Bridge Construction as Easy as ABC

For construction, two big priorities on bridge projects are ensuring contractors are safe and traffic is not impacted. Many bridges being built today use accelerated bridge construction (ABC) methods to reduce risks to workers and minimize traffic interruptions.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, accelerated bridge construction is a paradigm shift in the project planning and procurement approach. It involves innovative planning, design, materials, and construction methods and it improves safety, quality, durability, social costs, and environmental impacts. Specifically for the construction company, ABC helps with site constructability, total project delivery time and work-zone safety.

Roughly one-fourth of the nation’s bridges require rehabilitation, repair or total replacement. However, that can have a social impact on mobility and safety. Common reasons to use ABC is to reduce traffic impacts and improve safety.

One such company that uses this technique is HNTB, which is an infrastructure firm that assists clients with complex projects. This company has successfully used the technique on a number of projects such as:

  • State Route 299 over Interstate 24 in Northeast Georgia
  • The Franklin Avenue reconstruction project in Minneapolis
  • State Route 30 Bridge over Bessemer Avenue in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • I-77 bridge deck replacement in West Virginia

Going a step further, HNTB worked with the Transportation Research Board and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on a six-year project that resulted in the Strategic Highway Research Program Report S2-R04-RR-2: Innovative Bridge Designs for Rapid Renewal: ABC Toolkit.

The report includes national ABC design standards, design examples and construction specifications to guide public agencies on implementation.




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