In 2015, almost 90 billion U.S. dollars was spent by the public sector on highway construction. Highway and road construction in the United States is projected to increase to over 99.4 billion U.S. dollars in the next few years. Clearly, this is a big industry and anything that has this much money flowing into it needs to be handled with care. Whether you’re working on bridges or digging trenches, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing and have the right equipment. For trenches, it is important to have a modular trench shield or trench box. These modular trench shields are typically used in open areas but may also be used along with sloping and benching. If there is sloping toward excavation, the box should extend at least 18 inches above the surrounding area. You want to use some sort of protection, like a modular trench shield, if the trench is more than 5 feet deep. If the trench is more than 20 feet deep, the protective system should be designed or at least approved by a professional engineer. In trenches more than 4 feet deep, be sure to est for atmospheric hazards like low oxygen levels or the presence of hazardous fumes and toxic gases. If you’re working on one of the 600,000 bridges in the U.S., you should know something about the types of bridges you’re working on. For instance, truss bridges are popular bridge designs that use diagonal mesh of posts above the bridge. The most common of these designs are king posts, which consist of two diagonal posts support by a single vertical post in the center, and queen posts, which consist of two diagonal posts and two vertical and horizontal posts that connect two vertical posts at the top. In the nation?s 102 largest cities, over 200 million trips are taken across deficient bridges every day. This is clearly a huge issue and means that workers hired for bridge construction need to be more thorough and educate themselves more on what needs to be done. While it may not seem very significant in the short term, faulty bridges can end up being very costly and inconvenient. Essentially, it is important to know what you’re doing when working construction, especially if it is something that will be used by a lot of people every day. It’s not enough to just do the job, you must also take the time to get the proper supplies and put in the effort needed to do it well.
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