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Re: Concrete vs. Steel

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Here in Iowa and Minnesota there does not seen to be a favorite in bridges.
We like to use concrete, especially slabs, when we can due to lower
maintenance.  The last 5 bridges we designed were:
Prestressed concrete, steel, concrete slab, concrete slab and steel.

The decision is usually based on several factors.  The largest factor is
required span and allowable depth.  This is particularly true for grade
separations in congested areas.   Increasing clear zone and overhead
clearances requires longer span with thinner structures.

Steve Jacobsen, P.E.
NNW, Inc.
Iowa City, IA

----- Original Message -----
From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Cc: <jwight(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Friday, October 22, 1999 8:47 AM
Subject: Concrete vs. Steel

> Dear fellow structural engineers:
> I have received a request from one of my professors from school.  He has
> been asked by ACI to look into the issue of the use of concrete vs. steel.
> The question has been raised as to whether strucutural engineers are more
> likely to pick steel over concrete, and if so...why?  I can give a fair
> answer for the Detroit area, but they are also looking for input
> So, I would appreciate it if you have any thoughts on the matter.  If you
> have an opinion, then you can respond either to myself or to the list, and
> then I will forward the information onto my professor.  I would also
> appreciate it if you could specific which area of the country (or world)
> you are from so that we can get an idea of "regional" preferences.
> BTW, there is a little bit of a time restraint...I need to get any
> forwarded by Thursday of next week (10/28) at the latest.
> Thanks much,
> Scott
> ------------------------------------------
> Scott E. Maxwell, PE
> Structural Engineer
> SHG Inc.
> 500 Griswold, Suite 500
> Detroit, MI  48226
> Phone: (313) 442-8253
> Fax:   (313) 442-8297
> Work Email:     smaxwell(--nospam--at)
> Personal Email: smaxwell(--nospam--at)
> ------------------------------------------