Washington, D.C. — The residents of Buchanan County, Iowa have a new, durable and cost-effective steel buried bridge in place to handle traffic from their cars, trucks and heavy farm equipment. The new 200th Street Bridge replaces the original wooden structure built in 1956 and is the subject of a five-minute video produced for the National Corrugated Steel Pipe Association (NCSPA), Big R Bridge, and the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA).
The 200th Street Bridge was constructed by a local four-man crew using their own equipment with no prior experience constructing steel buried bridges. Buchanan County Engineer Brian Keierleber, P.E. cited the use of a local crew and ease in construction as primary reasons for his selection of this type of bridge design.
Produced by Hawk City Productions, the video includes interviews with Brian Keierleber; Joel Hahm, P.E., senior engineer from Big R Bridge; and Eric Zieser from Zieser Construction, the contractor. It includes discussion on the overall benefits of this type of bridge system, as well as technical details on why it was selected for this particular project. Steel buried bridges offer a viable and economical alternative for federal, state, regional and local Departments of Transportation.
“We partnered on this project to get the word out on the many advantages of steel buried bridges, which can serve as an alternative design option in almost all cases where a traditional bridge is used, especially in the 25-foot to 80-foot span range,” said Mike McGough, Director of Technical Services at NCSPA.
Joel Hahm, P.E., from Big R Bridge commented on the long-term performance benefits of steel buried bridges: “This bridge design is capable of supporting very heavy loads, such as farming and mining equipment and rail loading. The resilient buried bridge system is able to do this through the proven benefits of soil-structure interaction, where the backfill and structure work together to support the load.”
Rich Tavoletti, director of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance, said that the video also introduces eSPAN140, a free-to-use, web-based short span steel bridge design tool developed by the SSSBA and its partners. eSPAN140 delivers customized preliminary design solutions for rolled beam, plate girder and steel buried bridges based on only three inputs from the user. The design tool also includes the names of contacts that can design and build the bridge and provides access to complimentary design support during the project. Users can access eSPAN140 at www.espan140.com.