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New Iowa Bridge Designed with Online Steel Bridge Tool
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM.

A newly built short-span steel bridge on V-65 south of Jesup, Iowa, was designed with a new software program called eSPAN140, an interactive web-based design tool for short-span steel bridges up to 140 ft. Developed by the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA), this free tool provides an all-in-one resource for steel fabrication and erection details including rolled beam, plate girder, corrugated steel pipe and structural plate.


The first-of-its-kind demonstration bridge replaces a 22-ft-wide bridge that was built in 1947 and had a sufficiency rating of less than 50, making it a prime candidate for replacement on one of the busiest roads in Buchanan County, Iowa. The new bridge is 40 ft wide with galvanized steel rolled-beams and galvanized rebar. Construction began in late August and was completed this week.


A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held for government and transportation officials at the bridge today from noon to 2 p.m.


U.S. Bridge (an AISC and NSBA member) donated the fabrication of the steel beams and shear studs, as well as the steel material and fabrication of the steel bridge railing. They also donated the modeling and steel detailing of the beams and railing assemblies. Nucor-Yamato Steel (an AISC member) donated the rolled beams and girders for the project and its fastener division donated fasteners for the superstructure. Skyline Steel (also an AISC member) provided the H-piles for the Integral Abutment system and St. Louis Screw and Bolt (an AISC and NSBA member) donated the shear studs. AZZ Galvanizing (an AISC member) donated hot-dip galvanizing services for the project and Big R Bridge (an AISC and NSBA member) provided the project plan review.


espan140-demonstration-bridge-webcam-image.jpgThe demonstration bridge project is a joint effort with West Virginia University, the University of Wyoming and Iowa State University.


To view a history of the progress of the bridge, including its fabrication, delivery and installation, visit the SSSBA blog or see the live, onsite Webcam, which also provides a time-lapse video of the project.


The eSPAN140 software program is available at and requires just three steps:


1.    Users create a free account (this allows the user to save, share and edit all of the input designs for future use).
2.    Users input information about a specific project, including span length, number of striped traffic lanes, skew angle and design speed, among other requirements.
3.    eSPAN140 then provides a customized “Solutions Book” PDF based on the specific input provided.


The Solutions Book includes standard designs and details, plate girder and rolled beam recommendations, culvert and structural plate options, customized prefabricated manufacturer steel solutions, durability solutions, a listing of key industry contacts and complimentary design support via the Bridge Technology Center. It also includes design details such as elastomeric bearings, bearing stiffeners, intermediate and end diaphragms and connections and modular bridge and coating systems provided by SSSBA member companies.


For additional information on eSPAN140 and SSSBA, visit

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