Joining the National Focus on America’s Infrastructure Challenges

Tub Girders - WVU Lab 1 - Mar 2014 low res

The press-brake-formed tub girder is a cost-effective new technology for short span steel bridge design. Learn more at a free webinar on May 12 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT.

For one week this month, several prominent organizations representing business, labor and public policy will focus on the United States’ infrastructure challenges. They will host events and activities to “highlight the critical importance of investing in and modernizing America’s infrastructure systems, and the essential role infrastructure plays in our economy.” Infrastructure Week 2015 will be held from May 11-15.

The steel industry is participating with a free webinar on “Innovative, Cost-Effective Options for Short Span Steel Bridge Design” being held Tuesday, May 12 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EDT. In cooperation with the American Iron and Steel Institute and the American Galvanizers Association, the webinar will be conducted by Dr. Greg Michaelson, Professor at the Weisberg Division of Engineering at Marshall University and a member of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance. Continuing education credits are available. Register for the free webinar here.

Dr. Michaelson will discuss a new technology for short span bridges with the potential to deliver significant cost savings for bridge owners and shorter construction times for crews (and thus fewer traffic delays). This press-brake-formed tub girder technology consists of modular galvanized shallow trapezoidal boxes fabricated from cold-bent structural steel plate. Several different options are available for the deck, including precast concrete and sandwich plate systems (SPS). These modular units can then be transported by truck to the bridge site. Read about the research here.

The new system offers several advantages:

  • It’s modular, so it can be quickly transported to the construction site.
  • It can be installed in one or two days.
  • It’s simple to fabricate and install.
  • It can save significant fabrication costs.
  • It requires fewer details.
  • It can be used for both tangent and skewed configurations, as well as simple and continuous spans.
  • It has the potential to cost-effectively replace thousands of short span bridges in need of repair or replacement.
  • It has the potential to open business opportunities for bridge fabricators that want to manufacture the units.

The first two bridge projects utilizing this system will be constructed this year in Iowa and West Virginia. The Amish Sawmill Bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa will be constructed with an FHWA Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) program grant, starting in late summer. Several potential sites are currently being evaluated in West Virginia, with construction anticipated to begin in late summer as well.

During the webinar, Dr. Michaelson will also discuss an innovative new design tool, eSPAN140, which is free, web-based, and delivers customized preliminary short span steel bridge design in three steps and under five minutes. The Jesup South Bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa was the first bridge in the nation to be built from an eSPAN140 design. Read more here.

Join the discussion during Infrastructure Week 2015. Register for the free webinar, and check out the other events being held. For more information on press-brake-formed tub girders and other cost-effective short span steel bridge solutions, please contact Dan Snyder at dsnyder@steel.org.

About Rich Tavoletti

Rich Tavoletti is Director of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance. He is also Director of the Container Market program for the Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, and Executive Director of the Canned Food Alliance. Rich has extensive experience in marketing and communications. He was marketing manager at the Steel Recycling Institute. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He can be reached at rtavoletti@steel.org.
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