Minnesota Demonstration Project: Accelerated Bridge Construction over Paleface River on TH53 using Prefabricated Elements
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Minnesota Demonstration Project: Accelerated Bridge Construction over Paleface River on TH53 using Prefabricated Elements

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    Final Report
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    As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE (HfL) program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was awarded a $150,000 grant to develop plans and specifications, and then construct Bridge 69071 over the Paleface River on TH53 near Cotton, MN. The key innovation included the use of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques by precasting the deck panels off-site in the controlled environment of a fabrication facility, transporting the panels to the project site, and installing the panels onto prefabricated concrete girders. This report documents the entire work effort, including the innovative ABC techniques employed by MnDOT, with specific focus on the connection details including haunches, blockouts, keyway joints, and post-tensioning splices. Removal and replacement of the Paleface River bridge was a great success, and MnDOT was able to meet the HfL program requirement related to the project goals of safety, construction congestion, quality, and user satisfaction. MnDOT and the construction contractor learned some valuable lessons in the process. Since this was the first project of its kind undertaken in Minnesota, MnDOT’s goal was to use it as learning and evaluation tool and chose a project site with low traffic volume and minimal anticipated impact to traffic. The overall costs for the construction of this bridge were higher than if the bridge had been constructed using traditional cast-in-place techniques; however, if the bridge had been constructed in a location with shorter haul distances for the precast panels, higher traffic impacts, near urban areas with morning and evening peaks, and longer detours, it could potentially result in cost savings to MnDOT and the traveling public.
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