Accelerated Bridge Construction

HNTB has a track record of involvement in successful accelerated bridge construction projects, which have greatly reduced the times of bridge replacements, benefiting local traffic and commuters.

Bridge replacements and closures can force commuters into frustrating detours, block residents from convenient access to their neighborhoods and in some cases delay life-saving emergency services. Fortunately, new accelerated bridge construction methods can bypass many of these detriments by delivering a bridge replacement in as little as a few hours. 

ABC typically involves construction of the new bridge offsite, and then transporting it and securing it in place.  

The ABC trend began in 2006, when the Transportation Research Board and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials believed user costs could be reduced dramatically if bridges could be constructed faster. In that year, they initiated the second Strategic Highway Research Program to evolve accelerated bridge construction from an isolated, one-and-done practice to a mainstream renewal practice. 

HNTB worked with TRB and AASHTO, along with a team of subconsultants that included Iowa State University, and embarked on a six-year program to develop a suite of standardized ABC products. The group reviewed individual standards and specifications from pioneering states, identified best practices and eliminated obstacles to construction. 

Since the start of the ABC trend, HNTB has developed a track record of involvement in successful accelerated bridge construction projects, including work on: 
Bala Sivakumar, PE, is HNTB’s leading expert on ABC. He has led national bridge research projects on accelerated bridge design for the Transportation Research Board under Strategic Highway Research Program, and was the primary author of the Strategic Highway Research Program Report S2-R04-RR-2: “Innovative Bridge Designs for Rapid Renewal: ABC Toolkit,” which includes national accelerated bridge construction design standards, design examples and construction specifications to guide public agencies on implementation.

 Selected HNTB thought leadership:
Selected media: 
Selected awards:

I-84 over Dingle Ridge Road Bridge Replacement: 
  • 2015 ACEC New York Diamond Award in the category of Structural Systems, 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition
  • Best ABC project in Lateral Slide category, ABC Conference awards (2015)
  • Project of the Year, Eastern NY Chapter of Association for Bridge Construction & Design (2014)

Lake Champlain Bridge Project:
  • American Council of Engineering Companies Grand Award (2013)
  • Project of the Year, American Public Works Association (2013)
  • International Bridge Conference Eugene C. Figg Medal (2013)

U.S. 6 Keg Creek Bridge ABC Project:
  • America’s Transportation Awards in the Best Use of Innovation, Small Project Category, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (2012)