Modular, prefabricated steel bridges are often considered temporary structures. Using modular design and building bridges onsite has often been considered a more efficient building method, but a less stable one. However, after meeting all the permanence standards set by the AASHTO, the ASTM and the AWS, it was determined that pre-fab short span steel bridges can be considered permanent structures.
Standards for Permanence
Most often, the biggest concern facing modular bridges and permanence, relates to how they are constructed. Bridge parts must be assembled onsite, resulting in welding in possibly less than ideal conditions. For short span steel bridges, this concern is absolved because the welding is all done in a shop, under favorable conditions. This reduces the risk of introduced environmental factors during the welding process, and ensures the pre-fab bridge will withstand the rigors of time and weather.
Myth-Busting Short Span Steel Bridges
The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) reports the bridge industry is generally moving toward a modular bridge design. Due to the ease of assembly and the efficiency with which they can be built, pre-fab bridges make more sense. Timing is especially important regarding bridge construction since more than a quarter of all bridges across the United States have been deemed as “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete.” Also, using steel as the primary material for short span bridges brings a host of benefits including:
- Consistent Quality
Steel production is held to high standards and consistently meets quality requirements.
Almost 93% of all steel is made from scrap steel.
Structural steel is made in America, providing jobs to American workers and boosting the economy.
- Quick fabrication and Installation
Steel can be manufactured fairly quickly. This accelerates the construction timeline and decreases disruption to the surrounding areas.
To find out more about short-span steel bridges and how permanent they are, please contact us at U.S. Bridge today. Our expert team of engineers and builders are more than happy to discuss the benefits and strengths of modular bridge construction with you.