Category: Graduate Student Seminar A Comprehensive Decision Support Tool for Accelerated Bridge Construction Considering Safety, Social Equity, and Environmental Justice

July 26, 2024 1:00 pm

In this quarterly IBT/ABC-UTC Research Seminar, Ali Ebrahimian, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator; and Nasim Mohamadiazar, M. Sc., Ph.D. candidate, present work related to an ABC Decision Support Tool that takes into consideration: Safety, Social Equity, and Environmental Justice.

Earn 1-hour Certificate of Attendance (

Click to Register

Description:  The suitability of using accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques involves various interdependencies with social and environmental factors that impact the surrounding communities, in addition to economic, safety, and technical considerations related to bridge design and construction. State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) utilize different decision-making approaches, ranging from complex to simpler processes, for determining the suitability of ABC methods in bridge projects. Connecticut DOT (CTDOT) uses a middle ground approach through a spreadsheet tool that evaluates the impacts of ABC on road users and the environment, accounting for total project costs and potential cost savings from ABC. The objective of this project is to improve the comprehensiveness, flexibility, and widespread use of the CTDOT ABC tool by considering the impacts and contributions of ABC on roadway safety, social equity, and environmental justice, and offering a systematic method for the determination of relative importance (weights) of decision criteria. Two case studies will be presented to showcase the practical applicability of the improved tool. The FIU-ABC tool is comprehensive and flexible, yet simple (spreadsheet format), and relies on nationally available data, making it suitable for adoption by all state DOTs nationwide.


Ali Ebrahimian, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Florida International University

Dr. Ali Ebrahimian is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University. His interdisciplinary research areas are focused on urban hydrology, green stormwater infrastructure, flood control, and multi-criteria risk/decision analysis in complex urban infrastructure systems. Since 1998, he has served in various disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects as a researcher, consulting engineer, modeler, designer, systems analyst, and project manager in industry and academia, and developed multiple decision support tools for improving sustainability and resilience of various urban infrastructure systems.

Nasim Mohamadiazar, M. Sc.
Ph.D. candidate
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Florida International University

Nasim Mohamadiazar is a PhD candidate in Civil Engineering at Florida International University. Her research focuses on multi-criteria decision-making, socio-technical, and flood risk assessment, with an emphasis on social equity and environmental justice. She has worked also as a research assistant on several projects for the IBT/ABC-UTC at FIU, including the Integrated Flood and Socio-Environmental Risk Analysis for Prioritizing ABC Activities. Nasim actively engages in projects and activities aimed at revitalizing underserved communities, believing that every community should have a voice in decision-making.

Presentation Graphics:

Figure 1:  AI Generated Image
Figure 2. Process of calculating Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) in FIU-ABC decision support tool.

Figure 3. A snapshot of the FIU-ABC decision support tool for calculating Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) snapshot by integrating crash data and cost information.

Figure 4. Step-by-step guide to accessing NOAA weather data for bridge locations. The steps include: 1) Searching for the bridge location using an interactive map, 2) Identifying the nearest weather station, and 3) Selecting the desired data type and parameters from the NOWData - NOAA online weather data portal.

Figure 5. Snapshots of the process for accessing state traffic safety information via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website. Users are instructed to follow three main steps. First, click on the desired state on the provided map to select the project location. Next, enter the specific project location details on the map interface. Finally, choose the type of fatality data and the years for which the information is needed from the menu.

Question & Answer Period: Submit your questions when you register for the seminar and also in the question box during the seminar. (15 minutes)

Certificate of Attendance: Each site registered for this seminar will receive an email for your response. Just click the first link in the email to obtain a certificate. For multiple participants at a site, the point-of-contact registrant for that site also clicks the second link in the email, logs in, and clicks “Attendees” to provide first name, last name, and email address for each participant at that site; each participant will then receive an automatic email with link to print an individual certificate. Accessing the second link in the email will also allow participants to print certificates for past seminars that were attended by simply clicking the seminar title. Please let Ms. Ankitha Arvan at FIU know if you have questions or need assistance with receiving your certificate. Edda’s email address is

For more information: Please contact us by sending an email to