixed-use development of 70 acres will contain 864 housing units and 80,500 square feet of office and retail space. Specifically, the new housing is targeting professionals and young adults.

In addition, the Marble Cliff development will incorporate linked waterways, including streams and ponds, for residents to enjoy. Thus, the bridge is accessible via the waterways that kayakers and canoers can use near the Scioto River.

Marble Cliff

The Bridge Construction Process

We discussed the bridge needs with the Marble Cliff development’s on-site land contractor, developer, and consultant. After discussions about the project scope, the developers put their trust in U.S. Bridge to engineer, design, manufacture, and construct the bridge.

Once the scope was determined, we proceeded with our design of the truss bridge. We reviewed the project details carefully to ensure it met the client’s specifications and maintained U.S. Bridge’s high-quality standards. After approval and construction of the abutments, our team installed the bridge, concrete floor, and necessary railing.

Through every step of the process, we worked with Thrive Companies to meet and exceed expectations.

Without delay, we completed the bridge project on time and on budget. We are pleased to be part of this bridge project that will serve the Columbus community for generations to come. Now that the bridge is in place, the former quarry can continue to move toward its completion.

Marble Cliff

A Team Effort by U.S. Bridge

Every part of our team at U.S. Bridge touched this project. From engineering and design to steel fabricators to the construction team, our team showed what great work we can do together.

We are glad to be a part of this redevelopment, located on 70 acres near the Scioto River. By and large, this project was a great success for the U.S. Bridge team.

To learn more about why we’re the leader in steel bridge construction, get in touch with us. We’re glad to answer any questions about your bridge construction project.

Benefits Of ABC

Bridge construction is essential to continue rapidly improving America’s infrastructure. With innovative building techniques and effective procedures, there are constantly new cost-effective ways to increase efficiency. That’s where the benefits of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) come into play.

Accelerated bridge construction is a complete shift in how bridges are planned by fully preparing materials to be installed at the bridge site. There are several benefits of accelerated bridge construction over traditional bridge construction — above all are safety, quality, social costs, and the environmental impact.

That’s why U.S. Bridge offers Bridge Kits as a solution for a quick construction time with the same high-quality durability our bridges are known for. Below, we explain the benefits of accelerated bridge construction and why it might be right for your next bridge project. Overall, these benefits reduce bridge construction costs by shortening project time.

Most Significant Benefits of Accelerated Bridge Construction

Here are some of the benefits of accelerated bridge construction:

  1. Shortened bridge project delivery time
  2. Reduce construction impact on traffic
  3. Increase work-zone safety
  4. Prefabricated components require less maintenance
  5. Lower environmental impact

#1: Shortened bridge project delivery time

This is why it’s called accelerated bridge construction — it’s faster than traditional methods. However, it’s equally if not more effective than traditional building.

With precise construction management, prefabricating the bridge parts, and shipping all the parts to the job site, bridge construction time is reduced significantly. With proper planning, bridge parts can be easily installed on-site. This saves time and money throughout the process by completing the project as quickly as possible.

#2: Reduce construction impact on traffic

Highway and other roadway work zones are hazardous for both motorists and for workers. However, as the condition of America’s infrastructure continues to decline, there continues to be long closures to critical roads across the nation. Moreover, this causes delays for everyday drivers, emergency vehicles, and local businesses can suffer from altered nearby traffic patterns.

Ultimately, traffic is unavoidable for Americans, but it can be made slightly better with ABC. With faster construction times thanks to prefabricated parts, construction can move from start to finish in a more timely manner.

#3: Increase work-zone safety

With extended road and lane closures comes increased risk for traffic accidents involving motorists and workers. Each year, there are 2,000 fatal accidents in work zones. With prefabricated parts and a plan to easily construct the bridge, there is less time spent with changes in traffic patterns. Additionally, it’s beneficial for workers on site.

“Now we’re also seeing safety benefits,” Bala Sivakumar, resident ABC expert at HNTB, said to ConstructionDive.com. “It’s a lot safer to do an ABC project because [workers] are not next to traffic or 50 to 100 feet above ground tying rebar or trying to pour concrete.”

#4: Prefabricated components require less maintenance

Prefabricated bridge components are engineered and manufactured specifically for Bridge Kits — our ABC solution. Thus, these parts go through a thorough quality control process to ensure they are ready for on-site construction. While on-site work is held to a high-standard, prefabrication is done in a controlled environment and removed from environmental elements.

With ABC and a thoroughly managed process, we can build bridges that last even longer than traditional building styles.

#5: Lower environmental impact

Another plus to shorter construction time is the significantly reduced impact on the environment. With less time with heavy equipment on-site, the impact to the surrounding environment is significantly reduced. As a result, building accelerated bridge construction lends itself to environmentally-sensitive areas.

Let’s Piece it Together

U.S. Bridge proudly delivers on long-lasting bridge construction projects around the world. We regard every detail of your bridge with a high level of attention and efficiency to ensure it’s high-quality.

