Constructing new bridges is a much-needed way to refresh the infrastructure in many cities and states. Although bridges improve the flow of transportation, building a new one often comes with a hefty price tag. Many municipalities simply don’t have overflowing budgets for roadway improvements. However, it may be possible to save money either during or after construction is complete. Here are some money-saving strategies to consider:
1. Speed Up the Construction Process
The longer a bridge remains under construction, the more it costs to complete. Paying for labor adds up quickly, and continually rerouting traffic only angers residents. Consider taking advantage of a formwork system to help speed up the process. This method requires fewer brackets, and a crane can install Hanging Formwork much faster than other systems. A quick, easy-to-understand assembly sequence instantly reduces both erection and dismantling times. Optimizing the construction process means the bridge will be completed right on schedule and at a reduced cost.
2. Construct Multiple Bridges at Once
Buying bridges in bulk is another way to save money. The cost of bridge construction varies from project to project; however, it may be possible to get a discounted rate by ordering multiple bridges in the same contract. It costs less to make components off-site than it does to create a unique design for each bridge on-site. Building bridges of a similar design helped to save Pennsylvania a bundle. PennDOT reported that each bridge would usually cost $2 million to construct and maintain, but building several at once reduced the price to $1.6 million per bridge.
3. Consider a Different Bridge Connection System
Making design changes to the bridge connection is another way to save money during construction. There are many affordable bridge connection options that are both affordable and reliable. For instance, the Montana Department of Transportation discovered that concrete-filled steel tube piles were a cost-effective solution for short and medium-length bridges. A financial assessment determined that the state would save about $50,000 per bridge by switching to these tube piles. Additionally, this type of system has a shorter construction time, requires less maintenance, and has an impressive service life. Not only will the state save money initially, but they can also expect to see even more savings for years to come.
4. Predict Bridge Damage in Advance
States don’t stop spending money on bridges once construction is complete. They must still pay to maintain the structure while it remains in use. Future maintenance and repairs are often-overlooked costs of bridge construction. Anticipating damage before it happens can help save money during the construction process. For instance, oversize and overweight vehicles leave behind a lasting trail of wear and tear on infrastructure. Not only do these large vehicles cause dangerous potholes, but they can ultimately damage the beams, joints, and bearings. Making adjustments to permit fees is one way to recoup money for these damages without costing the state more money.
Put These Cost-Effective Strategies into Action
Bridges make it easier to get around town. New bridges help improve the flow of traffic; however, building new bridges is a pricey undertaking. States must factor in all expenses before beginning construction. Whether you need to design a short pedestrian bridge or a highway bridge over a waterway, it’s possible to cut costs without cutting corners. Implementing a time-saving construction system, buying in bulk, testing out different materials, and planning for the future are just a few strategies states use to save money on bridge construction.