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Hot Dip Galvanized Steel Vs. Weathering Steel What's The Right Choice

Steel has long played a key role in American construction efforts. Not only is steel lighter in weight than many other building materials on the market, but it also earns points for durability, affordability, and environmental friendliness. Still, bridge builders may struggle with whether to use more traditional weathering steel or increasingly popular hot-dip galvanized steel. Read on to discover how these options stack up.Hot Dip Galvanized Steel Vs. Weathering Steel What's The Right Choice

Benefits and Drawbacks of Weathering Steel

Long a favorite among bridge builders, weathering steel offers numerous advantages over other building types. Strong and attractive, this material rusts in a way that provides protection against the elements. Builders refer to this as “useful corrosion.”

Still, the news about weathering steel isn’t all positive. Progressively corroding, weathering steel can deteriorate faster if moisture is present. To compensate for this loss of mass and strength, builders may need to use thicker sections of steel from the start. Additionally, salt air and humidity can damage weathering steel, resulting in accelerated corrosion.

Benefits of Hot-Dipped Galvanized Steel

Formed by dipping bare steel in molten zinc, hot-dip galvanized steel is a popular choice in bridge construction. Featuring the strength of weathering steel, hot-dip galvanized steel offers additional benefits, too. Barrier and cathodic protection mean that this material resists corrosion. As a result, this option requires less long-term maintenance than weathering steel. Additionally, hot-dip galvanized steel maintains its structure despite exposure to UV rays, snow, water, and soil and is 100 percent recyclable.

Trust U.S. Bridge With All Your Building Needs

As a bridge building leader, U.S. Bridge brings more than 80 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise to the table. We’re passionate about constructing bridges that withstand time and the elements while making use of materials that are safe for the environment. Ready to learn more about our products and services? Call our steel bridge experts today or contact us online for info.

 

USB Assists In The Construction Of The 41st St. Chicago Pedestrian Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we pride ourselves on bringing a wide range of bridge projects to life across the globe. Our high-quality steel bridges are designed to withstand the test of time while providing safe passage for pedestrians and vehicles. To that end, we were thrilled to assist in the 41st Street Chicago Pedestrian Bridge, recently erected by S & J Construction.

What the Project Entailed

Selected from among numerous bridge fabricators across the nation, U.S. Bridge was chosen to provide the temporary bridge used for the erection of the new signature pedestrian bridge. The U.S. Bridge temporary bridge was incorporated into the project to maintain traffic of the metro rail line below, and to permit a continuous work environment all while ensuring the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

Because the components were fabricated ahead of time, construction of the U.S. Bridge temporary bridge occurred over a few brief hours, minimizing construction disturbances for both Lake Shore Drive and the railroad.

The new signature bridge is designed to echo the appearance of Olmsted’s original Chicago walkways. The bridge boasts double-curved arch mono trusses that provide structural rigidity while offering resistance against high winds. As a bonus, the bridge features energy-efficient lighting and low-glare illumination. The end result is a beautiful, sleek pedestrian bridge that adds interest to the urban landscape.

A Cambridge Flat Bridge Built to Last

A Warren Truss girder bridge, features a top chord with a polygonal shape. The design is also known as a camelback. Attractive and efficient, this steel bridge is ideal for both city and country locales. Builders can choose from one, two, and three-lane options with a width range between 12 and 44 feet.

Contact U.S. Bridge Today to Start Building Something Exceptional

A leading provider of public and private sector bridges around the globe, U.S. Bridge has more than 80 years of experience in the design and manufacture of quality steel bridges. We’re passionate about creating high-end, safe structures at prices that are affordable. To learn more about our bridge building services, call today or contact U.S. Bridge online for a quote.

The U.S. Liberty Bridge soars above the competition. With their rigidity and adaptability to various elevations, these bridges are designed to be containerized and quick to construct in the event of an emergency. Also, they are a preferred permanent bridge. After Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico, U.S. Bridge built Liberty Bridges in five communities across the island. U.S. Bridge’s Liberty Series Bridges are the ideal solution to any project.

Bolted Permanent Bridges Surpass Pinned Temporary Bridges

U.S. Liberty Bridges have numerous advantages, but one of the main reasons is their prefabricated panels. Each panel is designed with a bolting system that has an infinite lifespan. In addition, bolting assures resistance to fatigue, weakness, and overloads. This system increases the sustainability of the bridge as a whole and eliminates the need for maintenance. Contrarily, the incorporation of pins into alternative type structures leads to vibration and friction with each load, and over time, more maintenance and monitoring. With its customizable panel sizes, the U.S. Liberty Bridge also spans up to 200 feet. And its larger floor panels give it the ability to support one or multiple lanes of traffic. All these features make the Liberty Bridge the preferred choice for emergency situations.

Begin Your Project With U.S. Bridge

U.S. Bridge has over 80 years of history and experience in the engineering, manufacturing and installation of steel bridges. We help communities create safe and longer-lasting bridges globally. For more information about our bridges and services contact us today.

U.S. Liberty Bridges Infographic

 

Steel Bridges & Their Impact on the Environment

The United States has been relying on steel for generations, and with good reason. Lighter in weight than many building materials, steel is affordable and durable, making it a great option for constructing everything from buildings to bridges. However, at U.S. Bridge, we especially appreciate the environmental benefits of steel. Read on to learn about the big benefits associated with building bridges from steel.

Steel Is Recyclable

The environmental benefits of steel include the fact that the material can be recycled with ease. Because of steel’s unique metallurgic properties, it doesn’t degrade over time like other materials. So, the product can be melted down and recycled for other purposes, while adding less waste. In fact, steel is currently the most recycled material on Earth.