With our Bridge Kits, we make bridge installation easy for teams who have the labor and equipment but need manufacturing and engineering. Now, we’re delivering everything needed for bridge construction right to job sites globally.

If you’d like to know more about our Bridge Kits and accelerated bridge construction, please contact us today for a free quote.

Rural Roads And Bridges

Rural roads and bridges are an essential component of the U.S. economy. They connect the country and support a network of product transportation that is vital to our nation. Despite its importance, America’s rural transportation network lacks the necessary funds for proper infrastructure maintenance

The design of rural bridges and highways is often suited for lower-weight vehicles. However, due to the growing numbers and weight of freight trucks this rural infrastructure is in danger of rapid deterioration. Increased government investment into rural roads and bridges would benefit the United States’ economy and keep communities safely connected.

Why are Rural Roads so Important?

America Counts Staff research shows that the United States rural regions consist of nearly 97 percent of America’s landmass, the majority of which are dedicated to farming. As a result, America’s rural regions transport a sustainable pipeline of food, energy, and other products that aid the entirety of the U.S. economy. 

Not only are the goods and services that these roads join vital, but the transportation network itself creates numerous job opportunities. Tourism is another beneficial aspect of rural transportation as rural roads provide access to tourist destinations such as national parks, outdoor recreational activities, and scenic vacations.  

Connecting the U.S. with Rural Roads

As shown, the significance of rural roads is instrumental in the support of America’s stability and food supply. However, the volume of rural transportation has the potential for improvement. This improvement would allow for further capacity for economic growth with the construction of additional roads. According to a study from TRIP, a National Transportation Research Group, 66 U.S. cities with a population of 50,000 or more do not have direct access to the Interstate Highway System

Rural transportation connectivity is indispensable for additional economic development and would provide a positive impact to rural residents. Due to the lack of connectivity, rural communities are affected by distance and limited access to medical facilities and emergency response services.

Safety Concerns on Rural Roads

As the number of jobs, population, and use of these rural highways increases, the roads are not able to meet the swell of demand. Many rural roads are two lanes and aren’t intended to carry the weight of heavy trucks or other vehicles. 

According to a study from TRIP, 13 percent of America’s rural roads have pavements in poor condition. Nearly one out of 12 of the nation’s rural bridges need rehabilitation, repair or replacement. In addition, the same study also found that the amount of traffic accidents in rural regions are nearly double than those in urban areas. 

Reasons that could attribute to these alarming numbers include narrow lanes, limited shoulders, sharp curves, and exposed hazards. These features are common in rural infrastructure and require funding to incorporate desirable safety qualities.

Challenges with Funding

An increase in funds is essential in order to enhance the reliability and safety of these rural roads, highways,and bridges. 

A United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) report shows that the nation’s annual expenditure for infrastructure should be increased by almost 28 percent. However, reaching this number will be challenging as the effects of COVID-19 reduces transportation revenue. 

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials reports that state revenues are decreasing due to the pandemic. The reduction in vehicle usage triggers a decrease in gasoline tax, turnpike toll, vehicle rental, and sale tax collections, among others. As a result, states are revising their maintenance funding and road investments. 

Let’s Build Rural Infrastructure

Rural roads and bridges are essential to the U.S. economy and businesses everywhere. With a quality rural infrastructure system, communities and businesses can stay connected.

U.S. Bridge has been serving communities for more than 80 years, building bridges that withstand time. Our bridge experts will advise you on the best option for your bridge. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can make your bridge project a long-lasting success.

Hot Dip Galvanized

A new bridge is a piece of infrastructure that will serve communities and transportation for decades. They must be built to last with the strongest and most durable materials. With hot-dip galvanizing, U.S. Bridge builds bridges that minimize maintenance and long-term durability regardless of the environment.

We’ve been galvanizing bridges since 1987, and we were the first to hot-dip galvanize an entire welded truss bridge. By bonding zinc to our U.S.-manufactured steel, we’re building long-lasting, reliable bridges with a sustainable process.

The Galvanizing Process

To galvanize steel, thorough cleaning of the steel is absolutely necessary. This is because zinc will only react with clean steel during the hot-dip process. Areas that are not perfectly clean will interfere with the process.

Before the Hot-Dip

Before hot-dip galvanizing, the surface must be prepared. This process includes degreasing, pickling, and fluxing.

Degreasing is the first step in cleansing the steel. It remotes dirt, oils, and organic residue. Next is pickling, which removes the iron oxides and scales from the steel’s surface to expose a bare area for galvanizing. Finally is the fluxing process, which prepares the steel for the hot-dip phase by applying a protective saline layer.

Hot-Dip Galvanizing

After the cleaning process, the steel is immersed in a kettle bath of 85% pure molten zinc at 830° F. The zinc reacts with the iron steel to form metallurgically-bonded coating. Once the steel reaches the bath temperature, the bonding is complete.

Once the steel cools down, an inspection verifies that it conforms to specifications. This includes a visual inspection and a magnetic thickness gauge that measures the coating.

