Galvanized Rebar In Action: Three Amazing Examples that Earned Worldwide Attention
Earlier in this series we explained what galvanized rebar is, how it became the preferred choice for construction and infrastructure projects, and why it is a wise investment. In this third and final post, we want to show galvanized rebar in action! These three examples prove the strength and reliability of galvanized materials and how they can meet the challenges of any project.
Galvanized Rebar Spans the Bermuda
One of the first projects to use hot-dip galvanized steel exclusively was the Longbird Bridge in Bermuda. The bridge was built to cross a U.S. Naval harbor in 1953. The environment was a tricky one, classified as a marine environment due to the high chloride levels known for corroding steel at a rapid rate. They wanted to build a bridge that would resist corrosion without constant repairs and maintenance. To achieve this, galvanized steel was used to reinforce the section of bridge leading up to the bridge deck and the bridge deck itself.
For seven decades, the Longbird Bridge served its purpose. It passed every inspection with impressive measurements. Even after 42 years of supporting heavy traffic in this high-corrosion area, the bridge’s galvanized steel coating maintained like-new thickness. When hurricane damage led to the bridge’s replacement, its remains were sent for final testing and studies. The average thickness of the steel’s coating still measured at 6.0 mils, which is 0.1 mil over the required thickness for coatings on new, galvanized rebar.
One-of-a-Kind Project Transforms a Town
In our second post in this series, we mentioned the Liberty Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina. This bridge was made for a much different purpose than Longbird Bridge. Rather than looking for a solution to combat salinity, the architect wanted to design a bridge that did not obstruct the natural beauty of the park. He wanted to design a way for hundreds of tourists to walk through the natural environment and view the waterfall without marring the surroundings. A bulky structure that needed constant repairs would have ruined the impact of the park.
To achieve this, he requested that galvanized materials be used to build the suspended bridge. The result was both beautiful and impressive. The bridge transformed downtown Greenville and drew both national and international attention. The run-down town was suddenly home to an innovative engineering project. This brought both tourists and business to the city. Fifteen years after the bridge’s construction, it is still admired for its beauty and has become an emblem of the city.
A Small Bridge Makes the Case for Galvanized Rebar
A small town in Iowa had a big problem when the bridge that connected its residents to the highway fell into disrepair. Though the amount of traffic crossing Jesup Bridge seemed inconsequential compared to larger cities, the county’s engineer was aware of the major economic impact the bridge had on the county as a whole. Brian Keierleber, the engineer of Buchanan County where Jesup Bridge was located, decided to use the problem as an opportunity to prove a point.
The fastest way to repair the bridge was to find a solution that would not need federal funds. So Keierleber decided to try a new solution, one he heard about through his position as South Central Vice President of the National Association of County Engineers (NACE). The solution was a technology called eSPAN140, a free website that could create custom suggested solutions for small bridge projects using steel.
The technology needed a test project to prove its effectiveness, so Keierleber volunteered Jesup Bridge. The project became a collaboration between three state universities and was subsidized by grants and donations to fund the accompanying research. The new hot-dip galvanized steel bridge was a huge success!
The new Jesup Bridge was completed under budget in record time. It achieved its purpose as a research project by proving the capabilities of the new technology. But, it also had a big impact on the area. The project and proof of concept created new job opportunities for similar projects to be completed in the area and helped the agricultural farmers of the region remain connected to their customers.
Galvanized Materials Create Permanent Solutions
Galvanized materials are changing the way government authorities and project managers approach new construction plans. Instead of planning ahead for problems, they are able to create more creative structures that will last for decades in their original design. This is also opening new opportunities for areas that were difficult to reach with the old methods.
At South Atlantic Galvanized Steel, we look forward to being part of these solutions! If you need help brainstorming how galvanized materials could revolutionize your project or solve your problem, we would love to brainstorm with you. Contact us today!