Weathering Steel: Industry's Stepchild

by Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 10, Pg. 42-42

Document Type: Feature article


Improper location and poor detailing are two reasons why some weathering steel bridges are not living up to their early promise. That was the consensus reached during a July 1988 forum convened by the Federal Highway Department, which intends to publish new guidelines for use of ASTM A588 in unpainted bridges. The steel has been used in more than 2,000 bridges in less than 30 years. Under proper conditions that include regular wet/dry cycles, the steel rusts to a hard patina that prevents further corrosion. Both positive and negative experiences with A588 were presented at the forum, as various state and private (turnpike) agencies compared design details and construction practices.

Subject Headings: Steel bridges | Weathering | Steel | Industries | Highway bridges | Corrosion | Bridge design | Federal government

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