Orthotropic Steel Bridge
What is an Orthotropic Deck?
- Steel Orthotropic Deck
- Developed in Germany in the 1930's, similar to United States (U.S) Battleship decks.
- A thin steel plate has a series of longitudinal "ribs" and floor beams, wearing surface.
- 100% steel superstructure.
- Can see same principles on everyday level with some types of cardboard.
Why is it being used?
- Prefabricated in a shop, which results in faster construction and higher quality control.
- Lightweight, which is a critical characteristic for movable bridges.
- A lighter weight allows the bridge to be more efficient, and also allows for faster operation.
- Since the bridge is more efficient, it will require less maintenance, which will reduce lifecycle costs.
- Highly redundant system; minor cracking is often just a nuisance rather than a serious structural threat.
- Allows for longer span lengths, which provides a better riding surface than others since it contains less connections.
- Good cold weather constructability, since there is not a temperature requirement for concrete to cure.
- Corrosion resistance has historically been very good, partially from wearing surface and closed ribs.
- Higher initial fabrication cost, but offset in the long run since less maintenance costs.