Orthotropic Steel Bridge

Orthotropic Steel Decks are an effective solution in new bridge design, refurbishment, or entire replacement of a bridge, especially when spanning long distances. With a 25 - 35% reduction in weight (compared to a traditional concrete bridge system), minimal traffic disruptions, and the reduction in life cycle maintenance costs, Orthotropic Steel Decks are a smart investment. Cherubini's Pleasant Street Facility, located on the Atlantic Ocean, makes fabricating and shipping these panels by barge or rail an affordable and flexible solution.

What is an Orthotropic Deck?

  • Steel Orthotropic Deck
  • Developed in Germany in the 1930s, similar to the United States (U.S) Battleship decks.
  • A thin steel plate has a series of longitudinal "ribs" and floor beams, wearing surface.
  • 100% steel superstructure.
  • Can see the same principles on an everyday level with some types of cardboard.

Why is it being used?


  • Prefabricated in a shop, which results in faster construction and higher quality control.
  • Lightweight, which is a critical characteristic of movable bridges.
  • The lighter weight allows the bridge to be more efficient, and also allows for faster operation.
  • Since the bridge is more efficient, it will require less maintenance, which will reduce lifecycle costs.
  • Highly redundant systems; minor cracking is often just a nuisance rather than a serious structural threat.
  • Allows for longer span lengths, which provides a better riding surface than others since it contains fewer connections.
  • Good cold weather constructability, since there is not a temperature requirement for concrete to cure.
  • Corrosion resistance has historically been very good, partially from wearing surface and closed ribs.


  • Higher initial fabrication cost, but offset in the long run with fewer maintenance costs.