InTrans / Mar 03, 2012

Build a bridge in two weeks

Bridge Engineering Center staff have been instrumental in planning, designing, testing, and documenting the fast-track construction of the bridge on IA 6 over Keg Creek in Pottowatamie County. The bridge was closed and actual construction of the three-span, steel/precast modular bridge began on Oct. 17; the new structure will be opened to traffic in 14 days or less.

This project applies accelerated bridge construction (ABC) concepts and technologies. In addition to using prefabricated steel girder plus concrete deck units, the bridge incorporates many other elements that were prefabricated on site without disrupting traffic. These include precast pier columns and caps, abutment footings and wings, composite concrete deck modules, and roadway approach modules.

According to BEC Director Brent Phares, “The need for developing accelerated construction innovations and standards were first identified in the F-SHRP (the predecessor to SHRP 2) Renewal research plan developed by InTrans in 2006.”

The Iowa DOT’s Keg Creek bridge project brings together several agencies all with the common goal of accelerating renewal of the nation’s infrastructure. The Keg Creek project is one of 15 Federal Highway Administration Highways for Life grants awarded in 2010. Highways for Life grants are awarded to projects that adopt proven innovations and technologies to reduce congestion and enhance safety during construction and improve overall infrastructure quality.

The Iowa DOT is hosting a project website, with a 3-D animation of the two-week construction process, time-lapse video, and photos from an on-site web cam. On Fri., Oct. 28, the Iowa DOT is hosting a one-day demonstration, including a presentation and site visit, in Council Bluffs.

For more information, contact Brent Phares, 515-294-5879,