Category: In Depth Web Training Utah DOT's Accelerated Bridge Program

September 12, 2017 11:00 am

by Carmen Swanwick, S.E., Chief Structural Engineer, Utah DOT; Cheryl Hersh Simmons, S.E., Structures Design Manager, Utah DOT; Lee Wegner, Sales/Project Management, Forterra Structural Precast; Eric Wells, Area Manager, Granite Construction, Inc.; and Mike Culmo, P.E., Vice President of Transportation & Structures, CME Associates, Inc.

The 2017 in-depth web training features the Utah DOT’s Accelerated Bridge Program. The Utah DOT’s Structures Division has championed and widely implemented ABC, and the use of ABC is now common practice throughout the State of Utah. Previous ABC design documents and supporting drawings have been incorporated into the Structures Design and Detailing Manual which consists of the manual, drawings, and checklists. Designers, fabricators, and contractors are on board with the use of ABC. Inspections show good long-term performance of ABC bridges. The six modules of the 2017 in-depth web training provide a comprehensive description of Utah’s ABC implementation.

Process to Implementation

Module 1: Introduction and ABC Program


Carmen Swanwick, S.E.
Chief Structural Engineer
Utah DOT
Office: 801-965-4981

Carmen is Chief Structural Engineer for the Utah DOT and Chair of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Technical Committee for Construction (T-4) under the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures (SCOBS). She serves on several national bridge committees including the panels for NCHRP 12-98 (Recommended Guidelines for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems Tolerances and Dynamic Effects of Bridge Moves) and NCHRP 12-102 (Recommended AASHTO Guide Specification for ABC Design and Construction), and is a member of the ABC-UTC Advisory Committee. Carmen has a BSCE and Master’s Degree in structural engineering from the University of Utah. Prior to joining UDOT in 2009 she worked as a consultant on various fast-track high-profile design-build projects around the country.

Module 1 - pdf of presentation

  • Programmatic implementation

Module 2: Structures Design and Detailing Manual – ABC Aspects


Cheryl Hersh Simmons, S.E.
Structures Design Manager
Utah DOT
Office: 801-964-4463


Cheryl is the Structures Design Manager for the Utah Department of Transportation’s Structures Division. Cheryl has served in this capacity since joining the Department nearly five year ago. Prior to working at the Department, Cheryl spent 23 years in the private sector with a focus on project delivery and construction as a designer, resident engineer, project manager, and design quality manager.

Module 2 - pdf of presentation

  • Standardization
  • Manual
  • Design Drawings
  • Checklist
  • Specifications

Module 3: Fabricator and Contractor Perspectives




Lee Wegner
Sales/Project Management
Forterra Structural Precast
Salt Lake City, Utah
Phone: 801-966-1060

Lee is in sales and project management with Forterra Structural Precast in Salt Lake City. He is a nationally recognized expert in the use of precast concrete for accelerated bridge and pavement construction. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, Lee was employed 12 years for Kiewit Corporation. Working throughout the country, he managed hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bridge and heavy highway construction projects. He joined Forterra Structural Precast in 2004 and quickly created business for accelerated bridge and pavement construction through precast methods. Drawing upon his estimating and project management background, he is responsible for the development, sales and implementation of precast projects throughout the Intermountain West. One of his projects was replacement of the I-15 Beck Street Bridges in Salt Lake City. At the time of completion in 2010, the 194.5-ft-long girders were the longest pretensioned concrete bridge girders used in the United States.



Eric Wells
Area Manager
Granite Construction, Inc.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Phone: 801-526-6068

Eric has 32 years of construction experience specializing in structural concrete transportation projects and holds a BS in Construction Management from Weber State. As Granite Construction’s Area Manager for the Utah Region, he is responsible for acquiring new business in these markets and overseeing the successful execution of subsequent contracts. Eric has worked with the Utah DOT in the development and refinement of their Accelerated Bridge Construction process since 2005 and has become a proponent of this construction method. He has served as Lead Estimator, Project Manager and Area Manager on sixteen precast ABC bridges for Granite. His extensive experience in both the preconstruction and construction phases of these projects in a variety of roles has given him a unique perspective that adds value to the ABC process. Eric believes in partnering, collaboration, and the public involvement of stakeholders in the process.

Module 3, Part 1, Fabricator Perspective - pdf of presentation
Module 3, Part 2, Contractor Perspective - pdf of presentation

  • Introduction to structural precast fabrication in Utah
  • Why precast?
  • Precast products for UDOT projects
  • Fabrication lessons learned

  • Introduction to ABConstruction in Utah
  • Why ABC?
  • Latest happenings
  • Construction lessons learned

Module 4: Performance History and Lessons Learned


Mike Culmo, P.E.
Vice President of Transportation and Structures
CME Associates, Inc.
Office: 860-290-4100

Mike is a Structural Engineer with 34 years of experience in bridge and highway design.  He has extensive experience in the design of steel, concrete, prestressed concrete and timber bridges, and has been responsible for directing a design team on new expressway bridges, bridge rehabilitation, and related highway structures.  Prior to joining CME, he was employed for over thirteen years with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and, in his last position there, was the assistant State Bridge Engineer.  Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering, both from the University of Connecticut.  He is a licensed professional engineer in six states.

Module 4 - pdf of presentation

  • UDOT lessons learned program
    • Inspections completed to date
    • Goals of the program
  • Performance of ABC details
    • Full-depth deck panel details (various details including post-tensioned and non-post-tensioned)
    • Adjacent box beams
    • Substructures
    • GRS/IBS
    • SPMT systems
    • Lateral slide systems
    • Tolerance and fit-up
  • Lessons Learned
    • Causes of substandard performance – what to avoid
    • Details that are working well – what to use

Module 5: Experiences and Practices - Project Highlights

by Carmen Swanwick, S.E., Chief Structural Engineer, Utah DOT

Module 5 - pdf of presentation

  • Projects through the years

Module 6: Experiences and Practices - Bridge Moves and UHPC

by Carmen Swanwick, S.E., Chief Structural Engineer, Utah DOT; and Cheryl Hersh Simmons, S.E., Structures Design Manager, Utah DOT

Module 6 - pdf of presentation

  • Bridge system move projects
  • Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) project

Presentation photos/graphics:

Module 2

Structures Design and Detailing Manual

WS-16 precast concrete deck panel – half depth

Module 3

Forming precast full-depth deck panels in precast plant for UDOT project

Placement of UHPC material

Module 4

Comparison of SPMT bridge with conventional bridge

Precast pier bents

Module 5


I-15 CORE Sam White Lane over I-15 – SPMT bridge move

Riverdale Road over I-84 – prefabricated elements

Module 6

SR-232 and I-15; Hill Field Road Interchange Modification

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) project