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Every year in May the industry brings attention to different ways we can keep construction workers safe with Construction Safety Week. Although it often focuses on ways we can keep workers safe physically, it also covers mental health issues within the industry as well.

In celebration of this, here are some tips on how construction workers can stay safe and build a more secure industry.

Construction Safety Week 2022

This year, in particular, the theme “Connected. Supported. Safe.” is meant to emphasize mental health safety by encouraging workers to build connections and support within the industry.

In fact, a study conducted by CIRP revealed that 83% of construction workers struggle with mental health issues. As the world and the industry still slowly recover from COVID-19, it’s not surprising that many are bringing attention to this topic.

Connected. Supported. Safe.

Build Connections

Not only do we urge workers to stay connected with their loved ones but we also strongly suggest building connections with fellow crew members. Without a doubt, connection brings comfort, and this brings peace of mind. But building connections within your team and even better, the industry, allows for more open and honest discussions.

This leads to having a healthy work environment where a foundation of care goes beyond profits. In turn, this builds a stronger and safer crew and work environment.

Be Supportive

Though the topic of mental health might feel taboo or negative, the first step is starting the discussion. Discussion allows workers to identify any potential struggles in themselves and helps them to find an appropriate solution. Support crewmates by hearing them out, allowing for a safe and informed workplace.

When a crew member supports another crew member, it is likely to become even more support for the team as a whole. This will also give workers the courage to speak up against unsafe work conditions.

Stay Safe

Safety is the overarching theme, but what does it mean to be safe?

Each crew member has a duty to be constantly aware of any hazardous conditions that might harm the project and fellow crewmates. Communication creates a safer worksite, both verbal and written communication help. But also signage indicating on-site hazards can create a safer work environment.

Supervision is also crucial to any safe worksite. Defining and enforcing safety procedures is essential. A safety-conscious supervisor is capable of enforcing safety procedures. They can also keep an eye on operations, and take corrective action when a worker fails to follow proper procedures.

Continue Learning

What makes an industry safe and successful is when members share new discoveries and methods with each other. Sharing lessons on new innovations on common issues or streamlining tasks will make it a safer and more efficient industry. It will also permit continuous learning. This will ensure workers of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures can join together in making the construction world a much safer place to work.

Take the time to make safety a priority at your worksite. Enforcing safety procedures and standards creates a safer workplace and decreases the chance for error. Starting a conversation on mental health makes for more self-aware crews. Awareness is one of the most important tools to help supervisors support mental health in their worksite.

Stay Safe with a Reliable Team

Throughout our decades of high-quality manufacturing, we have made safety a priority above all else. Our workers and leaders work together in a healthy and collaborative atmosphere. This is how we create the best-prefabricated bridges that the industry has to offer.

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

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The new home of the Texas Rangers, Globe Life Field, is an architectural masterpiece. Since its opening in 2020, the field has become an icon of downtown Arlington. Given the size, scope, and vision of the entire project, it is no surprise that exposed steel was its chosen material.

Globe Life Field’s Architectural Magnificence

Construction for Globe Life Field began in 2017 and took 38 months to complete. Manhattan Construction Company served as a general contractor for the massive project which incorporates 34,000 tons of steel. 15,000 tons of steel were utilized below the roof and 19,000 tons were devoted to the stadium’s state-of-the-art retractable roof.

 In fact, this retractable roof is the largest of its kind and consists of two rail truss structures; the movable portion and the two fixed roofs.

The construction of the roof used various construction methods. Such as the ground-built 600-ton roof trusses hoisted into place using a 2,535-ton-capacity Manitowoc 31000— the largest crawler crane ever built in the United States. 

In addition, W&W Steel Erectors (WWSE) designed, fabricated, and installed temporary shoring towers, allowing for the long-span trusses and the entire roof to be built from the inside of the field.

Engineered with a Vision

The Texas Rangers pictured a field where fans were as close as possible, and architect HKS designed multiple seating options. All with unobstructed views of the field comprised of seven tiers vertically stacked and leading to seven unique front-row experiences.

“It’s all about intimacy and making the spectators part of the game,” said Greg Whittemore, principal at HKS.

Due to facing the challenge of supporting multiple elevated seating decks and suites above the lower bowl, the engineering group, Walter P Moore had to employ multi-story cantilevered steel trusses concealed within each suite divider. In doing so, it eliminated the need for columns as well as any chance of an obstructed view.

Steel’s Use in the Field

The flexibility of steel allowed for more than just concealing support beams, it also allowed for unique asymmetric steel Y-columns in order to make up for insufficient space. The initial concept envisioned connecting two adjacent suites. However, this would have been at the expense of disrupting the flow of the crowd between the suites.

Shruti Sharma, principal at Walter P Moore, explained that traditional straight columns would have punched right through the lower seating, leaving some seats unusable. By angling the support behind the lower bowl seating, the columns support the party suites from below. This ensures connectivity in the party suites and uses all seats in the lower bowl.

The exposed steel throughout the stadium is practical, but it also creates an incredible view. Walter P Moore and HKS intended for a steel support element for the east box truss at the south side of the venue. In doing so, it creates a signature sloping steel truss column that slices through the seating bowl, creating a dramatic structural feature.

The practicality of this amazing view helps reduce the span of the fixed roof truss to 520 ft from 650 ft.

The Need for Exposed Steel

Walter P Moore credits the flexibility of steel with making all of this possible. The strength, durability, and ductility of steel also give it a unique aesthetic, unlike any other modern ballpark. The exposed structural steel creates an impression that emulates historic ballparks from the past.

Flexibility and durability aren’t the only things that make steel so great for construction. Its lightweight nature makes it a versatile tool for various projects and its sustainable properties save companies thousands.

The Power of Steel at U.S. Bridge

The flexibility of steel proved itself throughout the construction of the ballpark, and in many more projects. As an AISC certified steel fabricator, we are proud to manufacture and build with steel as our primary medium. All of our bridges are manufactured with high-quality, long-lasting materials that are available in a variety of design and support types.

To find out more about U.S. Bridge and our work, please contact us today.

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Data is important in any job and naturally, it’s important for construction. It supports and dictates the decision-making process. However, when that data is incorrect it can make for a costly rework budget.

In 2016, data mistakes cost the United States an outstanding 3.1 trillion dollars in budget overruns and project delays. Over half of that was in the construction industry alone.

Rework in construction means losing time and money for your project. It obviously leads to serious frustrations between team members and clients. But it can be avoided by eliminating bad data.

Eliminating Bad Data

Single Focal Point

Deciding where you could benefit most from having data-driven insight and clear value will maximize your return on investment (ROI). This will encourage organizational buy-in.

