How Can I Successfully Deploy Steel Road Plates?
Steel road plates are large sheets of metal used to cover potholes, excavations, trenches, damaged pedestrian walkways, and roads that are under construction in order to provide a temporary surface for traffic to pass over. Steel road plates are commonly at least one inch thick and sometimes feature hardened threaded weld nuts and engineered lifting devices (such as lifting rings) for easy installation. Many plates come with a skid-resistant texture that’s applied to the surface to prevent vehicles from sliding on the steel, especially in wet conditions.
Steel road plates can be installed seamlessly when the appropriate machinery is applied. However, since steel road plates require machinery for installation, the plates are not a short-term fix and are usually deployed for long periods of time. Because of this, it’s important to plan and deploy steel road plates thoughtfully.
• Before installing steel road plates, make sure enough time has been set aside for proper installation and removal of the plates.
• Do not attempt to install steel road plates without the correct use of mechanical lifting equipment.
• Map out the appropriate safety zones for the installation and removal of steel road plates, keeping in mind that plates can swing when they’re in the air during installation.
• Prepare proper bedding material, which will be necessary whether the plates are surface mounted or recessed. Fill gaps and edges accordingly.
• Plates should always resist displacement by traffic, so after the plates are installed, check immediately for displacement by traffic loading.
• Plates should be crossable by all types of travelers, including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Check that the plates do not present a hazard to any type of road user.
• Install a warning sign for pedestrians and road users if the steel road plate creates a ramp.
• It’s important to inspect and maintain plates on a regular basis, so create a daily schedule for plate maintenance. Ensure that plates are always easily accessible in order to do this, and that—should an issue arise—the plates can be fixed wherever they are set.
• Choose the most appropriate plates for the situation and environment.
As with all road projects, consult a structural engineer and conduct full site surveys before beginning construction. A steel road plate’s proper size, thickness and deployment plan will need to be formally assessed by a qualified professional to meet all state and local requirements for bridging an excavation site.
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