Construction 101 How A Temporary Footbridge Protects People From Failing Bridges

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America’s bridges are on the decline. Many of them are so old they’re unable to hold up to the strain of constant foot traffic, driving and the change in seasons. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped them from being used on a daily basis. The function of a temporary footbridge is to bring the best of both worlds, allowing construction workers the breathing room they need to get a bridge back in working order while letting bystanders get where they need to go.

The list below isn’t comprehensive, but provides some insight into the care that goes into constructing a temporary footbridge.

Closely Follow OSHA Standards

The Occupational Safety And Health Administration is devoted to maintaining and overseeing safe working conditions for all businesses. As of today OSHA defines any excavation as any man-made cut, cavity or depression in the earth’s surface. This is different from a trench, which is a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide. All excavations require a means of being evacuated safely, which can include (but isn’t limited to) ladders, steps or ramps.

Using The Right Shoring Technique

Each temporary footbridge will require its own particular process to accommodate its unique foot traffic, soil type and final model. Shoring comes in three classes, all with their own unique characteristics. You have Raking or Inclined Shoes, Flying Shores and Vertical Shores. Knowing which one to use will make sure the temporary bridge is sturdy enough to withstand however many weeks or months required to repair the previous edition. These are far from the only things to remember, however.

Gauging The Soil Type

Soil type is an entirely unique section for its inherently unstable nature. Soil density can be impacted by temperature or lessened by moisture. Even digging can prove hazardous (which will be explained more in the next section). There are ways to determine soil type and help workers figure out what they’re up against when setting up their equipment. The Unit Weight Of Soils helps figure out how any patch of land will hold up to repeated pressure. Type A soils are known as ‘clay’ or ‘clay loam’, while Type B soils are frequently referred to as ‘angular gravel’.

Protecting From Hazardous Elements

Digging in the earth, as you can clearly see, isn’t as simple as it sounds. There is even more to contend with when excavation has to go much deeper past the earth’s surface. Hazardous fumes can be released once a certain point is reached, making it highly important workers test for atmospheric hazards before continuing with a project. Low oxygen levels are also a concern in trenches that are more than four feet deep. What else needs to be considered when doing an action as seemingly simple as digging?

Always Staying Organized On The Job

No element can be neglected on a project as tenuous as construction. A slight tip of machinery into a trench shield or miscalculated soil type can raise the risk for an accident, putting many lives in danger. All excavated soil (and additional materials, such as loose stones or roots) need to be piled at leas two feet away from trench edges. This will do the dual work of creating an easier work space while preventing the risk of anything heavy falling inside. Our trench shoring equipment are a vital element in repairing the nation’s failing bridges.

Fixing America’s Bridges Over The Coming Years

The United States is home to over 600,000 bridges. When the Federal Highway Administration has estimated a $20 billion yearly investment to properly fix the backlog over the next decade, it’s time to get straight to work. Truss bridges are still very popular designs that use effective diagonal mesh posts to keep bridges in place. A good trench box can be used in open or narrow areas, though it should complete its primary function of keeping excavation as clean a process as possible. Like pieces in a puzzle, every last element completes a larger picture of safe and reliable travel.

With over two hundred million trips taken daily across deficient bridges, the best temporary footbridge will help workers and drivers alike move forward.

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