For example, some industry leaders start with safety and quality assurance, two areas where data is readily available. Having a single point of focus directs the efforts of individuals, which accelerates the impact of improvements.

Identify your Data

Many firms revealed in a survey that the volume of data they use is overwhelming. They reported feeling lost and not knowing where to start. Though only 36% of the surveyed firms reported implementing a process to identify bad data. In fact, many industry leaders stated that it took nearly two years to completely “clean” their own data.

Preventing this time-hogging undertaking involves standardizing data capture. This can confirm accurate and actionable insight.

Structure your Data

It is extremely important to keep all data in a specific environment. This also means having a single preference solution to any impending situation that might arise. This will help to fuse complementary technology solutions with a strong integration capability to help facilitate the amount of project data.

This will help you avoid not having information or the correct information you need readily available when your construction team needs it. Using a specific data environment also makes collaboration between project managers much easier all while helping avoid creating more bad data and rework in construction.

Double Check Everything

Double-checking everything might be painful and tedious, but much of the bad data is due to small mistakes. According to a report conducted by FMI and Autodesk, 24% of bad data is either inaccurate or incorrect. Simple typos can make a huge difference when collecting data.

Obviously, this will take more time so, create a dedicated team or invest in an outsourced company. By doing something as simple as double-checking your work you can avoid costly mistakes.

Data Management Staff

When hiring staff, look for data management and analysis skills in potential candidates. These skills continue to be a critical advantage for construction firms. Teach and train these skills to employees who do not already possess them.

Firms must also evaluate existing processes and standards in order to better understand where data is bad or incomplete.

After hiring a devoted staff to manage and analyze data, implement a formal data strategy. Doing so will lift the burden from already busy supervisory staff.  Formal training can also help, as it is a common part of implementing a common data strategy. This training can reinforce additional on-the-job training.

Formal data strategies also improve data consistency and insights. It will also take the guessing work out of the equation for project management and field supervision staff.

Save on Rework

It is important to implement all of these key points in the battle against bad data. It is also healthy for a firm to think of new and innovative ways to fight bad data. Use what makes sense, if something doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to scrap it in favor of something better.

Bad data will only create bigger problems down the line, so implementing decisions to preemptively stop bad data now will help you avoid expensive rework in construction projects.

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!

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Construction companies have adopted technology quickly, but because of this, they are more susceptible to cyberattacks. According to NordLocker, construction is at the top of the list of industries targeted by cyberattacks, specifically ransomware. This can result in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars lost for construction companies; which is why many companies are investing in cyber insurance for construction projects.

Here are some reasons why you should invest in cyber insurance to protect your company.

Cyber Attacks

Unfortunately, it appears that cybercrime instances are rising. And while it might seem as if targeting a large corporation would provide hackers with the chance for the biggest return, in actuality, smaller companies are more susceptible to attack. The reason behind this is that large companies have the resources and capital to allocate funds to cybersecurity while smaller companies don’t.

Social engineering is also another form of cybercrime in construction. A hacker may pose as a seemingly trustworthy but unknown person, like a vendor, to gain access to company credentials. Phishing, or the use of fake emails or websites, is a great example of this. A hacker may impersonate another company or individual and send fraudulent emails to access information.

There are a couple of things you can do to help avoid cyber attacks like hiring cybersecurity specialists, training employees to recognize phishing, and automatically backup up your daily data. But ultimately, investing in something like cyber insurance would be better.

Cyber Insurance in Construction

Because of the rise in ransomware and cyber attacks in the industry, cyber insurance in construction is gaining popularity as a preemptive form of protection. Here are some other reasons why companies should consider cyber insurance:

  1. The Rise of Cybercrime
    It’s a fact- cybercrime is on the rise. In fact, one in six construction companies reported a ransomware attack in 2020. Dealing with cyber attacks leaves you vulnerable to data and money loss. Safeguard against any potential loss by investing in cyber insurance for your construction company.
  2. Project Delays
    The true price of cybercrime is the amount of time your business is held hostage. Nowadays, most companies rely on technology to function. Cyberattacks can halt projects and make it difficult to access important day-to-day information. As a result, the loss of business is something that could potentially drag on for days or even weeks.
  3. Reputation
    Customers and contractors may hesitate to do business with you in the future if you have a data breach in your past. It signifies to clients that you are susceptible to cyberattacks and that therefore their data is at risk should they work with you. It doesn’t paint a strong or likable appearance for your company.
  4. Liability Coverage
    Construction companies collect and store valuable information about their clients. By having cyber insurance in construction, companies can protect themselves from lawsuits or fines in the event of a ransomware attack. Not to mention, it brings peace of mind if your company ever becomes a victim of cyberattacks.

Companies spend money to protect physical assets. They must take the same steps to protect cyber assets too. Therefore, cyber insurance in construction is more important than ever.

A Reliable and Trusted Brand

U.S. Bridge works with companies all over the world to build long-lasting and easy-to-maintain bridges. We design our bridges with the latest innovations in mind. Our team brings engineering and manufacturing expertise to every project and safety in every way is important to us.

Ready to start your next project? Contact us today to learn more!

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Although it’s often viewed as a male-dominated industry, the number of women in construction continues to rise. This is due to the fact that the industry offers women a smaller gender pay gap and more opportunities for advancement

In honor of Women in Construction Week, we want to celebrate the achievements of women in the industry.

History of Women in Construction 

Women have played a key role in the growth and advancement of construction throughout history. In fact, without women, some of the most iconic bridges would not be built, such as the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge is a widely-known masterpiece of architecture. However, it would not be complete if it weren’t for Emily Warren Roebling. In 1870, Washington Roebling became bedridden and unable to oversee the continuation of the project. His wife stepped in to fill his position as chief engineer and worked on the bridge until its completion over a decade later.

With time, more and more women continued to play an important role in the industry and even became known as industry leaders. A great example of this is Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-British architect, who became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Some of her work includes the Danjiang Bridge, the world’s largest asymmetric cable-stayed bridge with a single tower.

The Impact of Diversity

Despite the low numbers of women working in construction, a recent report reveals that gender-diverse companies are more likely to achieve above-average profitability. It also indicates that companies with at least 30% or more women executive-level positions had a 48% likelihood of outperforming other businesses.  

This means that diversifying your company can have some major advantages. Ensuring a diverse staff can not only help bring women into the industry but can also provide new viewpoints to projects. Schools and education programs can also help by highlighting the value of working in the construction industry.

With more companies chipping away at gender norms, the industry is taking larger steps than ever before at becoming a more diverse and inclusive space for future generations of women.

