It’s no secret that thousands of bridges across the U.S. are in dire need of replacement or repair. Today, numerous U.S. state DOTs are employing some of the latest bridge technology in order to meet the challenge of maintaining and/or replacing hundreds of bridges each year. In many cases, faster is better which has resulted in a growing demand for Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) and the use of prefabricated/precast bridge elements connected with Ductal® Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC).
At the recent 2014 National Accelerated Bridge Construction Conference *, the “Best ABC Project” Award (Prefabricated Bridge Element System category) was presented to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation form an innovative ABC replacement project which utilized precast and Ductal® solutions: the State Route 288 Main Street Bridge in Wampum. The old, single span concrete arch structure was replaced (in August, 2014) with 3 side-by-side, 78 ft long prefabricated bridge modules. Each module consisted of two steel I-beams with a concrete deck on top. Ductal® UHPC Joint Fill was used to connect the precast deck elements and for the integral abutments. Additional precast elements consisted of decked steel beam modules with barriers, abutment caps and wing walls.
Thanks to the ABC methods used on this project, the bridge re-opened to traffic in less than 7 days!
* The ABC Conference, held in Miami, Florida Dec. 4-5, was co-sponsored by State DOTs and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Attendees included DOT engineers and other bridge professionals including consultants, material suppliers, fabricators, contractors, academia and government representatives. The ABC Conference Awards program showcases and recognizes talented individuals and innovative projects advancing the ABC initiative. ABC is a paradigm shift in the project planning where the need to minimize mobility impacts which occur due to on site construction activities are elevated to a higher priority. Intrinsic benefits of ABC include improvements in safety, quality, durability, social costs, and environmental impacts.