How State DOTs Can Cut the Costs of Short Span Bridge Reconstruction and Repair

According to estimates, around 65,000 U.S. bridges are in dire need of repair. Many of these bridges are short span bridges. Short span bridge projects can end up being quite costly if DOTs aren’t careful, even though these projects are not as major as projects associated with larger bridges. Luckily, there are things state DOTs can do to save some money on short span bridge reconstruction and repair. Here are some solutions:

  • Tackle projects in bulk. Rather than financing short span bridge projects separately, DOTs can cut costs and improve efficiency by financing and planning out multiple projects at the same time. This can help them lower equipment, material, and labor expenses.
  • Consider using steel instead of concrete. Steel is cheaper than concrete, and using it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the bridge. There’s even a handy online tool that helps you simplify the design of your short span steel bridges. Check it out here.
  • Use public-private partnerships (P3s) to your advantage. Determine how you can cut costs with the help of private contractors. Find contractors with the most experience for the price you’re willing to pay. The right, savvy contractor can help you reduce expenses significantly.
  • Consider skipping the bidding process. Already have a private contractor you know will get the job done well for the price you want? Many DOTs are cutting costs and saving time by skipping the “bid” step of the typical design-bid-build (D-B-B) process. Figure out if a design-build (D-B) process is feasible because it can save you some serious money, time, and effort.
  • Purchase used equipment and materials. Why pay more for new equipment and materials when used ones will more than suffice? A lot of used equipment and materials will work just as well as new options for your short span bridge projects.
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