How Safe Are the Roads and Bridges in Your Part of the Country?

Trench box shield

Consumers and citizens see only a portion of the construction process that is required to build our roads and our bridges, create our sidewalks and parking structures. And while it may be common to joke about how long many interstate and highway construction projects take, the reality is that much of the process includes planning and structures that the average consumer and citizen does not even realize. From shoring boxes to other kinds of trench shoring equipment, there are many safety measures that are put in place even before a construction project of any kind begins.
And while we often think about the safety of the construction workers who we see working, we are are often concerned with visible steps that we can take to make sure that these workers complete their jobs unharmed. Under the ground and beside the projects, however, shoring boxes, trench shields, and temporary walking bridges provide additional safety measures for workers who find themselves working out in the elements and in what would otherwise be more dangerous working conditions.
Consider these facts and figures about the various types of shoring and how they contribute to the safe completion of all kinds of construction projects across the country:

  • There are 600,000 bridges in the U.S. and some of the latest research indicates that as many as 11% of them are rated as structurally deficient. In fact, the average age of the nation?s 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years.
  • Timber and aluminum hydraulic are the two basic types of shoring used in the road and bridge construction industries.
  • Simple and multiple are the two basic types of benching. Which type is used is determined by the type of soil, as well as the horizontal to vertical ratio of the benched side.
  • 80% of drivers indicated that they preferred if road maintenance was performed during off-peak hours, according to a recent survey conducted by the Asphalt Pavement Alliance. For this reason most road building contractors work at night whenever the project allows.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth?s surface that is created by earth removal. A trench, on the other hand, is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, but that is no wider than 15 feet, or 4.5 meters.
  • 200 million trips are taken daily across deficient bridges in the nation?s 102 largest metropolitan regions, so it should come as no surprise that the condition of these bridges is especially important to the entire nation.

Although you may not always see theme when you are traveling down the highway or across town, the completion and safety of most construction projects require various kinds of shoring boxes and other kinds of protective trenches.

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