Accelerated Bridge Construction

NOTE: This blog post was for June 2014. Many of the links and livecam are no longer available.

Accelerated Bridge Construction

Sitting in traffic, wondering what is happening on I84 the weekend of June 27-29, 2014?

This is an example of new paradigm in bridge building – Accelerated Bridge Construction.

In this case, two bridges that carry I-84 over Marion Avenue, one eastbound and one westbound, are being replaced with new structures that have been built alongside the existing bridges. The replacement will require the complete closure of I-84 in both directions over Marion Avenue and will be completed in one weekend.

See the live stream from the I-84 Southington Construction Cameras.

The Federal Highway Administration explains this program:

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technologies are changing the ways State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) do business. Most notably, DOTs can replace bridges within 48 to 72 hours and reduce planning and bridge construction efforts by years. The accelerated project times significantly reduce traffic delays and road closures and could potentially reduce project costs. The innovative ABC planning and construction methods, designs and materials produce safer, more durable bridges with longer service lives than conventional bridges. The timely innovation comes when approximately 25 percent of our Nation’s aging bridges need repair or replacement and our highways are already congested without the added strain of road closures.

Three particular ABC technologies being promoted under EDC2 are Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES), Slide-In Bridge Construction and Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS).

As explained in their ABC page, Accelerated Bridge Construction has many benefits:

“In many cases, the direct and indirect costs of traffic detours that result from the loss of a bridge during construction can exceed the actual cost of the structure itself. For example, full-lane closures in large urban centers, or on highways with heavy traffic volumes, can have a significant economic impact on commercial and industrial activities in the region. Partial lane closures and other bridge activities that occur alongside adjacent traffic can also lead to safety issues. Because of the potential economic and safety impacts, minimizing traffic disruptions is a goal that should be elevated to a higher priority when planning bridge related construction projects.”


Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) Division of Bridges

Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) Division of Bridges manages, directs, and coordinates all activities performed by the following Engineering Sections: Bridge Design, Bridge Consultant Design, Bridge Safety and Evaluation, Hydraulics & Drainage, the Local Bridge Program, and the Bridge Management unit.

Accelerated Bridge Construction in Connecticut (pdf)