More than 50,000 bridges across the U.S. have been rated “structurally deficient.” With available federal funding and innovative delivery strategies, now is the time for owners to seek robust bridge design and inspection expertise, and take advantage of innovative construction techniques such as accelerated bridge construction.
A variety of techniques can ensure our nation’s bridges are structurally stable and sustainable, and that they are delivered in a timely fashion:
- Design innovations led by state of the art bridge engineering practitioners with expertise in all aspects of bridge design.
- State-of-the-art analysis and design software, 3D modeling and animation, and other technologies that aid robust bridge design.
- Regular, thorough inspections ensure bridges meet federal standards and detect early repair needs, and are critical to maintaining the health of these structures. In fact, new techniques are being developed to aid inspections, including the use of drones and structural health monitoring.
- Program management can help ensure bridge projects run smoothly and efficiently, and to owner standards.
- Innovative delivery strategies such as design-build can create opportunities for innovation, cost savings and more timely delivery.
- And accelerated bridge construction methodologies coordinate project planning, design and construction innovations to significantly reduce bridge replacement time, often to just weeks or days.
When repair needs are not met, bridge replacements and closures can force commuters into frustratingly long detours, block residents from convenient access to their homes and jobs, or delay life-saving emergency services. In a 2018 HNTB Viewpoint, Chris Price, national bridge practice leader, explains that continued infrastructure investment and alternative construction methods can accelerate project delivery.
Accelerated Bridge Construction
HNTB has been at the forefront of the ABC trend since it began in 2006. The firm worked with the Transportation Research Board and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on a six-year project that resulted in a strategic report that serves as a guide for public agencies seeking to implement ABC projects. The toolkit includes ABC design standards, design examples and construction specifications.
HNTB has a significant track record of involvement in successful ABC projects, including:
- State Route 299 over Interstate 24 in Northeast Georgia
- The Franklin Avenue reconstruction project in Minneapolis
- State Route 30 Bridge over Bessemer Avenue in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- I-77 bridge deck replacement in Ghent, West Virginia
- I-84 over Dingle Ridge Road in Brewster State, New York
- New Jersey Transit ABC bridge replacement (Park & Watchung Ave.)
- Lake Champlain Bridge Replacement between Crown Point, New York, and Chimney Point, Vermont
- Replacement of two New Jersey Transit bridges in Plainfield, New Jersey
HNTB bridge experts
Chris Price, PE, is national bridge practice leader for HNTB. He has more than 30 years of experience serving the firm in a variety of leadership roles, his expertise includes the role of design-build in the bridge market, innovations in bridge building and accelerated bridge construction.
Bala Sivakumar, PE, has led national bridge research projects on accelerated bridge design for TRB under the 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.”
Selected HNTB thought leadership:
- Transportation Point Extra - Creating a successful bridge program
- HNTB Comprehensive Bridge Expertise Brochure
- HNTB Bridge Inspection Brochure
- HNTB Cable-Stayed Bridge Brochure
- Using ABC in rehabilitation projects: A practical application
- How to implement ABC
- Accelerated bridge construction overview: A solution for reducing costs
- Accelerated Bridge Construction
- ENR: Drones Give Inspectors a Closer Look at Bridges
- ENR MidAtlantic: Long Road for W.Va. Bridge Replacements
- Construction Dive: Safety in bridge construction: some say it's as simple as ABC
- Houston Business Journal: $1B construction project to replace Houston Ship Channel Bridge starts
- Precast Solutions Magazine: A better bridge option
- Roads & Bridges: A modern crossover
- American Infrastructure Magazine: Franklin Avenue Bridge, History in the Remaking
- Courier Post: Ben Franklin Bridge steel crack spurs inspection
- Tranportation Builder: New Bridges Rise from New York's Waters
- BuiltWorlds episode of "Lightbulb": How we're building bridges better, faster — and with less impact to traffic
- Equipment World's Better Roads: Crews demo and replace Penn. bridge in just 57 hours (Time-lapse video)