Bridge Repair and Replacement Services

Wooden, Steel, and Concrete Bridge Repair Services

How will I know when to replace my track?

If you’ve started to notice frequent patches of your bridge falling apart, or if it appears that at least 20 percent of it is missing or dismantled, then it may be time to consider completely replacing your bridge. Cracks that appear in your Railroad Bridge or even small rail fractures may not require as costly or time consuming of expenditure like track rehabilitation. Some examples where this may be the better option includes:

  • Rehabbing or replacing the bridge deck overlays
  • Repairing the first or superficial layer of an existing bridge deck
  • Making the surface of the bridge that connects vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, to the road a continuous pathway

Bridges receive a lot of traffic control, whether it’s bike, cars, pedestrians, etc. Making the decision to rehab your bridge can be difficult due to traffic restrictions and not wanting there to be too much downtime. When you’re trying to decipher if rehabbing or replacing your bridge is the best option to improve it, you should consider all outside elements regarding the bridges structural integrity as well as how many people use your bridge on a daily basis. If the damage to a bridge is so significant that it is beyond repair, it may need to be demolished and replaced. Luckily, Northern Rail Services can handle both of these projects!

Wooden, Steel, and Concrete structures are the three most common used materials in bridge repair and rehabilitation. Just like anything else, each material has its list or pros and cons. Erosion and Corrosion are two main issues seen with any bridge, so it’s important to evaluate the geographical layout of your area that the bridge is located in to determine which bridge material is right for you.

    Wooden Structure Pros
    • The weight and ease of the handling process for timber
    • Can be worked at in all weather conditions
    • Low in cost
    • Easy to obtain
    • Good life expectancy
    • Resistance to “at-tack” de-icing agents
    Wooden Structures Cons
    • Vulnerable to fungal decay, and other natural wood rotting processes
    • Susceptible to damage caused by vandalism
    • Decomposition
    • Mechanical issues and other weather related commodities.
    Steel Structure Pros
    • High strength to weight ratio, which means that it can endure more pressure (heavier truck loads, etc)
    • Steel sections are smaller and more lightweight which makes them easier to maneuver
    • There is really never a shortage because it can be easily fabricated and produced in large quantities
    • Easy to assemble on site
    • Very flexible which means it can be bent, turned or twisted into any shape, size, or format that you would need it to be
    • Durable, can withstand extreme pressures such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, cyclones and even tornados
    • If frequently maintained, steel can last 40-50+ years.
    Steel Structure Cons
    • Steel is a type of iron which means it’s very susceptible to corrosion. This issue can be fixed however with routine maintenance and anti-corrosion applications.
    • Expensive to fix and requires frequent maintenance
    • Steel structures are not fire proof or resistant to extreme heat
    • High expansion/ stretch rate
    Concrete Structure Pros
    • Easily and readily available
    • Can be molded for any shape
    • Can withstand high heat temperatures
    • Concrete holds up well against wind and water
    • Can be manufactured or poured to any level of strength
    • It can be poured on site
    Concrete Structure Cons
    • The tensile strength of concrete is not very high
    • Concrete structures are much more less ductile
    • Much heavier than other materials
    • Some concrete can contain soluble salts which can cause a coating to form over the concrete called efflorescence

    Northern Rail Services provides top of the line construction and repair services for timber, steel, or concrete railroad bridges. We have the ability to create new structures and replace spans of a bridge that need repairs.  These processes involve various specialty skills, including:

    • Concrete services
    • Scour and erosion remediation
    • Bridge protection installation
    • Demolition services

    One of the most critical aspects of repairing a bridge and construction is the ability to minimize track downtime.  Northern Rail Services has years of experience meeting crucial deadlines and delivering high quality results that amplify safety and maximize efficiency.  We have also completed numerous projects both on land and over water, making us a very versatile company that can handle a wide range of projects.

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