Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) Launches eSPAN140, a Free Interactive Web-Based Steel Bridge Design Tool

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The SSSBA is launching a new web-based design tool that will help bridge designers and engineers to design a short span steel bridge from 20 feet to 140 feet in length.

Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance

Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance

"eSpan140 provides county engineers with all of the information necessary to select a cost-effective steel bridge or culvert customized to their specific project needs."
-- Mark Servi, President-Elect, National Association of County Engineers.

The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) has launched an innovative, interactive web-based design tool to assist bridge professionals in the optimum design of short span steel bridges with spans up to 140 feet. The tool, named eSPAN140, provides bridge owners, designers, and county/consulting/state engineers with a single resource to find customized steel solutions for their projects. It is free of charge to users, and will provide significant time and cost efficiencies as a “one-stop shop” for steel fabrication and erection details.

Short span steel bridges already provide time and cost efficiencies through their ease of installation, use of local crews, and light weight, among other factors. eSPAN140 will yield even greater efficiencies because it provides standard designs and details, which help to expedite the overall design of the structure to ultimately reduce the overall project delivery time. In addition, eSPAN140 provides prefabricated element solutions, available from manufacturers throughout the country. All of these solutions are customized, based on the input of the user for a specified project.

eSPAN140 is available at Users of eSPAN140 will find it easy to use, requiring just three steps:

1)    Users create a free account (this allows the user to save, share, and edit all of the input designs for future use).

2)    Users input information about a specific project, including span length, number of striped traffic lanes, skew angle and design speed, among other requirements.

3)    eSPAN140 then provides a customized “Solutions Book” in PDF file format based on the specific input provided. The Solutions Book includes standard designs and details, plate girder recommendations, rolled beam recommendations, culvert and structural plate options, customized prefabricated manufacturer steel solutions, durability solutions, a listing of key industry contacts, and complimentary design support via the newly developed Steel Bridge Technology Center. It also includes design details such as elastomeric bearings, bearing stiffeners, intermediate and end diaphragms and connections, and modular bridge and coating systems provided by SSSBA member companies.

A short video demonstrating the eSPAN140 process is available at

“eSPAN140 provides county engineers with all of the information necessary to select a cost-effective steel bridge or culvert customized to their specific project needs,” Mark Servi, president-elect, National Association of County Engineers, commented.

“This new tool simplifies the sizes of steel beams and girders needed, eliminating guesswork for the bridge designer,” Dan Snyder, manager of new business development for the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), said. “It was developed by a team of experts from SSSBA, the steel industry, and SMDI who reviewed more than 3,000 potential designs over several years. It is a significant technical advancement for both the steel and bridge industries that is now available to help meet the critical need to improve the nation’s infrastructure.”

Snyder said that after reviewing their eSPAN140 solutions, users can get additional free technical design support from the Steel Bridge Technology Center,

Virginia University. Inquiries can be submitted to the Center at the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance website, The Steel Bridge Technology Center also coordinates half-day workshops on standard short span steel bridge designs for engineers at state Departments of Transportation and local transportation assistance programs, county and state engineer associations, and other interested engineering groups.

The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance offers several design aids on its website, including a catalog of steel bridge solutions, expert testimonies on video covering a variety of topics, case studies, research reports, and Blog, among other tools.

About the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA)
Founded in 2007, the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance is the industry resource for information related to short span steel bridges in North America. The SSSBA’s objective is to provide essential information to bridge owners and designers on the unique benefits, innovative designs, cost competitiveness, and performance related to using steel in short span installations up to 140 feet in length. SSSBA partners comprise bridge and culvert industry leaders, including manufacturers, fabricators and representatives of related associations and government organizations. To learn more, visit or send an email to dsnyder(at)steel(dot)org.


Dianne Newton-Shaw
510-835-7900 x 206

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