Accelerated construction uses various techniques and technologies to help reduce construction time while enhancing/maintaining safety and quality.
- Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer Program
- Accelerated Bridge Construction
- Precast Concrete Systems
- Caltrans Long-life Pavement Rehabilitation Strategies (LLPRS) Program
- Other Accelerated Construction Resources
The Accelerating Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) Program promotes the use of innovative technologies and techniques to accelerate the construction of major highway projects or corridor improvements using a multidisciplinary team approach.
- ACTT Web Site
- ACTT Workshop Toolkit - Assists State highway agencies in hosting ACTT workshops.
- "FHWA's ACTT Toolkit: Bringing the Power of Accelerated Construction Straight to You" - Article in July 2009 issue of FHWA Focus.
- Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer: Building on Success - 2006 ACTT program annual report describing projects that were analyzed using the ACTT process and includes information on successes and lessons learned.
- "ACTT: Building on Success" - Article in January/February 2007 issue of FHWA Focus that discusses workshops that have been held under the ACTT program and notes that most of the projects under this program have reduced planned construction time by 30% or more.
- Nevada I-15 Bridge Construction - The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) used accelerated bridge construction to move a bridge 60 feet across I-15 in Mesquite in approximately six hours without closing the road. This effort was part of the West Mesquite Interchange project to widen Falcon Ridge Parkway in Mesquite, Nevada, and increase capacity for future traffic demand. The use of ABC allowed NDOT to build the bridge for more than $10 million less and six months faster (reducing traffic disruptions from months to days) than using traditional construction methods. The bridge was built off-site nearby. Then the existing bridge was demolished and the new bridge moved into place over two 56-hour periods (one for each span). With freight accounting for nearly 25% of the vehicles travelling on I-15 each day, keeping the road open during construction eliminated disruption to commerce. The road was kept open by routing traffic up and down the ramps at the Interchange so that it bypassed the construction area. In addition, residents and I-15 commuters saved nearly $13 million in time and fuel by eliminating the need for closures, detours, and reduced speeds. The use of ABC also brought safety benefits for workers, motorists, and pedestrians, with the bridge built adjacent to the freeway and out of traffic. As stated by the contractor who proposed the use of ABC, "We knew that ABC would cost more, but we could make up the difference saving on lane rentals, building the crossovers, limiting excavation and reducing time and overhead."
- Massachusetts Cedar Street Bridge Replacement - The use of accelerated bridge construction, design-build project delivery, and incentive/disincentive contracting allowed the Massachusetts DOT to replace a bridge over a busy stretch of Route 9 in Wellesley in 62 hours, making it the state's fastest bridge replacement ever.
- Fact Sheet – States Across the Country Implement Accelerated Bridge Construction - FHWA fact sheet that provides examples of how several states are using ABC strategies to significantly reduce the time to construct/replace a bridge, as compared to traditional cast-in-place methods.
- FHWA Accelerated Bridge Construction Web Site
- "FHWA Bridge Conference Spotlights Opportunities and Successes in Accelerated Bridge Construction" - Article in September 2010 issue of Focus that discusses the 2010 FHWA Bridge Engineering Conference: Highways for LIFE and Accelerated Bridge Construction.
- Massachusetts River Street Bridge Replacement - The use of ABC techniques, including Self-Propelled Modular Transporters, enabled the Massachusetts DOT to replace the River Street Bridge in Boston over one weekend.
- Did Someone Order an Instant Bridge - article in April 17, 2012 edition of New York Times
- Massachusetts FAST 14 Project - The use of accelerated bridge construction, prefabricated bridge elements and the design-build project delivery method enabled the Massachusetts DOT to shrink a four-year bridge replacement project to just one summer. The $98 million project, dubbed "Fast 14," involved the rapid replacement of 14 deteriorated bridge superstructures along I-93. MassDOT received a Highways for LIFE grant to use innovation on the project.
- The FAST 14 Project - Article in May/June 2012 Issue of FHWA Public Roads
- Massachusetts "Fast 14" Project Replaces Bridges in One Summer - Article in September/October 2011 issue of FHWA Innovator.
- FAST 14 Project Web Site
- District of Columbia Eastern Avenue Bridge Reconstruction - Through the use of innovative engineering, the District DOT (DDOT) completely reconstructed the Eastern Avenue Bridge over Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295) in less than 10 months. Several large elements of the new bridge, including the supports and bridge deck, were pre-cast off-site, then delivered by truck and lowered into place overnight by crane. By closing the bridge and using innovative methods, DDOT was able to decrease the overall schedule from a projected two years to less than one year for this $11.4 million project.
- Utah ABC Experience - Utah DOT (UDOT) was awarded a $1 million grant from FHWA's Highways for LIFE Program to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative technologies for ABC. As a result of the successful use of ABC to remove and replace the 4500 South Bridge over I-215 in Salt Lake City, UDOT decided to use ABC techniques more routinely on future projects and to make ABC standard practice for all bridges by 2010.
- Accelerated Bridge Construction and the Utah Experience (PDF 950KB) - Presentation describing UDOT's transition to making ABC a standard practice. Includes descriptions of UDOT projects using ABC.
