SMDI Publishes Third Edition of the Guide Specification for Highway Bridge Fabrication With High Performance Steel

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2011 – The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) has published an update to the Guide Specification for Highway Bridge Fabrication with High Performance Steel, which is available for free download (click here). This third edition of the guide provides bridge owners, designers and fabricators with the latest recommended methodology to fabricate and weld structures using ASTM A709 or AASHTO M270, Grade HPS 70W (HPS 485W) steel. It replaces the previous edition, which was published in 2003.

“This new edition of the Guide Specification is based on continued research with high performance steel (HPS) fabrication and welding practices conducted under a cooperative agreement sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Navy, and SMDI,” Alex Wilson, chairman of SMDI’s Steel Bridge Task Force and manager, customer technical service at ArcelorMittal USA LLC, said. “It includes certain consumables for the flux cored arc welding and gas metal arc welding processes, which were not part of the previous edition. This research advances HPS fabrication and welding practices to the next level, and is highly recommended for all bridge professionals who already work with steel or are interested in learning more about HPS bridges.”

Wilson said that the research was overseen by SMDI’s High Performance Steel Steering Committee and the Welding Advisory Group, made up of nationally recognized experts that include steel plate manufacturers, welding consumable manufacturers, steel bridge fabricators, bridge owners, industry, academia and other experts.                                                                           

High Performance Steel made a rapid entry into the bridge industry. The first HPS 70W bridge was placed in service in December 1997, only three years after the onset of the cooperative research effort. Within the next four years, more than 30 bridges were placed in service that incorporated HPS 70W exclusively in steel plate girders; as part of homogenous, mixed or hybrid plate girders; or in floor systems, deck trusses, and suspension bridges totaling ½ million square feet of deck area. Today, it is estimated that there are more than 400 HPS bridges in service in 44 states.  

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets.  For more news or information, visit

SMDI’s steel bridge program is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute. The investor companies of the Construction Market Council include:

• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• Nucor Corporation
• Severstal North America Inc.
• SSAB Americas
• Steelscape, Inc.
• ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179