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Bridges play a key role in our lives by connecting our communities, promoting commerce travels, and contributing to our country’s economic development. But who designs these bridges and what does a bridge engineer do?

Bridge Engineers

Bridge Engineers are civil engineers responsible for designing and building bridges and other highway-related structures. Typical tasks for bridge engineers include designing and maintaining bridge structures, minimizing environmental impact, and supervising the fabrication process. As well as completing site investigations, data collection, identifying environmental risks, analyzing manufacturing processes, supervising construction, and more.

Although the exact duties of a bridge engineer may differ, it’s safe to say they’ll always play a critical role in any bridge construction project.

Designing and maintaining a bridge is no easy task. That’s why bridge engineers are required to have skills such as analytical thinking, leadership, supervisory skills, organization, and creativity. Not to mention, time management and budgeting skills which are essential for projects with restricted time or resources.

Bridge Engineering: It’s All About The Details

Meetings & Details

Naturally, the first part of any construction project is understanding the full scope. This meeting typically covers topics and details such as bridge series and styles, special enhancements or treatments, railing criteria, etc. This will help the bridge engineer to draw up some preliminary sketches of the bridge’s general framing plan, bridge geometry, and basic construction.

These designs help illustrate the bridge and prepare the project for its next step.

Digital Renderings

One of the most powerful tools for bridge engineers to utilize is technology. Bridge engineers will often use computers to create virtual models to assist in visualizing a project. This helps the team picture the visual impacts of the bridge to any given site as well as the aesthetic qualities. Our bridge engineers are able to model your proposed bridge over a digital terrain model or incorporate it into photos of your existing site.

This aspect is extremely useful, especially if a construction project requires models to help stakeholders buy-in or make a sale.

Final Process

Once a commitment has been made, the design process officially begins and a team is assigned. The project engineer analyzes the proposed bridge including the specified design loads and appropriate load factors, along with applying numerous code checks. Eventually, the bridge engineer begins to sketch the design details and information for the designer. These sketches convey all the information previously discussed and finalized.

The engineer will also markup the general notes and list the design assumptions and pertinent bridge data onto the title sheet.

Part of this process involves reviewing the design calculations and construction plans to verify the scope and specifications. Also checked is the plan content to ensure it reflects the engineer’s design intent and that no conflicts exist and that no omissions have occurred. The final step before submittal is usually the application of the Professional Engineer’s seal and signature.

Designed for Success at U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we’ve been engineering and building bridges for over 80 years. Our engineers have the skills and experience to build bridges in many different styles and sizes to fit the needs of your project. Find out more about how U.S. Bridge has everything you need to make your project a success.

Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.

At the start of any construction project, you have to ask what materials and method would best accomplish your goal. You’ve probably come across modular bridge construction and you’ve wondered what is it and should you consider it.

We’ve created a brief introduction to modular construction and its benefits to bridge design.

Modular Construction

Modular construction is any construction that is built in a controlled environment, typically a factory, and later installed on-site. The popularity of modular construction is increasingly rising due to its various advantages such as speed, flexibility, and customization.

Modular construction, sometimes known as prefabricated construction, is built with the same materials and similar methods as regular construction, but often comes with additional features unique to prefabrication. For example, since they are manufactured in a controlled environment modular construction has the advantage of ensured quality.

In addition, because it takes place simultaneously in a factory and on-site, modular construction can be completed in half the time of traditional construction. This rapid construction phase and versatility allow them to be used in various situations.

The combination of ensured quality, speed, and flexibility is why modular construction is often considered a durable and efficient option for builders.

The Benefits of Modular Bridges

Modular bridges are relatively modern and thus have many misconceptions. Despite popular belief, modular bridges do not require the use of already premade sections of limited sizing and options. The great thing about modular bridges is their customization and flexibility.

Every modular bridge is specifically designed custom to your project and design. This customization process makes it a preferred and sometimes even, required option for some bridge projects.

Not to mention, since most of the bridge is premade in a safe environment, the likelihood of weather delays or traffic disruption is significantly decreased. Additionally, it provides workers with safer and more comfortable working conditions. Thus modular bridges offer easy and effective project management. It’s an ideal option for any construction project with time or budget constraints.

Build your Next Bridge with U.S. Bridge

As an industry leader in bridge manufacturing and engineering, we’ve built solutions that can be utilized for any bridge project. We’ve developed Bridge Kits, a DIY solution for accelerated bridge construction that is engineered, designed, manufactured, and galvanized per AISC certifications.

We work with environmentally friendly materials to build strong, long-lasting bridges. Coupled with extensive experience, our team designs, and manufactures high-quality bridges custom to your project.

We’ve been engineering bridges for decades. If you’d like to know more about our Bridge Kits and accelerated bridge construction, please contact us for a free quote or use our exclusive bridge design tool Bridge Scope today.

Earth Day: Environmental Impact of Construction

It’s no surprise that construction has a huge impact on the environment. Although many structures can not be built sustainably today, we should still try to reduce our environmental footprint for tomorrow. However, you may be surprised to find how easy it is to reduce the environmental impact of construction, especially bridge construction!

Here are some ways bridge construction can reduce environmental impact, and ways U.S. Bridge aims to build sustainable, eco-friendly bridges.

Use Sustainable Materials

Steel Bridge

This easily adaptable material is a popular choice for many bridges due to its affordability, strength, and positive environmental impact. The great thing about steel is that it is both lightweight and incredibly durable. Its lightweight means that often, no cranes or large machinery is needed for steel construction — thus less invasion on surrounding environments.