Steel Has Economic Benefits

Another reason that steel is a great building material — and an environmentally friendly one — is that it has economic benefits. Builders can put steel constructions and bridges together quickly and affordably because steel weighs less than other materials. The ability to use less expensive equipment and lifts means money is saved in the long run. Municipal governments and communities can then use these funds for other purposes, like environmental conservation.

Steel Is Durable

It’s hard to save money when you’re constantly having to repair the same buildings or bridges. One of the best reasons to use steel for these projects is that it lasts for decades. This means you won’t have to spend valuable taxpayer dollars replacing the same structures again and again. Additionally, steel is a strong material that’s unlikely to be damaged by inclement weather conditions like storms and hurricanes. Steel even holds up well in the event of an earthquake. Because steel components require less maintenance, you can save money on both supplies and labor. The fewer resources needed to maintain steel, the fewer resources required from the environment.

Learn More About Steel Environmental Benefits

At U.S. Bridge, we create a wide array of bridges for communities throughout the nation. Relying on over 80 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing bridges, we take care to ensure our products stand the test of time. To learn more about the environmental benefits of steel, or what we can do for you, call today or contact us online.

The Economic Benefits Of Bridge Building

Most of us don’t notice much about the bridges and roads that connect our cities and states. However, we would certainly notice if we woke up one day and they weren’t there. Bridges play a crucial role in various aspects of modern life, enabling us to get to work or school and contributing to the country’s economic development. This, of course, is something the American Society of Civil Engineers knows well. Every four years, this all-important group releases a bridge report card, assessing how these structures are holding up. Read on to learn more about bridge economic impact and what we can do to protect these structures moving forward.

Aiding in Infrastructure

Bridge economic impact starts with the way they support the transport of people and goods. Along with allowing companies to ship materials, bridges enable consumers to travel to shops and malls and visit new cities as tourists. When a bridge goes down, the surrounding area experiences a halt in economic activity, as people can no longer purchase goods and services with the same ease.

Supporting the Local Economy

Bridges also support the local economy, thanks to wages paid to construction workers and repair crews. Even the most well-designed bridges require regular cleaning and maintenance. Bridge workers then give this money back to the local community by paying taxes and purchasing local goods and services.

Connecting Communities

Bridge economic impact issues go beyond simple cash flow. Bridges connect people in different communities, allowing them to interact for work or play. This capacity is especially essential for areas where one town has an abundance of raw materials and another has a labor force in need of work. In this way, both people and communities can support one another.

What’s to Come for Our Nation’s Bridges

In assessing the country’s bridges, the American Society of Civil Engineers determined that the average bridge age is rising. As result, the United States will need to spend $120 billion or more to complete the necessary repairs and get all the bridges up to code. That’s where companies like U.S. Bridge can help.

Contact Us for a Consultation

As a leader in bridge design and manufacture, U.S. Bridge helps communities create safe, longer-lasting bridges. Plus, we build many of our bridges using prefabricated panels and assemble them in modules to expedite construction. For more about our services, call today or contact us online.

Those who aren’t familiar with bridge building might think of decks as parts of a ship or the area in the backyard where grills are kept. However, in the industry, we know “deck” is a term for the driving surface of a bridge. Whether constructed from concrete, wood, steel, or open grating, decks that form the driving surface of a bridge need to be strong enough for traffic to cross safely. At U.S. Bridge, we provide a full range of sustainable bridge floor and deck solutions to clients throughout the world. Read on to learn more about the types of decks we offer:

Concrete Deck Slab

When it comes to bridge floor and deck products, the concrete deck slab is one of the most popular. Typically between 7 and 9 inches thick, this deck has two layers of steel reinforcing bars to provide strength and durability.

Asphalt

For this deck type, corrugated steel planks, 3, 5 or 7 gauge, are attached to the stringers of the bridge and become a structural component of the structure.. By galvanizing these planks, the flooring is protected against corrosion. With an asphalt overlay, these types of decks provide a long-lasting, economical, driving surface.

Open Grid Steel Deck

If weight constraints are an issue, open grid steel decking is a wonderful option for a bridge floor. It is characterized by whether the grid is filled, or partially-filled with concrete. If concrete is included, a metal pan or form is included near the base or at mid-height of the grid to support the concrete while it cures.

Precast Concrete Panels

One of the most efficient deck types, precast concrete panels can be constructed quickly and easily. Designed and manufactured off site, these panels can be installed one day and driven over the next. Non-shrink grout is mixed and poured in batches on site.

Nail-Laminated Timber Bridge Floor

Ideal for more rustic locations around the country, these timber decks utilize pressure treated lumber to protect against the elements. Additionally, buyers can opt to cover the deck with asphalt if they choose.

Start Building Your Bridge Today

As a leader in bridge floor and bridge flooring solutions, U.S. Bridge engineers and manufactures steel bridges for a wide range of private and public organizations. You can trust us to create a safe, durable bridge that will stand the test of time. To learn more about what we do, call today or contact us for an online bridge consultation.

The U.S. Bridge Prefabricated Steel Bridge Process

U.S. Bridge prides itself on working with the latest engineering techniques and the most advanced materials. Incorporating prefabricated steel bridges into stable products has enabled the company to expand. Also, this allows immediate help in areas where traffic patterns demand a quick fix. Below is an overview of the U.S. Bridge prefabricated steel bridge process and why these bridges are such a game-changer for infrastructure.

