ResourceMaterials

Why should I consider a bridge from Rapid-Span?
The design and fabrication of a bridge is handled for you so you save on engineering expense. 

What kinds of projects are prefabricated bridges best suited for?
You may be surprised to know that just about any bridge that can be built by conventional means can also be prefabricated.  We design multi-span bridges with visual appeal.  If it is difficult to get a full size truck and trailer to your job site, we can build your bridge in smaller sections for assembly on location.  If you can imagine a bridge in a given location, the chances are it can be done.

What is "weathering steel?"
Weathering steel is a term sometimes used to refer to steels with "enhanced atmospheric corrosion resistance."  These steels contain certain elements that allow them, when properly exposed to the atmosphere, to form a protective oxide coating.  When used in an acceptable atmosphere, this coating eventually stabilizes and protects the steel from further oxidation or rusting.  The color, texture, and thickness of this protective coating depend on atmospheric conditions at the bridge site.  Weathering steel generally requires no further corrosion protection.

What are the foundation requirements?
Rapid-Span generally does not design or construct abutments.  A local engineer can design your abutment and a local contractor can build it. Preliminary reactions can be generated that will allow the consultant to provide a designed abutment for bidding purposes.

Are prefabricated bridges simple to install?
Yes. Most bridges up to 70 feet in length are delivered in one piece. They are removed from the truck and set on your abutment by a crane. The site naturally plays a significant role in ease of installation.  Single splice bridges can usually be assembled and installed in a day.

Are the bearings part of the bridge?
Rapid-Span usually provides bearing assemblies if requested.

Can the abutments be at differing elevations or must they be equal in elevation?
Equal elevations always simplify design and fabrication.  Bridges with abutment elevation differences are available but camber and deck slopes need to be considered.  Elevation difference on bridges with skewed ends or special bearing conditions can have significant cost impacts.

At what point do we splice the bridge?
Between 70' to 80' depending on the location and site conditions.

How do I know what type of decking surface I should choose for my bridge?
Concrete is the most popular material.  Wood will however, provide a durable surface for the budget minded purchaser.  Steel grating can be supplied for special applications. Each decking choice has cost considerations, performance limitations, and benefits that can be discussed with Rapid-Span support personnel.