Women in Leadership Positions

The areas in which women are most underrepresented are in trade and executive positions. The lack of women in these positions makes the industry often appear intimidating. Because of this, many organizations are making efforts to promote more women into leadership positions.

Aside from education, many resources and organizations provide mentorships, marketing, and networking opportunities. Organizations such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) provide resources for women to help ensure business success.

There have also been efforts in educating women about the benefits of working in construction. Communities and construction companies have worked together to help bring awareness to the industry by offering boot camps and classes to interested women.

Recruiting Women into the Industry

So what can construction companies do to help women in the industry? Well, one aspect to consider is the way you recruit staff members.

Job Listings

Ensure that your job listings include gender-neutral terms so as to not unintentionally turn off potential candidates. In addition, make sure to highlight the company’s commitment to staff diversity and inclusion.

The Hiring Process

Including women in the hiring process for your company will not only encourage the women applying but also reaffirm your company’s commitment to diversity.

Internal Support

Consider partnering with organizations such as NAWIC and Women Construction Owners & Executives USA for mentorship and conference seminars. An apprenticeship program is another great way to attract women to trade work as well.

Working with U.S. Bridge

Here at U.S. Bridge, we are proud of the women who make up our team in all parts of our operations. It is their hard work and determination that help shape U.S. Bridge into the high-quality business we are known for.

If you would like to know more about our construction process or bridge design feel free to contact us. Also, check out our exclusive bridge scope tool designed to provide a free quote in just five minutes!

Cash flow for a business indicates how much money they are spending and how much money they are making. A positive cash flow means that the business is earning more money than it is spending. A negative cash flow means the opposite and is a scary proposition for any business to encounter.

Cash flow in construction projects is exceedingly important. Construction jobs often rely on a steady flow of materials and labor to complete them. However, construction projects are often prone to large influxes of cash, say at the beginning of a project. And it may be weeks or months until another payment is made by the client.

This type of cash drought can leave construction teams in a tough spot, especially when looking to pay bills, purchasing more materials, or even meeting their payroll.

Why Forecasting Cash Flow is Important

It’s easy to assume that as long as money is coming in, you won’t encounter any cash flow problems. However, successfully managing your cash flow can also allow you to accurately forecast. By predicting when you’ll be paid and how much, as well as taking account of expenses that are on the horizon, it’s easy to anticipate cash droughts and avoid them. It also helps teams stay on budget. By maintaining a current account of what money has been spent and received, construction teams can see the larger picture of where the job is in terms of the overall budget.

How to Manage Cash Flow in Construction

Managing cash flow in construction projects is namely the same as any other business, but there are a few things you should pay close attention to:

  • Change orders – Process these when received, not when the project is complete. A change order is often the result of inclement weather or a need for more labor, materials, etc. Processing these orders quickly will positively impact the project’s cash flow.
  • Invoices – Don’t wait to invoice clients. Invoice them as soon as possible and as quickly as you can. Many companies expect a 30 day grace period to pay invoices, so in most cases, you’ll still have to wait weeks for the money to appear. You can also provide small incentives for businesses to pay their invoices faster; such as a 2% discount if they pay in 14 days. 
  • Payment methods – Another way to ensure faster payment is to provide multiple ways for clients to pay invoices. Make sure to include electronic payments and credit cards as part of your plan. Electronic payments mean that you get paid quickly and easily which increases cash flow and day-to-day operations.
  • Finance big purchases- Instead of paying all in one go, consider financing big purchases from suppliers. This will allow you more cash on hand to be used for the project. This does mean however that you’re at risk for interest charges but you may be able to write them off as business expenses.

Cash flow in construction companies operates differently than most businesses as not all projects are the same. That means that improving your cash flow in a project may require the use of different strategies.

Build a Strong Foundation with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge we work with our construction teams to successfully manage all aspects of a project, including cash flow. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our bridge engineering and manufacturing or are interested in working with us. 

Or check out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote today!

Even as temperatures drop, construction work continues. It’s important for worker safety and health, and job productivity for all workers to stay warm as much as possible during winter construction.

While job efficiency is important, an even more important factor is worker health. Without healthy employees, a whole construction can get disrupted and cause delays. The health of any worker is a crucial area of concern during the cold winter months.

Here are five ways that a construction worker can stay warm during the cold winter months:

1. Watch Fingers & Toes

The most exposed parts of our bodies, our extremities, are often the most vulnerable in cold weather. When it’s cold, it forces our bodies to work harder to keep blood flowing to our core.

That means exposed areas such as our fingers and toes are prone to suffer from a cold-related injury such as chilblains or frostbite. Wool socks and warm gloves are the first lines of protection against the cold. If one pair of gloves isn’t enough, look into glove liners.

Also, consider using composite-toe boots as opposed to steel-toed boots during winter construction. Steel-toed boots can exacerbate the cold by not keeping your toes warm. Though a steel toe does offer more protection for your toes, a composite toe boot will keep your toes warm throughout the cold day. Hand warmers and feet warmers can also help keep you warm. Plus, they can be easily concealed.

2. Stay Dry

Nothing is worse than being cold and wet at the same time, especially on cold and slushy days. Sometimes winter construction means snow, sleet, rain, or a messy combination of all three. If it’s not bad enough to shut down the site for the day, be sure to stay dry.

Wearing moisture-wicking material close to your skin will help keep moisture from lowering body temperature. One last way to stay dry is probably the most obvious, but goes without saying; invest in a waterproof outer layer as well for even more protection against damp weather.

3. Have Extra Pairs of Everything

Imagine yourself waking up on a cold winter morning, you are getting ready for the workday, and you put on your favorite pair of long johns, and you find a giant hole in the most inconvenient spot. Now you have to go through the day with a giant hole in your long johns, exposing yourself to a cold, damp tundra.

Avoid this nightmare situation by investing in extra pairs of gloves, socks, liners, moisture-wicking material, and of course, long johns. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers, so some of these extra items might be used to double up when it gets frigid for extra warmth.

4. Keep Your Head and Neck Covered

As mentioned in our first tip, keeping your extremities covered is vital to staying warm and often overlooked extremities are our ears and neck. Ears get cold extremely fast and while it’s a myth that you lose a majority of your heat through your head, it’s still wise to keep your head covered while out in the cold. Earmuffs, a warm scarf and a turtleneck will go a long way to insulating your body heat while enduring the cold weather.

Ears can be overlooked as an extremity, but they can get cold fast.

5. Fuel Your Body

Have a thermos with you of a hot beverage or soup to help you stay warm. Your body uses a lot of energy when you’re working, especially in the cold so it’s important to have hot beverages and meals to fuel your body. Eat an extra meal or consume hot caffeinated beverages to help you stay warm and also fight the lethargy of the cold.

