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/740919
S TAT E 44 | ASPIRE Fall 2016 I ndiana is a really flat state, which mitigates some of the topographical challenges faced by other states. Even so, we continually look for ways to improve our bridge designs and make them more efficient and faster to build. Those methods include quarterly meetings with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and consultants, a bridge conference, and encouragement to outside designers and contractors to examine new techniques. The ASCE-INDOT Structures Committee was formed in the 1990s by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Indiana Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to address topics related to the design and construction of bridges and retaining walls. The group was formed when INDOT decided to produce a bridge-design manual and sought perspectives from other sources. That input proved so valuable that the committee became permanent, holding quarterly meetings. T h e c u r r e n t c o m m i t t e e c o n s i s t s o f 1 8 members: eight INDOT staff, seven design consultants (one from each firm), two industry and two academic members (with two slots currently unfilled), and a representative from FHWA. Members typically either attend or send a representative, indicating the value that they too place on these meetings. This collaboration provides insight into bridge history that INDOT may not know, new techniques being used in the state by other owners, and work in other states with which members work. This input helps keep INDOT current and allows it to put policy changes into place to create better practices and designs. This volunteer effort by knowledgeable people provides a significant benefit to the state. Expansion Joint Designs Improved For instance, one of the committee's most recent focuses has been to improve joint designs, to extend their service life. Typically, INDOT gets a service life of 7 years for smaller joints and 10 years from Class SS (strip seal) expansion joints. The state looked at link-slab design options and are working with other states to find solutions that do not require proprietary designs, are easily repaired, and have extended service life. One approach tried when upgrading or rehabilitating an existing bridge has been to change the superstructure to semi-integral spans to eliminate joints where possible. INDOT also is looking at new methods to maintain the ends of beams to prevent deterioration. These topics and others, such as pile-driving techniques and accelerated bridge construction Indiana Officials at Indiana Department of Transportation use quarterly meetings, conferences, and consultant ideas to expand techniques and improve designs by Anne Rearick and Jeremy Hunter, Indiana Department of Transportation The I-69 Twin Bridges over the Patoka River at the Pike-Gibson County Line feature an 8-in.-thick, cast-in-place concrete deck. Photo: Indiana Department of Transportation. The Accelerate 465 project reconstructed an 11-mile corridor of Interstate 465 and rebuilt or upgraded seven major interchanges. It included several bridges designed with precast concrete bulb-tees or U-beams. Photo: Indiana Department of Transportation. The I-69 Twin Bridges over the Patoka River also feature cast-in-place pier caps, columns, and drilled shafts. Photo: Indiana Department of Transportation.