Fourteen Mile Bridge

The West Virginia Division of Highways announced that it is using a new type of technology to replace a bridge in Lincoln County. The Fourteen Mile Bridge, along County Route 37 near Ranger, is the first bridge in West Virginia to utilize an innovative technology called a press-brake-formed steel tub girder bridge.

Dr. Greg Michaelson, an assistant professor of engineering at Marshall University, has assisted the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) and the West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) in developing West Virginia’s first press-brake-formed steel tub girder bridge. The new bridge consists of five press-brake-formed steel tub girders that span 58 feet from abutment to abutment.

The press-brake-formed tub girder system consists of galvanized shallow trapezoidal boxes fabricated from cold-bent structural steel plate. A concrete deck is precast on the girder, making it a modular unit that can be transported by truck to the project site. The system is ideal for spans up to 60 feet. It saves time and costs for bridge owners since it can be installed as a single modular unit usually in one or two days by local crews, will last for an estimated 100 years, and requires minimal maintenance during its lifetime.

The expedited installation process also helps to minimize disruption to traffic. The 100 year lifespan and minimal maintenance is due in part to the hot-dip galvanized coating used to protect the inside and outside of each structural tub girder. The durability of the galvanized coating allows for the quick installation of each modular piece without concern of touch up, repair or future corrosion.

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