Accelerating the Construction Process of Highway Bridges

Functional obsolescence and structural deficiencies of highway bridges are posing significant threats to commuters and transportation agencies throughout the United States. Recently, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) classified approximately one quarter of its bridges as functionally obsolete and one-eighth as structurally deficient. Highway bridges located in urban areas are especially at high risk of functional obsolescence, as the aging highway systems in these areas face significant increases in traffic volumes. As a result of increasing needs associated with upgrades and repairs, the decision makers are urged to determine the best use of limited resources. In addition to mitigating risks that emerge from ordinary operating conditions, agencies also need to determine appropriate methods to reduce the impact of natural disasters and accidents as part of an emergency response system. Employing traditional construction methods for repair or upgrade activities may cause lengthy traffic disruptions, which result in high user costs and environmental impacts, raising the issues of safety and congestion. Accelerated construction refers to project delivery methods that combine innovative construction techniques and contracting methods in order to reduce the environmental and socio-economic impacts of construction activity and to reduce the downtime of highway bridges. The objective of this study is to investigate opportunities to reduce the negative impacts of bridge closures due to repair and upgrade activities by: 1) Exploring various alternative construction materials and methods such as use of prefabricated/precast systems, and innovative contracting methods such as A+B bidding, incentive/disincentive contract, and lane rental that can be used to accelerate construction activities of bridges; 2) Identifying important factors - both qualitative and quantitative - which affect the decision-making procedures for selecting the most appropriate upgrade or repair strategy; 3). Providing a decision support framework that will allow evaluation of alternatives. In order to fulfill these objectives, a comprehensive review of the available literature will be performed with a focus on accelerated construction methods and contracts, emergency response procedures, and factors affecting decision-making procedures for selection of appropriate bridge upgrade and repair methods and contracting approaches. In addition, a national survey of state departments of transportation (DOTs) will be conducted, in order to determine the current state of practice throughout the United States. The decision support framework that will be developed in this study will provide a systematic procedure for comparing various upgrade and repair strategies; thus, decisions regarding selection of appropriate upgrade/repair methods and contracting approaches will be more objective and justifiable.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $104297.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Mooney, Deborah

  • Performing Organizations:

    Syracuse University

    Institution of Transportation and Traffic Engineering
    Syracuse, NY  United States  13244-2130
  • Principal Investigators:

    Salman, Baris

    Aboutaha, Riyad

    Salem, Sam

  • Start Date: 20111201
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130731
  • Source Data: RiP Project 29291

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467838
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49111-29-21
  • Files: UTC, RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:40PM