Steel’s enduring nature guarantees it can withstand large amounts of weight which is why it can be used for any construction project. And as added bonus, the weight of steel makes installation easier by keeping road disruption at a minimum.

Steel’s Environmental Benefits

One of the best parts about steel is that it is the most recyclable material in the world.

Almost all steel construction incorporates recycled steel, which has proven its strength as equivalent to virgin steel. Its popularity and eco-friendly status are often why steel is considered affordable for many project builders. Additionally, builders save money on maintenance and repair due to steel’s long life span, as it does not degrade over time as quickly as other materials.

Plastic Bridges

Many countries around the world are striving to reduce their environmental impact within their industry. From this idea, construction companies are testing the effectiveness of using recycled plastic to construct a bridge.

Located in Scotland, the Easter Dawyck Bridge is the longest in the world built using recycled plastic. This completely recyclable bridge was constructed by recycling over 100,00 lbs. of waste and can hold the weight of vehicles up to 88,000 lbs.

The Easter Dawyck Bridge wielded great results as the recycled material is both light and extremely durable. Reports indicate that it does not corrode, does not rust, does not require painting nor any form of treatment or maintenance.

There are many benefits to using recycled plastics in road applications such as reduced energy consumption, reduced waste to landfills, and alleviating the need for use of creating new materials for future projects. However, there is still much uncertainty about the performance and long-term durability of recycled plastic bridges with different traffic loading and environmental conditions.

So why don’t we see more recycled bridges? Its biggest obstacle is the high price tag that comes with making it. That’s why U.S. Bridge sticks with steel.

Environmentally-Friendly Construction Methods

Just using sustainable materials isn’t enough. Take the step further and ensure that you are incorporating environmentally-friendly methods in bridge construction processes.

Develop a green design that considers the long-term impact of the bridge, along with the economic aspects, to ensure that the positive benefits can be maintained over the long term. This means that you should consider the environmental issues and conditions that can arise during its lifespan, construction phase, and maintenance.

Ask yourself if you are doing all you can to limit the effect of stormwater and other runoff? What steps can you take to better manage construction waste? Partner with other companies that may use your leftover products so that nothing goes to waste.

Accelerated Bridge Construction and Bridge Kits

An easy way to reduce your environmental impact in bridge construction is with accelerated bridge construction. The installation and construction process of a bridge consumes large amounts of fuel, increases exhaust emissions, incurs traffic delays, and affects pavement performance. Using accelerated bridge kits to quickly build a safe and dependable bridge will significantly cut the environmental footprint of the project. Not to mention, it saves builders time during the installation phase of construction.

Building with an Impact at U.S. Bridge

Here at U.S. Bridge, we believe in building bridges that positively affect the community and that will last decades. That’s why we offer a wide selection of prefabricated bridges specifically designed for your project. We work directly with companies around the world — without middlemen — to engineer, manufacture, and construct steel bridges.

If you would like to know more about our construction process or bridge design feel free to contact us. Also, check out our exclusive bridge scope tool designed to provide a free quote in just five minutes!

Steel Is The Best Galvanized Metal

Naturally, everyone wants to use the best material available when building something that will last for decades. That’s why more people are choosing galvanized steel for construction. Steel is the best galvanized metal for construction, and there are many reasons why.

Galvanized steel has all of the advantages that steel construction already has, plus the added benefit of protection from the galvanization process. Today, we’ll breakdown some of the main reasons to use galvanized steel in bridge construction.

What is Galvanized Metal?

What exactly is a galvanized metal? Galvanization is a process that protects metal by submerging it in molten zinc, thus adding a protective layer. The first benefit of galvanized metal is its known attribute of preventing future corrosion and thus ensuring less future maintenance.

As such, in the long run, businesses and governments are saving money by keeping their steel galvanized and protected. In addition, the galvanization process is environmentally-friendly and resistant to weather conditions. It’s beneficial for long-term durability and versatility.

Repairing worn-out bridges is time-consuming, expensive, and a hassle. However, galvanizing metal before installing the bridge helps to avoid this issue, especially if the metal is steel.

The Best Galvanized Metal for Construction is Steel

Any metal can be used for galvanization, though iron and steel are the most common. However, for construction, the best material is steel. Galvanized steel construction comes with all the natural benefits of steel, plus the added advantages of a galvanized material.

Steel is an effective material used frequently in construction due to its affordability, durability, and sustainability.

Affordability: Steel provides builders some expense cuts for their project budget. Its lightweight nature means less use of heavyweight equipment and lifts. Additionally, builders save money on maintenance and repair due to steel’s long life span and durability.

Durability: Although steel isn’t as heavy as other materials, such as concrete, it by no means diminishes its strength. Lightweight steel proves time and time again that it can handle a multitude of weight. That’s why it is often used in construction for railroads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

Sustainability: Steel is one of the most recyclable materials in the world. Very often the materials used for steel construction will come from recycled steel. However, this does not make it any less durable. Recycled steel’s strength and resilience is equivalent to new steel products.

Rely on the Experts in Bridge Construction

In our decades of experience, we’ve built bridges in over 50 countries around the world. We design bridges with the highest quality steel, custom-built to fit your needs.

Not only are we leaders in bridge design, engineering, and manufacturing, but we also are on-site at every bridge construction to oversee the process. No middlemen, just long-lasting steel bridges.

U.S. Bridge’s team of dedicated experts ensures bridges are made to fit your custom needs and is engineered to last for decades. Contact us today or try out our exclusive bridge scope tool for a quick proposal!