ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/306897
by M. Myint Lwin 41 | ASPIRE , Spring 2007 F H WA T h e v i s i o n o f t h e F e d e r a l H i g h w a y Administration (FHWA) is to improve transportation for a strong America. In support of this vision, the FHWA's bridge community is dedicated to working with national and international partners in the areas of research, deployment, and education with innovative technologies to provide safe, durable, and strong bridges. There are about 600,000 bridges on the public roads in the United States. The average age of these bridges is about 43 years. These bridges represent a sizable investment of resources. Many of these bridges are in need of rehabilitation, widening, or replacement. New bridges are being added to the inventory. It is vitally important for us to protect, maintain, and preserve the aging population of bridges and to achieve durability in new construction. We need innovative techniques, strategies, and technologies in modern construction to improve quality in construction, reduce traffic congestion, improve work-zone safety, and achieve economy. Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) is an innovative technology to reduce construction time on highway projects, improve construction quality and work-zone safety, and reduce adverse impacts on the traveling public. ABC uses prefabricated systems extensively to ensure quality in the constructed projects, minimize on-site disruption to traffic, and improve safety in the work zone. Prefabricated elements for the substructure and superstructure and complete bridge systems for rapid replacement are available and have been used for several years. Prefabricated systems allow bridges to be built in days or weeks rather than months or years. In 1995, the George P. Coleman Bridge in Virginia, the largest double-swing bridge in the United States was dismantled and replaced in only 9 days using barges. In 2006, the Florida Department of Transportation used self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) to remove and replace a bridge superstructure in northeast Orlando as described in the article in this issue by Mary Lou Ralls. ABC has been deployed effectively in rapid response to bridges damaged or destroyed by over-height vehicles, ship collisions, and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. In 2006, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development removed and replaced the superstructure of the eastbound and westbound I-10 bridges in Rayne in a few hours using SPMTs. The bridge damage was by an over-height truck. In 1999, the Transportation Research Board formed Task Force A5T60 to promote accelerated construction in the highway infrastructure. The task force uses a process called Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) with the aim of reducing construction time, dramatically saving money, and improving safety and quality by minimizing delays and hazards associated with work zones. In 2002, the task force completed two very successful ACTT workshops. Since then, FHWA in collaboration with the AASHTO Technology Implementation Group continues the effort and conducts workshops in various states. The ACTT process begins with a 2- to 2½-day workshop in which a multidisciplinary team of 20 to 30 national transportation experts works with an equal or greater number of their local counterparts to evaluate all aspects of a project and develop recommendations for reducing construction time and enhancing safety and quality. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) establishes the "Highways for LIFE" pilot program with the purpose of p r o m o t i n g i n n o v a t i v e t e c h n o l o g i e s a n d practices for fast construction of efficient and safe highways and bridges, and an "Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment" program with the purpose of promoting innovative designs, materials, and construction methods in the construction, repair, and rehabilitation of bridges. To be eligible to participate in these two programs, states must submit applications to the United States Secretary of Transportation. For details on the application process, visit www. fhwa.dot.gov/hfl and www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge. Accelerated bridge construction can help build bridges safer, faster, and better. We must balance speed, quality, and economy to achieve long- lasting and efficient bridges. Accelerated Construction and Rapid Response 'Accelerated bridge construction can help build bridges safer, faster, and better.' U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration ASPIRE_spring_2007.indb 41 3/7/07 12:34:06 PM