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The controversy of repairing/replacing Old Bridge - Research Paper Example

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Accordingly, the government has increased its funding towards maintenance of bridges, which would further reduce the deficient number. The high number of deficient bridges in the country informed the strategic plan of the Federal Highway Administration to reduce the number. The controversy of repairing and replacing the ageing bridges in America is analyzed critically, evaluating the supporting reasons for both factions. Bridge System in the United States Average age of US bridges The United States has in excess of 590 000 large highway bridges as well as culverts on its public roads network. The increased building of bridges in the nation was influenced by the Great Depression during the late 1930s. Further construction of bridges was promoted by the establishment of the interstate system in 1960s. According to Das, the standard age of present bridges in the nation is approximated at 37 years. Nevertheless, most of the bridges in America were built in the past 30 years (Das 17). As for Robert, the present bridges in the country were constructed to last for about 50 years. The standard age of the bridges is approximated at 43. ...
Reinforced concrete characterizes more than 90% of the large culverts used in the country. In the absence of culverts, particularly before 1970s, the common materials for constructing bridges were structural steels (Infrastructure Repord Card). In contrast, presently, the widespread material used in construction of bridges in the United States is prestressed concrete. Approximately 40% of all the bridges in America are constructed using structural steel. The rest of the bridges are constructed using various materials, including concrete, prestressed concrete and timber. Additional materials, such as aluminum, wrought iron and masonry also account for the makeup of bridges in America. Steel accounts for the most common materials of the present bridges because during 1970s when these bridges were constructed, steel was the most common material used in constructing bridges. Approximately 60% of bridges in the country are categorized as deficient according to Das (17). The deficient bridges in America are either deficient structurally or outmoded functionally. The bridges are always inspected after every two years and rated. The ratings assigned to the bridges are aggregated into overall condition ratings for super and substructures as well as the deck (Das 18). As of 1996, the deficient bridges in the country were 182 726 out of which 101 518 were deficient structurally, whereas 81 208 were obsolete functionally. Low load rating contributed to increased structural deficiency while narrowness was attributed to functional obsolescence. Presently, 32 920, which represents 25.8% of the 127 736 bridges are deficient. About 9690 of these bridges are structurally ...Show more


The Controversy of Repairing or Replacing Old Bridges Introduction The present bridge construction activities in America is approximated at 7000 new bridges and 2000 bridge reconstructions carried out annually. The total 9000 bridges aforementioned represent only 1.5% of the total number of bridges in the country…
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The controversy of repairing/replacing Old Bridge
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