Steel Dynamics, Inc.

Challenge – Year-round rail production
Solution – Hercules Truss Arch Building
Size – 83′ wide x 336′ 8″ long
Application – Covered transfer bed

Steel Dynamics, Inc. is the fifth largest producer of carbon steel products in the United States. Located at their most recently commissioned mill in Columbia City, IN, the Structural and Rail Division is the only facility in the world that can weld rail into 1,600′ lengths. Says Steve Messina, civil engineer on site, “In the last few years, SDI has developed a state-of-the-art facility that stretches nearly 3,100′, which gives us the ability to weld rail to such lengths.” He continues, “This mill also has the capability to produce wide flange beams, H-piling, angles, channels and sheet piling.”

To ensure year-round production of long welded rail, a structure over part of the facility was necessary to protect equipment and rail product from the weather. According to Messina, “The decision was made to construct a fabric structure instead of a metal structure because of the cost savings and expeditious time to construct.” The company chose an 83′ wide by 336’8″ long ClearSpan Hercules Truss Arch Building. “It is installed over the ‘transfer bed’ , ”

Messina explains, “which is where rail is temporarily stored and transferred from the unloading process to the welding process. It keeps out wind and rain, and we expect it to keep out snow as well.”

The quick and easy construction made the ClearSpan structure the ideal solution for SDI. Messina says, “Having a shorter start-to-finish timeline always simplifies construction and seems to make everyone happy. The material that was used was lightweight and easy to put together due to the simple connections, which ultimately made construction much safer.”

For more on Steel Dynamics, Inc. and their ClearSpan structure, contact Steve Messina at