Muskingum County’s Short Span Steel Bridge Solution – Quicker, More Cost-Effective and Constructed in 30 Days!

When the Muskingum County (Ohio) Engineers Office (MCEO) Boggs Road Bridge - Muskingum County OH - June 2014needed to replace the structurally deficient Boggs Road Bridge near Zanesville, a detailed engineering analysis was conducted to compare the cost of replacing the existing bridge with steel or concrete.

The original 33-foot bridge built in the 1950s was showing signs of deterioration, and weight limits had been imposed. Muskingum County Engineer Douglas R. Davis, P.E., P.S., compared the cost of five galvanized steel beams with the cost of six concrete box beams which were needed to replace the bridge superstructure. His engineering analysis found that:

  • He could save $10,000 by choosing the five galvanized steel beams for the superstructure.
  • He could use his local crew to do the work since they would not need a crane to set the 1.5-ton steel beams, saving significant costs on materials and equipment rental.
  • He was able to secure a 35-year warranty on the galvanized coating system and the ability to rehabilitate the steel in the future.

Additional costs were attained by designing the 24-foot wide steel beam structure in-house. The new Boggs Road Bridge was constructed of five beam lines, five-feet on center covered with a nine-inch-thick cast-in-place composite concrete reinforced deck with no skew, placed on new concrete abutments with spread footings.

The superstructure was fabricated by U.S. Bridge in Cambridge, Ohio and hot-dip galvanized prior to delivery. MCEO crews began the removal and replacement of the bridge on May 20, 2014, and the new bridge reopened to traffic just one month later. Click here for details on the construction process.

MCEO likes steel, and approximately 60 percent of the county’s 415 bridges are steel. The inventory includes 42 steel truss bridges (one built in 1913), three steel girders, 186 steel beam bridges and 19 steel culverts (buried soil steel structures).

Why choose steel? Because steel is:

  • Strong and economical for the county’s typical span lengths.
  • Easy to fabricate and construct.
  • Easy to install, with a strength-to-weight ratio that allows most structures to be erected without the use of a crane.
  • Easy to maintain and repair, which promotes structure longevity.
  • Recyclable and reusable, allowing steel structures to be reused or repurposed in other locations, saving tens of thousands of dollars.

A new web-based design tool, eSPAN140, allows users to receive preliminary customized short span steel bridge designs in three easy steps and at no cost, with results in less than five minutes.

Do you have a creative short span steel bridge solution? Click here to tell us about it.

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
This entry was posted in Accelerated Bridge Design and Construction, Bridge Design Economics, County Bridges, eSPAN140, Installation, Material Recycling, Plate Girder, short span bridge design tools, Short Span Bridges, Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance, Steel Bridges, Superstructure, Sustainability. Bookmark the permalink.

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