Repairing America’s infrastructure is a national challenge, impacting all of us where we live, every day. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, counties are responsible for more than half of the United States’ nearly 67,000 structurally deficient bridges. Most of these are short span structures of 140 feet or less.
To repair or replace them, officials rely on funding from cash-strapped local and state governments (see related SSSBA blog), or from the federal government through the Highway Trust Fund. The U.S. Department of Transportation has warned that this fund will likely encounter a shortfall before the end of FY 2014, and if no new legislation is passed before that deadline, then new and ongoing construction projects slated for 2015 cannot be funded.
Congress needs to act now. In order to draw national attention to this situation, AISI and the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance are joining several organizations—including the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the National Association of Manufacturers, and others—during Infrastructure Week 2014 to: “…explore emerging solutions, innovative approaches, and best practices being developed nationwide to modernize aging infrastructure.” The week of May 12-16 will include daily signature events that “focus on the consequences of (Congress’) inaction and the importance of interconnected infrastructure that provides a safe, secure, and competitive climate for business operations nationwide.”
As part of the Infrastructure Week 2014 events, Dr. Michael Barker from the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance will conduct a free webinar on Economical Design Tools and Cost Analysis of Short Span Steel Bridges on Tuesday, May 13 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EDT. The webinar will be conducted through the American Galvanizer Association’s GalvanizeIt! Webinar series (Register here). CEU, LU and PDH credits are available.
In another national legislative effort, construction employees are encouraged to contact their Congressional representatives through Hardhats for Highways, a national campaign to directly impact funding for the Highway Trust Fund by encouraging Congress to pass multi-year authorization of transportation funding and increase the nation’s infrastructure investment. The website includes general information and ways to participate.
An Immediate Solution. County engineers can save significant costs on designs for steel bridges of 140 feet or less with the free, easy-to-use, web-based design tool eSPAN140. The tool has already generated more than 1,000 preliminary short span steel bridge designs, each customized and delivered to the user via a Steel Solutions PDF document in five minutes or less.
eSPAN140 is quick and efficient. Check out the experiences of Buchanan County (Iowa) Engineer Brian Keierleber, P.E. on the Jesup South demonstration bridge and Boone County (Missouri) Engineer Derin Campbell on the High Point Lane Bridge, the first plate girder short span steel bridge built from an eSPAN140 design.
Act today and make an impact in two ways: 1) Participate in Infrastructure Week 2014 and Hardhats for Highways, and 2) Investigate how steel solutions with eSPAN140 can save you significant time and costs on your upcoming short span bridge projects.