Development of Accelerated Bridge Construction Handbook (ABC Handbook)

Project Information

Link to the Latest Report: Coming Soon

The proposed research will take advantage of a tremendous number of activities that ABC-UTC have had over years in ABC area and will provide the profession with a handbook that is perhaps the most comprehensive document for ABC. This project will result in the most comprehensive document in the U.S. and devoted to ABC, developing, collecting and referencing current and existing ABC knowledge and providing bridge professionals with one document that they can start with to get an answer to their questions. Besides the PI and Co-PIs, several practicing bridge engineers will also be involved in development of chapters. Contributors outside of FIU will receive honorarium for their contribution. The exact list of outside contributors will be determined at a later date, in consultation with project advisory panel.

There are several state-of-the-art publications in the area of Accelerated Bridge Construction for different topics and ABC area in addition to the LRFD Guide Specification for Accelerated Bridge Construction. The proposed Handbook will refer to other documents and will pay great attention to the existing resources developed by different AASHTO committee to use the same terms and terminologies. The handbook will be the most comprehensive ABC source published by the end of the project.

The overarching goal of this project is to develop the most document in ABC area not only for profession and practicing design engineers but also for education purposes. The handbook will provide actual design example, sample details, and other useful information for the benefit of the reader.

Task 1 – Development of Chapter 1: Introduction to ABC

In this task, introduction of ABC will be presented including prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PBES), lateral slide, and self-propelled modular transport (SPMTs). In addition, the past, current, and future directions of ABC will be provided. The chapter will provide information to engineers with no ABC experience to help them navigate the handbook.

Task 2 – Development of Chapter 2: ABC Definitions

In this task, all definitions, abbreviations and acronyms related to ABC will be listed. The chapter will use the same language used by FHWA and bridge community related to ABC. The authors will pay great attention to the existing resources developed by different AASHTO committees, FHWA, and other DOTs advancing ABC and will use the same terms and terminologies.

Task 3 – Development of Chapter 3: Decision-Making Tools

In this task, different decision-making tools will be reviewed and collected. Decision-making tools developed by FHWA, Utah DOT, Wisconsin DOT, and Connecticut DOT, among others, will be explained in detail. In addition, the authors will work closely with PI of another proposed project entitled “Comprehensive Decision Support Tool for Determining the Suitability of Accelerated Bridge Construction Methods considering Social Equity and Environmental Justice” if funded to include social equity consideration.

Task 4 – Development of Chapter 4: Heavy Lift and Transport Equipment

In this task, different equipment and machinery are used in ABC for heavy lift and transportation of bridge elements or systems including slide-in bridge construction (SIBC) lateral slide and SPMTs. This task will result in development of Chapter 4 and will be led by an external expert from heavy-lift industry who will be selected before the start of the project. Design examples will be included in Chapter 16 for case studies of the use of SPMT and SIBC to move a bridge and details of the method used and challenges in execution.

Task 5 – Development of Chapter 5: Overview of LRFD Guide Specifications for Accelerated Bridge Construction

In this task, an overview of the recently published AASHTO- LRFD Guide Specifications for ABC. This chapter will refer to the guide and will help the readers navigate through the guide.

Task 6 – Development of Chapter 6: UHPC and Durability

In this task, comprehensive information about ultra-high performance concrete as advanced material will be reviewed and collected. Different mixes and test results especially durability testing will be reported. In addition, research results and field implementation of UHPC will be presented.

Task 7 – Development of Chapter 7: Superstructure Considerations

In this task, design and construction considerations for ABC superstructure systems will be reviewed and collected. This chapter will include a list of the most promising ABC superstructure systems and methods of selection of ABC superstructure systems.

Task 8 – Development of Chapter 8: Substructure Considerations

In this task, design and construction considerations for ABC substructure systems will be reviewed and collected. This chapter will include a list of the most promising ABC substructure systems and methods of selection of ABC substructure systems.

Task 9 – Development of Chapter 9: Geotechnical Considerations

In this task, geotechnical considerations for ABC projects such as foundation re-use, micro piles, and other advancements in soil-structure interaction will be covered in this chapter.

Task 10 – Development of Chapter 10: Connections

In this task, different ABC connections for non-seismic and seismic applications will be collected and presented including bridge deck closure joints, joints for precast link slabs, superstructure diaphragm, socket connections, pocket connections, among others.

Task 11 – Development of Chapter 11: Seismic Considerations

Most of the recent applications of ABC in the U.S. are non-seismic applications even though significant research was/is being conducted for innovative ABC systems for seismic regions. There is also field implementation of ABC systems in New Zealand and other countries. This task seeks to collect the most promising ABC systems for seismic regions from research to field implementation.

Task 12 – Development of Chapter 12: Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)

As an emerging technology, additive manufacturing (3D printing) has the potential to reshape the construction industry. Even though most of the advancements and field implementation of 3D-printing in housing and building industries, it has futuristic potential in bridge construction. This chapter will cover recent research activities in the US related to 3D-printing of structural elements in bridge construction.

Task 13 – Development of Chapter 13: Contracting Methods

In this task, different contracting methods used in ABC projects will be collected and discussed such as Design-Bid-Build (DBB), Design-Build (DB), and Construction Manager- General Contractor (CMGC). In addition, alternative technical concepts (ATC) for contract delivery methods.

Task 14 – Development of Chapter 14: Repair and Upgrade

In this task, all available accelerated repair and upgrade techniques will be collected and synthetized. This chapter will include the accelerated repair and upgrade techniques for superstructures and substructures. Examples for accelerated repair and upgrade will be part of Chapter 16.

Task 15 – Development of Chapter 15: Available Resources

In this task, all available resources related to ABC such as ABC-UTC website, state DOT websites, and FHWA will be collected and listed to provide the readers will additional information if needed.

Task 16 – Development of Chapter 16: Design Examples

In this task, design examples will be developed for all topics mentioned from Task 3 to Task 14. The design examples will be based on actual case studies of actual ABC projects.

Task 17 – Development of Chapter 17: International Trends

In this task, most recent international advancements and trends in ABC area will be reported to guide the reader to the state of ABC outside the U.S.

Research Team:
Principal Investigator: Atorod Azizinamini, PhD, P.E.,
Co-Principal Investigators:
Armin Mehrabi, PhD, P.E., Associate Professor- Florida International University
David Garber, PhD. P.E., Associate Professor- Florida International University
Kingsley Lau, PhD, Associate Professor- Florida International University
Islam M. Mantawy, PhD, P.E., Assistant Professor- Rowan University
Ankitha Arvan, Research Assistant Professor – Florida International University