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Transportation Infrastructure

Drivers in America drove over 3.2 trillion miles in 2018 — an average of some 14,000 miles per licensed driver. But much of these travels are along a U.S. transportation infrastructure that is quickly deteriorating and needs federal funding.

According to an April update from TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit based in Washington D.C., “the need for transportation improvements far outpaces the amount of state and federal funding available.” As of 2020, 43% of major roads in the U.S. are in poor or mediocre condition. In addition, 7% of bridges are in poor or structurally deficient condition.

U.S. Transportation Infrastructure is falling behind

In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers assessed the condition of America’s roads as a D grade. Additionally, overall condition was given a D+. In three years since, vehicle travel has increased 17%. But new traffic has failed to be mitigated, with only a 5% increase in new roadways constructed.

The effect? 6.9 billion hours a year in traffic. On average, it costs $603 per year for each American motorist, according to the TRIP data. This is despite the state Department of Transportations spending more building new roads than maintaining the ones they have that are in bad condition.

“Most systems that make up our network of interstate highways are at least 50 years old, so there has to be substantial reinvestment to make sure those assets can keep up with daily wear and tear,” Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said to the New York Times.

Voting for improved roads

The backlog for transportation infrastructure improvement has a great effect on voters. In 2018, 270 of 305 transportation-related state and local ballot measures were approved, according to the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center.

Clearly, there is a need for more funding on every government level. And it’s the every-day civilian motorist that’s feeling the effect.

Why improve roads and bridges?

Roads and bridges are essential parts of America’s economy. Bridges transport trillions of dollars in goods every year, create jobs, connect communities, and allow motorists to travel feely. These central parts of the U.S. economy are in critical need of repair and improvement, and these improvements can create economic recovery.

Boost the economy

The design, construction and maintenance of America’s roads and bridges supports approximately 4 million full-time jobs. By investing into transportation infrastructure, the government can create valuable jobs. In the long-term, this will enhance economic competitiveness and stimulate sustained job growth.

Improve road safety

Between 2014 and 2018, an average of 35,784 people died on America’s roadways. A contributing factor to these accidents is the lack of adequate roadways safety features.

According to a 2017 report, every $100 million spent on roadway improvements would reduce the number of traffic fatalities by 44 and serious traffic injuries by 760 over a 20-year period. Not only are motorists losing precious time due to a decrepit transportation system, many have lost their lives.

With safety improvements such as passing lanes, wider lanes, medians, turning lanes, and clearing roadside objects, many accidents and costs to motorists can be avoided.

COVID-19 and Transportation Infrastructure

Due to roads being less busy during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have pushed to fast-track infrastructure construction projects. In many places this has been successful, and many projects are being completed faster than originally planned.

However, once roads return to relative normality, the long-term effect of COVID-19 could be catastrophic to transportation infrastructure. Keep in mind, the fast-tracked projects were previously approved. With state budgets taking a large hit, it’s likely states will cut back on large infrastructure investments in the coming months and even years.

Budget loss due to COVID-19

As a result of the drop in traffic, state Departments of Transportations are estimated to lose an average of 30% of transportation revenues over the next 18 months. Some will lose even more. Meanwhile, the American Public Transportation Association has requested $24 billion to cover operational costs for hard-hit transportation agencies. With a recent grade of D+ for infrastructure, losing this time in improving the nation’s infrastructure could be catastrophic and even deadly in the long-term.

Improve America’s Transportation Infrastructure

The time for federal agencies to invest in America’s infrastructure is now. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government was in talks to pass a $760 billion five-year plan to invest in infrastructure. An investment of this magnitude is no longer optional — it’s essential to maintain our transportation infrastructure.

Not only will it create jobs and economic opportunity, but it will save countless lives as the roads and bridges improve over time. Countless industries have received federal stimulus and aid during this time. To ensure a safe future, infrastructure must be one of them.

U.S. Bridge is proud to contribute sustainable solutions to America’s infrastructure. Our bridges are sustainable and safe, making transportation possible for people everywhere. 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.

Devising a plan is one of the necessary steps that lead to successful construction. In order to build the best quality bridge, construction workers must strategically plan the process ahead of time. Before deciding what is going to be built, consider how it is going to be built. The two go hand in hand when achieving projects. To shape the best results, construction workers must keep the planning process in mind. More importantly, the pre-planning process! While it can be a challenge, pre-planning construction is fundamental and crucial.

Strategy-Based Projects

To start with a plan, one must have an end goal. In other words, a strategy-based process is necessary to achieve your intended goal. U.S. Bridge takes both speed and quality seriously when it comes to building quality bridges. Start on the ends and make your way to the middle. This means determining your end goal, pre-planning your project, then working to connect the two. During construction, it will help to track your performance to make sure you are meeting your mark. Using 3 steps, you can execute your next construction project:

  • Pre-plan
  • Track/measure your performance
  • Meet your Goal

Realistic Measurement

In addition, measurement is a critical component of construction. There are numerous qualities of measurement that must be considered during the design and building processes. Some qualities include:

  • Dimension
  • Quantity
  • Level
  • Pressure
  • Time

At U.S. Bridge, precision is essential during measurement. In fact every detail of our bridges are met with a level of attention and efficiency to ensure it is delivered on time and to your specifications. These are all measurements that ensure longevity, durability, and sustainability.

