America is a nation on the go. Whether traveling across bridges and highways, moving along train tracks, or flying the friendly skies, we are constantly on the move, and the country allocates billions of dollars to support this transportation infrastructure system.
With a growing population and an increasing focus on sustainable means of transit for both people and goods, mass transit options such as airplanes, commercial and passenger rail, and bus systems all are critical elements of our nation's transportation system.
Travelers begin their journeys at airports, train stations, terminals, parking garages, and concourses. These areas serve as a traveler's gateway to their destination, and delays due to maintenance, structural instability, or corrosion are unacceptable in such time-sensitive transportation hubs. Hot-dip galvanized steel can provide durable corrosion protection that will keep these structures humming at a fast, uninterrupted pace.
Home to the world's most extensive airport system, the United States has an essential role in keeping both national and international air transportation running smoothly. From the airport parking and terminals, to ground support equipment, and the fencing and storage in the airfield itself, corrosion can wreak havoc on the daily functions of a busy airport.
In addition to the busy airport system, the US also is seeing an increased use of intercity passenger and commuter rail service according to the American Society of Civil Engineer's (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card. This growing interest is revealed by passenger studies, which show commuters are increasingly turning toward public transportation such as light rail or bus systems for their travel needs.
Beyond the gates and concourses there are several elements on the tarmac and airfield that are critical to airport functionality, such as the Blast Deflectors at JFK International Airport in New York or the Air Traffic Control Terminal in Memphis, Tennessee. Similarly, while the station is the faceplate and first impression of a commuter rail system, such as the 7th Ave LRT Refurbishment in Calgary, Alberta, it is the line infrastructure that keeps train operations running smoothly and on time. Hot-dip galvanized steel is not only good for the "showpiece" elements like stations, terminals, and concourses, but also for the behind the scenes elements on the line and/or airfield.
It is critical to protect the large investments of mass transit facilities and infrastructure with a sustainable, durable, maintenance-free corrosion protection system that will withstand the effects of rough usage and environmental exposure. Hot-dip galvanized steel can achieve these goals, protecting public transportation stations and railway infrastructure for generations.
Transportation Case Study
NREL Parking Garage- Denver, CO; 2012
When the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, decided on the critical protective coating for the exposed structural and architectural steel for NREL's new $25 million, state-of-the-art solar array-powered parking garage, one need only imagine the path that led to a logical coating decision on this high profile parking structure.
With a 50-year design life, the protection of all of the structural and architectural steel members was paramount, especially due to the incorporation of hollow steel components such as tube columns and pipe guardrail and handrail— all of which are susceptible to internal corrosion. In order to meet the design-life requirement, the protective coating must incorporate internal as well as external protection.