Published in 2019
This study documented the construction of the Route 340 Bridge in Waynesboro, Virginia, with maintenance-free corrosion-resistant steel girders, secondary members, and stainless steel fastener assemblies. This included documenting the material properties of ASTM A1010 (hereinafter “A1010”) steel plate; girder and secondary member fabrication; erection of the girders with stainless steel fasteners; and completion of the construction process. The types of materials used to fabricate the girders were compared to traditional materials. Information on the material properties, as well as several other innovative bridge features, was also documented. The cost of girders fabricated of A1010 steel plate in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT’s) first application of the material was compared with that of conventional steel girders that VDOT has previously used in corrosive environments, and possible cost drivers for the A1010 steel plate girders were identified.
The study determined that A1010 steel plate could be bent to form corrosion-resistant secondary members. During the fabrication process, a new supplier of welding electrodes compliant with Buy America regulations was identified. It was also demonstrated that stainless steel fasteners could be used for the splice connections if modifications to the design were adopted. A greater understanding of the rustic patina formation was gained, and possible cost savings were identified, as future A1010 steel plate girders would not require the removal of the mill scale.
Although the weighted unit cost of VDOT’s initial use of A1010 steel plate was greater than historic weighted unit costs of traditional steel girder alternatives, the higher costs of A1010 steel plate girders must be weighed against the expected benefit of minimal maintenance over a long service life in corrosive environments. Moreover, their unit costs at construction may reasonably be expected to decrease if they are widely adopted by VDOT for new or replacement structures or structure repairs in appropriate environments. Therefore, the study recommended that VDOT make revisions to the VDOT Manual of the Structure and Bridge Division that will encourage the use of A1010 (now known as ASTM A709Grade 50CR) steel plate girders. Guidance is provided regarding where in Virginia the use of this type of steel plate girder will benefit VDOT.
William F. Via, Jr., Keith N. Harrop, P.E.
Last updated: November 9, 2023