It is widely known that America’s transportation infrastructure is in need of improvement. Bridges, in particular, are in desperate need of repair since the average age of bridges in the United States is 40-50 years old. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. spends approximately $13 billion every year just to fix bridges.
ArcelorMittal’s U.S. facilities are doing their part to help rebuild some of the largest and most critical bridges in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the much publicized new NY Bridge (formerly the Tappan Zee Bridge), ArcelorMittal is supplying plate product to rebuild of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, California, and the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The Gerald Desmond Bridge is a through arch bridge. It carries four lanes of Ocean Boulevard from Interstate 710 in Long Beach, California, west across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island. Moffatt and Nichol Engineers designed the bridge and ArcelorMittal predecessor company, Bethlehem Steel, constructed it in 1965. To better meet growing traffic volumes, construction on a new replacement bridge, with a cable-stayed design, began in 2014. With 205-feet of clearance over the water, the new bridge will be high enough to accommodate the newest generation of cargo ships. Three traffic lanes in each direction, plus safety lanes, will better serve the 68,000 vehicles that utilize the bridge each day. ArcelorMittal’s facilities in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and Burns Harbor, Indiana, began supplying material for the bridge project in 2015.
Tom Aceto, account manager, ArcelorMittal plate, stated of the project, “Our facilities are driven to support projects like this. We are replacing a bridge that Bethlehem Steel originally erected. Throughout the years, we are committed to support the nation’s infrastructure. Melted and manufactured in the USA really means something.” The Gerald Desmond Bridge Project is expected to be completed in 2018 at a cost of $1.2 billion
The new, $4.2 billion Champlain Bridge construction project is underway and will replace the existing bridge that opened in 1962. The new bridge will be a stand-alone structure on its own piers, crossing over the St. Lawrence River and connecting the Island of Montreal with the south shore. The two-mile bridge will include a three-corridor design and will also include a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists. It is expected to have a 125-year design life. Champlain is the busiest bridge in Canada, carrying more than 50 million vehicles a year. ArcelorMittal’s Coatesville and Burns Harbor facilities along with its facility in Contrecouer, Quebec, began supplying steel for the project in 2015.
This is a high-profile bridge project in Canada because of the volume it carries and the important link it provides for the city of Montreal. Such large projects, like the Champlain Bridge, require a great deal of coordination and commitment on the part of suppliers, like ArcelorMittal, to get customers their products when they need them. Gary Moffat, account manager, plate products, sales and marketing, ArcelorMittal, stated, “Being able to participate in this project lets the industry know that ArcelorMittal can provide the product, quality level and on-time delivery that is essential to the success of a project of this nature. Infrastructure is a huge part of government spending. Being a major supplier for this type of project shows that ArcelorMittal is recognized as producing a wide range of products.”