During winter construction, it also helps to take frequent breaks and give crews somewhere to get warm. Make sure your workers are aware of the signs of overexposure and what to do.

All of these things will help to keep you warm on a construction site.

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we work hard to meet the needs of our staff, our customers, and the industry with our attention to detail, our high-quality materials, and our skills.

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

A large-scale construction project can easily take hundreds of people from different trades to complete. But how do so many different individuals from various skills and backgrounds, work together to finish a job on time? Here are some ways to consider to improve collaboration in your construction projects.

Poor Communication Has Consequences

We all know that poor communication causes misunderstandings and can set work back in any field. But how significant is poor collaboration in an industry like construction?

Well, without a well-thought-out plan, every phase of the construction project will suffer. Poor collaboration will lead to misunderstandings, slow turnaround times, errors, and wasted time. Every delay can open the door to a number of claims or expensive penalties depending on the type of project and contract.

Investing in ways to improve collaboration can preemptively avoid these situations.

Ways to Improve Collaboration

Start at the Beginning

Every project starts with a roadmap. Use the early planning stages to bring together key players, discuss project details, establish everyone’s roles, and define expectations. Even though this may seem fundamental, it’s important that individuals feel that the project allows and insists on open communication. This will help foster better work relations among crew members and make collaboration easier.

Not to mention, this makes it easier along the way to develop plans to handle any issues that may arise.

Look for Collaborative Tools

With the rise of technology in construction, there are so many different digital tools that can help improve collaboration. Investing in a digital platform can keep your team organized, make task management more efficient, and help coordinate schedules between various employees.

There are a lot of cloud-based collaborative management systems designed for the construction industry such as Procore, PM Web, Prolog, Expedition, BuilderTrend, and Viewpoint. Users will have access to project information, make changes, and share files easily with internet access.

Plus, these systems can help track the completion of different areas of the project. That way, each team knows how far along the others are and can use that information to make decisions about their own work. This will streamline the communication process and make back and forth exchanges easier and faster. Not only would this save you time and effort but it also holds teams accountable for their work.

With so many different options available, it’ll be easier to choose a system that works best for you and your team.

Invest Now & Save Time and Money Later

Although it may be a higher initial cost to incorporate methods of improving collaboration, it’s worth it in the end. A successful project collaboration allows you to reduce inefficacies in manpower, money, time, better on-time project delivery, better company reputation, and higher ROI.

In fact, a report discovered that “companies that build high levels of trust can save millions of dollars annually from benefits that include lower turnover rates, fewer missed schedules, and more repeat business”.

Work Smarter with U.S. Bridge

Our 80 years of construction experience is why we can handle construction projects of various caliber. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise is just what you’re looking for to complete your project! 

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

When thinking about technology in the construction industry, it’s easy to picture electric vehicles, pneumatic drills, and other technological advancements in equipment. However, one area that often gets overlooked is the increasing use of computers and digital tech. Even artificial intelligence has a place in the new world of construction.

How Technology is Changing the Industry

Last year’s shutdown pushed the use of technology that made many companies not only realize its inevitability but also the benefits it provides. As construction projects require many different partners, the need for technology that streamlines business operations is on the rise. The application of these digital tools not only optimizes projects but the industry as a whole in areas such as:

  • Employee productivity & efficiency
  • Cost reductions
  • Job and asset flexibility

One of the reasons for this change is the increase in data. Thanks to the growing use of technology and computers, more data is made for construction projects. Thus, causing data analytics to gain popularity in engineering and construction to how companies can use it to improve their business process.

However, according to a study by FMI, 95% of the data collected in the industry goes unused. This highlights perhaps the two biggest issues about technology in the construction landscape- adoption and integration.

It’s possible to collect data on everything from worker efficiency and supply chain delays to overall project costs. Unfortunately, it’s a challenge to use this information when so many of these new technologies aren’t integrated.

Not to mention, the tools that companies need to integrate all of their data may not exist yet. And, even if they do, it may require a hefty upfront cost.

The Growing Use of AI

Another new technology that’s changing the construction industry is artificial intelligence. The term AI describes a machine or computer that is able to do functions similar to humans such as problem-solving or pattern recognition. Machine learning is a subset of AI that uses statistical techniques to analyze large amounts of data. It can do a range of actions like notify project managers about an error, filter out spam emails, or advanced safety monitoring.

Another example of AI in construction is Building Information Modeling. BIM helps engineers, architects, and other professionals to efficiently plan and design structures by using virtual simulation to create 3D models of projects. It saves companies time and money while also providing stakeholders with 3D models to analyze the impact of projects.

Success with U.S. Bridge

Technology is a great tool that is transforming the construction industry. Learn more about the ongoing changes in technology in the industry in our blogs. Or, find out more about how U.S. Bridge has everything you need to make your project a success through our website!

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

Construction sites are a common place for trespassing and theft to occur, especially when working on residential and commercial sites. In fact, a study conducted found that less than 25% of all items stolen from construction sites are ever recovered. Strong construction site security can keep workers safe, save companies money, and keep projects on time.

Here are some key tactics to consider for maintaining a tight security and keeping your workers and materials safe.

Fences & Locks

Secure fences and locks are a great way to deter trespassers. Make sure that your construction site has a perimeter fence with strong locks to protect equipment storage, expensive supplies, and data. For an even more effective site security, consider tools like electronic locks with keycard or code access.

It’ll provide stronger protection and appear more intimidating to thefts or invaders. Plus, you can even limit access to areas of the job site for certain individuals.

Posts Signs Around the Site

Don’t underestimate the benefit of a well-placed sign. Signs that the site is under 24×7 video surveillance, as well as fines and penalties, can go a long way. This is a great option especially for construction sites that are left unoccupied for extended periods. Having signs around will often prevent theft and vandalism from young trouble-makers looking to stir up some trouble. 

Invest in the Right Tools

Video surveillance systems are a great construction site security solution. They can perform multiple functions, including a full view of your site, 24/7 motion-recording, or even thermal detection. Some systems are also monitored live by security companies who can directly contact the authorities if needed.

Nowadays there are a lot of different options for alarm systems. Instead of getting a loud overbearing alarm, consider a silent alarm that directly notifies essential personnel. This way you can avoid panicking workers or the thief and catch them without delaying the project.

If an alarm system is out of the budget, bright lighting is another great option that will keep your workers and materials safe. Not only will it make it easier for your crew but tools like floodlights make it difficult for thieves to hide or operate unseen. This can discourage them from stealing from your site to look for easier prey. 

