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Arrow Rhode Island Demonstration Project: Replacement of Frenchtown Brook Bridge No. 435

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Final Report January 2013

Table of Contents

Rhode Island Demonstration Project: Replacement of Frenchtown Brook Bridge No. 435
Figure 1. Project location
Figure 2. Old Frenchtown Brook Bridge
Figure 3. Typical bridge section
Figure 4. Conceptual typical wall element
Figure 5. Bridge before closure
Figure 6. Closure of Davisville Road
Figure 7. Demolition of old structure in process with stream diversion in place
Figure 8. Demolition showing slab removal with abutment walls left in place
Figure 9. Abutment walls of old bridge left in place so work does not impact stream
Figure 10. Plan view of structure
Figure 11. Bridge element support detail
Figure 12. Precast foundation units being lifted off tractor-trailer
Figure 13. Precast foundation unit being placed on subfooting
Figure 14. Modular prefabricated footings in place
Figure 15. Main bridge element with cable tie on flatbed
Figure 16. Modular main bridge elements lowered into place
Figure 17. All 25 main bridge elements lowered into place
Figure 18. Modular headwall being lowered into place
Figure 19. Wingwall support detail
Figure 20. Modular wingwall being lowered into place
Figure 21. New Oak Creek Bridge typical section (span 1.)
Figure 22. Far end headwall being lowered into place
Figure 23. Closeup of headwall anchors
Figure 24. Closeup of wingwall anchors
Figure 25. Prefabricated structure showing joints sealed and wrapped
Figure 26. Stockpiled structure backfill
Figure 27. Gravel backfill being rolled into place
Figure 28. Bituminous material being rolled into place
Figure 29. Davisville Road opened to traffic
Figure 30. Completed structure with guardrail and riprap in place
Figure 31. Bridge opening with riprap placed behind old structure abutment walls
Figure 32. Traffic management plan
Figure 33. Rating of approaches to design, scheduling, and traffic management on projects
Figure 34. Chart showing results of user responses on approaches to design, scheduling, and traffic management
Table 1. Construction cost analysis
Table 2. Comparison of project costs
Abbreviations and Symbols
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ADOT Arizona Department of Transportation
ABC accelerated bridge construction
dB(A) A-weighted decibel
DOT department of transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
HfL Highways for LIFE
IRI International Roughness Index
OBSI onboard sound intensity
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PCI Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SI sound intensity
VOC vehicle operating cost
VPD vehicles per day


The purpose of the Highways for LIFE (HfL) pilot program is to accelerate the use of innovations that improve highway safety and quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. LIFE is an acronym for Longer–lasting highway infrastructure using Innovations to accomplish the Fast construction of Efficient and safe highways and bridges.

Specifically, HfL focuses on speeding up the widespread adoption of proven innovations in the highway community. "Innovations" is an inclusive term used by HfL to encompass technologies, materials, tools, equipment, procedures, specifications, methodologies, processes, and practices used to finance, design, or construct highways. HfL is based on the recognition that innovations are available that, if widely and rapidly implemented, would result in significant benefits to road users and highway agencies.

Although innovations themselves are important, HfL is as much about changing the highway community's culture from one that considers innovation something that only adds to the workload, delays projects, raises costs, or increases risk to one that sees it as an opportunity to provide better highway transportation service. HfL is also an effort to change the way highway community decisionmakers and participants perceive their jobs and the service they provide.

The HfL pilot program, described in Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) Section 1502, includes funding for demonstration construction projects. By providing incentives for projects, HfL promotes improvements in safety, construction–related congestion, and quality that can be achieved through the use of performance goals and innovations. This report documents one such HfL demonstration project.

Additional information on the HfL program is at


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Rhode Island Demonstration Project: Replacement of Frenchtown Brook
Bridge No. 435
5. Report Date
January 2013
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Amar Bhajandas and Jagannath Mallela
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
100 Trade Centre Drive, Suite 200
Champaign, IL 61820
10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS) C6B
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

August 2011–November 2012

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officers Technical Representatives: Byron Lord, Mary Huie
16. Abstract

As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under the Highways for LIFE program, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) was awarded a $620,000 grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative accelerated bridge construction technologies to deliver this $1.9 million project in substantially less time than conventional construction.

This report details the replacement of the 57-year old Frenchtown Brook Bridge featuring prefabricated superstructure, substructure, and foundation systems. The new bridge was completely prefabricated offsite and installed in place—a first in Rhode Island. The accelerated construction approach and innovations in this project increased safety, enhanced quality, and allowed the contractor to replace the bridge during a 33-day road closure instead of the 6 months required under traditional construction methods.

Use of prefabricated bridge systems and innovative materials increased the initial bridge construction cost compared to traditional construction by $47,000. However, a comprehensive economic analysis including user costs shows that the project saved road users about $2 million (or about 45 percent of the total project costs for conventional construction). The experience gained on this successful project will help RIDOT implement these innovations more routinely on future projects.

Encouraged by the success of this project, RIDOT announced that it will evaluate all future bridge projects to determine if they can be built using accelerated bridge construction techniques.

17. Key Words
Highways for LIFE, prefabricated bridge systems, innovative construction, incentive clause, economic analysis
18. Distribution Statement

No restriction. This document is available to the public through the Highways for LIFE Web site:

19. Security Classif. (of this page)
20. No. of Pages
21. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8–72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
ft feet 0.305 meters m m meters 3.28 feet ft
yd yards 0.914 meters m m meters 1.09 yards yd
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2 mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2 m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
yd2 square yards 0.836 square meters m2 m2 square meters 1.195 square yards ac
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha ha hectares 2.47 acres mi2
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2 km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters ml ml milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
gal gallons 3.785 liters l l liters 0.264 gallons gal
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 35.71 cubic feet ft3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yard yd3
NOTE: Volumes greater than 1000 l shall be shown in m3
oz ounces 28.35 grams g g grams 0.035 ounces oz
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams Mg Mg megagrams 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees) TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5(F–32)/9 or (F–32)/1.8 Celcius °C °C Celsius 1.8C +32 Fahrenheit °F
fc foot–candles 10.76 lux l lx lux 0.0929 foot–candles fc
fl foot–Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2 cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot–Lamberts fl
lbg pounds 4.45 newtons N N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
lb/in2 pound per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch ib/in2(psi)
k/in2 klps per square inch 6.89 megaPascals mPa MPa megaPascals 0.145 klps per square inch k/in2(ips)
ib/ft3(pcf) pounds per cubic foot 16.02 kilograms per cubic meter kg/m3 kg/m3 pounds per cubic foot 0.062 kilograms per cubic meter ib/ft3(pcf)


The project team would like to acknowledge the invaluable insights and guidance of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE Team Leader Byron Lord and Program Coordinators Mary Huie and Kathleen Bergeron. Their vast knowledge and experience with the various aspects of construction, technology deployment, and technology transfer helped immensely in developing both the approach and the technical matter for this document. The team also is indebted to Rhode Island Department of Transportation Engineers Rahmat Noorparvar and John Capelli and FHWA Engineer Anthony Rotondo for their tireless advice and assistance during this project. The team also thanks Wayne Singleton and John Wayland of Gordon R. Archibald Engineers for sharing project-related information, photographs, and valuable insights on lessons learned from the design and the Turino Group for the weekly updates on construction.

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Updated: 07/17/2013

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration