Tag Archive for: railing and barrier construction

Trump Pledges U.S. Roads And Bridges Will Be First-Class

A pillar of President Trump’s platform focused on U.S. infrastructure. Based on a total expenditure of $1 trillion over 10 years, the president’s plan would strengthen roads and bridges. In addition, other aspects of America’s transportation systems, including air traffic control and waterways, would gain more attention.

Plan Built on Partnership

There are two key principles to President Trump’s infrastructure plan:

  • Allowing state and local governments to help themselves: The White House will focus on enabling local governments to control their own infrastructure planning. Officials close to the situation make better decisions regarding what their constituents need.
  • Partnering with the private sector to increase efficiencies: The private sector can deliver some services more efficiently than the federal government. Additionally, the private sector is able to better procure materials and look toward long-term sustainability and asset management.

Freedom of Movement Equals Success

Some have questioned the President’s focus on infrastructure. While other international issues seem more pressing, the fact is, a free-flowing roadway system is integral to success. For instance, all trade, including air, water and land, is conducted along the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Likewise, domestic travel, both personal and professional, relies on an efficient and effective infrastructure of roads and bridges.

Federal Focus since 1956

With the creation of the U.S. interstate highway system by President Eisenhower in 1956, America’s economy has come to rely heavily on interconnected roadways, air traffic routes, and rivers. Accordingly, every product that lines a store’s shelves, every vegetable or fruit in the grocery store, every worker in an office building during the week, utilizes this system to get to and from their points of origin. Without a first-class infrastructure of roads and bridges, much of the U.S. economy would grind to a halt.

At U.S. Bridge, we understand the importance of the efficient, cost-effective and high quality work that we provide. Our premium bridges connect America, making commerce and travel possible. We maintain roadways in cooperation with local and state governments, and we are heartened by the President’s national focus on our infrastructure.

For more information regarding U.S. Bridge, please contact us today. For more information regarding President Trump’s infrastructure plan, click here.

Paving the Way With a New Infrastructure Plan

Construction industry officials are anxious for details about President-elect Donald Trump’s $1-trillion infrastructure proposal.  Some hints about the infrastructure plan have come from Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee to lead the Dept. of Transportation.

At Chao’s Jan. 11 Senate confirmation hearing, members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee tried to elicit details of the plan from Chao, with little success. She did outline some broad features about the still- undeveloped proposal, saying private-sector financing will be a key element and that it will include direct federal funding, too. Chao also said that addressing the Highway Trust Fund’s persistent revenue shortfall will be high on Trump’s list as he begins his term in office.

She noted that the Trump team will be assembling an infrastructure task force to put together the plan, an indication that the proposal’s shape is far from settled and that it won’t be released soon.

Chao did indicated that the program would have “a mix of practical solutions—both public and private—that provide the greatest cost-benefit to the public.”

Read the entire article here, thanks to our friends over at ENR – Engineering News Record.

U.S. Bridge is Headed to the Big Apple to Talk Highways and Bridges

Look for Us at the New York Highway Superintendents Association Winter Conference

The Winter Highway Conference and Expo is the largest gathering of superintendents, commissioners and staff in New York.  The conference is focused on ideas around new construction, maintenance and repair of county streets, roads, highways and bridges.  Each year, attendees visit the conference to check out new products and services, strengthen relationships with existing clients or network with others involved in the safety of highways and bridges.

This year’s conference objectives include:

  • Presenting up-to-date methods and techniques for the new construction, maintenance and repair of county streets, roads and highways.
  • Providing an opportunity to share solutions to common problems.
  • Allowing  important time for colleague to colleague networking and problem solving.

U.S. Bridge is excited to be exhibiting again this year.  We’re proud to help contribute to the safety of the New York infrastructure.

For more information on the conference, click here.

Truss Bridge Design Improves Traffic Safety While Reducing Project Costs

History of Existing Bridges

The old wooden bridges on both Ezell Road and Overhead Bridge Road in Spartanburg County, S.C., were in need of replacement. The load ratings on both bridges had been decreased due to their deficient SD ratings. These single-lane structures had served the citizens of Chesnee in Spartanburg County for years while providing safe passage over the CSX track below. However, it was time for replacement.

Aside from the poor SD rating, the bridges, built in 1940, ran perpendicular to the railroad, causing a significant issue with sight lines for those traveling on either road. Large, long curves were necessary at both ends of the bridge in order to line up with the angle of the crossing. As a result, there had been numerous serious car accidents on the approach roads as well as on the bridge. Additionally, due to the short-span capabilities of the wooden superstructure, at least three piers were required to bridge the gap over the track. This was not an ideal situation for either CSX or Spartanburg County.

Next Steps for Bridge Replacement

Faced with the deterioration of the single-lane wooden bridges and the need to have superstructures that conformed to today’s traffic and load requirements, Spartanburg County called upon synTerra, a consulting engineering firm in Greenville, S.C., to handle the projects. synTerra, in turn, contacted U.S. Bridge to assist in providing structures that would meet all design criteria and provide an element of aesthetics.

For the Ezell Road bridge replacement, a 108-ft x 29-ft U.S. Bridge clear span, all-bolted Cambridge-style truss bridge design with a self-weathering finish and a live load rating of HL93 was chosen. To maintain continuity with the Ezell Bridge project, the county also chose a Cambridge-style, self-weathering truss bridge design for the Overhead Bridge Road, with a clear span length of 104-ft x 29-ft wide with a load rating of HL93. The roadway railings for both bridges were w-beams and both were also finished with concrete decking.