 Why Prefabricated?

Prefabricated steel bridges have transformed the bridge-building industry. They are a cost-effective solution to a critical need: reinforced and revamped bridges. Key features of these bridges are:

  • Easy Upkeep – All connections are bolted, eliminating pins that often require frequent maintenance. Galvanized steel is also a completely recyclable material and is abundantly available keeping costs down.
  • Easy Assembly – Fewer parts means putting the bridges together is a quicker process. Consequently, fewer parts significantly reduce the chance for on-site construction errors. This makes assembly quicker and increases quality assurance. For more information about accelerated bridge construction, click here.
  • Easy Disassembly –  It is easy to disassemble prefabricated steel bridges, making it convenient to use as temporary or emergency structures.

 Why U.S. Bridge?

These prefabricated bridges were first used in the 1930s. As an industry leader and trailblazer, U.S. Bridge has been building prefabricated steel bridges since 1936. As an AISC certified fabricator of Advanced Bridges with Fracture Critical and Sophisticated Paint Endorsements, U.S. Bridge has a proven and reliable fabricating and quality assurance process. U.S. Bridge’s Engineering to Fabricating interface program ensures that all design and fabricating details are transferred to computer controlled CNC automated equipment. This includes a CNC Plate Processor, Automated Beam Line, Saw and numerous Robotic Welders. And, this direct transfer ensures that the bridge you have approved is the exact same bridge that will be fabricated.

U.S. Bridge meets the ongoing needs of our customers with a commitment to providing the highest level of quality bridge solutions possible. Their goal is to continually achieve a “best practice approach” with everything they build. And, they have been doing it for more than 80 years.

For more information about U.S. Bridge and their Prefabricated Steel Bridge Process, please call +1 (888) 852-0094.

The Liberty Bridge: Connecting Communities In Puerto Rico

Created from prefabricated panels and assembled in modules, the Liberty Bridge is a proven type of structure offering profound benefits in flexibility and installation. These advantages went a long way toward helping Puerto Rico heal following the Hurricane Maria devastation.

Featuring 8-foot by 12-foot welded panels, the Liberty Series is unique in that it can be configured and installed quickly without special equipment. Made of new, domestic steel, the Liberty Bridge can be launched or set with the use of a crane. With all-bolted connections, the bridge functions without the need for pins or other proprietary parts or designs. And thanks to floor-to-truss framing connections engineered according to AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification, the model offers superior stability.

Benefits of the Liberty Bridge

While the Liberty Series is created to serve as a high-quality, permanent structure, it’s also suitable for emergency or temporary bridging. If necessary, the structure can be easily unbolted and moved in sections to another location. Spanning up to 200 feet, the Liberty Bridge can support one or multiple lanes of traffic and comes with either checkered plate or anti-skid epoxy flooring. All of these features help make the Liberty Bridge an ideal choice for dealing with emergencies.

Helping Puerto Rico Heal

In 2017, Puerto Rico suffered a devastating natural disaster. A once-in-a-lifetime storm, Hurricane Maria featured 175-MPH winds and flooding and left all of Puerto Rico without power for weeks.

Additionally, the hurricane devastated the island’s infrastructure, destroying bridges in Utuado, San Lorenzo, and Juana Diaz, among other areas, leaving residents stranded and vulnerable. That’s where US Bridge came in.

A leader in bridge building and design, U.S. Bridge was proud to be able to help Puerto Rico residents recover from this difficult period in their lives. Within a mere six weeks, the company had manufactured and installed bridges in five communities across the island. The modular bridges helped bring relief to local families, connecting them with much-needed support and services.

Contact U.S. Bridge Today

Wondering if the Liberty Series Bridges are right for your needs? The Liberty Series Bridge has been load tested by the West Virginia University. Report available upon request.  Contact us for more information.

Video of Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria

Watch our summary video from Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria and the work that was done.

During devastation, we are there to help. Please fill out a free quote for more information on how we can partner with you to help during the most stressful of times.

The following is the transcript from  the video Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria in both English and Spanish

Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria: English Translation

In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria brought devastation to the island of Puerto Rico. This level 5 hurricane left the country without power … and over 1100 lives were lost to this catastrophic event.

U.S. Bridge brought relief to 5 communities throughout the island. This was achieved through use of modular designed Liberty bridges. In just six weeks, the bridges were manufactured and installation was completed to reconnect residents across the island. Over 850 metric tons of U.S. steel was used to create more than 950 feet of bridge. The Liberty Bridge design has been rigorously tested to ensure durability, and longevity.

Hope was restored. Life is getting back to normal. U.S. Bridge is committed to strengthening infrastructure by creating and reinforcing bridges that keep goods and services moving efficiently. The company’s primary goal in Puerto Rico is to aid those affected by the hurricane so that life can return to normal as quickly as possible.

U.S. Bridge is an Ohio based company with decades of bridge design, engineering, manufacturing, and construction experience. Inquire more about how the company is changing and strengthening America and the world’s infrastructure, one bridge at a time. Learn more at USBridge.com

Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria: Spanish Translation

Este video es un resumen del trabajo realizado por U.S. Bridge en Puerto Rico después de que el huracán María dejó el país devastado.

En septiembre del 2017, el huracán María trajo devastación a la isla de Puerto Rico. Este huracán de nivel 5 dejó el país sin energía eléctrica … y más de 1100 vidas fueron perdidas en este evento catastrófico.