On-site Security 

Hiring on-site staff is always an option when you’re looking for strong construction site security. However, this option may be better suited for bigger construction projects or those in residential and commercial areas. Depending on your location, you should be able to find various options for private security for hire.

While it may seem unnecessary, it can save you not only the money of replacing equipment and tools but also lost project time. Compare the costs against purchasing tools like cameras and an alarm system vs personal security to determine which option works best for your project.

Keep Meticulous Records

One easy and effective method for preventing theft is tracking tool usage and inventory. Knowing that at the end of the day someone is checking the items may dissuade workers from attempting to swipe a small piece.

Keep detailed records of what materials and machines are on your site. Write down serial numbers, the equipment’s PIN, or use barcodes to keep easy track of your items and where they should be. Consider registering with companies like the National Equipment Register or the Heavy Equipment Registration to register your heavy equipment. Registering your equipment will help law enforcement to locate and recover your stolen items.

Construction site security concerns everyone involved in the project. Enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding site access and site conduct. This policy along with the tips above should keep your construction site safe.

Build with U.S. Bridge

With decades of bridge design and building experience, U.S. Bridge is proud to work with companies all around the world. Our bridges are well-made, easy to maintain, and available in a variety of designs. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise will fit the needs of your project. Contact us on our website to learn more about our bridges or how we can help you with your project. Or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote!

Whatever span you need to cross, U.S. Bridge has what you need.

On August 10th the Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill intended to invest into America’s economy and roadways. The approval on the 2, 702-page bill came after months of negotiations and deficit concerns. This past Monday, President Biden signed the new bill into law.

The Infrastructure Bill

After passing congress in a 69-30 vote, the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill was later signed into law by President Joe Biden— providing one of the biggest investments in infrastructure in over a decade.

The bill is said to encompass physical structures such as roads, bridges, waterways, and airports. And it includes around $550 billion in new spending, as well as $450 billion in previously approved infrastructure investments.

The idea behind the bills’ spending allocations is to combine the urgent need to fix the country’s deteriorating infrastructure while also tackling long-term goals such as climate change. That’s not all, the hope is that a sequel of the bill will be proposed in later years.

Regardless, the Congressional Budget Office still fears that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill would increase federal budget deficits. This assessment, however, was rejected by negotiators who argue that the CBO did not adequately consider the revenue the bill would generate.

Estimated Benefits

Aside from greatly improving America’s infrastructure system, another major goal is to greatly boost the economy. The bill proposes around $110 billion to replace and repair roads, bridges, and highways, and $66 billion for passenger and freight rail. This marks the most significant investment into the country’s railways for almost half a century.

An additional $55 billion is intended to repair the U.S. water supply; as well as $65 billion to improve the country’s power grid. A small portion of the bill is devoted to rehabilitating waterways, improving airports, and expanding broadband Internet service.

These surges of construction projects are intended to ensure new jobs across the country and a steady rise in the construction industry.

In Senator Portman’s speech regarding the bill, he stated, “It will improve the lives of all Americans.” And continues with “People do expect here in America, [with] this great economy we have, we should also be able to lead the world in infrastructure. But we don’t.” The hope is that the infrastructure bill will provide the improvements necessary to revamp the country’s infrastructure.

Build with U.S. Bridge

U.S. Bridge is an industry leader and expert with projects and experience all around the world.

Visit our blogs for more information on the construction industry or our services. 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.

Unresolved conflicts in any workplace can cause a handful of lingering ill-effects such as poor morale, hostility, and inefficient work. The most effective way to handle a dispute is by being prepared with a response plan. To help we’ve compiled a list of tips for conflict resolution in the construction industry.

Addressing the Conflict

Whether passive or combative, allowing conflict to linger is deadly for workplace morale and productivity. Disagreements can easily occur in projects between crew members within a team, supervisors, suppliers, or contractors. Your first step should be to address the conflict head-on as quickly as possible with all the parties involved. The most effective way to do this is by understanding the underlying points of the situation.

Arguments are often due to misunderstandings between parties caused by poor communication or by different interpretations of the project. Sometimes the wrong materials are delivered, equipment is damaged, or a crew member isn’t abiding by company rules. This can delay productivity and jeopardize the project.

As construction sites are already a stressful environment, you might have to calm everyone down before you can get them to calmly discuss what happened. Building a timeline and talking to others helps ensure that there isn’t another underlying cause that you’ve missed that could arise again later.

Then, once you’ve identified every individual involved and their point of view you can then begin to determine how everyone arrived at their current state. 

In some instances, it is easier to keep the dispute contained, however, if the issue is more pervasive it may need to be addressed at a larger scale, for instance, throughout an entire department.

Developing a Resolution

A strong conflict resolution ensures that everyone impacted understands the decision initiated. When developing a conflict resolution on construction sites, or really in general, chances are not everyone will be thrilled with the final result. Demonstrating competence, fairness, and respect for the project and all its stakeholders will encourage others to feel confident in your decisions.

By this point, you’ve already identified the root cause. Most likely your project is comprised of various team members, so you want to build a compromise that will salvage your relationship.

But don’t just focus on the people, instead, look at the problem itself. Consider what is important vs. what is urgent for the matter at hand and the project overall. An acceptable solution often requires both disputants to compromise.

Be clear in your delivery. It’s vital that everyone understands what to expect moving forward. Once a decision is made, offer a rationalization and a follow-up to make it easier for others to accept.

Consider Proactive Measures

You don’t have to wait until after a confrontation to start thinking about how to stop fights. Businesses can take proactive steps to avoid conflicts by building teamwork and enrolling their crew in conflict resolution training. Although this may seem more costly and time-consuming in the beginning, it does save crew time, money, and face by being able to avoid conflict before it even begins. Not to mention, it leaves a better impression on others.

In the end, conflicts are going to happen in any workplace. What’s important is how you react to them. The best way to keep productivity, employee morale, and overall job satisfaction up is through a well-established plan

Success with U.S. Bridge

When it comes to your construction project you only want 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 our high-quality materials and skills.

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

All October long, organizations such as NCCER and BYF raise awareness about the diverse career opportunities in the construction industry. This event is called Careers in Construction Month and it takes place every year to help organizations reach more talented applicants as well as teach the public about the benefits presented in the industry.

The Benefits of Working in Construction

Versatility

Another big advantage of working in this industry is the extensive range of trades available. Just one project alone requires individuals from various trades like engineers, architects, masons, and many more. With so many different crafts and trades options to choose from you’re sure to find something you’ll like.

Job Security

There’s been a shortage of skilled workers for years so the demand for individuals in construction careers is high and only rising. Although the shortage causes issues such as delaying projects or not having enough manpower, it does give more people the opportunity to apply in the field. Not to mention, it provides a sense of job security.

