November 7, 2014
Innovation Implementation: Accelerated Bridge Construction
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration has encouraged rapid implementation of three accelerated bridge construction technologies: slide-in bridge construction, geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge systems and prefabricated bridge elements and systems. Highway agencies are using all three to replace bridges faster, more safely and sometimes at lower cost.
Slide-in bridge construction involves building a bridge on temporary supports next to an existing structure and sliding it into place after the old bridge is removed. The bridge is installed and the road reopened to traffic quickly, reducing traffic disruption and improving safety.
Thirteen states have completed demonstration projects involving slide-in bridge construction and another dozen are conducting demonstrations.
- The Colorado Department of Transportation replaced the U.S. 24 bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad in Johnson Village in six months using slide-in bridge construction.
- The Michigan Department of Transportation has two slide-in bridge projects in the works: M-50 over I-96 in Kent County and U.S. 131 over 3 Mile Road in Mecosta County. The agency is using the construction manager/general contractor delivery method on both projects.
Pennsylvania Workshop Offers 3-D View
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's workshop on 3-D modeling for steel structures was a big draw, attracting 160 transportation professionals from northeastern and midwestern states to Lancaster. The October 21 and 22 workshop included technical presentations and a visit to a steel fabrication plant, where participants observed how 3-D models are used in design, fabrication and construction of steel bridge elements. The Ohio delegation reported that the workshop experience will be beneficial as the state pursues 3-D implementation under the third round of the Every Day Counts initiative.
Public Safety Officer Added to Arizona Traffic Center
An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer will be located in the Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Operations Centers in a new pilot project. The Arizona DOT, Arizona DPS, Maricopa Association of Governments and FHWA Arizona Division are coordinating the three-year project to enhance traffic operations in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The project–which complements the state's traffic incident management first responder training effort–aims to cut congestion and increase safety on freeways through the use of technology and personnel rather than additional pavement. Having a DPS officer in the traffic center will enable the officer to more efficiently identify and mobilize resources for quicker, safer incident clearance.
Idaho Slides New Bridge Into Place
The Idaho Transportation Department used slide-in bridge construction to move the new Lardo Bridge over the North Fork Payette River on Idaho 55 into place. Crews began the slide on the morning of October 27 and had it finished in a few hours. The $3.64 million Lardo Bridge is the first new one the Idaho Transportation Department has built using the lateral slide construction method, which reduces full closure of the bridge by months. It's expected to be opened to traffic by mid-November.
Milton-Madison Bridge Dedicated
The city of Madison, Indiana, dedicated the new Milton-Madison Bridge during an October 28 ceremony. The $103 million project used accelerated bridge construction and the design-build delivery method to allow the old bridge to stay open to traffic while the new one was built. The new bridge is the longest in North America to be slid laterally into place. The bridge over the Ohio River connects Madison with Milton, Kentucky. On hand for the dedication were Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Kentucky Representative Rick Rand, former Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Michael Cline, Milton Mayor Denny Jackson and Madison Mayor Damon Welch.
Michigan Trains Incident Responders
Michigan's third traffic incident management train-the-trainer session was held in conjunction with the Michigan Fire Service Instructors Association annual meeting. Twenty-seven trainers participated in the October 24 and 25 event in Traverse City, bringing the total of trainers in Michigan to 128. So far, 321 first responders statewide have been trained incident response techniques that protect motorists and responders while minimizing the impact on traffic flow.
Rhode Island Hosts Bridge Showcase
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and FHWA hosted a showcase and workshop on the state's latest project built with accelerated bridge construction techniques. The project will replace an 85-foot ramp bridge from Rhode Island Route 114 to I-195. The superstructure and substructure will be built within 30 days using prefabricated structural elements and a fully prefabricated superstructure. The superstructure will be prefabricated on-site and lifted into place over a weekend. Transportation professionals from Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts participated in the workshop and visited the construction site.