U.S. Bridge trajo alivio a 5 comunidades en toda la isla. Esto se logró mediante el uso de puentes Liberty de un diseño moderno de forma modular. En solo seis semanas, se fabricaron los puentes y se completó la instalación para volver a conectar a los residentes de toda la isla. Se usaron más de 850 toneladas métricas de acero de EE. UU. para crear más de 950 pies de puente. El diseño del puente Liberty ha sido rigurosamente probado para garantizar la durabilidad y la longevidad.

La esperanza fue restaurada. La vida está volviendo a la normalidad. U.S. Bridge se compromete a fortalecer la infraestructura mediante la creación y el refuerzo de puentes que mantengan los bienes y servicios en movimiento de manera eficiente. El objetivo principal de la compañía en Puerto Rico es ayudar a las personas afectadas por el huracán para que la vida pueda volver a la normalidad lo más rápido posible.

U.S. Bridge es una compañía con sede en Ohio que cuenta con décadas de experiencia en diseño, ingeniería, fabricación y construcción de puentes. Investigue más acerca de cómo la compañía está cambiando y fortaleciendo los Estados Unidos y la infraestructura mundial, un puente a la vez.

Get a free quote after devastation strikes

We want to reiterate, we are here to helpPlease fill out a free quote if you live in an area where devastation has done damage to bridges. We can partner with you to help.

Interview with CEO Dan Rogovin from U.S. Bridge on Puerto Rico Project

The following interview was with the CEO of U.S. Bridge, Mr. Dan Rogovin. The questions focus on, not only, the Puerto Rico Project, but also, the U.S. Bridge processes. CEO Dan Rogovin takes us on a journey of how U.S. Bridge became the leader in steel bridge manufacturing.

What is your background and how did you begin your role as CEO of of U.S. Bridge?

As a 3rd generation bridge builder, my career had long been established prior to my entrance into this world. My interest in building, paired with a long legacy of bridge builders in the family, led to my commitment to the bridge business at the age of 16. After a few summers stationed at various construction sites, I transferred over to the manufacturing side of the business. My time was spent gaining an understanding of materials and manufacturing means and methods. Shortly thereafter, in 1999, I joined U.S. Bridge full time and began focusing on growing the company’s footprint throughout the U.S.

What is the biggest determining factor you look at when assessing if you will take on a new project?

It is important to evaluate each opportunity carefully when determining an interest in each project. First, we consider if it fits within our capabilities. If so, then we evaluate the time frame in order to ensure that we meet the customer’s delivery requirements. Lastly, we determine whether this project would provide some meaningful benefit to the Company. If so, then the decision to participate in the project would be made.

How do you see the future of the construction industry domestically and internationally?

The infrastructure in our country is without question aging. Much of it was constructed decades ago and after years of abuse, and / or lack of maintenance, these bridge assets are subjected to the heaviest of loads under the most extreme conditions. Funding must be allocated towards the replacement of these structures. Doing so would ensure the safety of the traveling public while jointly creating thousands of jobs throughout our country.

Is U.S. Bridge positioned for international aid in catastrophes such as Hurricane Maria?

Hurricane Maria was a historic and tragic event. With thousands of lives lost and many still recovering from the massive destruction that the storm brought, it truly was a life changing event for many. U.S. Bridge is uniquely positioned to provide immediate aid and assistance for these types of events. Immediately after a storm of this magnitude, lines of communication must be restored. As such, when bridges are destroyed, it is imperative that they be replaced as quickly as possible so recovery efforts aren’t interrupted. With a complete line of bridges ready to deploy to these locations, U.S. Bridge has developed an emergency response program to help communities in need at a moment’s notice.

How did Puerto Rico find out about you and the work that you provide?

Over the past few decades, U.S. Bridge has worked diligently to establish a name for ourselves. I believe we have successfully developed a reputation for providing a quality product that meets or exceeds industry standards at a fair price, all while striving to exceed customer expectations. Shortly after Hurricane Maria made landfall and the magnitude of destruction was understood, we were contacted by contractors on the island who were in desperate need of assistance. It was clear to them that U.S. Bridge had the experience and expertise along with the passion and unrelenting energy to meet the accelerated demands required for their projects. Working closely with FHWA and FEMA, the U.S. Bridge team worked tirelessly through the December holiday season to enable the residents of Puerto Rico to reconnect and rebuild their lives.

What is a typical bridge build time?

Every bridge project is different. While some are larger than others, from the time U.S. Bridge receives notice to proceed, many bridges can be engineered, manufactured and delivered within 6-10 weeks.

How would countries and foreign governments benefit from being networked with you?

Over the past 80 years, we’ve engineered, manufactured, and constructed thousands of bridges. Based on that, we have obtained and retained an abundance of tribal knowledge that simply can’t be replicated. Each project is different and there is no boilerplate solution. Our adept team, the systems that we have refined, and our almost century of experience, undoubtedly allow us to hold the hand of any owner, and provide them with the individual support and assistance that each requires.

Where do you see U.S. Bridge’s success stemming from?

There is no question about it, our team. U.S. Bridge has a terrific team of intelligent, driven, passionate, and creative professionals that are always striving to reach new heights. Without them, U.S. Bridge wouldn’t be what it is today, an incredibly efficient, proficient and agile company that provides quality products that literally connect millions throughout the world.

What differentiates U.S. Bridge from other bridge companies? Both foreign and domestic?

U.S. Bridge is unique in that we possess the ability to engineer, manufacture and construct bridges. Many bridge fabricators have developed the skills to manufacture while leaving the engineering and construction to others. With the ability to provide turn-key services, the process is far more efficient for our clients.

