Better Roads

February 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Better Roads February 2014 13 Load capacity has also been an is- sue throughout time. Nearly 25 years ago, Buchanan County drove H pil- ings through the deck and braced the beams to increase the weight bearing capacity. "In 2013, the bridge was once again rated as obsolete for its intended pur- pose and was in clear need of replace- ment," Keierleber says. "There existed an obvious detrimental impact to the community, and it needed to be ad- dressed." Creative funding for quick action Like any municipal project, funding a new bridge is a major undertaking. Estimated at nearly $250,000, find- ing the money would require some creativity. With a sufficiency rating be- low 50, something needed to be done quickly, and federal funding would take too long. Fortunately for Buchanan County, Keierleber is South Central Vice Presi- dent of the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) and sits on several other industry commit- tees, which exposes him to the latest construction ideas and product devel- opments. It was here he saw an op- portunity to design and help fund an innovative Jesup Bridge. New software, eSPAN140, is a free, web-based, design tool utiliz- ing standard designs and details for short-span steel bridges and/or buried soil structures up to 140 feet long. It creates customized steel-bridge de- sign solutions with results defined in less than five minutes, according to Mike Engestrom, chairman of SSSBA and technical marketing director for Nucor-Yamato Steel. The software was developed by two college professors and brought to market by the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA). Keierleber realized the SSSBA needed to have someone design and build a bridge using the software to showcase its capabilities and benefits. He also recognized the speed with which a galvanized steel bridge could be erect- Buchanan County, Iowa, used a free, web-based software to design the new Jesup Bridge. This software allowed the county to move forward without waiting for federal funding.

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