Guidelines for Steel Plates used on Bridges

In choosing steel plates for bridging, many factors should be looked into, such as durability, noise level, lengths and widths, slip resistance and composition.

Does your next project include the following?

  • Steel Plate Bridging Guidelines
    • Steel plate bridging on freeways is not allowed
    • Steel plates must extend a minimum of 12” beyond the edges of the trench
    • Steel plates must operate with minimum noise
    • Steel plates should be able to support traffic loads
    • Temporary paving with cold asphalt concrete shall be used to feather the edges of the plates
  • Methods of Installation
    • Method 1
      • For speeds greater than 45mph the pavement should be cold planed to a depth equal to the thickness of the plate and to a width and length equal to the dimensions of the plate.
    • Method 2
      • For speeds less than 45mph the steel plate shall be attached to the roadway by a minimum of 2 dowels pre-drilled into the corners of the plate and drilled 2” into the pavement.
      • Fine grade asphalt should taper the edges of the steel plates
  • Composition
    • All steel plates should be without deformation
    • Inspectors can determine the trueness of steel plates by using a straight edge. They will reject any plate that is not up to standards.
    • Steel plates within the right of way should have a coefficient of friction of 0.35 as determined by California Test Method 342.
    • Based on the test data, a contractor will determine what amount of surface wear is acceptable and when the steel plates should be resurfaced.
    • Surfacing requirements are not necessary for steel plates used in parking strips, shoulders or connecting driveways.

“Encroachment Permit Steel Plate Bridging Utility Provisions.” N.p., Apr. 2002. Web.

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