Since its introduction in the United States in 1949, precast, prestressed concrete has rapidly become the preferred composite material for bridge design and construction. Today, it remains the solution of choice for transportation agencies and their bridge designers across the country. This growth came, and will continue to come, from the commitment of precasters to develop, improve, and implement advanced materials, products and technology all aimed at enhancing the performance of these bridges and the options available to the designer.
Precast concrete bridges have also been shown to be highly durable and fire resistnat, and they have excellent riding characteristics. Precast concrete bridges can be installed during all seasons and opened to traffic more rapidly that any other permanent type of bridge. The clean, attractive lines of concrete beams help bridge designers meet the most demanding aesthetic requirements.
During fabrication and handling, portions of prestressed concrete beams are subjected to some of the highest stresses they will ever encounter as structural members. So, in a sense, prestressed members are load-tested during fabrication, handling and installation.
Engineers put their professional reputation on the line whenever they specify a structual material. This requires that they work with the most reputable and qualifed sources.
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