About the research
Prolonged road/lane closures associated with the rehabilitation or replacement of bridges lead to congested traffic conditions, which, among other consequences, pose an increased risk of safety for both construction workers and the traveling public. In an attempt to minimize these concerns, sophisticated procedures, combining the use of prefabricated bridge components, high performance characteristics of unconventional construction materials, and careful planning, are being developed to expedite bridge projects from conception to delivery. These novel techniques can drastically reduce abridge on-site construction time while enhancing both the quality and durability of the completed structure, and have promoted accelerated bridge construction (ABC) among the bridge design community.
Effective ABC methods require easy-to-fabricate and lightweight modules that can be transported to the site and assembled relatively quickly with commonly used equipment. Moreover, the connections of the system must be properly designed and detailed to facilitate assembly and enable the overall structure to achieve a performance that is comparable, if not superior, to that of a similarly cast-in-place (CIP) system. The Iowa DOT has invested in the development of abutment connection details to facilitate implementation of ABC techniques in its practice.
Building on previous research, this project will advance the accelerated bridge construction method for integral bridge abutments supported on steel piles and constructed using prefabricated and in-situ concrete along with other advanced construction techniques (3D printing) and materials as appropriate.