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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-08-011
Date: March 2008
For the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the use of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) technologies and techniques is not just a one-time event but a successful business practice that is rapidly becoming the norm, not the exception. Since first using prefabricated bridge systems and ABC in 2002, UDOT has completed 10 projects that incorporated different ABC elements and technologies, ranging from full-depth precast concrete deck panels and bent caps to total superstructure systems and the use of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) to replace bridges in a matter of hours. “The goal of all these innovations is the same—to find a way to replace or fabricate a bridge in an extremely short time,” says Carmen Swanwick of HDR Engineering, UDOT’s consultant for ABC.
States can prolong the life of aluminum overhead sign structures on highways and save money on the cost of repair and replacement with the use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite wraps. Many of these structures were built in the 1960s and are now experiencing cracking due to several factors, including wind or vibration induced fatigue and stresses built into the structure during construction. Over the past 15 years, numerous States have launched programs to inventory, inspect, and maintain their overhead sign structures and prevent their potentially catastrophic failure and collapse. FRP composite wraps offer ease of use at a minimal cost, while delaying the need for expensive replacements.
From design to fabrication to construction and maintenance, the World Steel Bridge Symposium 2007, held December 4–7, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, brought together more than 300 attendees from around the world to discuss state-of-the-art practices for enhancing steel bridges. The symposium was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Steel Bridge Alliance. “The symposium provided an excellent opportunity for practitioners to meet and network with others in the field, learn from their experiences, and build partnerships,” says Vasant Mistry of FHWA.
“Addressing Uncertainty in Cost Estimating” is the goal of a new 2-day course being introduced by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI). The course provides participants with an overview of current cost estimating practices for highway projects, including consideration of risk and uncertainty in project cost estimates, and an appreciation of the importance of cost estimating. It will compare and contrast deterministic (single number) and probabilistic (range of numbers) methods of cost estimating, including looking at which method is most appropriate to use during the various phases of project development. “Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to select the most appropriate methodology based upon the project’s characteristics and phase of development,” says Jim Sinnette of FHWA. While the course specifically addresses cost estimating for large and complex projects, the concepts presented are applicable to developing estimates for all types of transportation projects.
The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Excellence in Highway Design Awards Program has extended its deadline for nominations to April 19, 2008. Originally scheduled to begin accepting awards nominations in January, FHWA’s Office of Program Administration will now accept nominations starting in March. The program recognizes outstanding examples of highways, bridges, and other facets of roadway design. Organizations will be recognized for superior work on projects substantially completed or programs implemented from July 1, 2006, to March 1, 2008.
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