No Degree Necessary (Degrees are Optional??)

One of the biggest advantages is that, for the most part, no college degree is required. This opens the door for many people who either chose not to go to college or were unable to afford it. However, this does not apply to every career option in the industry. For example, although a mason may not require a degree, the position of architects and civil engineer does.

Some trades, however, do require formal training or certification from either a trade or technical school but for many, you’re able to apply and join as a laborer to gain experience. Of course, like in any other industry, the more training, experience, and credentials an applicant has, the better off they will be at obtaining a job.

A More Active Lifestyle

Unlike other occupations, chances are you won’t be sitting all day. Working in construction means that you get a more active lifestyle which is better for your health. That being said, the construction industry can be very physically demanding and could have some serious negative effects on your body. Ultimately, your daily routine will be determined by the career chosen.

The Potential for Growth

Your pay depends on various factors such as location, trade, and experience. But the great thing is that there’s always a potential for growth in salary and position.

Compared to other careers, it’s fairly easy to enter a trade without experience. For many traders, you can start as a laborer and learn the craft over a few years to progress in your skills and position.

Careers in the Construction Industry

Architect

Architects are the individuals who design new buildings and construction plans. Their blueprints and concept designs include the inner structure and outward appearance of projects. This position requires a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Project Management Certification. In addition, skills utilized in this career are creativity, computers, detail-oriented, math, and teamwork.

Average salary per year – $87,500

Carpentry

Carpenters build and repair frameworks and structures with wood and other materials like wood, plastic, fiberglass, and drywall. They are often involved throughout the building process from basic layout to the finishing touches. In addition to building and maintaining structures, carpenters may also play a supervisory role for framework inspection.

This career is actually among the top 10 construction trade with the highest demand. To work in this trade, individuals typically need to go to technical school, an apprenticeship program, or a trade school. Skills required for carpenters are creativity, detail-oriented, math, and troubleshooting.

Average salary per year – $56,877

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of large-scale construction and infrastructure projects. Since one of their responsibilities is to supervise they often go back and forth from the office and project sites. This position is vital in a construction project and the pay reflects this as civil engineers are one of the top five highest-paying jobs in the industry.

This career requires education from either Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Project Management Certification. Additionally, civil engineers usually have skills such as computers, detail-oriented, leadership, math, and troubleshooting.

Average salary per year – $91,790

Electrician

Electricians install and maintain the electrical and power systems in new and existing structures. This means they often work with complex wiring, circuit breakers, and also large factories.

An electrician’s career generally requires a four-year apprenticeship program that qualifies individuals for both construction and maintenance work. Additionally, some electricians also attend a technical school with programs related to safety practices, electrical code, and product training. Nevertheless, most states require electricians to have a state-issued license.

Average salary per year – $67,269

Safety Technician

Safety technicians do what you would expect— they oversee safety procedures, training, and equipment. It is their job to not only identify potential risks but also develop safety plans. If an incident occurs, a site safety technician would assist with the investigation and company reports.

This role typically requires some education from a technical school, community college, registered apprenticeship program, or industry training program.

Average salary per year – $67,720

Mason

Every brick, block, or stone used to construct walls or structural supports is crafted by masons. The most common material masons use is cement. Masons will monitor drying cement and ensure that the temperature, weather, and other elements don’t prevent the cement from drying flat.

Generally, masons begin with on-the-job training and shadowing a more experienced worker or apprenticeship.

Average salary per year – $56,784

Project Manager

Just like a project manager in any other industry, construction project managers are site leaders who coordinate, budget, and supervise projects. They oversee a variety of different teams and craft professionals from the start of the project to completion. This means that they must be a team player who is able to work closely with various individuals and create detail-oriented documents.

This position requires some training in either a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Project Management Certification.

Average salary per year –$92,523

Building your future with construction careers

The list of construction careers mentioned above is only a small fraction of the careers available in this industry. There are many more positions available to consider each with varying degrees of education requirements and responsibilities.

Build America together with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we’ve been manufacturing and engineering bridges around the world for over 80 years. Check out our bridge designs or other available services on our website!

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

Not many people would think of architecture as a vital part of society but it is! It changes the world we live in so many ways. And that’s why it has its own day of celebration. Architecture Day is about recognizing its importance and the work of architects around the world.

What is Architecture Day

Created in 1985 by the International Union of Architects (UIA), World Architecture Day is an international day of architectural recognition and appreciation.

Architects, engineers, developers, and others in the industry come together in various events around the world to showcase their work, collaborate with others, and discuss current issues. Each year is a new theme to highlight areas of concern within the industry or other important topics. This year’s theme, “clean environment for a healthy world”, is inspired by the events of Covid-19.

The Power of Architecture

There are many architectural designs you’ve probably heard of like the Parthenon or Stonehenge. And although buildings and other structures give us a form of protection, how else does it impact our society?

Initially, the climate, location, and resources available dictated the shape and style of a building. However, as time progressed and technology advanced architecture began to evolve as also a representation of culture. It reflects a country’s society, values, and history. A great example of this is Russia’s famous Chapel of Saint Basil. For example, the color and design of the chapel actually hold religious meaning and represent the Heavenly City. Additionally, the nine dome-shaped structures symbolize the assault on the city of Kazan which occurred years before its construction.

Not only can it reflect a country’s past but it is also essential to planning the future. Architecture has the ability to sustain population growth and tackle a number of social problems. In fact, many psychologists are studying how architecture can affect people‘s brains. Research actually shows that the layout and color of a building contribute towards occupant health, mood, and productivity. However, blank concrete buildings can increase stress levels and negativity. To combat this, many new architectural designs include nature or greenery to positively stimulate the brain as well as the environment.

Architecture is more than just a building. It plays an essential role in a country’s society and greatly affects the people around it. Maybe next time you look at architecture you’ll perceive it as more than just a structure but as a work of art. 

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge we understand the important role bridges play in a country’s economics and success. That’s why you want to work with a well-trusted company with advanced engineering and manufacturing skills. We’re here to help you from the beginning of your project until the end. Get a quote from us for your next bridge project or learn more about our designs.

A crisis on a construction site can mean a lot of different things; a natural disaster, medical emergency, hazardous materials or accidents, and more. No matter what it is, a crisis will always have a huge impact on job sites and project funding. The best way to mitigate its effects is with a well-developed crisis management plan. But how do you plan for the unexpected?

