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Rapid replacement/construction of bridges.
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Filetype[PDF-3.36 MB]

  • Publication/ Report Number:
    CFIRE 02-02
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  • Abstract:
    Bridges are a key element of the transportation system because they control system capacity and are normally built at

    the highest cost to the system. Once a bridge reaches its useful design service life, it needs to be replaced or

    reconstructed in order to safely accommodate traffic and efficiently utilize the system. While highways can be repaired

    relatively quickly, bridges require special planning, engineering, materials procurement, and longer periods of

    construction time. This study synthesized current state-of-practices of rapid bridge construction methods, developed a

    decision-making framework for determining the feasibility of adopting rapid bridge replacement/construction, that

    considers issues of criticality of the bridge, contractor’s prefabrication ability, contractor’s construction management,

    and agency and user costs of bridge construction. The findings provide highway agencies with a framework to determine

    whether it is appropriate to utilize rapid bridge replacement/construction techniques for specific bridges. Based on these

    findings, a decision support framework using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is presented to allow for agencies to

    rank order priorities amongst those assets (bridges) that are determined to be candidates for rapid

    replacement/construction. Finally, a preliminary analysis was performed to explore a conceptually new bridge design

    and construction system that may be considered as a candidate for rapid replacement/construction of bridges with

    similar geometric design standards governed by comparable traffic conditions and site characteristics.

    Major technical issues addressed in this study include: 1) identifying existing literature on rapid bridge

    replacement/construction techniques developed worldwide; 2) finding current state-of-practices of rapid bridge

    replacement/construction in the United States; 3) developing a decision-making procedure for justifying the use of rapid

    bridge replacement/construction techniques over the conventional bridge construction methods; and 4) exploring a new

    conceptual bridge design and construction system that supports rapid construction. This report provides both technical

    and non-technical information. Some readers may wish to skip over the analysis details and focus on broader concepts of

    the analysis strategy.

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