A modular steel bridge is designed to carry the weight of vehicles. Strong and lightweight, these bridges allow you to bridge a road over a stream, railroad, or gulch inexpensively and easily. Modular steel bridges are designed to carry standard highway loads and they can be single or multiple lanes.


Modular steel bridges are designed to be simple. They usually consist of a simply supported structural system in which the bridge is only supported by a pier or abutment at each end. These types of bridges are found all over, in a variety of applications. 


Modular steel bridges can be permanent or temporary. Some municipalities will use a temporary modular steel bridge for a road detour, for example. A modular steel bridge can also be a permanent road bridge for an urban or rural area. A modular steel bridge can be utilitarian, or it can be designed in a way that it becomes an icon of your community. Options with modular steel bridges include sidewalks and utility corridors, as well as more architectural details like truss panels.

What are the applications for modular steel bridges?

Modular steel bridges are most often used for roadways. They are robust enough to handle heavy vehicular loads, and, due to prefabrication, they are economical enough and easy enough to install without causing major disruption to a transportation network or a construction site in the case of temporary modular prefabricated bridges. 


A modular steel bridge should be easy and quick to install. Part of what makes this possible is to prefabricate the modular steel bridge. Prefabricated modular steel bridges usually include some combination of structural elements and decks. These pieces are joined together in an offsite manufacturing facility to form either the entire bridge or pieces of the bridge that will require only minimal assembly once at the job site.  


The modular steel bridge type is associated with temporary bridge solutions, and when people have concerns about modular steel bridges, such concerns usually revolve around permanence and quality of construction. However, because modular steel bridges are prefabricated, they are well suited for permanent applications. In typical vehicular bridge construction, the structure is assembled on site. This results in welding in less than ideal conditions which can lead to extra time, schedule delays, and lesser-quality construction. With prefabrication, the welding is done in a shop under favorable conditions. Assembling and welding the modular steel bridge in a facility reduces the risk of any negative environmental impacts on the quality of the welding. 


If the modular steel bridge is short, than the entire structure can be welded in the manufacturing facility and transported to the site. If it is longer, then the modular steel bridge will be fabricated and assembled off site and arrive at the location in several pieces. A good installation team can install a modular steel bridge in under a few hours, reducing road closure times.

What do I need to know to have my modular steel bridge designed and built?

Due to the ease of assembly and the efficiency with which they can be built, prefabricated modular steel bridges make sense in a variety of applications. Types of construction for modular steel bridges can include having multiple beams side by side with a deck spanning the beams, or it can be as simple as a main beam on either side supporting a deck in between them. 


Modular steel bridges are often only used for relatively short distances because the only support they have is the piers. The further apart these piers are, the weaker the modular steel bridge becomes. For these reasons, modular steel bridges rarely span more than 80 feet between two piers. Lengths greater than 80 feet will have a field-bolted longitudinal splice. You can still use these modular steel bridges to cross long distances, however they will have to be broken up every so often with a support pier. Custom lengths and widths for modular steel bridges can be easily accommodated. Modular sections are usually about 8 feet wide for shipping on standard trailers. 


Using prefabricated construction does not mean that the modular steel bridge has to use premade sections of a certain length. Each modular steel bridge is designed and customized for the site. Pre-topped girder sections can be designed to be permanently installed and are specifically designed for the required span. 


Prefabrication simply means that the modular steel bridge is fabricated off site either in whole or in parts, and shipped to the site. This method allows for a rapid construction time due to the lack of field welding in lieu of bold-connections on site. Modular steel bridges can often be installed in just a few hours. Bridge Brothers will work with local crews and on-hand equipment which will save you time and money.

How can Bridge Brothers help me with my modular steel bridge?

More than a quarter of all bridges throughout the USA have been deemed as functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. Bridge Brothers products are on the leading edge of bridge design, and we are dedicated to helping your municipality replace bridge infrastructure as the need arises. Our prefabricated modular steel bridges have several advantages, including low cost, high quality fabrication, and quick and low-impact installation. Bridge Brothers has the knowledge and experience to help you replace roadway bridges in your community. 


Bridge Brothers has designed, manufactured, and installed a variety of modular steel bridges both large and small. Bridge Brothers knows you need this bridge delivered fast, therefore our company has processes in place move your modular steel bridge through the design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation phases. Bridge Brothers offers turn-key prefabricated modular steel bridges that will last. 


Because modular steel bridges are often installed in construction zones, over active roadways, or in areas with complicated site conditions, installation can be tricky. Bridge Brothers has experience in modular steel bridge installation. We will prepare the site conditions for the bridge, design the modular steel bridge structure so that it is light weight and easy to assemble on site, and then install it. If the modular steel bridge is located over an existing roadway, we will work around the state Department of Transportation constraints and timetables. 


There are a large number of variables involved in designing modular steel bridges for new or existing sites. Bridge Brothers has experience with designing, engineering and installing modular steel bridges in a variety of locations. We can help you make the decision on what modular steel bridge configuration will work best for your site based on cost, style and environmental compatibility.

Modular steel bridge sketch