First Plate Girder Short Span Steel Bridge is Built Using Design From eSPAN140

???????????????????????????????The High Point Lane Bridge in Boone County, Missouri is one of a kind―the first plate girder bridge built utilizing preliminary designs generated from the free, web-based design tool eSPAN140, created specifically for bridges that span less than 140 feet.

The bridge is located just outside of Columbia, Missouri and crosses the Little Bonne Femme Creek. The original bridge was too narrow, had a poor roadway alignment, and no longer served the needs of the residents in a growing part of the county. 

Chris Criswell from Bartlett & West is the Engineer of Record for the project. He had learned of eSPAN140 during a presentation made by Michael Barker, Ph.D., P.E., a member of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance’s (SSSBA) Bridge Technology Center, at a conference hosted by the Transportation Engineers Association of Missouri. Chris input the project parameters into eSPAN140 and received customized, cost-effective preliminary design results in less than five minutes. Based on the ease of design and cost efficiencies outlined in his Steel Solutions file―as well as additional efficiencies realized with short span steel bridges through their ease of installation, use of local crews, and light weight―he decided that steel provided the most cost-effective material option for the project.

The project called for a two-lane bridge with a length of 102 feet, a web 44 inches deep, and an overall girder height of 46-1/4 inches using weathering steel plate. Weathering steel was chosen due to the cost efficiencies it provides and for its ability to blend in with natural surroundings.

The bridge was fabricated and installed by DeLong’s Inc., a Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance member and one of the manufacturers whose steel solutions are included in eSPAN140. Ryan Wisch, project manager for DeLong’s Inc. in Jefferson City, Missouri (who worked on the Boone County project), explained: “eSPAN140 can save so much time because it provides standard designs and details, which help to expedite the overall design of the structure to ultimately reduce the overall project delivery time. From the designs generated in eSPAN140, we were able to provide a price estimate for the cost of the superstructure of the High Point Lane Bridge in less than 24 hours. Plate girders provided the most cost-effective option for this project, which is typical for bridges of more than 100 feet.”

eSPAN140 also includes customized design details such as elastomeric bearings, bearing stiffeners, intermediate and end diaphragms and connections, and modular bridge and coating systems. All are available from SSSBA member companies, whose contact information is included in each eSPAN140 Steel Solutions file. Complimentary technical support is available from experts at the Bridge Technology Center, whose members can be contacted here.

Boone County Engineer Derin Campbell and Bartlett & West’s Chris Criswell made the right choice. Criswell notes that eSPAN140 is a great tool, which he highly recommends for preliminary design and cost estimating. High Point Lane Bridge was constructed in the spring of 2013 and now handles more than 600 cars daily. While Boone County residents are enjoying their new weathering steel bridge, DeLong’s is in the process of constructing another plate girder bridge that utilized the preliminary designs from eSPAN140 for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

To learn more about eSPAN140 and to try out your own short span steel bridge design, click here.

For information on the recently completed eSPAN140 demonstration bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa, click here.

About Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder is director of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA), where he works with SSSBA members to educate, inform and promote the many advantages of using steel for short span bridges including cost-effectiveness, time-saving bridge designs and life cycle analysis advantages. He is a digital marketing enthusiast, appreciating both the creative side of the process as well as the science behind it, and provides regular updates via his Pull Marketer blog at Dan can be contacted at
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1 Response to First Plate Girder Short Span Steel Bridge is Built Using Design From eSPAN140

  1. Felicia says:

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

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