Armed with new Hamilton Form Co. iron, CDS Manufacturing Inc. recently added Florida I-Beam (FIB) fabrication to its Quincy, Fla., headquarters plant. The new profile holds significant potential to streamline bridge plans based on existing girders, especially with Florida Department of Transportation’s anticipated advent of 10,000-psi, compressive-strength mixes in day-to-day prestressed production.
FIB performance is underscored by its capacity for up to 72, 0.6-in.-diameter strand in the bottom flange, the industry’s highest such concentration and a key factor in the girder’s rapid replacement of AASHTO and Bulb-T designs long a part of FDOT specifications. The strand concentration enables FIB girders to run in longer spans and shallower depths than legacy prestressed concrete girders. Certain conditions will allow engineers to design a bridge around a smaller quantity of FIB members than what the same structure would command if AASHTO or bulb tee girders were the only options.
The FDOT Structures Design Office developed the new girder with Florida Prestressed Concrete Association and University of Nebraska Professor Dr. Maher Tadros. Structures Design staff cites delivery of 300 FIBs in 12 projects since the profile’s early-2010 debut on the SR-826 Palmetto Expressway in Miami-Dade County. In addition to prospective span and superstructure depth attributes, FIB members shipped thus far have proven more stable during transportation and construction when measured against legacy-girder handling. The new profile’s wider bottom flange and lower center of gravity equates to higher roll-over resistance and increased job site safety. — Information provided by Richard Stepp and Sam Fallaha of FDOT Structures Design Office