When weather, constant use and the steady hand of time sees our bridges failing, it falls on us to construct the right railway bridge types. Just like no single tool can handle any job, neither does every form of excavation shoring or portable bridge. With over two hundred million trip taken across the nation’s most used bridges, the clock is ticking ever faster. How can we ensure OSHA regulations are closely followed while remaining flexible enough to tackle just about any problem brought up by our growing bridge deficit backlog?
A quickly assembled bridge is exactly what it says on the tin. A fast and useful way of getting people where they need to go when things take a turn for the worse.
Did You Know?
The United States is home to over 600,000 bridges. A significant portion of these bridges are failing. It’s estimated one out of every nine bridges are structurally deficient and the average age of each bridge is 42 years, if not much more. To properly eliminate the nation’s bridge backlog over the next decade would require a yearly investment of $20 billion. As of now, just $12 billion is being spent. A good quickbridge should be sturdy, completed quickly and easy to remove once more permanent methods are brought into play.
Railway bridge types are as varied as the methods used to create them. Shoring is generally classified into three groups, all of which are defined by their relative position in a giving space. You have Raking or Inclined Shores, Flying or Horizontal Shores and Dead or Vertical Shores. The two types of shoring are timber and aluminum hydraulic. Structural shoring and scaffolding are commonly conflated, but they have key differences that need to be respected if a portable bridge is to be completed efficiently.
A trench can be a boon, and a detriment, depending on the care taken in its creation. This is due to each trench acting as a barrier between worker and earth. OSHA requires safe access and egress to any and all excavations, with ramps and ladders required by law to be located within 25 feet or less. Trench boxes are usually preferred for open areas, but they can be used with sloping and benching to create a heady combination. The bottom vertical height of a trench should not exceed four feet for the first bench, with subsequent benches allowed to be longer.
Digging in the earth can yield a host of problems for the average construction worker. Tension cracks are created from constant pressure, usually forming at a horizontal distance of 0.5 times the depth of the trench. Deep digging can expose workers to reduced oxygen levels and hazardous gases. Even piling dirt needs to be carefully done at least two feet away to keep equipment from slipping into the trench. No matter the railway bridge types, excavation needs to be handled with extreme care.
Creating A Temporary Bridge
There’s a lot of work to be done and only so much time to do it. Railway bridge types, temporary and permanent, have to be balanced out with the necessities of the worker and the preference of the driver. Workers need a safe and accessible environment to ensure minor repairs and major installations go off without a hitch. The Asphalt Pavement Alliance recently did a survey asking how drivers feel about construction projects on their way to school or work. Eight out of 10 respondents said they much prefer excavation, shoring and building to be done during nighttime or ‘off-hours’.
Our bridges and roads get worse by the day. Thankfully, there’s a quickbridge for that.