According to the commonwealth Highway management (FHA), approximately one out of every 4 of the 600,000 bridges in the unified States needs to be rehabilitated, repaired or completely replaced. The level of typical bridge building and construction it will take to remedy this could an outcome in a large increase in website traffic delays, financial costs, construction-related crashes and utility outages across the nation. Sped up bridge construction, or ABC, can be the solution.

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Let’s take it a closer look in ~ the border of standard bridge construction:

Traffic issues: Imagine the influence on website traffic if a quarter of every the bridges in America were repaired or changed over the following several years. It might affect:

Employee productivity, if civilization can’t obtain to job-related on time.Health crises, if it’s impossible for ambulances and rescue squads come navigate the fastest routes to hospitals or emergency care facilities.Emergency situations, if police can’t obtain to the step of a crime quickly or a fire truck can’t do it to a fire.

Economic impact: The FHA reports the the direct and also indirect costs of traffic detours result from the building and construction of a bridge have the right to actually exceed the price of building the leg itself. As soon as traffic lanes are closed in large urban centers or ~ above highways with heavy traffic volume, it have the right to have a significant economic affect on the commercial and industrial companies in the surrounding area.

Accidents and injuries: Construction and also traffic-related injuries space all too regular occurrences top top bridge building sites. Each year, roughly 2,000 fatal crashes take place in occupational zones. Forty-four percent that injuries to bridge construction workers indicate a auto traveling v a job-related zone, and also two-thirds of this injuries room fatal.

Utility outages: v thousands and thousands of miles of cables, pipes and other utility-related framework crossing bridges, prolonged periods that bridge building can affect the dependable delivery of electricity, cable, Internet, water and also other vital utility services. Workers have the right to unintentionally damage utility pipe or cables or be compelled to turn off utilities if an accident wake up on a building site.

The sped up Bridge building (ABC) Solution


For the last 2 decades, the bridge building and construction industry has been trying out a systems that helps protect against or minimize the an unfavorable consequences linked with building bridges. That systems is well-known as increased Bridge Construction, or ABC. V the state of the nation’s bridge infrastructure coming to be a crucial issue, this technique could, and also should, be offered on an ext bridge building projects.

ABC is a means of building bridges the uses brand-new forms the planning, procurement, design, materials, utility installation and construction approaches that are more secure and much more cost-effective. ABC significantly lowers the lot of time it takes come build brand-new bridges and replace or rehabilitate present ones.

This approach is an altering how state departments of transportation throughout America build, replace and also repair bridges. According to the FHA, states have the right to now change bridges in as little as 48 come 72 hours and also reduce the combined time the takes come plan and construct a bridge by years.

Watch a leg being built using ABC: This remarkable time lapse video shows the building of the Keg Creek leg in Iowa making use of ABC techniques. That took much less than 2 weeks. The leg was nominated for an America’s transport Award.

The accelerated timing the ABC jobs cuts under on the traffic delays and also road closures the significantly affect the top quality of life in bridge construction zones. That reduces the local economic influence as well and lowers the likelihood the construction-related injuries and also fatalities. Quicker construction times to decrease the chance that local utility services could be interrupted.

In addition, bridges developed or repaired using increased bridge construction generally have actually much reduced project costs. And according to the FHA, the innovative abc planning and also construction methods, designs and materials produce safer, more durable bridges v longer service lives than conventionally built ones.

Case study

The situation:

On average, 166,000 vehicles travel over the leg every day.A large hospital and also two colleges are surrounding to it.The present bridge needed to be changed with a much longer and wider one, and also the existing outdated cloverleaf interchange had to it is in modified right into a chop diamond one.The project offered prefabricated bridge materials to rate up the building and construction timeline.

The results:

On-site installation of each half of the brand-new bridge took just a couple of nights end a two-week period.The entire project to be completed in 14 months, consisting of a three-month winter shutdown. It would have taken 3 to 4 years using traditional methods.Throughout the project, six lanes of traffic stayed open during rush hour, with limited lane closures throughout off-peak hours.The bridge must last 75-100 years due to the fact that of the quality of that is prefabricated components.

Three fundamental ABC Techniques

Three ABC-related technologies in details are making a large impact top top improving exactly how bridges space built:

Prefabricated bridge Elements and also Systems (PBES)Slide-In bridge Construction

Did friend know? According to the FHA, post-construction surveys that residents and businesses located near alphabet bridge building projects show high levels of customer satisfaction.


# 1 -Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge device (GRS-IBS)

This construction technique combines carefully spaced geosynthetic reinforcement and also granular soils right into a brand-new composite material. It’s supplied to develop abutments and also approach embankments. This an approach makes it much less likely that they will settle and create a bump at the end of the bridge. Making use of GRS-IBS, it’s less complicated to build and maintain bridges. Depending on the project, this construction method is 25 come 60 percent more cost-effective 보다 conventional building methods.

