America’s Bridges And Roads Are Falling Apart What We Need To Address By 2028
How is it possible to install a bridge in minutes?
It takes a lot of time to learn how to do something quickly. This wisdom transcends industry and skill alike, though the function of a portable bridge one of the most applicable in our everyday lives. The United States is a massive country boasting thousands of bridges and hundreds of millions of trips taken daily. With one out of every nine of these bridges being considered structurally deficient, it’s time to take the initiative and address our shoring and propping equipment. Everyone stands to benefit from a more accessible and functional world. Let’s take a look at how we get there.
The Federal Highway Administration (also known as the FHWA) has revealed the country has a massive repair backlog. Not only are our roads filled with potholes and cracks, many of our bridges are unfit to even walk on. To properly address this over the next decade would take an annual investment of at least $20 billion. As of now? A mere $12 billion is being spent on America’s crumbling, weakened and compromised bridges. This leaves many hundreds being considered unfit for general travel. Without additional pressure (and a little ingenuity), this backlog could be putting people’s lives at risk.
Crafting a temporary bridge is a massive feat, but one that’s been earned through the skill and foresight of skilled engineers. The Occupational Safety And Health Administration (better known as OSHA) has been keeping a close eye on the construction of temporary bridges to ensure both workers and travelers can reap the benefits of safe travel on a time limit. Modern excavation standards in trench boxes include mandatory safe access to all projects. This includes ladders, steps, ramps or any other method that allows employees to move in and out of trenches.
Trench boxes are designed to keep dirt, rocks and equipment from falling into a given space. All excavated soil and additional materials need to be kept at least two feet away from trench edges to reduce the probability of an accident. Tension cracks are also a major risk factor for trench boxes due to their subtle appearance. These usually (but not always) form at a horizontal distance, measured from the top of the vertical face of the trench and onward. If not corrected early a massive accident can uproot the project and waste thousands of dollars.
Soil quality is a complex element that needs to be considered before shoring, benching or digging can fully begin. Unit Weight Of Soils is a term that defines the weight of one unit of a soil type and uses it as a method of measurement for workers to go off of throughout the project. Some soil is grainy and loose, like sand, and doesn’t hold up to heavy equipment. Other soil is wet and slippery, adding an unpredictable element that can make a project more difficult than necessary. Type A soils are sometimes called ‘sandy clay’ or ‘silty clay’, while Type C soils are widely considered unstable.
The simple act of digging for trench boxes can yield unexpected results. Atmospheric hazards are an omnipresent issue that must be contended with through each stage of constructing a temporary footbridge. Low oxygen levels become more prominent the deeper workers go, while hazardous chemicals can be uprooted depending on the environment. Proper working equipment can stave off the worst of the damage, but the best project is a safe project. Temporary road construction and temporary bridge rentals alike turn out best when workers aren’t constantly worried about their safety.
Truss bridges, even now, are a popular bridge design that is being utilized more and more. Using a diagonal mesh of posts, these are able to be built quickly and efficiently as deemed by modern safety standards. A sound supportbridge needs to adhere to OSHA’s standards without failure. Just like a tension crack in your worker’s trenchboxes, a minor error could lead to a major consequence. How are we going to repair America’s 600,000 bridges? With rigorous protocol and modern equipment on our hands…quickly and efficiently.