The Importance of a Crisis Management Plan

A crisis in any job occupation is a mess and naturally the same applies to construction. It affects all subcontractors, trades, and shipments involved in the project. Plus the delay means a potential loss of money and credibility. A company or crew that can successfully navigate that kind of situation not only proves its leadership and adaptability but also leaves a positive impression.

A prompt and well-organized response will minimize the negative effects of a crisis on the project and your business.

Identify Potential Crises

In order to properly plan for something, you need to know what exactly you’re planning for. Obviously, this becomes tricky when you’re trying to plan for something unexpected. But one way to make it easier is to identify every potential crisis in a project before construction even begins. Even if it never actually happens it’s good to acknowledge every area of the project that could go wrong or that could be a potential danger to the crew. Once you thoroughly identify every potential crisis then you are able to take the next step of the planning process.

Develop a Response

With your list of potential crises, you can now begin crafting a practical strategy. The best crisis management plan is tailored to the construction project and takes location, type of construction, and external conflict into consideration. Understanding what and who is needed for each crisis early on will help you establish a well-planned and effective response. Using this information, create step-by-step templates for different emergency situations. This guide should include a list of risk factors, site hazards, and each person’s role before, during, and after the crisis.

Now, you can then begin to consider what resources such as equipment and materials are needed to address the situation. In addition, you should predetermine your evacuation routes and communication line beforehand and confirm that your crew knows as well.

Establish a Communication Line

An important part of your crisis management plan is establishing a line of communication with local off-site first-aid responders such as hospitals, police, and fire departments. Connecting first responders with construction engineers, project managers, or others who have a thorough understanding of the job site will speed the crisis response. In addition, develop an efficient method to communicate with employees and their families in emergency situations.

The coordination of a well-developed crisis management plan will help you not only handle the crisis as it happens but become pivotal in the investigation of the crisis afterward.

Train your Team

A good crisis management plan is only helpful if your team actually knows it. Training will help your team recognize their areas of weakness as well as any weaknesses in the plan itself. Include a safety checklist to determine how prepared your team and job site are for a real crisis.

Create a system or policy that confirms that training is updated regularly to ensure the best results. Conducting mock drills and training will not only reinforce the plan to your crew but also produce a prompt and well-trained response.

Consider the Aftereffects 

The crisis doesn’t just end when the emergency is over. As a business, it’s important that you have a public relations strategy prepared to avoid causing irreparable damage to the company. This plan of action should specify what you can and can’t say as well as who will be overseeing public announcements. It’s important to have a strategy in place beforehand when you have more time to think than make a mistake in the heat of the moment.

Working with U.S. Bridge

Our 80 years of construction experience is why we can handle construction projects of various caliber. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise is just what you’re looking for to complete your project! Contact us on our website to learn more about how we can turn your project into a success or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote.

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.

Have you ever driven over a bridge and wondered how old it was? In the United States alone there are more than 617,000 bridges, 12% of which are aged 80 years or older. But were all those bridges created at the same time or with the same method? What exactly is the typical lifespan of a bridge? And how many bridges are considered structurally deficient?

Contributing Elements to a Bridge’s Lifespan

Nowadays, bridges have become a natural part of everyday life. Your daily commute may even consist of traveling through a bridge or maybe two. Since they are vital to our economy and public safety, the government periodically mandates national bridge inspections to determine structurally deficient bridges.

Ultimately, there is no one number that fits the lifespan of all bridges across America. Each bridge has its own expected lifecycle but there are ways to estimate its lifespan. Generally, it’s believed that bridges are expected to function for 50-70 years however this is often not the case. Currently, only 42% of all bridges in the United States are at least 50 years old.

The lifespan of a bridge differs according to its design, construction, and location. Each component contributes either positively or negatively to the overall lifespan and structure of a bridge.

Materials

One of the most obvious factors that contribute to the lifespan and eventual structural deficits of a bridge is the material. In fact, both the concrete industry and the steel industry claim several advantages above the other for the Life Cycle Costs of a bridge.

Steel

Steel is a popular construction material due to its flexible and durable nature. The great thing about steel is that it is recyclable and still maintains its initial strength and integrity. Galvanized steel is even more durable plus it requires less upkeep.

Structural steel is a high-quality material that is readily available worldwide in certified grades and produced in various shapes and sizes. Currently, it is estimated that steel bridges have a lifespan of over 100 years. However, this number rapidly decreases as the bridge erodes or even with poor construction quality.

The deterioration of a bridge is created by a combination of several elements, for steel, it is often caused by corrosion, fatigue, stress corrosion, and damage from accidents.

Concrete

Another commonly utilized material is concrete. Concrete bridges are estimated to have a lifespan of over 100 years, again this number changes with daily wear and tear.

The causes of concrete deterioration are typically cracking, spalling, scaling, corrosion, and damage from accidents. In addition, cracks over reinforced steel allow water and chemicals to penetrate accelerating rusting which exerts great forces that pop the concrete.

Not to mention, extreme weather conditions, the presence of chlorides in de-icing salts, and cycles of freeze and thaw all contribute to the erosion of a bridge and its lifespan.

Timber

Timber, which is used for short-span and rural areas or pedestrian bridges is estimated to last only 20–30 years. This could be due to several reasons such as many engineers are less familiar with this material than their counterparts, or because there are fewer treatment options available for timber.

Nevertheless, the accurate range of which timber lasts is uncertain as there are very few data that exist that are based on actual performance data.

However, that doesn’t make timber a poor option. Timber is a lightweight material compared to concrete but still strong. This advantage plus low maintenance and repair costs make timber ideal in certain situations.

Plus studies suggest that timber is a durable option in highway bridge superstructures and that it can perform well for more than 70 years when properly pressure-treated with preservatives.

Location

The location of a bridge plays an instrumental part in its overall structural deficiency. Depending on the environment, it could accelerate the deterioration of the bridge.

Recently, there has been a slightly positive trend in addressing the maintenance of structurally deficient bridges. However, progress is not universal because states face different challenges when it comes to maintaining, repairing, and replacing bridges.

Urban

When it comes to urban locations, the major factor to watch out for is a higher traffic volume. The combination of a heavier load and volume further leads to the wear of the bridge. There are various ways for builders to slow this process down such as galvanization and other special treatments.

Rural

Unlike urban settings, rural bridges don’t have such a large volume of traffic. Unfortunately, it is because of this that rural bridges are typically not designed to withstand the growing numbers and weight of traffic and freight trucks. In actuality, rural bridges and transportation play a key role in our economy’s success and for rural communities.

However, more and more bridges in rural communities are experiencing rapid deterioration without the proper care and maintenance to last.

Coastal

Bridges that are located in coastal environments face unique challenges due to their location. Bridges in marine environments often experience corrosion-induced damage due to high sea salt and humidity. In addition, strength loss in the splash and the tidal zone is more common and significant than in the atmospheric zone.

