Initial and maintenance costs are factors to consider when it comes to bridge building. So, choosing the right galvanizing for corrosion protection can be challenging. Hot-dip galvanized steel allows bridges to be durable and maintenance-free for 50-60 years or more. However, there are myths about how galvanizing bridges can be expensive. The reality is that the initial cost of hot-dip galvanized plate girder and beam steel can be less expensive in the long run. Think life-cycle costs. So, bridge builders should consider what is best: getting paint that will require significant and costly maintenance at 10 to 15 year intervals or selecting the best choice right off the bat? Read on to see the benefits of the life-cycle of galvanized bridges.
Decision Making Based on Life-Cycle Costs
Considering the life-cycle costs of galvanized bridges can help bridge builders save money in the end. With galvanized steel being more durable and maintenance-free for decades, steel bridges end up requiring less upkeep. However, more often than not, the selection of a paint corrosion protection is the responsibility of architects, engineers, or project owners. This means that they will most likely base their decision on initial cost, historical preference, and established specifications. In that order too. But while these are all important elements, the life-cycle for the duration of the design life is often greater than the initial cost.
The Complexity of Calculations
Calculating life-cycle cost is no easy task. Not only do exponential financial equations need to be considered, but also the cost of future maintenance. And the latter must be calculated in today’s dollars, while considering what inflation means to future value of money and what interest could be earned on the money used.
Thankfully, to make calculations simpler, the American Galvanizers Association created a life-cycle cost calculator. So, now bridge builders have a tool to help them calculate such costs.
Thinking About the Future
Overall, life-cycle costs bring about savings. But this goes beyond the savings that companies can have. It’s also about the quality of the bridge and the maintenance-free aspect that galvanizing offers. U.S. Bridge has been serving communities for more than 80 years, building bridges that withstand time. Our bridge experts will advise you on the best option for your bridge. Contact us today and let’s talk about your project.