What is the preferred method for organizations to get in touch with you about their next project?

I always prefer speaking with someone directly over other forms of communication. I find it far more more personable and efficient. That being said, U.S Bridge is available to provide support by dialing 888-852-0094. In the event that a client’s preferred method of communication is electronic, support can be provided by simply emailing info@usbridge.com or by visiting our website, usbridge.com, and beginning a chat session with one of our bridge experts.

Thanks Dan Rogovin for spending sometime with us on what makes U.S. Bridge a fantastic company!

2018 Bridge Industry Economic Projections

Rumors have been circulating that the federal government is ready to pour a lot of funds into U.S. infrastructure. Beyond rumors, though, what is the real economic outlook for our industry? Below are some key Bridge Industry Economic Predictions and what we can expect throughout 2018.

Strong Overall Outlook

With a dropping unemployment rate and low inflation, the overall outlook for construction growth in 2018 is very positive.  General construction work is estimated to grow by five percent. More specifically, signs indicate that the Southern and Western United States will see the biggest impact on growth. While the cost of building materials is likely to rise by a little over two percent, overall industry growth is still expected.

Bridges and Roads

Bridge Industry Economic Projections estimate that bridges and roads will be the biggest growth segment in the nonbuilding sector. This is in part due to the government’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program. This program will fund up to 10 highway and bridge projects. However, it has not yet been voted on.

State by State

The overall growth of road and bridge construction may seem minimal when applied to the entire U.S. as a whole. However, some states will see more growth than others. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), California, Florida, New York, Hawaii, Virginia, and Washington are poised to see the most local growth in the construction industry. Additionally, total spending on public bridge and tunnel construction is expected to top out around $31.3 billion, a slight increase over 2017.

Signs for a Strong Future

Most assume that the federal government will pass INFRA, adding funds to the construction industry in 2018 and early 2019. These projects would undoubtedly bring long-term growth for years to come. Further, with nine percent of the U.S.’s bridges and roads deemed structurally deficient and in need of repair, the need for bridge and roadway construction will likely continue for decades.

To find out more about Bridge Industry Economic Projections and what U.S. Bridge is doing to help, please contact us today. At U.S. Bridge, we have designed and manufactured bridges for over 80 years, providing the pathways that keep America moving.

References

Hurricane Maria Statistics In Puerto Rico

Immediately following the Puerto Rico hurricane, 100 percent of the island was without power. Additionally, parts of the island had become completely isolated due to the loss of bridges and roadways. Many of these structures were either swept away by the storm or deemed unsafe to travel in its aftermath. U.S. Bridge is proud to be part of the rebuilding effort in Puerto Rico. Take a look below to understand the full scope of the damage to Puerto Rico.

 

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Storm

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico for almost three weeks. The Category 5 hurricane had wind gusts of up to 175 MPH and is responsible for more than 1,000 deaths. With such an intense storm assaulting the island, its infrastructure was ill-prepared to handle the amount of flooding; as a result, downed trees and power lines made many roadways impassable. Plus, the lack of power leftmost Island residents without access to refrigerated food and medicine, and with only limited access to news and information regarding the storm.

Rebuilding Roadways

U.S. Bridge built five Liberty bridges in Puerto Rico. The effort required 800 metric tons of steel, all made in the USA, as well as three contractors. Altogether, these bridges accounted for 950 feet of roadway with a design life of 75 years.

USB PR Stats Update May20 2018

Reconnecting Communities

The five bridges are in areas hardest hit by the Puerto Rico hurricane. These areas are:

Each of these bridges passed rigorous requirements as set forth by FEMA, AASHTO and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). The work in Puerto Rico required the use of three freight companies, two galvanizing companies, and two ship lines.

USB-PR-stats-communities-update-May20-2018

Delivering Relief

U.S. Bridge estimated that the building of the bridges took six weeks. In under two months, U.S. Bridge provided Puerto Ricans with just some of the relief needed to rebuild their lives.

As a leader in bridge design and manufacturing, U.S. Bridge is proud to serve as part of the rebuilding effort. The Puerto Rico hurricane was an unprecedented weather event, and our team of engineers is eager to bring their knowledge and expertise to the task at hand. For more information about U.S. Bridge, please contact us today. For more details regarding U.S. Bridge’s work in Puerto Rico, please see our infographic below. Also, download the high resolution version for printing here.

USB PR Stats Update May20 2018 01

 

Puerto Rico Hurricane Damage Coverage - U.S. Bridge To Build 4 Bridges

Since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, its residents have been waiting for life to return to normal. However, with its infrastructure severely damaged by the storm, a normal way of life is all but impossible. That’s where U.S. Bridge comes in. They are working on the ground to combat Puerto Rico hurricane damage by rebuilding bridges in four affected areas.

Reestablishing Connection

Hurricane Maria caused massive mudslides, trapping some people in their homes for days and weeks following the storm. These mudslides also led to bridges collapsing. This made it impossible for people to access basic necessities like food and water. Roadways that were once traversed daily were now impassable. U.S. Bridge, started at the end of 2017, and is in the process of finishing in March of 2018. Some of the first rebuilding efforts are focused on affected areas like Utuado.