- Final Report: Rapid Removal and Replacement of the 4500 South Bridge over I-215 in Salt Lake City - Documents ABC techniques used to remove and replace the 4500 South Bridge over one weekend. Using the ABC techniques added approximately $0.8 million to the initial construction cost and saved about $3.24 million in road user costs.
Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems
Prefabricated bridge elements and systems offer bridge designers and contractors significant advantages in terms of construction time, safety, environmental impact, constructability, and cost.
- FHWA Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems Web Site
- Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems Cost Study: Accelerated Bridge Construction Success Stories - FHWA report describing savings in time and money on nine prefabricated bridge elements and systems projects within the United States. All the projects were replacement projects that placed a priority on reducing construction impacts to motorists. The combined construction cost savings on these projects was $30M, where savings are defined as the difference between engineer's estimate and awarded bid.
- "Accelerated Bridge Construction Success Stories Add Up to $30 Million in Savings" - Article in May 2010 issue of FHWA Focus.
- 24th Street Overpass Bridge Construction in Iowa - Through the use of innovations to accelerate construction, the $12.5 million 24th Street overpass bridge in Council Bluffs, Iowa was constructed in 1 year rather than the standard 2 years with reduced impacts to traffic.
- "Innovations Speed Iowa Bridge Construction" - Article in October 2008 issue of FHWA Innovator.
- Minnesota I-35W Bridge Reconstruction - The Minnesota DOT was able to complete reconstruction of the new I-35W bridge in 11 months due to several accelerated construction strategies.
- Virginia US 15/29 Bridge Replacement - The Virginia DOT used prefabricated bridge elements constructed off-site and assembled on-site during weekend closures to speed construction of a three-span, two-lane southbound bridge. Using accelerated construction techniques reduced project time from 100 days to 3 weekend closures, saved more than $2 million, and helped the project meet performance goals for safety, construction congestion, and user satisfaction.
- Final Report - Virginia Demonstration Project: Rapid Removal and Replacement of U.S. 15/29 Bridge Over Broad Run Near Gainesville, VA
- "Innovation Saved Time, Money on Virginia Project" - Article in October/November 2009 issue of FHWA Innovator.
- "Virginia Projects Use Rapid Replacement to Slash Construction Time, Congestion" - Article in June/July 2008 issue of FHWA Innovator.
SPMTs are multi-axle, computer-controlled platform vehicles that can move bridge systems weighing up to several thousand tons with precision to within a fraction of an inch. The vehicles can move in any horizontal direction and also have vertical lift.
- Manual on Use of Self-Propelled Modular Transporters to Remove and Replace Bridges - FHWA manual that provides details from project conception to completion for using SPMTs to remove or install a bridge. It describes equipment, lists benefits and costs, and identifies criteria to help determine when this technology is appropriate. It includes example calculations, diagrams, plan sheets, and specifications, as well as case studies of bridges moved with SPMTs.
- "SPMTs: Your Guide to Accelerated Bridge Construction" - Article in December 2007 issue of FHWA Focus.
- SPMT Brochure - AASHTO brochure that describes SMPTs and the benefits of using them.
- I-35 Maryland Avenue Bridge in St. Paul, Minnesota - In August 2012 the Minnesota DOT (MnDOT) used an SPMT for the first time to move the Interstate 35E Bridge (Maryland Avenue Bridge) in St. Paul. The bridge was moved into position in two sections and was part of a pilot demonstration of the SPMT technology for MnDOT. The SPMT technology will enable MnDOT to close the bridge for approximately 60 days as compared to four months using traditional construction methods.
- I-35 Maryland Avenue Bridge Web Project Site
- Time-Lapse Video of Bridge Move
- "SPMTs Make a Difference on Minnesota Bridge Project" - Article in the September/October 2012 issue of FHWA Innovator
- "Minnesota DOT Uses New Technology to Cut Bridge Construction Time in Half" - Article in August 24, 2012 issue of AASHTO Journal
- Sam White Bridge over I-15 in American Fork, Utah - In March 2011, the Utah DOT (UDOT) used two sets of SPMTs to lift the Sam White Bridge across eight freeway lanes of I-15. This was the longest two-span bridge ever moved by SPMTs in the Western Hemisphere and was UDOT's 23rd use of the technology.
- "Utah Uses SPMTs in Historic Bridge Move" - Article in May/June 2011 issue of FHWA Innovator.
- Video: Innovation in Motion, Utah DOT's I-15 CORE Project - AASHTO Transportation TV video that showcases the innovations used in the project.
- I-215 Bridge in Salt Lake City, Utah - The new I-215 Bridge in Salt Lake City was built adjacent to the existing bridge but away from traffic and was moved into place using SPMT technology over one weekend.
- "Innovative Technology Accelerates Utah Bridge Replacement" - Article in December 2007 issue of FHWA Innovator.
- "The ABCs of Rapid Bridge Replacement in Utah" - Article in December 2007 issue of FHWA Focus.
- "UDOT Moves New Bridge Into Place" - Article on KLS.com, October 28, 2007.
