West Virginia Utilizes New Technology to Build Innovative, Cost-Effective Short Span Steel Bridge
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) is working with the West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) to construct a press-brake-formed steel tub girder bridge, the first one in the state to demonstrate this innovative technology.
Girder erection for the 58-foot span Fourteen Mile Bridge in Lincoln County (District 2) near East Lynn is scheduled to begin on August 20, 2019. The contractor is ORDERS Construction Company based in Saint Albans, WV. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2019. A second press-brake-formed steel tub girder (PBTG) bridge is expected to be constructed in District 4 (on US 250 over Flat Run near Mannington, WV) in 2020.
The press-brake-formed tub girder system consists of galvanized shallow trapezoidal boxes fabricated from cold-bent structural steel plate. A concrete deck is precast on the girder, making it a modular unit that can be transported by truck to the project site. The PBTG system is ideal for spans up to 60 feet. It saves time and costs for bridge owners since it can be installed as a single modular unit usually in one or two days by local crews, will last for an estimated 100 years, and requires minimal maintenance during its lifetime. The expedited installation process ensures the new bridge is opened for service in a timely manner, minimizing disruption to traffic.
The Fourteen Mile Bridge project is being overseen by members of the SSSBA’s Bridge Technology Center which include Karl Barth, Ph.D., the Jack H. Samples Distinguished Professor in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University; and Greg Michaelson, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor in the Weisberg Division of Engineering at Marshall University. Drs. Barth and Michaelson have conducted extensive research on the PBTG system for the past six years including development and design, experimental testing, field evaluations, and feasibility and economic studies.
“The construction of this bridge has special meaning to us as West Virginia residents,” said Barth. “We’ve worked hard over the years to develop, test and implement this PBTG system for short span bridges, which delivers significant time and cost savings for counties and states with a real shortage of funding to meet their many infrastructure needs.”
“We envision the PBTG system as the future of short span steel bridge design,” said Michaelson. “West Virginia is the fifth state in the U.S. to implement this new system along with Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Texas. We commend the WVDOH for recognizing its potential and ORDERS Construction Company for turning our dream into reality.”
The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance provides essential information to bridge owners and designers on the unique benefits, innovative designs, cost competitiveness and performance related to using steel in short span installations up to 140 feet in length. SSSBA partners comprise bridge and buried soil steel structure industry leaders, including manufacturers, fabricators and representatives of related associations and government organizations. For more news or information, visit www.shortspansteelbridges.org or follow us on Twitter @ShortSpanSteel or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ShortSpanSteel.