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Bridge Railing

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.

W-Beam Railing

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.

Marble Cliff

U.S. Bridge recently completed our construction of a steel bridge for the Marble Cliff development in Columbus, Ohio. The steel truss bridge serves as a centerpiece for the new mixed-use development just five miles from downtown Columbus.

The weathering steel truss bridge spans 80-feet, with a 28-foot clear roadway, and two eight-foot sidewalks for pedestrians.

Marble Cliff

The Marble Cliff Development

Since the fall of 2018, we’ve worked closely with the site’s developer Thrive Companies. Together, we determined that the new development required a signature entrance.

As with every project, we collaborated with the client to decide on the elements the bridge needed. It was without question that the development deserved an aesthetically-pleasing bridge entrance match the luxury of the ongoing development.

We presented many options and ultimately landed on a weathering steel truss bridge, which included railings and a concrete floor.

The development is located on former quarry land in Columbus, Ohio. The mixed-use development of 70 acres will contain 864 housing units and 80,500 square feet of office and retail space. Specifically, the new housing is targeting professionals and young adults.

In addition, the Marble Cliff development will incorporate linked waterways, including streams and ponds, for residents to enjoy. Thus, the bridge is accessible via the waterways that kayakers and canoers can use near the Scioto River.

Marble Cliff

The Bridge Construction Process

We discussed the bridge needs with the Marble Cliff development’s on-site land contractor, developer, and consultant. After discussions about the project scope, the developers put their trust in U.S. Bridge to engineer, design, manufacture, and construct the bridge.

Once the scope was determined, we proceeded with our design of the truss bridge. We reviewed the project details carefully to ensure it met the client’s specifications and maintained U.S. Bridge’s high-quality standards. After approval and construction of the abutments, our team installed the bridge, concrete floor, and necessary railing.

Through every step of the process, we worked with Thrive Companies to meet and exceed expectations.

Without delay, we completed the bridge project on time and on budget. We are pleased to be part of this bridge project that will serve the Columbus community for generations to come. Now that the bridge is in place, the former quarry can continue to move toward its completion.

Marble Cliff

A Team Effort by U.S. Bridge

Every part of our team at U.S. Bridge touched this project. From engineering and design to steel fabricators to the construction team, our team showed what great work we can do together.

We are glad to be a part of this redevelopment, located on 70 acres near the Scioto River. By and large, this project was a great success for the U.S. Bridge team.

To learn more about why we’re the leader in steel bridge construction, get in touch with us. We’re glad to answer any questions about your bridge construction project.

Truss Bridge

There are several timeless designs that have been used in bridge building for decades. However, there are few more iconic than the truss bridge. In the 1800s, America was the leader in truss bridge design, though older constructions used wood. The design is vintage Americana, but it’s become modernized.

Today, truss bridges are used as an effective bridge construction option. Although one thing has changed: steel is the primary component in new truss constructions. U.S. Bridge is a leader in building modern truss bridges that will last for decades to come.

Let’s discuss why we use steel truss bridge design for many of our new constructions.

Advantages of Steel Truss Bridges

  1. Strong load-bearing capacity
  2. Effective use of materials
  3. Affordable to construct
  4. Versatile and adaptable design
  5. Professional bridge engineering

Steel Truss Bridge

First, What is a Truss Bridge?

Truss bridges are formed with a structure of connected elements that form triangular structures to make up the bridge. Trusses are the triangles that connect to the top and bottom cord and two end posts.

The trusses make up reinforcement for the bridge that even the load-bearing across the structure. Furthermore, the truss dissipates the load through the structure so the middle of the beam experiences less compression and tension. As you will see later, there are several variations of the truss, but it starts with a top and bottom cord and a series of trusses.

1. Strong Load-Bearing Capacity

Even the earliest wood truss bridges were built to distribute weight evenly. With this intention in mind, bridges could be built for larger loads. Overall, this makes this bridge design a very strong and dependable option. With steel construction, truss bridges can take on the traffic of today.

2. Effective Use of Materials

What makes truss bridges relevant more today than ever is their effective use of materials. Keep in mind, less materials means easier construction and less money spent. Already, our bridge construction uses recycled steel that is lightweight and has been certified for Bridge Fabrication — Advanced (Major) by the AISC.

In fact, each piece is constructed with a definite purpose for truss bridge construction. This way, the construction and use of each steel piece are perfect for the bridge.

3. Affordable To Construct

Because of the simplicity of truss bridge designs, they are often a great fit for accelerated bridge construction. In order to improve construction time, each steel piece can be quickly pieced together.

If considering the full cost of material and labor, truss bridges save builders thousands of dollars. Not to mention the long-term savings from building a long-lasting, durable bridge from U.S. Bridge.

4. Versatile and Adaptable Design

While truss bridges are great for short spans, what makes them versatile is their ability to go long distances and still support large loads. With the polygonal design of the truss, it’s possible to cover long distances. Even at U.S. Bridge, we have several options to fit the bridge construction you’re looking for.

In particular, truss bridges can be needed in areas with extreme weather. Despite the harsh weather, with great structural engineering, our truss bridges are prepared to last even the worst storms for decades to come. When it comes to crossing a treacherous area, truss bridges can be built to keep communities connected.

5. Professional Bridge Engineering

While a truss bridge may seem simple, they are actually quite intricate and require complex engineering and design. Because the weight must be distributed away from the center beam, each truss must be optimally engineered to distribute the weight. Without attention to detail in the engineering design, the truss design will not be nearly as effective.

Bridges are very dynamic, but at U.S. Bridge, we can guarantee the highest-quality engineering that fits the environmental components of the build location.

The U.S. Bridge Steel Truss Bridge Designs

Several of our U.S. Bridge designs use steel trusses for optimal strength and durability. However, every truss bridge is different. Here are just a few of the truss constructions we’ve done in the past.

Pratt Truss — Liberty, Viking, Seneca, Voyager

Warren Truss — Cambridge, Cambridge Flat

Box Truss — Thru Truss

Experts in Truss Bridge Construction

When you invest in a U.S. Bridge, you can rest assured you’re investing in experts in truss bridges. We’ve been building long-lasting steel bridges for decades. We regard every detail of your bridge with a high level of attention and efficiency to ensure it’s high-quality.

If you’d like to know more about our bridge construction projects and have any questions about a project, please contact us today and get a free quote.