An example of the distinct problems faced by coastal bridges is illustrated by the Morandi Bridge in Italy. In 2018, this cable-stayed bridge suddenly collapsed causing the death of 43 individuals. The collapse was reported as the fault of a weakened cable that deteriorated from corrosion. The degradation was caused by atmospheric agents and the proximity of the marine environment eroded the structure and integrity of the bridge.

Structural Deficient Bridges in America

Structurally deficient bridges are those that are in need of repair or maintenance due to the deterioration incurred throughout the bridge’s lifetime. Recently, 7.5% of highway bridges were designated structurally deficient. This is a striking improvement from the previous 12% record. In addition, the average age of America’s bridges is increasing to 44 years.

The plan is that the overall lifespan of a bridge should increase over time as more techniques, treatments, and designs are discovered in the future.

Build a Bridge that will Last Lifetimes with U.S. Bridge

Are you looking for an experienced industry leader company to assist with your building projects? Here at U.S. Bridge, we’ve built for different projects all across the globe; and we know that choosing the right material for your bridge takes a combination of experience, expertise, and skill.

To learn more about our bridge engineering and manufacturing, contact us for a quote or to answer any questions. Or start building your scope and bridge with our new interactive tool the Bridge Scope.

Proper bridge construction management is necessary to keep a project organized and completed within the budget and schedule. However, managing such a large project such as a bridge’s construction may seem daunting, so we’ve listed some of the best practices for maximizing your chance of success.

Determine the Scope of the Project

Like in any other industry, proper management is essential to a construction project’s success. What’s the best way to pre-plan your project and effectively manage it? Well, a great solution is by working with key stakeholders to determine an accurate scope of the project.

Understanding the scope is one of the first steps in the successful management of bridge construction. This means taking the time to create a thorough breakdown of what’s required for the project such as:

  • Identifying what is within or out of scope.
  • Noting the work required, the team performing the work, and the schedule of its completion.
  • Include any important elements that may impact the outcome.
  • Determining the constraints that might limit or negatively impact the outcome of the project such as resources, procurement issues, timing, etc.

Once you work out the scope, you can now move on to planning project decisions such as deck construction, railing criteria, live loads, etc.

Start Creating Plans and Strategies Early

Your planning process is essentially how you will achieve the goals set out within the scope. The reality is that while a project of the highest quality scope, at the lowest price, done in the least amount of time is ideal, it is difficult to achieve. Hence, a strategy-based process is necessary to achieve your overall objective.

Understanding your project’s success metrics is key to streamlining the decision-making process. In other words, determine project components such as feasibility, procurement, construction, close-out, and more to effectively work towards accomplishing the goal. In addition, as the project progresses you should continually refer to your detailed scope to determine if there are any changes and how they will impact the project. Recognizing and implementing adjustments in a timely manner will help reduce delays and risks.

This means start planning long before the actual construction begins, and continue revising until the end of the project. The design, pre-construction, and procurement stages of a construction project all require meticulous planning — and may need to be revised as the project progresses.

A properly planned out and scheduled project is a well-managed and successful bridge project.

Ensure Quality Construction

The quality of the construction is a big part of its success and reflects your skills in bridge management. Thus, in your planning process, you want to consider options that will create lasting effects. Consider utilizing durability solutions such as special enhancement and treatments. Galvanized or weathered steel is a popular option to slow the process of deterioration.

Not only should you be deciding what materials and methods to use, but who the manufacturer should be. Supply chain management helps you stay organized and save money. This means careful management of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and designers.

Pay attention to the order and delivery of materials on-site, the selection of contractors, their involvement in design and planning, and methods used to reduce invoice and transaction costs. In addition, reinforce collaborative methods with those involved in the project to keep the system flowing. This will encourage proper accountability, support, and incentives from supply chain partners.

Starting a project with these practices in mind minimizes disputes and delays. Not to mention, it improves safety and business practices and develops better project relationships.

Trust us to Build your Bridge

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. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise will fit the needs of your project. 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.

With the sudden outburst of COVID-19 last year, many individuals were concerned about how it would affect the economy. Despite the negative effects of the pandemic, studies indicate a steady rise in the global bridge construction market.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the bridge construction market and what factors affect its growth.

The Construction Market

The construction market consists of sales made in the construction industry such as construction services and goods by organizations, sole traders, and partnerships that construct buildings or engineering projects (e.g., highways and utility systems). While the market primarily consists of the construction of buildings or other projects, it also includes the process and materials necessary for preparing new construction sites.

These materials are obtained from both domestic and international suppliers such as manufacturers and wholesale trade operators. The service and goods provided by this market include construction, civil engineering, specialty trade contracting, and other residential, non-residential, and engineering modes.

What Affects the Market?

A large market such as the construction market has several variables that come together to influence the industry. However, there are always key factors that contribute more than others.

The availability of raw materials, the technology for extracting and processing raw materials, government policies, and increased sustainability focus all greatly affect the construction market. A great example of this is demonstrated through the pandemic as many companies struggled to procure their materials from their usual international suppliers. COVID-19 created a significant impact on the industry that will greatly affect but not hamper the market moving forward.

Technology is an important factor that is pushing change in nearly every industry. Its influence over the construction industry is illustrated with more drone usage and 3D printing than ever before. Not to mention, new innovative methods of bridge construction such as modular and prefabricated designs.

The Projected Global Boom of the Bridge Construction Market

In 2019, the global bridge construction market was valued at $908.0 billion and projected to reach $1,212.6 billion by 2027. Thus registering a CAGR of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027.  The strong growth of this market is attributed to an increase in investments, government initiatives, and global economic growth.

The global urban population is expected to rise by 2050. Thus, fueling the demand for bridge construction and other transport infrastructure. Furthermore, the surge in the standard of living, particularly in developing countries is anticipated to drive market growth.

In addition, technological advancements are expected to encourage the growth of the market. These improvements in equipment and systems are intended to reduce the time and cost involved in bridge construction. This economic and urbanization boom is expected to fuel the expansion of the railway networks throughout the globe. Thus boosting the growth of the bridge construction market.

U.S. Bridge

Here at U.S. Bridge, we pride ourselves as leaders in the bridge construction industry. We’ve been engineering and manufacturing bridges for decades with services worldwide.

We understand that a bridge project is a major investment. That’s why we designed an effortless process for you to build a bridge that will last generations. Please contact us for a free quote or use our exclusive bridge design tool Bridge Scope for a quick five-minute scope. Together, we’ll build a better future for America’s infrastructure.