Pre-Planning Project Completion

In the construction realm, possibilities such as natural disasters, emergencies, and accidents may occur. These are factors every laborer must be prepared to confront. Ideally, every team’s goal is to complete projects as quickly as possible. However, one cannot escape the inevitable. So, be sure to devise a realistic rate of completion when pre-planning your project.

Quality Assurance

U.S. Bridge understands the value of our customers. Our 80 years of construction experience teaches us the best ways to build quality bridges. Pre-planning our projects facilitates the process and leads to success. For questions or concerns, contact us today and get a quote to start on your next project!

Achieving Job Satisfaction

Nothing beats the feeling of looking forward to work the next day. Over the years, job satisfaction in the workforce has increased significantly. In fact, according to the Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report led by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the number of employees satisfied with their job rose from 81% in 2013 to 88% in 2016. In just three years, the percentage increased by 7%! Figuring out ways to attain job satisfaction among industries will enhance work ethic and strengthen customer service. But how can we achieve this goal?

Benefits of Job Satisfaction

In a competitive market, customers have plenty of companies to target. The goal is to be their number one choice. Keeping workers happy will strengthen the overall company and will boost a customer’s desire to work with you. There are many benefits that result from content laborers including:

  • Higher productivity
  • Increased profits
  • Greater work ethic
  • Healthy environment
  • Enhanced collaboration

Overall, employees are one of the top resources of an organization. According to a study led by Pew Research Center, about 51% of U.S. workers say they get a sense of identity from their job. This is extremely important as it helps shape people and their careers.

Construction Industry

Bouncing back from a recession low, the construction industry has been working its way back up. According to TINYpulse’s Best Industry Ranking report, from over 30,000 employees across more than 500 organizations and among 12 distinct industries, construction and facility service workers are the happiest employees. Much of that number comes from thorough training. As new workers enter the industry, employers are working hard to properly train new employees on overall skills.

Mental Health Awareness

Ironically, as the above study shows that construction workers are the happiest among industries, mental health is still a factor to consider. Overall, the social stigma about mental health is gradually decreasing. So it is important to make sure team members feel at ease, safe, and motivated to work. According to the Health and Safety Executive, work-related ill health is increasing in the construction sector. In fact, everyday presents risks on the job site. With the use of heavy and potentially dangerous equipment, safety is the number 1 factor to keep in mind in the construction industry. Each year, about 2,000 accidents occur among workers that lead to injury or fatalities. With that said, it is crucial that construction companies make sure their employees communicate any discomfort or stress-related health issues in advance.

Job Satisfaction is a Priority

Significantly, job satisfaction is a priority that must be met in order to advance industries. It will change the way employees serve and improve the quality of labor. The construction industry is growing rapidly and at U.S. Bridge, we serve to meet the needs of our customers with quality steel bridge building. So, working together to achieve job satisfaction will take us one step ahead. Contact us today to get a quote.

Busting The Myth Painting Or Repainting Steel Bridges Is a Problem

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.

USB Assists In The Construction Of The 41st St. Chicago Pedestrian Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we pride ourselves on bringing a wide range of bridge projects to life across the globe. Our high-quality steel bridges are designed to withstand the test of time while providing safe passage for pedestrians and vehicles. To that end, we were thrilled to assist in the 41st Street Chicago Pedestrian Bridge, recently erected by S & J Construction.

What the Project Entailed

Selected from among numerous bridge fabricators across the nation, U.S. Bridge was chosen to provide the temporary bridge used for the erection of the new signature pedestrian bridge. The U.S. Bridge temporary bridge was incorporated into the project to maintain traffic of the metro rail line below, and to permit a continuous work environment all while ensuring the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

Because the components were fabricated ahead of time, construction of the U.S. Bridge temporary bridge occurred over a few brief hours, minimizing construction disturbances for both Lake Shore Drive and the railroad.

The new signature bridge is designed to echo the appearance of Olmsted’s original Chicago walkways. The bridge boasts double-curved arch mono trusses that provide structural rigidity while offering resistance against high winds. As a bonus, the bridge features energy-efficient lighting and low-glare illumination. The end result is a beautiful, sleek pedestrian bridge that adds interest to the urban landscape.

A Cambridge Flat Bridge Built to Last

A Warren Truss girder bridge, features a top chord with a polygonal shape. The design is also known as a camelback. Attractive and efficient, this steel bridge is ideal for both city and country locales. Builders can choose from one, two, and three-lane options with a width range between 12 and 44 feet.

Contact U.S. Bridge Today to Start Building Something Exceptional

A leading provider of public and private sector bridges around the globe, U.S. Bridge has more than 80 years of experience in the design and manufacture of quality steel bridges. We’re passionate about creating high-end, safe structures at prices that are affordable. To learn more about our bridge building services, call today or contact U.S. Bridge online for a quote.