Photo from SSSBA
Dr. Greg Michaelson (left) and Dr. Karl Barth at the Fourteen-Mile Bridge project site. They will discuss this project at the IBC. Photo from SSSBA.

SSSBA to Host Session on Press Brake Steel Tub Girder System at International Bridge Conference

October 13, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two experts from the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) Bridge Technology Center will host a session on the new press brake steel tub girder (PBTG) technology at the virtual International Bridge Conference. “Session IBS 20-60: Press Brake Formed Tub Girders Prove Successful in Project with Challenging Site Constraints” will be held on October 22, 2020 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm EDT. The session will be conducted by Karl Barth, Ph.D., West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; and Greg Michaelson, Ph.D., P.E., Marshall University, Huntington, WV.


The PBTG system consists of modular galvanized shallow trapezoidal boxes fabricated from cold-bent structural steel plate. A concrete deck may be precast on the girder and the modular unit can be shipped by truck to the bridge site. However, the bridge can be successfully employed using other deck options such as a steel sandwich plate system. The system utilizes standard plate widths and is optimized to achieve maximum structural capacity, with most of the steel in the bottom flange and increased torsional stiffness. It is a closed system and versatile for multiple-deck options.


Dr. Barth and Dr. Michaelson have conducted extensive research on the PBTG system. This session will focus on construction of the Fourteen-Mile Bridge outside of Ranger, West Virginia, a five-girder bridge application and the first PBTG bridge installed in the state. The roadway profile incorporated both skew and super-elevation, demonstrating its efficiency in situations with various challenging site constraints. During the project, the researchers conducted monitoring of the girder fabrication, deck casting and Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) closure pours during key phases of production; developed rating tools suitable for incorporation in various state Department of Transportation rating and inspection applications; and conducted physical testing and subsequent relevant analytical modeling during both erection and live-load.


Short span bridges up to 140 feet comprise the largest category in the U.S. bridge inventory, so they are in the greatest need of repair or replacement. The modular and innovative PBTG system provides cost-effective and time-saving efficiencies to rebuild the nation’s bridge infrastructure. For more information, visit


The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) is a group of bridge and buried soil steel structure industry leaders who have joined together to provide educational information on the design and construction of short span steel bridges in installations up to 140 feet in length. For more news or information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @ShortSpanSteel or Facebook at   


Debbie Bennett
Senior Manager, Construction Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179

Dan Snyder
Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance
Tel: 301.367.6179