|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
|Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > February 2001 > Articles In This Issue|
|February 2001||Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-061|
Articles in this Issue
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has embarked on an update of its Bridge Maintenance Training Course. The course, which is presented through the National Highway Institute, is designed to train State and local bridge maintenance personnel in planning, scheduling, and performing effective bridge maintenance and repairs. Course topics include the mechanics of structures, materials used in bridge repair, equipment available for structural maintenance, work methods and prioritization, and evaluation of maintenance alternatives. The updated course, which will debut in the fall of 2001, includes information on new technologies, such as improved materials for patching, and will incorporate modern, hands-on training methods. For more information, contact George Romack at FHWA, 202-366-4606 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Building bridges that last longer and require less maintenance, thus reducing the traffic congestion and disruption resulting from bridge construction and rehabilitation projects, are the primary goals behind the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program (IBRC). Established in 1998 by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the 6-year program provides funding to help State and local transportation agencies use innovative materials for bridge repair, rehabilitation, replacement, and construction.
Rolling out a new version of the DataPave software, introducing improved testing procedures and guidelines, and studying the benefits of the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) research are just a few of the activities the LTPP program has planned for 2001.
It can perform a wide range of both conventional and innovative nondestructive concrete tests. It can provide highway agency staff with hands-on experience in new technologies and test equipment. And it can come straight to your door. The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Mobile Concrete Laboratory (MCL) is designed to introduce Federal, State, and local transportation personnel to state-of-the-art concrete technology for materials selection and mixture design, as well as field and laboratory testing. The current emphases for lab visits include assisting in implementing the use of high-performance concrete (HPC) for pavements and bridges, nondestructive testing, and performance-related specifications (PRS).
With construction nearly ready to begin on the new 12-lane Woodrow Wilson Bridge just outside of Washington, DC, last year, engineers found themselves concerned about the depth of the scour that might form around the bridge piers. Scour, which is the erosion of stream bed material around bridge foundations, is the leading cause of bridge failures in the United States. In designing the bridge over the Potomac River, engineers realized that the combination of large river piers, high river velocities, and a complex soil structure under the river presented particular challenges. The pipe piles supporting the river piers had to be founded deep enough to make the bridge stable against the worst case scour expected to occur.
What are the high payoff, innovative technologies that State and local transportation agencies and industry can start using now to improve our Nation's roads and bridges? And how can those technologies best be transferred into the hands of State, local, and industry users? Answering these questions is the charge of the new American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Steering Group for Technology Deployment, which kicked off its first meeting in Indianapolis in December.
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration