This according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which states that nearly four in 10 bridges in the United States are 50 years or older and will require roughly $123 billion in aggregate of rehabilitation in the coming years.
Finger joints are an integral part of nearly each of these bridges. These supported steel tooth expansion joints provide support to vehicles as they travel across bridge expansion joint openings, preventing water and harmful materials from contacting the steel support girders and bearings below.
These finger joints require a very specialized process and a great deal of patience due to the length of the jobs in general. Ryerson has proved to have both such qualifications. Perhaps it is why the leading engineering firms engaged in these projects across the country are customers of Ryerson.
We sat down with Terry McGrath, fabrication sales manager, and Matthew Stelzer, inside fabrication sales supervisor, to learn a bit about Ryerson’s custom touch.
"There is an art to cutting these pieces. It is not just a straight-forward burning job; these fingers must be cut at different lengths, at very tight tolerances, and must be interlocked," says Stelzer.
"It’s true that when you first see the prints waterjet is the method that would come to mind; one of the reasons being that this machine would result in little distortion. But in fact (it is) oxyfuel for multiple reasons," says McGrath.
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