It should come as no surprised that precast concrete beam sections have been used in bridge construction for over half a century. Building with precast is as easy as ABC. However, in the world of precast concrete, those three letters have evolved to stand for something new and a little more complicated: Accelerated Bridge Construction.
What is Accelerated Bridge Construction?
According to the Federal Highway Administration, accelerated bridge construction is “bridge construction that uses innovative planning, design, materials and construction methods in a safe and cost-effective manner to reduce the on-site construction time that occurs when building new bridges or replacing and rehabilitating existing bridges.” ABC minimizes the amount of time impacting the traveling public and disrupting the regular flow of traffic.
For example, ABC was perfect for a bridge in Pittsburgh that carried traffic from State Road 288 in Lawrence County over Wampum Road. Normal bridge construction would have required shutting the bridge down and creating a 22-mile detour that would affect at least 5,000 drivers every day. However, thanks to accelerated bridge construction, the 78-foot long replacement bridge was built and installed in seven days.
The Future of Accelerated Bridge Construction
Since the invention of precast concrete, bridge construction has experienced some drastic changes. Advancements in techniques for using precast concrete and increased interest in precast has helped improved accelerated bridge construction.
As time marches on, researchers and engineers seek improvements in design, standards and construction methods for bridges and other precast concrete structures. One thing remains clear above all else: durable, time-saving precast concrete products will continue to be vital to the construction industry. If you have questions about precast concrete, our team at Del Zotto Products is happy to help. For more information or to purchase forms or equipment for precast concrete, contact us or reach out via social media.