- Graves Avenue Bridge in Volusia County, Florida - This project was the first time the SPMT technique was used to replace a bridge over a U.S. interstate highway.
- "Lifting the Graves Avenue Bridge to Success" - Article in the December 2006 issue of FHWA Focus.
- Graves Avenue Bridge over I-4: How-To Manual (PDF 594KB) - Presentation, given at the 2006 Florida DOT Design Conference, on the Graves Avenue Bridge project and the development of a manual on the critical components to effectively use SPMTs to remove & install bridges.
- Bridge Deck Replacement Project Using SPMTs - In a joint project between Oregon DOT and Washington DOT, SPMTs were used to widen and replace the deteriorating deck of the Lewis and Clark Bridge on State Route 433 over the Columbia River with a full-depth precast concrete deck, while maintaining full rush-hour traffic.
Precast concrete pavement panels are cast offsite and installed in a short time span when traffic volume is low and lanes can more readily be closed. In high-traffic areas, they can reduce traffic congestion and offer several advantages over traditional cast-in-place construction, including enhancing project safety and mobility, increasing durability, and enabling installation under overpasses with limited height clearances.
- "Precast Concrete Pavement Systems Speed Construction" - Article in June/July 2008 issue of FHWA Innovator.
- Utah's Precast Concrete Pavement Experience - In 2009 the Utah DOT (UDOT) completed their first full-scale precast concrete pavement project, replacing several damaged slabs along I-15 near Clearfield and Layton, Utah. UDOT documented a number of lessons learned from the project that could be applied to future projects with precast slab repair.
- Virginia I-66 Project - This project evaluated two precast concrete pavement technologies, and conventional cast-in-place construction, to replace distressed pavement slabs on a ramp from I-66 to US 50. The Virginia DOT (VDOT) found that precast concrete pavement is a viable alternative to cast-in-place. Using PCPS enabled VDOT to maintain traffic on a busy road by only closing lanes at night, also maximizing worker and traveler safety. Although the PCPS made initial construction costs marginally higher, its usage saved VDOT and motorists $481,244 over conventional cast-in-place pavement construction due to reduced delay costs, improved pavement performance, and less need for future reconstruction.
- "Virginia Finds Success in Rapid Pavement Repair" - Article in September/October 2012 issue of FHWA Innovator
- Virginia I-66 Concrete Pavement Replacement Using Precast Concrete Pavement Systems (PDF 27.8MB) - Final Project Report
- "Precast Concrete Pavement Systems: Acceleration Through Innovation" - Article in July 2010 issue of FHWA Focus.
Caltrans began implementing its Long-Life Pavement Rehabilitation Strategies (LLPRS) program in 1998. While LLPRS is not specifically an accelerated construction strategy, many of the projects that have been completed as part of the program have used a variety of strategies to accelerate construction. The goal of the LLPRS program is to rebuild approximately 2,800 lane-km of high volume urban freeway with pavements that are designed to last more than 30 years with minimal maintenance. The LLPRS Program also addresses the state's need for cost effective approaches for rebuilding the aging pavements in its urban highway network.
- Caltrans LLPRS Web Site
- Caltrans Construction Analysis for Pavement Rehabilitation Strategies (CA4PRS) Web Site - Developed as a LLPRS planning tool, CA4PRS software estimates how much pavement can be rehabilitated or reconstructed under different traffic closure strategies, considering project design and constraints and the number of lanes closed.
- Example: I-15 Devore Project - Innovative construction methods were used on this LLPRS project, enabling Caltrans to cut the project from 10 months to 19 days.
- Webinar on Accelerated Construction - Held on May 30, 2013
- Transcript (HTML, PDF 101KB)
- National Overview, by Seema Javeri, Federal Highway Administration (HTML, PDF 1MB)
- Massachusetts DOT I-93 FAST 14 Project, by Neil Boudreau, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (HTML, PDF 5.3MB)
- Accelerated Construction Using Precast Concrete Pavement Systems on the Illinois Tollway, by Steve Gillen, Illinois Tollway (HTML, PDF 3MB)
- 2012 Peer Exchange on Accelerated Road Work for Work Zone Safety & Mobility - Materials from an FHWA sponsored workshop to discuss how strategies to accelerate road work can be used to significantly reduce work zone safety and mobility impacts.
- Highway Projects: Some Federal and State Practices to Expedite Project Completion Show Promise - GAO report indicates that 79% of States surveyed agree that design-build contracting allows for potential time savings in highway construction projects. The report also presents other initiatives for expediting the completion of highway projects.
- 2009 Domestic Scan of Accelerated Construction Practices - In 2009 the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and FHWA completed a domestic scan of accelerated construction practices for pavement and bridge construction projects. The scan tour visited eight cities in five States and resulted in the identification of accelerated construction best practices in the areas of partnering, design, planning, and contracting strategies, and a set of case studies that demonstrate how projects can be successfully delivered more rapidly.
- Best Practices in Accelerated Construction Techniques Scan Report (PDF 19.1MB)
- "Scanning the Country for Best Practices in Accelerated Construction" - Article in August 2009 issue of FHWA Focus.
PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®