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Structural Services Gives Contractors a Lift Up With TBSS

Tue February 26, 2013 - National Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

The construction industry faces daily challenges to offer innovative solutions and reduce costs of operations. In today’s construction environment, companies need to reduce their cost of worksite operations and ensure better efficiency, while providing increased safety and reliability. The need to continually innovate has been the catalyst for Structural Services Inc. to develop a new mobile support tower called the Temporary Bridge Support Structure (TBSS), which is quickly becoming a new improvement in the construction industry.

As 2013 marks the company’s 20th year anniversary, the Bethlehem, Pa., company shows no sign of slowing down with the introduction of TBSS. It believes the product is destined to become the new industry “smart product” since it has it all … cost saving, speed, safety, sustainability, and innovative engineering.

“We’ve developed an exciting product that the construction industry has never seen before,” said Lacey Benzing, president of Structural Services.

She explained that the TBSS is an apparatus that is useful for a multitude of new and existing construction and industrial related applications. The invention is used to support high-weight structures during the construction process.

“There was a need for a low cost, mobile support apparatus that can be quickly set up and raised into position to temporarily support high-weight structures with the flexibility to adapt to various jobsite conditions for both new and rehab construction,” said Jim Benzing, manager of engineering design and product development. “Structural Services is constantly working to adapt to new job site challenges and requirements; it’s the nature of our business. All of these challenges must be evaluated in a competitive environment that is demanding both improved operational performance and continuous profits. The question is how do you meet the demand for higher profit, better quality, and reliability? How do you build trusted relationships with clients and provide them with reliable alternatives in an industry that can be skeptical of new ideas and engineering processes? I think we have the answer with our patented system.” said Benzing.

The invention was a capital-intensive project that evolved out of seeing inefficiencies in the construction industry while trying to meet the challenging needs of customers and projects. Benzing noted that typically, large-scale construction requires the use of expensive and bulky equipment to provide temporary support for structures as they are being constructed or renovated.

“Traditional false work and shoring requires extensive setup time, and using this system can eliminate the use of multiple cranes and/or the use of multiple crane picks,” he said. “This method is helpful on tight job sites where space is at a premium. In addition, the elimination of just one crane can have large economic savings due to the expense of operating, renting, or purchasing this equipment.”

Structural Services has integrated this new technology into a great majority of its new erection and rehab projects over the past few years and the interest has been overwhelming to them.

“This is a very exciting time for our company, and we think we have a great solution to a variety of jacking, propping and erections obstacles in the heavy highway sector, as well as applications in commercial and industrial sectors,” said Benzing.

Structural Services’ clients are very positive and excited about the potential of this Temporary Bridge Support Structure:

Greg Plate, Project Manager, Railroad Construction Inc.

“Railroad Construction Company Inc. is continuously involved in large scale bridge and highway construction projects. We have teamed up with Structural Services Inc. on multiple bridges in order to utilize their expertise and their mobile support systems for bridge applications. Their mobile support towers set up quickly, take up very little room, and are able to support heavy concrete girders with live loads. The adjustable height of these towers also makes them very versatile allowing them to be used to support multiple girders at different elevations. They are ’the’ solution for short term support in applications such as changing bridge bearings.”

Glenn Schwartz, Structure Division Vice President, James J. Anderson Construction Company Inc.

“JJ Anderson finds it very useful to collaborate with Structural Services in many ways because their team brings innovative cost effective erection and engineering solutions on aging infrastructure projects that have very challenging site conditions. The introduction of the mobile jacking tower has enabled JJ Anderson to compress schedules and push jobs to completion faster. This patented jacking tower has saved our company time and money.”

William R. Haller, Professor of Practice, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

“The Temporary Bridge Support Structure [TBSS] provides the bridge repair industry and others with a compact and mobile support system. In many cases the TBSS eliminates the need for expensive and complicated shoring, which is usually required when performing routine infrastructure maintenance. Load testing at Lehigh’s ATLSS laboratory under a Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology [PITA] grant indicated that this design supports compressive loads in excess of one million pounds, making this system useful for a multitude of new and existing construction - related applications.”

For more information, call 484/239-5029 or 610/972-7266.

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