#2 – Prefabricated bridge Elements and Systems (PBES)

PBES are structural components of a bridge that are built off-site or surrounding to the construction site. By building these components ahead the time, the can considerably reduce on-site bridge construction time compared to conventional building and construction methods. Utility companies and engineers can arrangement ahead and have piping, cables, fasteners and other materials ready in advance and install them quickly and effectively on-site. Prefabricated bridge facets built in controlled factory environments are usually greater quality 보다 those built exposed to weather on-site.

#3 -Slide-In Bridge building and construction (SIBC)

Slide-In Bridge construction often uses prefabricated leg elements and also systems. They’re offered to construct a brand-new bridge on short-lived supports next to an existing bridge that’s being replaced. Once building and construction of the new bridge is complete, the road is closed and also the old bridge is demolished or slide out the the way. Then the new bridge is moved into place, tied in to the approaches, and paved within 48 to 72 hours. One of the last steps in the construction process is come tie with each other the energy components developed into the brand-new bridge with the existing local utility infrastructure. This can be the fastest and also most cost-effective means to change an currently bridge.

When combination with suitable quality assurance, safety, job management and also construction engineering practices, the complying with table perform the benefits of each abc technology:





SaferMore building and construction can be excellent away from traffic. When interruptions can’t be avoided, the much shorter construction time provides it much easier to do work-related at non-peak driving times, such together nights or weekends.
Lower costThe efficiencies associated with building bridges using ABC minimize construction-related costs overall.
Reduces transportation delaysReduced building time cuts under on the length of roadway closures.
Shortens on-site building and construction timeTemperatures, humidity, rain, and also wind can delay conventional on-site construction. Developing an ext elements off-site deserve to reduce the influence of harsh weather.
Reduces eco-friendly impactOff-site production and shortened building and construction times deserve to lessen the environmental influence of construction. Abc may also be an effective solution because that environmentally sensitive issues, such as fish spawning season.
Improved qualityConstruction in climate-controlled setups reduces exposure to excessive weather conditions, i beg your pardon can impact the quality of leg elements.
Easier to build Better to plan and much more efficient processes offered by ABC mitigate complexities and aid prevent unexpected construction issues.
Eliminates “bump in ~ the bridge”Geosynthetic combine eliminates this common bridge-construction issue.
Easier come make transforms on-siteIt’s less complicated to make alters to bridge materials in a controlled environment off-site 보다 a busy construction site.
Reduces possibility of energy interruptionsBetter project management and design, coupled with much shorter construction times, can reduce the possibility of occurrences that might lead to utility outages.
Easier to download utilities

Most utility contents are currently built off-site. It’s safer and also easier to download them on one inactive bridge and also tie them into existing framework once a bridge is moved into place.

Three vital Factors for abc Bridge Design


According to a groundbreaking study by the strategic Highway research Program, there space three factors that must to be incorporated in an alphabet bridge design. The bridge have to be:

1. Together light together possible

All bridge contents — consisting of utility and other infrastructure elements — need to be designed and also developed so they are easy to transport and install.If the bridge is being repaired, the update should enhance the fill rating of existing piers and also foundations. Tip: remove heavy, old utility framework with newer and also lighter units is a great, often overlooked means to lighten the leg load.

2. As simple as possible

The style should need the least number of girders, field splices, and bracing equipment possible.In addition, that shouldn’t require temporary bracing that has to be removed, i m sorry slows construction.

3. As an easy to erect together possible

Any design should reduce the number of workers required on-site and also cast-in-place operations, and include no falsework structures compelled for prefabricated elements and systems. A an excellent ABC bridge design should not require complex geometry that requires customized components.Utility elements must be designed to need the least number of workers to install, and also not interfere with simpler bridge designs.

Did you know? According to the FHA, ABC have the right to be the many cost- effective means to build a bridge, especially when full project costs, including right-of-way acquisition, task administration, maintain of traffic, environmental mitigation, utility relocation, escalation and railroad flagging services, space considered.

ABC is taking Hold


More and much more local agencies are leveraging innovative alphabet techniques:

Almost one hundred bridges utilizing GRS-IBS have been designed or created in the united States because October 2010.More 보다 800 bridges have been developed using PBES in the very same timeframe.Several states have successfully built bridges using slide-in bridge construction, the newest of this technologies.

More bridge videos: You can learn a great deal from sped up bridge building videos, therefore check out this one. It mirrors the surroundings of a pair of slide-in bridges on busy Highway 84 in Connecticut. Here’s another view.

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If your organization hasn’t totally embraced abc techniques, it might be time to begin taking benefit of them. With much more bridges requiring replacement and repair, it could make her firm more competitive. And since countless ABC projects offer power incentives, leveraging increased bridge construction could do your company more rewarding as well.