Galvanizing Improves Bridge Life Cycle

The cost of hot-dip galvanized steel is roughly the same as painting a bridge. While a quality paint coat must be touched up, zinc-coated steel does not need maintenance over the bridge’s life.

However, the galvanized steel eliminates corrosion for up to 100 years in many cases. According to one study, the future maintenance of bridges can be reduced by 50% with galvanizing. With galvanized steel, the average service life is 8.5% longer. In fact, at U.S. Bridge, we have a 35-year warranty on our galvanized steel beam bridges — we’re that confident in lasting quality of galvanization.

Environmentally-Friendly

There are several environmental advantages to hot-dip galvanizing, beyond just the financial and durability impact. The key to sustainable construction of bridges is to continually lower the environmental impact of producing products. This is possible with zinc and steel.

Both zinc and steel are two naturally occurring, abundant elements. Ore — which steel is composed of — is the fourth-most abundant element on Earth. Zinc is 24th. Both are infinitely recyclable without the loss of physical or chemical properties. These materials can be used over and over without compromising their integrity.

With less maintenance, galvanizing will also prevent potentially harming environments during maintenance and traffic delays.

Build Sustainable Bridges with U.S. Bridge

In summary, hot-dip galvanizing steel is about the savings on the life-cycle of your bridge and the environmental benefits. With decades of experience in hot-dip galvanizing, we guarantee the highest level of quality in our steel bridge parts.

U.S. Bridge has been serving communities for more than 80 years, building bridges that withstand time. Our bridge experts will advise you on the best option for your bridge. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can make your bridge project a long-lasting success.

Bridge Deck Designs: The Benefits of Steel

The choice of material for your bridge deck construction is critical for the lifespan of the bridge. There are several reasons why steel may be the right choice for your bridge deck. At U.S. Bridge, we have various custom options for the floor and deck of our bridge constructions to ensure our bridges are sustainable long-term, including many steel solutions.

What is a Bridge Deck?

A bridge deck is the surface of the bridge that will serve as a roadway for vehicles, bikes, or pedestrians. To guarantee safety for traffic, these decks must be sturdy enough to withstand constant pressure. There are two primary structure types for bridge decks: bridge decks cast on top of beams or stringers and superstructure systems in which the top of the superstructure forms the top of the driving surface.

U.S. Bridge builds custom bridge decks depending on the project, from concrete deck slabs to open grid steel decks to nail-laminated timber floors. The most commonly constructed deck is the concrete deck slab. These structural slabs are designed to be between seven and nine inches thick and are reinforced with steel bars.

Steel Bridge Decks

U.S. Bridge uses corrugated steel bridge planks for beam or truss bridges, and these can later be filled with asphalt or concrete for traffic. Another common type of steel deck is open grid steel bridge flooring.

These decks are very common and are easy to install. These are lightweight sections of steel that increase bridge support for large weights traveling across the bridge. The steel grids are filled or partially filled with concrete or asphalt, or they can be left unfilled.

Steel Bridge Decks are Easy to Install

Open grid steel bridge decks are manufactured in sections before being delivered and installed at the bridge site. The connections between the panels are bolted or welded, though bolted connections are preferred. Thus, metal bridge decking is ideal for tight construction schedules and quick installation processes. Even so, steel bridge decks allow for innovative solutions when building your bridge.

Steel is Environmentally Friendly

Steel is one of the most environmentally-friendly materials used in bridge construction. Not only is it used in bridge decks, but it’s frequently used in the superstructure of U.S. Bridges. Raw material for steel bridges often come from scrap or recycled steel. New steel bridge construction in the U.S. annually uses 350,000 tons of scrap metal. This recycled steel is equally as sturdy as newly manufactured steel. Not only is much of the material recycled, but no steel is ever wasted, as each piece is manufactured for a specific destination.

Longer spans are also achievable with steel to cross streams, lakes, and other wetlands. In turn, longer spans reduce the number of piers necessary and reduce environmental impact. Steel is highly-adaptable material and can be used in various climates. In addition to the environmental benefits, building with light-weight steel is much safer and faster.

Steel Bridge Decks are Cost-Effective

In general, bridges with steel components drastically reduce the life cycle cost of the bridge. For municipalities, faster construction reduces construction time, as well as traffic and community disruption. In the long term, steel components are shown to require less maintenance than concrete. Since steel is lighter weight, it takes lighter equipment to construct, which also saves money.

Historically, the most vulnerable part of a bridge is the deck. However, this is changing with new bridge engineering. Engineers now have a better understanding of fatigue behavior, and how to build steel bridges that can last long without major maintenance. Additionally, high-performance steels are developed specifically for bridges to increase toughness and durability.

Start Building Your 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.

Recently, we have introduced our Bridge Kits, which are a DIY bridge solution for the time-constrained bridge construction. We manufacture and ship the bridge parts, then the material is installed by your own crews. Ready to get started? Call today or contact the U.S. Bridge team online.