U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

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Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems

What is PBES?

PBES are structural components of a bridge that are built offsite, or near-site of a bridge and include features that reduce the onsite construction time and the mobility impact time that occurs when building new bridges or rehabilitating or replacing existing bridges relative to conventional construction methods.

How Does It Work?

  1. 1: Components are built outside traffic area(s)
    Components of a bridge are built outside Traffic area.
  2. 2: Transported to the site

    Photo of Precast Concrete Girder Unit is transported to the site.
  3. 3: Installed rapidly

    Photo Of Placement of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Deck Panels On Steel Girders.

How Does PBES Impact ABC?

Use of PBES is one strategy that can meet the objectives to Accelerate Bridge Construction while providing additional benefits beyond those with only reducing on-site construction time:
  • ABC improves:
    • Site Constructability
    • Total project delivery time
    • Material quality and product durability
    • Work-zone safety for the traveling public and contractor personnel
  • ABC reduces:
    • Traffic Impacts
    • Onsite construction time
    • Weather-related time delays
  • ABC can minimize
    • Environmental impacts
    • Impacts to existing roadway alignment
    • Utility relocations and right-of-way take
Diagram outlines the components of accelerated bridge construction, Project Planning, Utilities, Structural Placement, Geotechnical Solutions, Contracting Methods, PBES, Right of Way.




Updated: 11/05/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000