Steel Bridge Group Projects

Recent SBG projects

Weathering steel bridges near the coast - Study on atmospheric corrosivity classifications
The current DMRB (CD 361) limits the use of weathering steel to sites greater than 15 km from the coast unless 12 months of testing is undertaken. The SBG became aware that this was limiting UK Bridge Owners’ options for new bridges within 15 km of the coast as there is usually insufficient time for testing.

The SBG has been gathering information about the condition of existing weathering steel bridges built near the coast in the UK. This information was included in a map that the group prepared. If you have data about existing weathering steel bridges that are within 15km from the coast and are not included in the map, please inform the SBG by completing this brief online survey.

Furthermore, the SBG recently commissioned a study which was undertaken by Arup, to provide an evidenced based approach for the classification/assessment of environments and propose scientifically justified limitations on the use of weathering steel in bridges (or requirements for site specific corrosivity testing) within a certain distance from the coast for the UK. An article with the findings of this study was published in the February issue of the NSC magazine.

Organisation of a workshop on steel bridge construction issues
The SBG organised a consultative workshop on steel bridge construction which was held in May 2017. Aimed primarily at main contractors, it sought to identify the problems they face throughout the lifecycle of steel bridge projects, and investigated what can be done to make steel bridge solutions more competitive, easier to procure and more appealing from a whole life perspective.
The workshop consisted in a series of three group exercises the aim of which were to:
  • Identify the key issues (in relation to steel bridge projects) within each of the project lifecycle stages;
  • Assess the identified issues in terms of their overall 'Impact' on the successful delivery of projects and the 'Ease' of addressing them;
  • Identify the interests of 'decision makers' throughout the whole project lifecycle, and prioritise these according to their relative importance within the decision making process.
The outcomes of this workshop, which are summarised in the downloadable proceedings, have been used to provide direction for SBG's future activities.

Development of SBG guidance for designers in relation to contract specific Appendix 18/1 for the structural steelwork specifications from Highways England and Network Rail
The recently published structural steelwork specifications from Highways England and Network Rail were developed in accordance with EN 1090-2, the European execution standard. For some of the clauses, designers are given a choice between several options or have the possibility to specify additional information - and this must be referenced in a 'contract specific Appendix 18/1'. The SBG has recently released guidance to help designers compile such Appendix 18/1 according to best practice in steel bridge construction, which is mainly taken from the guidance from SCI P382 (SBG's Model Project Specification), updated where necessary. This new Publication is entitled 'Steel Bridge Group: Completion of Appendix 18/1 for use with Specifications for Highway and Railway Steelwork' (SCI P418) and is available from Steelbiz.

Current SBG projects
SBG workstreams initiated for the development of new SBG guidance
The workshop on steel bridge construction organised in May 2017 (see 'recent projects' above) highlighted the need for additional SBG guidance on the following key topics:
  • Collaboration;
  • Design for operation and maintenance;
  • BIM.
As such, the SBG has initiated a series of workstreams in relation to the above topics to identify the gaps in currently available guidance and where SBG guidance could be helpful. Working groups comprising SBG Members have been formed and work in relation to these activities is ongoing.
Online survey currently being conducted as part of the 'Design for Operation & Maintenance' workstream
The workshop held in May 2017 clearly indicated that the whole-life performance of structures requires better consideration at the early stages of the design process in order to consider whole-life costs and minimise the need for expensive maintenance interventions in later life. The SBG therefore initiated a ‘Design for Operation & Maintenance’ workstream in order to identify the main access and maintenance problems on steel bridges and subsequently develop relevant guidance for the future.
As a first step, an online survey (mainly directed to railway, trunk road and local authorities, maintaining agents/contractors, PPP concessionaire with maintenance responsibility as well as other bridge asset owners/maintainers) has been developed to better understand problems encountered with steel bridges, maintenance regimes and design approval procedures for new bridges. You can access a PDF copy of the survey to preview the various questions and in case you would like to circulate it to relevant colleagues. To complete the actual online survey, please contact Eleftherios Aggelopoulos, the SBG Secretary at SCI (see contact details below), who will be able to send you a personalised link that will allow you to complete the online survey in several sessions.
The Steel Bridge Group is very grateful for your time spent answering this ‘Operation & Maintenance’ survey as it will form the basis of the future SBG guidance produced on this important subject.
Raising awareness of existing bridge design guidance
The workshop held in May 2017 also highlighted the need to raise awareness of the Steel Bridge Group and the bridge design guidance it has developed over the years. It has become apparent that in many instances, people are simply not aware of available SBG guidance, and that there is a link between awareness of existing guidance and design competence.
As such, the SBG has undertaken a number of activities for this purpose, including a participation to the Bridges 2018 conference held in March 2018, and to SCI's Steel Construction Day held in November 2018.

SBG Sponsors

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