Posts

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.

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.

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.

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

The Main Components

The Type of Superstructure

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

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

The Type of Substructure

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

Different Types of Bridges

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

Beam Bridge

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

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

Truss Bridge

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

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

Build with U.S. Bridge

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

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

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.

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

Bridge Engineers

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

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

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

Bridge Engineering: It’s All About The Details

Meetings & Details

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

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

Digital Renderings

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

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

Final Process

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

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

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

Designed for Success at U.S. Bridge

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

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

At the start of any construction project, you have to ask what materials and method would best accomplish your goal. You’ve probably come across modular bridge construction and you’ve wondered what is it and should you consider it.

We’ve created a brief introduction to modular construction and its benefits to bridge design.

Modular Construction

Modular construction is any construction that is built in a controlled environment, typically a factory, and later installed on-site. The popularity of modular construction is increasingly rising due to its various advantages such as speed, flexibility, and customization.

Modular construction, sometimes known as prefabricated construction, is built with the same materials and similar methods as regular construction, but often comes with additional features unique to prefabrication. For example, since they are manufactured in a controlled environment modular construction has the advantage of ensured quality.

In addition, because it takes place simultaneously in a factory and on-site, modular construction can be completed in half the time of traditional construction. This rapid construction phase and versatility allow them to be used in various situations.

The combination of ensured quality, speed, and flexibility is why modular construction is often considered a durable and efficient option for builders.

The Benefits of Modular Bridges

Modular bridges are relatively modern and thus have many misconceptions. Despite popular belief, modular bridges do not require the use of already premade sections of limited sizing and options. The great thing about modular bridges is their customization and flexibility.

Every modular bridge is specifically designed custom to your project and design. This customization process makes it a preferred and sometimes even, required option for some bridge projects.

Not to mention, since most of the bridge is premade in a safe environment, the likelihood of weather delays or traffic disruption is significantly decreased. Additionally, it provides workers with safer and more comfortable working conditions. Thus modular bridges offer easy and effective project management. It’s an ideal option for any construction project with time or budget constraints.

Build your Next Bridge with U.S. Bridge

As an industry leader in bridge manufacturing and engineering, we’ve built solutions that can be utilized for any bridge project. We’ve developed Bridge Kits, a DIY solution for accelerated bridge construction that is engineered, designed, manufactured, and galvanized per AISC certifications.

We work with environmentally friendly materials to build strong, long-lasting bridges. Coupled with extensive experience, our team designs, and manufactures high-quality bridges custom to your project.

We’ve been engineering bridges for decades. If you’d like to know more about our Bridge Kits and accelerated bridge construction, please contact us for a free quote or use our exclusive bridge design tool Bridge Scope today.

Ohio's Construction Boom

Economic forecasters predict a slowdown in the construction industry. However, this does not seem to apply to Ohio’s metropolitan area. Our buckeye state is experiencing a construction boom with more than $4 billion in new starts (this year) including nonresidential, residential, and public works projects. According to the president of the Central Ohio chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Columbus area has become the place to do business. So, in order to accommodate the influx of residents, construction companies are hard at work. U.S. Bridge is an Ohio native bridge company. Our mission is to serve communities by engineering and manufacturing steel bridges.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Throughout 2019, Ohio saw an increase in starts. Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2018, the population of Columbus grew by 13.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • In 2019, nonresidential starts were at $2.6 billion – an increase of 38% from the same period in 2018
  • During 2019, residential starts were valued at $1.4 billion – an increase of 6% from 2018
  • Combined, these numbers amount to a 25% surge in new starts

The numbers are a telling indicator of the need for construction. In fact, at least 300 new projects are in the works for this busy metropolitan area. The modern job market is attracting more and more people, which demands ongoing construction. This includes the healthcare projects and further construction labor taking place at Ohio State University. Additionally, the dollar value of new starts has circled the total for the years of 2008 through 2014! Columbus is experiencing both a population and construction boom that is expected to continue at a quick rate.

Skilled Laborer Shortage

The continuous increase in the city’s population has brought upon a serious issue. There aren’t enough skilled trade laborers to take on the challenge. This inadequacy is driving an increase in project costs and completion times. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the data released from their new survey claims that Ohio construction firms are expecting the construction boom to continue; 90% of companies report that they plan to hire additional workers throughout 2019. However, 88% of that population expect the hiring process to be a challenge. Unfortunately, this has become an issue of qualified workers on top of the existing shortage. Studies show that over one-third of firms agree that a lack of qualified talent is hindering the successful and timely completion of construction projects.

Solutions to Combat this Issue

33% of Ohio state respondents say they are using methods to reduce on-site work time. This includes:

Columbus Construction Boom

While the issue of worker shortage remains, construction in Columbus continues to attract new and existing citizens. So much so, companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are also participating in the construction boom by extending their headquarters to the Ohio metropolitan area. The city has become known as a modern technology hub, attracting wide groups, especially millennials.

U.S. Bridge Can Assist

U.S. Bridge believes in thoroughly investing in America’s infrastructure. We help to make transportation possible with our durable quality bridges. With 10,000+ completed projects and 80 years of combined construction experience, U.S. Bridge will help make your project a success. In busy cities, like Columbus, that demand the possibility for easy transportation, our bridges serve communities both local and global. Get a quote today to start your next project today.