Reconnecting Remote Areas

Puerto Rico hurricane damage greatly impacted remote areas of the island in these regions, such as Juana Diaz, Utuado, Moca, and San Lorenzo, Morovis. In total, more than 100 of the bridges in Puerto Rico were damaged, and 18 have closed. Without these bridges, residents in remote areas are stranded. Residents are only able to get food and water through pure ingenuity. For example, residents in Rio Abajo, who are now completely cut off from supplies, have rigged a pulley system to get supplies across the river. Due to U.S. Bridge’s quick turn around time, they immediately engineered, manufactured and shipped their Liberty Series bridges to these communities. They are being built as this article is being written! Tactically, U.S. Bridge is connecting one part of the island to another.This will bring hope back to  the area and hasten the flow of supplies that residents so desperately need.

Working Together for Everyone

U.S. Bridge is proud to be one of the many companies working diligently to combat Puerto Rico hurricane damage. Crowley is another great company that is helping transport major components of the Liberty Series bridges across the region. Federal organizations like FEMA and FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) have also backed and supported the recovery effort in Puerto Rico. 47 containers are being transported. These containers weigh in at around 800 metric tons of steel. In total, more than 880 feet of bridge will be built. U.S. Bridge is confident that citizens will regain a semblance of normalcy. These four bridges are being constructed in some of the hardest hit areas of this beautiful island. The work in Puerto Rico has just begun. Collaborative efforts like this are a perfect way to push the rebuilding movement forward.

These amazing contractors should be applauded for their work on these projects:

Liberty for Puerto Ricans

Local news in Puerto Rico is starting to see the benefit of what U.S. Bridge and their partners are doing. Below is a story from Wapa.tv on the Utaudo bridge and local residents’ reaction.

 

An Engineering Leader Helping Puerto Rico Hurricane Damage

For over 80 years, U.S. Bridge has been a leader in bridge design and manufacturing throughout the world. Our team of engineers works with local and state governments, businesses, and other organizations to reinforce and stabilize bridges across the country. The CEO of U.S. Bridge, Dan Rogovin and COO, Rajat Shah, have been in Puerto Rico, assessing progress and lending their support.

Todd Carpenter, Bridge Superintendent at U.S. Bridge, has been in the country overseeing the work, and said, “the collaborative effort from, the contractors, the U.S. Government, and the people of Puerto Rico, has made this an extremely fulfilling project. Knowing that our bridges are being used for connecting communities that were shattered, is something I’ll never forget. And these communities will use these bridges for generations to come.”

For more details regarding the work U.S. Bridge is doing in Puerto Rico, please click here. Also, make sure to follow U.S. Bridge’s social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin) for the ongoing work in Puerto Rico. For more information about U.S. Bridge, we encourage you to contact us today.

Hurricane News: Damage Coverage For Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in mid-September 2017. The island’s infrastructure relied on bridges, roads and waterways to maintain trade. Unfortunately, most of these bridges and roads have been destroyed and are no longer passable, according to hurricane news reports. These modes of transportation also provided Puerto Ricans with access to food, water, gasoline, and cities. Hence, rebuilding efforts are the key to getting the island back on its feet.

U.S. Bridge has followed the hurricane news very closely and is eager to help the people of Puerto Rico. Lacking resources and any way to transport them to people who need them most, U.S. Bridge is determined to help Puerto Rico by rebuilding bridges to facilitate free movement of food, water, and gasoline. Parts of Puerto Rico won’t have power before late May, 8 months after hurricane Maria. About 95 percent of the island will see energy restoration by the end of March. Things are slowly getting better, however, there is still much to be done.

Unable to Navigate the Mountains

The mountains near San Juan were particularly hit hard. For example, the neighborhood of San Lorenzo has been cut off from the city due to the destruction of a bridge that allowed free passage for its residents. Residents in the area have stressed how important it is for them to be able to move freely between their homes and the city. Elderly people and the sick, for instance, no longer have access to the care they need. The only option is to ford the river in what is often waist-deep, murky water. On the other hand, they may take a path around the mountain that can add three hours to their trip; but with limited access to gasoline, this is not a viable option. Some residents have actually rigged a cable above the water to get supplies across.

Built to Last

U.S. Bridge is eager to provide relief to the people of Puerto Rico. U.S. Bridge will be using the Liberty Bridge design for four bridge projects that are contracted to construct in Puerto Rico. This bridge type is made up of prefabricated modules that are easy to transport and assemble.  Based on the hurricane news, the Liberty Bridge will offer the type of permanent and quick relief that the people of Puerto Rico need.

U.S. Bridge is providing bridge-building expertise to the people of Puerto Rico who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Maria more than four months after it made landfall. For more information about U.S. Bridge and our team of dedicated engineers, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Analyzing the life cycle costs of steel vs. concrete bridges is of utmost importance to U.S. Bridge and the infrastructure industry in general. Aside from sustainability and social responsibility, U.S. Bridge is dedicated to using the best materials for the job. Depending on the scope of work and bridge design, the choice between steel or concrete could have a long-lasting impact on the sustainability of the structure.

U.S. Bridge asked Michael G. Barker Ph.D., a professor at the University of Wyoming, to draft a white paper regarding the Life Cycle Costs Analysis (LCCA) of bridges. Of particular interest was the use of hot-dip galvanized steel vs. concrete. The study determined that using HDG steel reduces capital costs by 8.5 percent. Below is the executive summary of the report that provides a good snapshot of the report and its findings. You can download the entire white paper here.

Executive Summary

Since the early 1990s, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has promoted the consideration of Life Cycle Costs Analysis (LCCA) in the design and engineering of bridges. LCCA determines the “true cost” of bridge alternatives considering the time-value of money. The Life Cycle Cost analyses employed in this study uses the Perpetual Present Value Cost (PPVC) of bridge alternatives for an equivalent comparison between the alternatives.

