Muskingum County (Ohio) Engineer Doug Davis, P.E., P.S. and his team have found a creative, sustainable way to replace short span bridges while saving taxpayers money. How? They use recycled steel bridge beams.
In a recent project near Zanesville, the team repurposed W33x141 beams salvaged from a previous bridge replacement in the county to replace the Green Valley Road Bridge superstructure. The new bridge is 52 feet long and 20 feet wide with five beam lines, four feet on center.
Why use recycled steel beams? For Davis, it’s a matter of cost. He saved the county $51,000 in superstructure costs by using the repurposed beams. “When the span length, beam size, and hydraulic opening allow, we always consider the use of previously removed beams or beams that are currently in service as part of structures that are scheduled to be replaced,” he says.
The Green Valley Road Bridge is the fifth in his county to be replaced with repurposed steel beams.
Davis finds his steel beams from a local fabricator and an iron recycling/scrap yard. “In our sustainable, fiscally strapped world, we firmly believe that one person’s metal scrap can be repurposed to help modernize our infrastructure,” he says.
Using steel also saves costs because short span steel bridges are light in weight and can typically be constructed with on-hand tools and equipment using local work crews.
Significant costs can also be realized in the design phase. The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance offers a free, web-based tool called eSPAN140 that allows users to design steel bridges of less than 140 feet in fewer than five minutes. Users can access the tool at www.eSPAN140.com and follow three easy steps to receive customized preliminary designs.
Creative, sustainable steel solutions are essential to rebuilding the nation’s short span bridges, and Muskingum County, Ohio is on the cutting edge. For more information on the Green Valley Road Bridge project, click here. For more information on the benefits of steel for short span bridge design and construction, visit www.ShortSpanSteelBridges.org or contact Dan Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.