July 20, 2017
Innovation of the Month:
Ultra-High Performance Concrete Connections
Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has superior mechanical and durability properties compared to conventional concrete, making it a good material for field casting prefabricated bridge element connections.
Hennepin County, MN, used UHPC connections between precast deck panels to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Franklin Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.
Using precast panels allowed construction crews to remove and replace the entire bridge deck in 17 weeks. Connecting the panels with UHPC simplified construction activities and increased the quality of the completed structure.
The 1,000-foot span’s reconstruction is the second-largest project to date in the United States to use field-cast UHPC connections between precast bridge deck panels.
Read the Federal Highway Administration TechNote on Design and Construction of Field-Cast UHPC Connections for guidance on deploying UHPC connections.
See FHWA’s UHPC Web page for information on projects and research.
3D Engineered Model Saves Idaho Time and Money
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) provided a 3D engineered model to contractors during the bidding of the I-20/Thornton Road interchange project and saved the State at least $450,000. Using 3D also shortened project delivery time by one construction season. The project used wireless detection to enhance traffic flow through the construction zone. A 360-degree camera and three stationary cameras were used to monitor build progress. ITD credits Every Day Counts for helping States deploy 3D engineered models and improve collaboration with contractors. For more information, contact David Unkefer of the FHWA Resource Center.
New York Expands UHPC Use
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), an early adopter of UHPC connections for prefabricated bridge elements, has institutionalized the technology in its bridge construction program. Now the agency wants to incorporate the innovation in its bridge rehabilitation program. FHWA staff recently conducted a 1-day workshop for NYSDOT that covered topics such as UHPC overlays for bridge deck rehabilitation, rehabilitation of deteriorated steel beam ends using field-cast UHPC infill, and UHPC advances around the world. To learn how UHPC can be used in rehabilitation projects in your State, contact Mark Leonard of the FHWA Resource Center or Ben Graybeal of the FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.
See How Washington Uses Data-Driven Safety Analysis
Two new FHWA videos highlight the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) use of data-driven safety analysis (DDSA), the application of the latest generation of tools to analyze crash and roadway data. “A New Approach to Safety Analysis” highlights how WSDOT is incorporating safety performance in its project development process and throughout the organization. “Washington State DOT Case Study” shows how a team of transportation agencies used DDSA tools to customize three compact roundabouts at a busy interchange. The analysis saved millions of dollars without compromising the safety of the intersections.