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The ABCs of Rapid Bridge Replacement
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM.

State transportation departments looking to replace bridges using accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques will soon have a standardized design tool kit as a reference, according to an article published last week in Engineering News-Record.


Developed as part of the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) and administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the tool kit contains standardized plans for modular components, erection concepts, construction specs and other data that can be applied to a wide range of projects.


According to ENR, the entire tool kit will undergo beta testing this summer in Vermont, as the state’s Agency of Transportation plans to apply a variety of ABC techniques to replace 17 bridges damaged last September by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. The kit’s sample plans for modular superstructures cover spans (up to 130 ft) using concrete-on-steel beams, concrete-bulb tees with precast decks and concrete double-T systems.


The kit’s first field demonstration took place last fall with the replacement of the U.S. Route 6 Keg Creek Bridge in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Using ABC, the bridge was constructed with minimal impact on traffic–only a two-week road closure. (Traditional construction methods would likely have required at least partial closure of the road for several months, resulting in substantial traffic disruption.) You can read more about the Route 6 bridge replacement in NSBA’s March e-newsletter.


The full ABC tool kit article is available (with subscription) at (direct link:

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