With so much going into a project, bridge railing may appear to be an afterthought for bridge construction. But like choosing the right deck material, bridge railing proves to be vital for every bridge design.
At U.S. Bridge, we have several options for bridge railing to best fit each of our construction projects.
Common Types of Bridge Railing
A bridge’s railing depends on various factors such as location, material, and purpose. The railing adds safety for pedestrians, aesthetics, and a custom touch to bridge construction.
So how do you decide which railing is ideal for your bridge? We’ve compiled a small guide of the different types of bridge railings we provide so that you can make the best decision for your construction project.
Steel Bridge Railing
The most common steel bridge railing is the tubular rail system. This railing can be built alone or integrated into a concrete curb or low barrier wall, thus providing flexibility to various building projects. The combination of the railing system’s beams and posts provide the strength necessary to make this a sturdy barrier.
Ornamental or architectural steel railings are commonly used for pedestrian and low-vehicular traffic. These railings tend to be thinner and more decorative than other railings and provide pedestrian protection on bridges.
For smaller bridges or roads with less traffic consider the W-Beam railing. This railing system attaches to steel posts or truss girders and is typically 27 inches from the top of the bridge to the pavement. The W-Beam is a simple steel railing system but it can be doubled to maximize its strength. Similar to the W-Beam, the Thrie Beam is another steel railing but works best in areas with heavier traffic flow.
Many pedestrian and steel bridge railings can receive extra finishes such as paint coatings or galvanization. Due to its popularity, the specifications required for building steel railing systems varies for each state.
Concrete Bridge Railing
As a local resource, concrete is one of the most common materials to choose for bridge construction. A concrete railing attaches to the bridge’s deck slab and creates a powerful vehicular barrier. These sturdy railings are ideal for high traffic roadways or areas where run-off the road accidents are frequent. Concrete railings are a great idea for urban locations or for bridges that receive heavy truckloads.
Keep in mind, this railing has a high initial cost and its thick appearance can impede an open road view. However, there are ways to help open visibility while still keeping the concrete railing’s thick strength; such as combining wall barriers with a tubular railing system.
A bridge’s railing is dependent on factors such as the construction’s budget, bridge deck material, and mandated state specifications.
Let’s Build Your Bridge, The Right Way
Still not sure which railing best fits your project? Check our website for more details in our railings. Or use our chatbox below and we’ll be in touch soon.
U.S. Bridge has been connecting communities with long-lasting bridges for decades, so you can feel confident in investing in our expertise. Our team will help you choose and create the right bridge for your project. If you’d like to know more about our bridge construction or have any questions, please contact us today and get a free quote.