Short Span Steel Bridges are Cost-Effective on Several Levels.
Steel provides an economical choice for the repair or replacement of short span bridges.
- Due to the light weight of steel, cost savings can be significant: smaller abutments, use of local crews, fast installation, lighter equipment – when you add them all up, steel provides significant cost savings.
- Studies show that weathering, galvanized, and other corrosion resistance steels like A709-50CR reduce both initial and life cycle costs.
- Steel can compete and even save costs when compared with nearly identical concrete structures. A side-by-side comparison of steel versus concrete bridge showed a 19 percent savings by using steel in the total cost of the structure.
- Steel bridges also have long lives, decreasing the need for replacement. New press-brake-formed steel bridges have life expectancies of 100 years or more.
- Steel’s high strength permits longer spans, minimizing disruption to underlying habitats. In some cases, this can eliminate the need to undertake costly environmental impact studies.
- Steel is highly resistant to extreme natural disasters such as earthquakes. An example is the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake, which destroyed the surrounding transportation infrastructure but left 96% of the existing steel bridges completely undamaged, even though they were designed using 1940s technology.
- Steel is the world’s most recycled material and is infinitely recyclable, so it can be repurposed from one bridge project to another. Ohio’s Muskingum County Engineer’s Office (MCEO) estimates that $51,000 was saved in superstructure costs for replacement of the Green Valley Road Bridge.
- Short span steel bridges can be designed with prefabricated elements which provide a simpler installation and cost savings.
Dr. Michael Barker explains why both steel and concrete should be considered for bridge projects.
County saves over $10,000 using galvanized steel beams over concrete box beams.
A recent life-cycle cost analysis compares steel and concrete short-span bridges.
Dr. Barker developed a database to determine and compare the life cycle costs of steel and concrete girder bridges.
Muskingum County (Ohio) uses press brake tub girder bridge for accelerated bridge project.
Press Brake Formed Tub Girder (PBTG) provides cost-effective option for a County in Iowa.