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Sanford High, Bridge Welding Pioneer, Inducted into Transportation Development Hall of Fame

Sanford H. High (1907-1983) has been posthumously recognized by the American Road and Transportation Builders (ARTBA) Foundation with an induction into the organization’s Transportation Development Hall of Fame. He was the founder of High Welding Company in Lancaster, Pa. (the forerunner to High Steel Structures) and pioneered the concept of welded, rather than riveted, bridges.

ARTBA recognized High for “pioneering the welded bridge concept, saving time and money for cash-strapped highway departments during the Great Depression.” Highway bridges typically had used more expensive riveted construction prior to welding. High convinced skeptical engineers that highway bridges presented a new frontier for welding instead of riveting.

Founded in 1931, High Welding Company grew with regard to the number of workers and job complexity. In the late 1950s automated welding equipment was adopted, revolutionizing heavy girder construction and leading the movement to faster, lower-cost submerged arc welding, which is the predominant process in use at High Steel Structures today. (High Steel is an AISC/NSBA Member, Certified fabricator and Advanced Certified steel erector.)

Established in 2010, the Hall of Fame pays tribute to individuals or families from the public and private sectors who have made extraordinary contributions to U.S. transportation development and have demonstrated exceptional leadership over their lifetimes. High was inducted in the Innovators category. The posthumous honor was one of three bestowed at the ARTBA annual meeting. View a video describing the award. 


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