The bridges were expanded from the original one lane to two full lanes with a shoulder. There was also no need for piers as the U.S. Bridge structures could easily clear span the length required. The Cambridge style truss can clear span up to 200 ft, and the larger U.S. Bridge Freedom Series Thru Truss can clear span up to 300 ft. Both bridges had a “track to underside of bridge” clearance that exceeded the minimum requirements.

As safety was important for both synTerra and U.S. Bridge, it was recommended that both bridges have a significant skew of 29° LF and 24° RF respectively in order to minimize the requirements for long and dangerous curves on the approach roads. This recommendation significantly improved the sight lines around the bridges, resulting in a reduction in the number of accidents.

Both projects were made possible through joint participation of Spartanburg County and CSX as well as the availability of C-Funds and CIP Funds.

Thanks to our friends at Roads & Bridges for publishing this story.

Engineering Top Talent for Infrastructure Projects

Dragados Attracts Talent for the Increasing Amount of Infrastructure Projects in the United States

Established in 1941, Dragados is an international contractor that specializes in major infrastructure projects.  These projects include bridges, roads and highways, tunnels, dams and hydraulic works.  Dragados is the construction arm of ACS Group, one of the leading infrastructure developers in the world.

Dragados involved some up and coming engineers in the Calaveras Dam replacement project in Sunol, California (pictured above with a Viking Series bridge from U.S. Bridge).  The project featured the construction of a new earth and rock fill dam to replace the existing seismically unsafe dam and to avoid flooding downstream.   It was designed to withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the Calaveras Fault, situated about 1,500ft from the dam.

Calaveras Dam is just one of many hands-on projects that helps to excite aspiring engineers with the help of Dragados.  There’s more where that came from.   Economists estimate that global economies will need to invest over $71 trillion in infrastructure to meet demand.

Dragados continues to cultivate engineering talent for future infrastructure projects.


U.S. Bridge is Proud to Celebrate SteelDay 2016

Today is officially SteelDay!  Many would not think of dedicating a day to steel, but its importance on our society is greatly overlooked.  U.S. Bridge is excited to be a part of this industry and happy to join other companies in celebrating SteelDay.


What is SteelDay?

SteelDay is an annual event sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and hosted by its members and partners.  SteelDay is the industry’s largest educational and networking function, with events occurring all over the country. It’s an opportunity for individuals from various professions to see how the structural steel industry contributes to building America.


Why is Steel So Important

In addition to steel being one of the most used materials around the world, steel helps to make our society more sustainable and, in essence, more profitable by helping to create jobs and tax revenues.
Here are a few more reasons why steel is so important (from our friends at the World Steel Organization):

-Steel is safer to use because its strength is consistent and can be designed to withstand high-impact crashes.

-It offers the most economic and the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material.

-It’s the material of choice because of its availability, strength, versatility, ductility, and recyclability.

-Steel buildings are designed to be easy to assemble and disassemble, ensuring big environmental savings.

-Steel bridges are four to eight times lighter than those built from concrete.

To sum it up with a quote from the World Steel Association: “Steel is everywhere in our lives”.  We would agree!

Check out all the events across the country on the AISC website.

U.S. Bridge Heads to Maryland for CEAM Fall Conference

U.S. Bridge Helps Strengthen the Maryland Community
U.S. Bridge is headed to the County Engineers Association of Maryland’s fall conference, better known as CEAM. We’re excited to be invited back to this event where county engineers discuss how they can work together to improve the Maryland infrastructure.

The CEAM Fall Conference contributes to the professional development of engineers and helps the association improve the quality of public works services in Maryland. The conference’s technical program will provide an opportunity to earn up to 8 Professional Development Hours over two days.

If you’re attending CEAM, be sure to stop by the U.S. Bridge table and say hi to Brian.  He’ll be ready to discuss how our sustainable bridge designs can make a positive impact on any community.

About CEAM
In 1953, forty-one road engineers and public works officials gathered in Frederick, Maryland to form a group that would raise the technical standards of public service by exchanging ideas and discussing shared challenges in county engineering.  That organization became known as the County Engineers Association of Maryland (CEAM).

Today, CEAM provides a forum for new ideas and is an advocate for the infrastructure needs of the entire state.  The Association promotes professional education and an adherence to the highest standards of engineering, construction, management, and public policy.

The County Engineers strive for permanence and stability, not only in the roads, bridges, and facilities they design and build, but in the professional tradition they have established across the state.  CEAM fosters the open discussion of technical information, promotes educational programs and training, and supports an extensive scholarship program that will help supply the next generation of engineers.

Click here for more information about CEAM.

*Image is the Old Paper Mill Road Bridge over Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore, Maryland.

A View From Above - Drones Could Make Bridge Inspections Safer

Routine inspections of bridges are mandatory to keep up with safety standards and to ensure driver safety.  Equally as important is the safety of our bridge inspectors, which is why a team at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) collaborated with Collins Engineers to explore how drones can be used to reduce costs and minimize risk for all bridge inspectors.

Traditionally when inspecting bridges, there is a choice between using an aerial work platform (AWP) or under-bridge inspection vehicle, ladders or rope access. This choice depends on the type of bridge, access needed, and crews’ ability to close lanes of traffic.

Regardless of the method used to carry out the work, the associated costs and dangers of bridge inspections remain a challenge.

In addition to identifying the benefits of drones for inspections, the team is also developing best-practice guidelines that detail exactly when and how to best employ drones, more formally called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The team’s goal is to implement a statewide UAV contract to obtain close-up inspection data for all bridges meeting this policy’s criteria, on a set cycle, for both state-owned and locally owned bridges.

Check out the full article from our friends over at Roads and Bridges, including MnDOT’s full Phase-1 report of this project.

*Image of drone under the Blatnik Bridge –  second type to be tested by MnDOT.