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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-022
Date: December 2004
For highway agencies, the use of prefabricated bridge elements and systems, ranging from substructures to entire bridges, is proving to be not only a best practice but good business. The prefabricated elements and systems can be manufactured offsite, under controlled conditions, and brought to the job site ready to install. Using these prefabricated systems reduces the traffic congestion and environmental impacts of bridge construction projects and improves construction zone safety for both workers and drivers. And because prefabrication can be accomplished in a controlled environment offsite, without the limitations that a job site may present, constructibility is improved, quality is increased, and the costs can be lower.
In July 2000, the District of Columbia embarked on the first urban, performance-based asset management project in the United States, known as "DC Streets." Under the $70 million, 5-year initiative, the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) contracted with VMS, Inc., to preserve and maintain approximately 121 km (75 mi) of roadway that make up the District's portion of the National Highway System (NHS). Also included in the contract is the maintenance of such assets as tunnels, bridges, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and retaining walls. As the initiative wraps up its fifth and final year, stakeholders are reviewing both the successes and the lessons learned.
The goals of starting and advancing State quality initiatives and improving training for highway workers brought more than 80 participants to the National Partnership for Highway Quality (NPHQ) Summit, held November 16-17, 2004, in Dallas, Texas. Representatives from State highway agencies, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), industry associations, and others convened to focus on such topics as starting a State Quality Partnership (SQP); strengthening and advancing an SQP; and training and certifying transportation workers to improve skills, knowledge, and overall project quality.
Since 1999, the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Concrete Pavement Technology Program (CPTP) has conducted research on improved methods of using concrete pavement in the construction, reconstruction, and repair of Federal-aid highways. More than 30 research projects centering around the following six focus areas have been initiated under CPTP: advanced pavement design, improved concrete materials, improved construction processes, repair and rehabilitation, workforce training, and enhanced user satisfaction. Products resulting from this research that are now available or soon to be released include software, concrete materials guidelines, and construction management tools.
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