Over the years, the author has worked with state departments of transportation and local county engineers on effective and economical bridge construction. A frequent question that arises during meetings is the difference in Life Cycle Costs between steel and concrete girder bridges. Both the concrete industry and the steel industry cite various anecdotal advantages above the other for the Life Cycle Costs over the life of the bridge. There has historically been a healthy competition between material types for new bridge construction. However, there is industry and owner confusion on how the different types of bridges compare on a Life Cycle Cost basis.

Steel vs. Concrete Bridge Analysis

This study developed useful owner information on historical Life Cycle Costs for typical steel and concrete state bridges in Pennsylvania. Typical bridges defined in the study are:

  • Concrete decks supported by steel rolled beams
  • Steel plate girders
  • Precast concrete boxes
  • Precast concrete beams

PennDOT historical records for bridges built between 1960 and 2010 were used to develop the Life Cycle Cost study database. Initial and maintenance costs considered include total project costs (more than just superstructure) as recorded in the PennDOT records. The PennDOT database used for the Life Cycle Cost analyses only includes a subset of the total bridge inventory. Missing cost and date data for a majority of the individual bridges made total inventory impossible. The database consists of 1,186 state bridges out of 6,587 (18 percent of the eligible inventory) built between 1960 and 2010.

The initial costs, Life Cycle Costs, and future costs of the 1,186 bridges in the database are examined with respect to:

  • Variability in bridge type
  • Bridge length
  • Number of spans
  • Bridge life

Protective coating systems were also used to examine steel bridges. The results must be taken into context since the results only represent the bridges that made it into the database. The database is not as comprehensive or desirable for drawing conclusions. The reader must decide how to interpret the tables and figures showing comparisons of initial costs, Perpetual Present Value Costs, maintenance and future costs, and bridge life.  

Report Conclusion Summary

A conclusion that can be drawn is that all the types of bridges are fairly competitive in both Initial Costs and Perpetual Present Value Costs. The average initial costs vary from $174 per square feet to $226 square feet. The average Perpetual Present Value Costs vary between $218 per square feet (Prestressed I Beam) and $278 per square feet (Prestressed Adjacent Box). The lowest average bridge life was 73 years (Prestressed I Beam) and the longest was 82 years (Steel I Beam). The coefficient of variation (standard deviation/mean) of the PPVC was approximately 20 percent, which is considerably high. With the relatively small differences in the PPVC averages, given the dispersion of the PPVC costs (standard deviation), any of the bridge types may have the least Perpetual Present Value Cost for a given project.

Chance for Further Study

This research was limited to a subset of PennDOT bridges. However, the analyses demonstrate the potential benefits of LCC analysis for bridge construction and management. A study of a more comprehensive database of bridges on the initial costs, Life Cycle Costs and future costs of different types of bridges over a diverse set of circumstances would be very useful for bridge owners and managers. A more comprehensive database would allow for a more accurate comparison of bridge types, design details, such as jointless decks, rebar coatings, steel protection systems, and other construction details.

For more information about this study, as well as the benefits of steel vs. concrete bridges, please contact U.S. Bridge today. You can also download the complete white paper here.

Steel, Our Most Sustainable Material

Steel is one of the most widely utilized building materials for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Commercial and residential building projects
  • Bridges and highway construction
  • Vehicles and household appliances

Fortunately, through decades of innovation, steel has become easier to manufacture; and just as importantly, steel is one of the most recycled and thus sustainable materials in the world.

Why is Sustainability Important?

Sustainable materials don’t deplete non-renewable natural resources during the manufacturing process. This is extremely important since non-renewable resources are only available in finite quantities. The other benefit to preserving non-renewable resources is to maintain the environment’s natural equilibrium.

What Makes Steel Sustainable?

One factor that makes steel a sustainable material is its significant reduction in energy emissions (by approximately 31 percent). One ton of steel now takes one-third less energy to manufacture than it did in 1990. Also, during steel production, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 36 percent. Steel is also the most recycled material in the world, with more than 65 million tons recycled per year.

What is Life Cycle Thinking?

The steel industry has committed itself to Life Cycle Thinking. This method of analysis allows the industry to continually examine its environmental impact. Thus, Life Cycle Thinking looks beyond simple eco-friendly practices to understand the impact of steel production on all aspects of daily life. This includes manufacturing, design and production, use and maintenance, disposal and recyclability of waste and components.

Using Recyclable Steel

An estimated 93 percent of steel currently used in construction projects is recycled. Additionally, 98 percent of a building’s steel is recycled back into other steel projects once the building reaches the end of its life-cycle. This recycling happens without any degradation to the quality of the steel, making it a truly reusable resource.

We at U.S. Bridge pride ourselves on building structures that last, without negatively impacting the environment. By working with a sustainable material, like steel, we’re confident that our bridges will be around for decades without leaving much of a carbon footprint.

U.S. Bridge has worked with local and state governments and recently completed a bridge-building project in under 30 days. To discover what our professional team can do for your next project, please contact us today.

USB-Blog-How-it-Works-Engineering-Bridges-To-Handle-Stress

Bridges are often seen as immovable structures, but in truth, they are quite dynamic. Bridges must be engineered to move with environmental stressors in order to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. Additionally, different load types, weather conditions, and traffic can all cause bridges to adjust at various times. In a way, a bridge is an engineering marvel. So, how does it work? Below are some of the key components of bridge engineering and how they handle stress.

Oh, Gravity!

