Better Roads

February 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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14 February 2014 Better Roads ed would serve his needs perfectly. To design the bridge, Keierleber typed in the specifications for his project – including bridge span length, the number of striped traffic lanes, roadway and width and skew angle – and received a steel bridge de- sign solution in less than five minutes The new, state-of-the-art, galva- nized, short-span, steel 40-foot-wide Jesup Bridge became a demonstra- tion/research bridge project in co- operation with West Virginia Uni- versity, the University of Wyoming and Iowa State University. (For more information about this partnership, visit This cooperative research ef- fort meant that the cost of the new bridge could be subsidized with grants and donations from SSSBA members. The steel, the fabrication and the hot-dip galvanizing corro- sion protection were all donated. The new bridge would end up costing Buchanan County less than $100,000 for installation. The original bridge was demolished on Aug. 20, 2013, and the new, mod- ern, functional bridge was dedicated and opened to traffic on Nov. 11, 2013. With creativity, the problem was solved in a two months. The American Galvanizers Associa- tion and several individual galvanizer members are also involved with county engineering associations and the SSSBA, so they became involved in "100 Year Bridge" discussions and in the education of county engineers about the sustainability, durability and corrosion protection provided by hot-dip galvanizing. The donation of the galvanizing for the Jesup Bridge was an opportunity to demonstrate these attributes and provide a tool for continued research that will benefit taxpayers across the entire United States. "Without a doubt, Buchanan Coun- ty will certainly build more galvanized steel bridges," Keierleber says. Galva- nized steel fits in the 100-year design concept that has been adopted in Bu- chanan County, Iowa. Galvanized steel beams and rebar are key components in this design. "It all goes back to economics," Keierleber adds. "It will dictate every- thing we do. It goes back to cost com- parisons and being worried about cost savings in the long run instead of the short term." Local labor, local jobs Beyond research, this project is an enhancement to the community because it removes a barrier to commerce and mobility for county residents. It also provided jobs and income for local county crews, which essentially handled the en- tire bridge replacement. Typically, contractors are hired for this job, but Keierleber wanted his crews to be intimately familiar with the con- struction of this bridge. To further involve the community and keep When the existing 22-foot concrete Jesup Bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa, had become functionally obsolete with a sufficiency rating less than 50, agency officials from the county's transportation agency found a way to innovatively fund and design this main thoroughfare.

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