Gravity has the most profound impact on a bridge. Gravity is a constant – no matter what the other conditions, gravity is always acting on a structure, trying to pull it down. Bridges are at an even more unfair advantage against gravity since they span open spaces. For instance, a building, like a skyscraper, is also affected by gravity, but the ground the building is built on pushes back, creating an equilibrium of sorts. Bridges have no ground beneath them to act as a counterbalance to gravity. However, bridge failures are rare, thank goodness! So, how do designers go about engineering bridges to compensate for this gravitational pull?

Compression and tension are carefully balanced by channeling the bridge’s load onto the abutments (the supports on either end of the bridge) and the piers (the supports underneath the bridge).

Other Factors When Engineering Bridges

While gravity may be the most consistent force acting on a bridge, there are a handful of other elements that have a significant impact.

Loads – Bridge loads change often from vehicle to vehicle. Even a bridge specifically designed for one type of job, i.e. a train bridge, will find its load varying often. Different trains and their cargo weigh different amounts. Hence, it is imperative to engineer bridges that can adapt to these loads by flexing and bending and then returning to their normal state once the load passes.

Weather – Weather can wreck havoc on most structures, and bridges are no exception. Earthquakes and hurricanes can greatly impact structural integrity, while tides and wind can cause twisting and swaying. However, water is the most worrisome factor, because its different states generate different results. As snow or rain, water can make a bridge surface slippery; but, as ice, water can get into the crevices of a bridge and expand, causing more issues once the ice melts.

All these elements must be taken into consideration when designing and constructing a bridge. Only true experts understand what it takes to build a robust, durable, and functional bridge.

Find Out More Today

To find out more about how we go about engineering bridges to meet various workloads and demands, please contact U.S. Bridge today. Our team of engineering experts have been building bridges for decades. U.S. Bridge can bring that level of expertise to your next project too.

Optimal Design Of Through-Truss Steel Bridges

Truss bridges are one of the oldest bridge types in America. In fact, even novice bridge enthusiasts can easily spot one, since they are identified by their singular design feature: the truss, which forms triangular units. Truss bridges are used for a variety of reasons, mainly because they can easily accommodate dynamic loads. A through-truss bridge is one in which the roadway dissects the truss, meaning the truss is seen both above and below the deck. Here are a few interesting facts about the optimal design of through-truss steel bridges.

Factors that Impact Truss Steel Bridge Design

When studying through-truss steel bridges, engineers are primarily concerned with three things: optimum weight, optimum height and building material. A combination of these factors greatly impacts not only the cost of the bridge, but also its longevity and usefulness. Additional factors such as weather and use are also taken into consideration.

Determining the Optimal Through-Truss Design

In 2014, students at the civil engineering school at the University of Manchester in the UK studied through-truss bridge design with the goal of understanding the best combination of the above. They were most concerned with bridge stability, longevity, and cost-effectiveness. They determined that the element with the most impact on bridge design was the decking material. While minor adjustments can be made in the width and height, the weight of the decking material has the largest impact on the longevity of the bridge. They also realized that reinforced concrete decking is the most cost-effective; however, when reducing weight is the primarily concern, steel is the best option.

Through-Truss Bridges and U.S. Bridge

U.S. Bridge has been a leader in bridge building since 1936. Our expert staff of engineers, builders, and designers are well-versed in all bridge types, including through-truss steel bridges. Still family-owned and operated, U.S. Bridge is committed to providing customers with the latest in bridge design and construction. Our past clients include state and local governments, as well as businesses.

If you would like to find out more about U.S. Bridge, our work and our team of experts, please contact us today. We are happy to discuss your steel bridge needs and look forward to working with you.

Myths: Modular Prefabricated Short-Span Steel Bridges Are Only Temporary Structures

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.
  • Sustainability
    Almost 93% of all steel is made from scrap steel.
  • American-made
    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.

The Mechanical Properties Of Steel Bridges

A significant aspect of steel bridges is their durability. Touted for its strength, steel is one of the most enduring materials for a variety of purposes. However, with the amount of traffic and strain that bridges endure, it is crucial that the material withstand more than the usual elements. Engineers have outlined and tested the mechanical properties of steel bridges to measure reliability. Below are the key mechanical properties of steel bridges under the following categories: strength, toughness, ductility, weldability, and durability.

Strength

Though steel is one of the strongest materials on earth, other alloys can be introduced during the manufacturing process that have an impact on the steel’s strength. As a result, testing yield strength will help to conclude what if any issues there might be. Yield strength, along with tensile strength, is considered the standard in steel strength testing.

Toughness

It is natural for materials to contain some imperfections. When those imperfections are magnified, however, troubling issues can occur. The most common imperfections in steel are tiny cracks in the hardened material, which can lead to brittleness. The Charpy V-notch impact test determines steel toughness. Depending on the grade of steel being used, there are different acceptable levels of impact strength.

Ductility

Ductility measures how much tensile stress steel can handle before breaking. This determines the general strain capacity of the steel, assuming there are no holes, notches, or other elements that might affect its strength.

Weldability

Another one of the mechanical properties of steel bridges is weldability. In other words: how does the steel hold up when welded? This is an important question, since introducing welding, which involves heating the steel at very high temperatures and then cooling it just as quickly, can result in a loss of toughness.

Durability

This one is pretty easy to figure out; the steel must be able to withstand a variety of stresses. Corrosion prevention is one step often taken to ensure steel durability.

At U.S. Bridge, we pride ourselves on building steel bridges that are made to last. Our team of expert engineers is committed to addressing all the mechanical properties of steel bridges to ensure our work exceeds expectations. To find out more about U.S. Bridge and our work, please contact us today.